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timmypd

Automated Differential Imaging of Multiple Gaming PCs

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I manage several small entertainment lounges for Soldiers on military installations. We provide gaming PCs which we currently image to a master at initial deployment and then use RestoreRX on each PC to restore to that initial image on reboot. The games are in a separate directory that does not get overwritten when this occurs. This was the only way we could find to ensure the games such as League of Legends and World of Warcraft and those on the Steam platform could stay updated but we could protect the OS and registry. The problem we are having is that over time through weekly game updates many of the PCs are running into errors when booting the games and we have to completely reinstall that particular game on that particular system. League of Legends is the worst about this. My hope is that we can find a product where we can maintain a master image with all games and the OS updated and running properly, and each time one of the PCs boots it will sync its system image with the master. This master image will be maintained at our main office and not on the LAN of each game lounge. There are many products that do this, but we cannot find one that, automatically upon reboot of the system, will compare against the current master image and download / re-image only the files and portions of the drive that have changed since the last re-image. Having to completely re-image each PC daily, even with multicast, takes way too much time due to the size of the games in the image. To put in more simply, we want to maintain a master PC with all games fully updated. When any of our gaming PCs reboots (or even on a daily schedule) it should check to see if it has any differences against the remote master image and automatically update those portions of the drive that changed. The end result will be that all our gaming PCs are configured the same way as our master system, have all game updates, and are immune from all changes made while live and in customer hands as they check against and restore to the master image after each reboot. Hopefully SmartDeploy is the solution!

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Hello,

That's a very cool service you provide for the military. I'm sure they appreciate it.

Unfortunately, this isn't something SmartDeploy is designed to do. SmartDeploy does not have the ability to compare changes to a master image upon reboot and auto-update if necessary.

I'm pretty familiar with Steam and the B.net services but haven't tested them on a SmartDeploy image. Here's what I imagine would be the best scenario for those gaming platforms and SmartDeploy. We have a free 15 day trial, so you may want to test. 

  • Build your virtual reference machine and apply Windows Updates and install Steam and Battle.net along with LoL and WoW and all games and fully update them via their platform.
  • Capture/Deploy an image

This should work out, although the Players will most likely have to change the video settings on the deployed machine upon first launch. Also, if the games update, they will only update on the deployed machine. You will have to update them on the virtual reference machine, then capture and deploy again if you want the master image updated. 

Hope that helps.

Thanks,

SmartDeploy Support

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