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Cloning HDs and MS activation

DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User regular
edited January 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
My parents are very active in the management of a local non-profit senior citizens center. The center is looking into getting ten new computers to replace their old aging dinosaurs, and thus I've been put in charge of ordering PCs, setting things up, etc.

I've pretty much got computers and such all picked out (I really don't have the time to build my own, so we're just buying a bunch of cheap prebuilt ones), but I don't know the easiest way to set them up. Back in the day I'd set one computer up and clone the hard drive ten times, but can I do that with Microsoft's XP/Vista and Office activation junk? Each computer will have a legit XP license, so that's not an issue.

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    wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    unless you have volume licensing on XP/Office, you'll run into headaches if you set one up machine and clone it 10 times. Because then the same key will be active on all 10 machines.

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    BeazleBeazle Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Buy all identical Dell systems and clone to your hearts content. Dell's WinXP will not require activation on their systems. Office might however.

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    Legoman05Legoman05 Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    You could very easily and very inexpensively set up Ubuntu/Openoffice. You might even be able to find a skin that makes both of them look just like windows and they might never know the difference.

    Read up on the command line tool 'dd' to clone everything over to the rest of the machines. Write it down in a shell script and title it something simple, so you have the disk image and script both on a livecd that gives them a command line. All they'll have to do is type /CD/fix and it'll go off and happily re-clone the machine.

    Legoman05 on
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    vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    You set up the original PC, disconnect it from the network, run Sysprep on it, create your image, and then slap that image on the cloned PCs. There's stuff on that page about creating an INF file to automate deployment, but I think you can skip that and just have it prompt you for system name, CD key, etc. You'll need to subsequently activate each install, but that's no big deal since each system should have a separate valid Windows XP CD key.

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    Nakatomi2010Nakatomi2010 Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    You set up the original PC, disconnect it from the network, run Sysprep on it, create your image, and then slap that image on the cloned PCs. There's stuff on that page about creating an INF file to automate deployment, but I think you can skip that and just have it prompt you for system name, CD key, etc. You'll need to subsequently activate each install, but that's no big deal since each system should have a separate valid Windows XP CD key.

    This man speaks truth... When I worked at a Mom N' Pop shop I toyed with Sysprep, it was exceedingly useful, and will do what you need it to do....

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