Making the image
(A technical task)

<< Currently Geoff is doing this "Making the image" stage- Schools can pick this stage up whenever they are ready>>

Goal: After preparing an 'ideal machine, take an image from that machine and use that image to mass distribute that software to all the machines on your schools network.

Steps ...

  1. A master machine needs to be prepared for your school.
    It needs to a machine that ...
    • Does NOT already have a uploaded image.
      (One annoying quirk of the WDS (image system) is that you can only upload an image off the master three times ... if effect this means that is good practice to always use a fresh install rather than reuse an image that has loaded from elsewhere.
    • Is a reasonably fast computer (too frustrating otherwise).
    • Any hard configuration (laptop or tower) with sound and any 'normal' devices (USB etc) connected.
    • Is always live on your network (24/7) ... so different users can test either locally or remotely.

  2. The 'master' machine need to be loaded with all the schools software.
    • It is easier to load all software then restrict its usage to groups rather load any special group software afterwards.
      • The same software image can be used across all hardware platforms.
      • Make sure you include VPN (if used), SMS, photocopier and printer drivers
      • It is easier to post-load the Toshiba laptops special driver after imaging - contrary to the above step.
    • Ensure that every user group (staff, students, class, office etc) has a chance to test the 'ideal' image.
      They (users) log on to the 'master' computer and test out all the software..
    • Once the ideal software image is 'perfect' the machine should be cleaned up, defragged etc.
    • You ask Geoff to check at this stage- just to make sure all is perfect.

  3. Archive the 'master machine image ...
    You now have to archive the image so that it can be restored after the 'Sysprep' (see below) so that the 3x image limit is not compromised in the future.
    The best way is to use the 'Ghost' utility on the Loop's WDS server to do this.
    Full instructions here.

  4. SysPrep the image
    Navigate to to the Sysprep folder on the master machine ( C:\windows\system32\sysprep) and run 'sysprep.exe
    Settings ...
    • oobe (out of the box experience)
    • generalize (radio button)
    • shutdown

    The computer will spend the next few minutes reverting itself back to its original "out of the box' state... then shut down.

  5. Upload the image to the Loop server
    This is the most difficult part. The trick is to boot off a WinPE disk (has a cut down version of W7) to a DOS screen.
    1. Read here how to boot to a DOS screen using WinPE
    2. Map Z drive
    3. Read how to choose which bat file to use ... run this file.

  6. Linking the image to the WDS/DiskImage boot menu
    Email Geoff ask for the image to be linked to the menu on the Loop's distribution server.(overnight)

  7. Restoring the 'Master' machine back to its native state ... where the master has no 'memory' of being imaged.
    This is done by restoring the Ghosted' image to the master machine.
    Full instructions here.

  8. Distributing your school image ... click here