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Cloning HDD to USB or other portable method

Tags:
  • USB
  • Storage
  • ISO
  • cloning
  • Ghosting
  • Hard Drives
Last response: in Storage
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May 15, 2013 6:30:43 PM

I need to put together about two dozen computers, all identical both hardware and software-wise. The computers will be built over a span of 1-2 months.
My question is: is there a way in which I can clone one hard drive into a portable method (ISO, maybe)? This way, I can put it in a bootable USB and install the OS on each computer with all drivers and programs loaded.
If that's not possible I'm open to and appreciate any suggestions.

More about : cloning hdd usb portable method

May 15, 2013 6:52:12 PM

we use this at my job...its pretty useful. build a system, boot from the network upload the image to fog, naming it whatever you want. with a fresh system, go to fog and deploy the image, boot from network and it will start putting the image on the system. it might not work for your situation, but its worth a shot.

http://www.fogproject.org/?q=node/1
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May 15, 2013 6:55:29 PM

What you want is an image of your setup. There are several programs that can create and restore the image; Macrium Reflect free, Paragon backup and restore, Clonezilla, Drive Image xml...

If these will be running windows, Your homework is to find out how to change the Windows product key after you restore the image or find out how to install windows without the product key so you can create a key-free image.
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May 16, 2013 10:11:27 AM

Thanks a lot for your answer, popatim. I've been looking at Clonezilla for a while since it's freeware. I'll give it a try.
As for the product key, the computer I'm cloning doesn't even have one yet (it's on the 30 day trial) so that won't be an issue, I imagine.
The only thing that I forgot to mention is that they will all be exactly identical EXCEPT for the computer name (they will be named numerically... 001, 002, 003...). When restoring an image made by Clonezilla, will I get the option to rename the computer? If not, is there a way to do it through Windows7? I know you can do it by [right clicking My Computer>Properties>Advanced system settings>Change computer name] but for some reason I feel like it's not the same as just naming it correctly from the beginning.

Again, thanks for your help popatim and carowden.
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Best solution

May 16, 2013 10:32:04 AM

GeneralJabroni said:
I know you can do it by [right clicking My Computer>Properties>Advanced system settings>Change computer name] but for some reason I feel like it's not the same as just naming it correctly from the beginning.


this is the way to do it. if you had it named "pc1" originally and changed it to "pc2", it would be the same as naming it "pc2" in the initial set up. i do this at work pretty often.
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May 16, 2013 10:38:06 AM

OK cool... I guess I'm just being overly picky for no good reason.

I have one built already. I'll make the image and put it in the second one once I build it next week.
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May 16, 2013 10:41:38 AM

i understand being picky, no sense wasting time when you could have asked the question haha. good luck with it all!
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May 23, 2013 10:42:49 AM

Did it. I put the image on a USB using Clonezilla and put that image on another computer. This is exactly what I wanted to do. Thanks to both of you.
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