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jaypell

Differencing Disks - How, What, and Why?

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Hi Everyone,

I am a new user to SmartDeploy. I'm trying to wrap my head around differencing images so I have a few questions.

-Would I use differencing images if I have a base image with the general apps all my users have, then expand upon them to add the additional software needed for different images? So for example, most of my users need all of the Windows Updates, Office, and Adobe Products. So that's my base "generic" image. Now I have users that need CADD software. How would I go about making a differencing image based on that?

-If differencing isn't what I need in this cenario, could someone explain what is best? I have about 10 different software scenarios for different images and I'd like to keep the footprint as small as possible.

Thank You in advance for your help

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Jay,

What I would recommend is copying your base virtual reference machine. Start that machine and then install your CAD software and then capture that virtual reference machine and name it differently. For example "Base_CAD.wim"

Repeat these steps for other unique images you would like.

Regarding differencing, you can create a differencing image, which will only contain the differences between an existing image, and the updated VM content. You do this by taking the VM that created your original image (Your base image, you may want to make 8 copies depending on your needs), and updating how you want. Then in the Capture Wizard on Image Type page, you select Differencing image and browse to the .wim that was created from the original VM. What you’ll end up with is a new .dwm file that contains only the difference between the original .wim and the new content of the VM. Both the original .wim and the new .dwm are required to deploy the new image so put them both next to each other and browse to the .dwm during the deployment phase. I.e. it’s a parent child relationship.

Thanks,

SmartDeploy Support

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When deploy a differencing image shouldnt that be selectedable from the Image name: drop down menu?, what is the purpose of the drop down menu if it only has one thing in it?

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I always kind of stayed away from this - kind of viewed it as a definitive demarcation point. ie - since I'm always getting updates I have to keep my base image fresh and I rather clone and setup (and update clones if need be) rather than make use of them - I see it as just another possible fail point. (If you have the space, why bother) I like the idea though, because if it were reliable then I only have to update one machine and the all the others that have different software setups would benefit from those updates, theory goes.

What would help, is an explanation of how dwm works (the technical) in SmartDeploy, can you use them WDS? Would like to know how that works, thanks

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I am trying to use it right now for the purpose of have a base image that is updated and deploys everywhere, but a differencing image that has adobe cloud creative suite apps installed., which would take the techs a long time to do after imaging, and the way our license is we only want to use it on a couple of labs at each site.

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My test failed - SD came back unable to find wim. So, basically it only takes the "differences" from then creates the file. This makes it useless for me if you have to recut the dwm everytime there is a change to the original, plus to make edits to the machine where the dwm was cut - might as well just keep it as a standard image for me - this is been my impression so far.

On the upside, I just worked through my issues on my push install from client - couldn't tell if it was on the SD side or my answer key - the package wasn't being dropped, when I try to edit it defaults to D. I still get a warning box from the deploy page but it goes through ok, package and all.

Yeah, we have to do adobe too, but we don't control our destiny - which is such a headache because we have no control over how the packages are created or when they will be updated. Also I see another password cluster**** down the line, with 365 - everyone came to us and said "don't you know my password?" with all the iterations I believe they will associate with old forgotten 365 passwords and - de ja vu. At least with 365 we had access to central management, not for us with Adobe.

 

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12 hours ago, eburnett said:

My test failed - SD came back unable to find wim. So, basically it only takes the "differences" from then creates the file. This makes it useless for me if you have to recut the dwm everytime there is a change to the original, plus to make edits to the machine where the dwm was cut - might as well just keep it as a standard image for me - this is been my impression so far.

On the upside, I just worked through my issues on my push install from client - couldn't tell if it was on the SD side or my answer key - the package wasn't being dropped, when I try to edit it defaults to D. I still get a warning box from the deploy page but it goes through ok, package and all.

Yeah, we have to do adobe too, but we don't control our destiny - which is such a headache because we have no control over how the packages are created or when they will be updated. Also I see another password cluster**** down the line, with 365 - everyone came to us and said "don't you know my password?" with all the iterations I believe they will associate with old forgotten 365 passwords and - de ja vu. At least with 365 we had access to central management, not for us with Adobe.

 

Thats a good point, yeah you will have to make your differencing image again if you modify the master wim

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