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Old 06-04-2009, 03:32 AM   #1
Jr.Who
 
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Default Cloning HDs

Hey guys,

I'm gonna try to give a short explanation for this… so I'm helping a couple of friends of mine build some computers for people, and I decided to try cloning HDs, so that we wouldn't have to start from scratch every time we built one. Well, I've tried Acronis Home and Echo and Norton Ghost, but every time I transfer the HD over to the new computer (same model, but they might have slightly different hardware), it'll work for a little while and then blue screen on me.

I've talked to support people and they say it's cause the computers have different hardware. So does anyone know any simple way to clone the HDs over to computers with different hardware and not get the blue screen?

Thanks,
Steven Palmesano
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:14 AM   #2
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Cloning systems with different HAL's or Hardware Abstraction Layers is and has always been a major problem.

The only way I have ever been successful at doing this is on machines with the EXACT same motherboard at the very least.

You then have to install the proper drivers for any new / different components.

The most notorious component that creates problems when cloning machines is the graphics adapter. If different from the master machine you are always best off by installing the generic vga driver prior to making the clone.

The next real problem is that simply cloning a windows install does not change the SID or system ID this will cause conflicts with machines on the same network or machines attempting to get updates from Microsoft.

There is a utility that is available to prep a new machine that has been created from the cloned image that generates a new SID upon initial boot.

Google for something called sysprep.

So things to take away to clone systems:

1) almost ALWAYS has to be the EXACT same HAL/mobo
2) careful with video cards / drivers
3) research and learn to use sysprep
4) make regular sacrifices to the microsoft gods
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Old 07-04-2009, 03:35 AM   #3
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OK, I'll try sysprep… I'll get back to you around Saturday or Sunday about it. It would be nice if there was just a program that made it easy and did it all though. :/
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:20 PM   #4
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OK, I kind of used sysprep… not much though. Not enough to get it to work. lol I'll be able to try it again maybe this weekend, but what exactly am I supposed to do with it?
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:18 PM   #5
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To be honest jr it's a pain in the ass to use!

You create a sysprep folder in the c drive. You put drivers and other crap in it. Then run sysprep with a buttload of system specific parameters.

It runs, the system reboots, stuff in sysprep folder gets processed. The folder gets auto deleted and you have a new sysid and system.

The instructions for setting up the sysprep folder and running sysprep in the windows administration manual is like reading war and peace! I kid you not! It's like 600 pages of babblespeak!

Having a phd in advanced quantum hyperdimensional non-newtonian psuedo propositional differential heisenbergian calculous makes understanding the process just a tiny bit easier!
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Last edited by ctbram : 13-04-2009 at 03:16 AM.
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Old 16-04-2009, 09:54 PM   #6
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Is there any alternatives to sysprep out there?
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Old 17-04-2009, 07:12 AM   #7
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As Ctbram said you cant really clone a hdd form one machine to another with a different set up, we use one "master" and then norton ghost to the rest of the PC's, though we do need a new "master" per spec'ed machine (as we get them in job lots of the same spec.
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