System Image for small businesses



  • Is there a product that would allow a system image to replace the image on a hardrive due to OS failure, malware, user error. Curious if there is a program I could recommend to my clients which would keep the cost down of repairs or a re-install. Has anyone used the Win7/8 system image successfully to repair a pc?



  • @technobabble said:

    Is there a product that would allow a system image to replace the image on a hardrive due to OS failure, malware, user error. Curious if there is a program I could recommend to my clients which would keep the cost down of repairs or a re-install. Has anyone used the Win7/8 system image successfully to repair a pc?

    I've used SCCM on a regular basis to reload machines. A user screws their computer up, gets it infected, whatever, just advertise the imaging task sequence, PXE boot it and you have a ready-to-go computer in a couple of hours. It may not be such a good fit for SMBs, though.



  • @alexntg Thanks. The smaller business client usually buys their PC at Staples or Best Buy and most clients don't have a server.



  • Without a server, where are you going to keep the images that can't be disrupted by the virus or bad drive?

    You could use a NAS and Clonezilla... setup the machines, then take an image once a quarter so you can restore to a sorta recent copy.



  • You'll need volume licensing for imaging. Imaging rights are only available that way.



  • Check out SmartDeploy.



  • For backup purposes you can make images of your system - I think - without volume licensing.

    The OP mentioned non server having environments, so no AD, instead everyone has local accounts only...



  • @Dashrender Thanks. I wanted to know if anyone had successfully re-installed an image created by W7/W8 . I tried a W7 version I saved to a network drive, but that was a complete failure.



  • @technobabble said:

    @Dashrender Thanks. I wanted to know if anyone had successfully re-installed an image created by W7/W8 . I tried a W7 version I saved to a network drive, but that was a complete failure.

    When you say created by Windows 7, which program did the creation?



  • @alexntg Backup and Restore area, click on Create a system image



  • @technobabble said:

    @alexntg Backup and Restore area, click on Create a system image

    Ah, Windows Backup. I used it once, and it seemed to work ok. If I recall, it had issues trying to restore when I used a USB drive for the ISO instead of a DVD.



  • Are you attempting a restore or a build replication system?



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Are you attempting a restore or a build replication system?

    This is a great question - I guess we need to know more exactly what you are trying to accomplish.

    For example:
    If you are trying to come up with a base image that you can deploy onto a workstation, any workstation at a small company, in case of a virus, failed drive, etc... then you would require reimaging rights before you can do that (i.e. purchase SA for at least one license, purchase Intune with SA for at least one user, etc.) Then using the Volume license media you can create an image that you can roll out to those machines as needed. You'd still use something like Clonezilla (free) or Symantec Ghost (costs).

    If you are looking to create backup images of each workstation that can be restored (full image) in case of virus, failed drive, etc... then you can skip the licensing requirement above and use what the machines came with. BUT, you must create one image for each machine. and that image can only be used on that one machine for recovery purposes (legally speaking). Clonezilla to a NAS is the best option for this.



  • Most clients would have 2-10 PCs. I am looking for system images for restoring the PC's. I figured I would have to use W7/W8 backup but was looking for other solutions. Since it is many clients, the images would be per machine vs one image.



  • @Dashrender I will look into Clonezilla. The upside I can sell onsite backup and OS image using a NAS.



  • I've been using Clonezilla for 4+ years.. it's easy and fast. it has some caveats, but you can read about the requirements if you're doing anything more than restoring to the same (or same size) disk as you started with.


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