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How to automatically restore Win 7 from a ghost copy nightly

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  • Configuration
  • Office
  • Computers
  • Windows 7
Last response: in Windows 7
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Anonymous
a b $ Windows 7
October 3, 2010 3:57:52 AM

We are setting up an office with 25 computers that we'd like to restore to their original state nightly, preferably from a ghost copy to eliminate viruses, etc. Can anyone point me in the right direction on how to do that?

Thanks!

More about : automatically restore win ghost copy nightly

a b $ Windows 7
October 3, 2010 4:19:41 AM

I don't know how you would do that automaticaly, but I can see a flaw in your actions.
If you keep using the same image every day then you will loose any system updates including Windows security and antivirus updates and your pc's will be even more at risk.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 3, 2010 7:12:29 AM

I'd say you were tackling the problem from the wrong angle. Put in proper security, in the form of a good firewall and anti-virus protection. As Jonmor68 says, your suggested approach would increase the risk of infection, which could then spread to other computers, rather than decrease it. And it wouldn't be particularly easy to do.

Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted is not usually a good policy.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 3, 2010 7:39:41 AM

Back in my college days they used to do this. I watched a lab in the business dept and was there when the machines were turned on. I think they used Norton Ghost, but its honestly been so long I don't remember. When a machine was turned on Ghost would run and put an image from the network onto the computer. Each computer would take about 10 min to turn on, but it prevented the students from doing bad things to them.

Seeing as this is an office can't you trust them more? If you take proper security steps you shouldn't have to worry about things. Run windows update, have an AV installed, and possibly lock down the registry/USB ports if your that paranoid. If you do go the Ghost route make sure you take the image AFTER you activate windows and install all the programs your employees need. You'll also have to have 25 identical computers.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 3, 2010 8:07:17 AM

4745454b said:
If you do go the Ghost route make sure you take the image AFTER you activate windows and install all the programs your employees need. You'll also have to have 25 identical computers.

Would that actually work? Doesn't activation actually rely on the individual hardware? It seems like you would have 25 computers all activated with the same product key.

I guess if it's a volume licence then this might be possible.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 3, 2010 8:31:56 AM

I'm sure my schools lab used a valid volume license. What I wrote obviously isn't possible/legal if you just had a single key.
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October 3, 2010 10:52:28 AM

Hi,
We ran something very similar in the last place I worked.
Instead of reinstalling the full machine every night we installed VirtualPC on each.
We then set the machine to auto run the virtualPC on boot up. The student uses the machine through the day. At the end of the day we pushed a clean copy of the virtual machine from the server to each of the machines that had been used in the day. Over writes the changes and restores it to a good clean image for the next day.
Quick and easy. Can be scripted.
Would this work?
VirtualPC is a free program from Microsoft website
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October 3, 2010 11:31:07 AM

^ this seems like the best idea to me , imaging software is notoriously buggy ....if you do go down the imaging route I highly recommend Macrium mirror image
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a b $ Windows 7
October 3, 2010 11:41:18 AM

rededed said:
Hi,
We ran something very similar in the last place I worked.
Instead of reinstalling the full machine every night we installed VirtualPC on each.
We then set the machine to auto run the virtualPC on boot up. The student uses the machine through the day. At the end of the day we pushed a clean copy of the virtual machine from the server to each of the machines that had been used in the day. Over writes the changes and restores it to a good clean image for the next day.
Quick and easy. Can be scripted.
Would this work?
VirtualPC is a free program from Microsoft website

Good idea. Even better, some of the virtualization software (VirtualBox?) allows you to define transient disks (not sure that's the right term) that do not save changes made to them when the VM is shut down. No need to push the image every night, jsut ensure that the VMs are shut down.
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