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wbeck

Using PXE/Ghost w/SmartDeploy

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I've been successful in creating an ISO and integrating drivers/models into a platform package. Can anyone provide insight on how I can leverage Symantec Ghost and/or PXE? I'd like to be able to PXE boot a laptop/PC and have Ghost perform a multicast using SmartDeploy's image. I'm using Tftpd32 to do a PXE boot now along with a ghost network boot disk that load DOS drivers - and loads ghost.exe off a network share. Pretty ugly right now with no multicast support. Thanks!

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Hello,

You will not be able to leverage any Symantec Ghost capabilities with SmartDeploy Enterprise. SmartDeploy and Ghost create two different image types. Ghost uses a .gho file which contains a sector based replication of the hard drive you are copying. SmartDeploy on the other hand uses a .wim file which is a file based copy of the hard drive you are imaging.

If SmartDeploy is something you would like to use/implement with PXE this can be done by utilizing Microsoft's Windows Deployment Services. I am not sure if you are familiar with WDS but it allows you to PXE boot and image client computers. When PXE booting with WDS you will load the SmartDeploy version of Windows PE (SmartPE) which is a 32bit environment. As long as you are using Platform Packs to build your boot media you should not have to worry about any driver injection.

There is a very good writeup on how to integrate SmartDeploy with WDS by Devon here. It is a 7 part post that takes you from capturing a master image all the way to deploying a multicast image with SmartDeploy and WDS.

Hope this helps! If you run into any problems you can always contact Support.

Erik

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Erik,

I understand what you're talking about now. Symantec Ghost does not support deployment of .WIM files. One of the good things about Ghost is that you can run a task to rebuild many PCs at once by doing a single multicast session. Can WDS do this? Or does WDS just do one PC at a time? Thanks!

Wally

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Hi Wally,

WDS supports multicast in two different ways. The first option is auto-cast. This is the method we tend to use most. In auto-cast, as the name states, when you join a client the session starts automatically. It's what happens next that is the particularly cool bit. Say your first client is joined and 50% through the multicast session, then you join another client. The next client will automatically start receiving data from the multicast session. When the first client is finished the second client will only have the second half of the data, its at this point that WDS will loop back to the beginning of the multicast session and resend the first 50% to the second client. This gives you quite a bit of flexibility in you imaging sessions.

The second option is schedule-cast. This is much more like Ghost. You have the option to either start a multicast session at a predefined time or when the server meets a desired client threshold. If you want to queue all of your clients before starting the multicast session this is what you are looking for. To select schedule-cast you can follow the WDS guide to the Multicast Type section of WDS. At this point you would simply change the selection from auto to schedule-cast and pick the option that is right for you.

Erik

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