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OfflinegENERIX
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Deploying Windows 7 over 500+ PCs (need advice)
    #14284523 - 04/13/11 05:13 PM (10 years, 29 days ago)

After applying for a temporary job over the summer, I've been contacted asking if I can attend an interview on Friday.

The job consists of upgrading the computers Operating System (OS) from Windows XP to Windows 7 on over 500+ machines. I've installed Windows 7 on various machines using a CD but I've never installed anywhere near the size of 500+ computers.

Could someone tell me the best approach for installing W7 on all these machines? Its a high paid job and I'm hoping to get the position. A great deal of people have applied so I've got a feeling there is a whole load of competition. The company would like to know how I can assist. Could anyone give me some advice?

Would I be asked to install each machine one by one? Surely not.

The jobs on Friday so any advice before then would be great. :thumbup:


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Invisiblecortex
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Re: Deploying Windows 7 over 500+ PCs (need advice) [Re: gENERIX]
    #14285848 - 04/13/11 08:56 PM (10 years, 29 days ago)

I'm not the best qualified to answer this, but it seems like installing one at a time is what it's going to take.  I know of no other method.

But really, installing windows is like 5% clicking "next" and 95% waiting, so you could really start and do at least a dozen at a time.

Say you can only do ten at a time.  And say Win7 takes about an hour to install.  At that rate you could do about 80 computers in a 9 hour day.  That means it should only take you about 7 days to complete all of them.  I think (and your boss should too) that is pretty reasonable for one man to upgrade 500 computers.  Add 20% or so for unknowns and you have two work weeks to get it all done.

Not too bad if you ask me.


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Offlineiateshaggy
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Re: Deploying Windows 7 over 500+ PCs (need advice) [Re: cortex]
    #14285956 - 04/13/11 09:13 PM (10 years, 29 days ago)

if they are all the same model pc it will be even easier, u can keep all the drivers u need on a flash drive and not have to hunt down drivers for 500 pc's.


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Re: Deploying Windows 7 over 500+ PCs (need advice) [Re: iateshaggy]
    #14286187 - 04/13/11 09:46 PM (10 years, 29 days ago)

You'll want to do an "unattended installation." I've never done this personally, but these look promising:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744512%28WS.10%29.aspx
http://systemscenter.ru/waik.en/html/d22a3069-d4aa-4059-8776-bd905da8f5ec.htm

The answer file eliminates the need for you to respond to every prompt during installation. It looks like you can customize the drivers in advance to save time (provided the computers are identical.)

If you have a spare hard drive or extra computer laying around, it might be a good idea to try this tonight or tomorrow on your own system first. We all know the difference between theory and practice, yeah?

Edit: There are also ways to just image each computer or do network deployments, but I've never done them either. Just something for you to look into.


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Edited by Bacchus (04/13/11 09:47 PM)


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Re: Deploying Windows 7 over 500+ PCs (need advice) [Re: Bacchus]
    #14288127 - 04/14/11 03:46 AM (10 years, 29 days ago)

the quickest way is over a network somehow with all the computers on it altho i have no experience in this area

the second quickest way would be to get a ghost image and this may be able to be done over network easier, otherwise on disc per computer second quickest, the catch is you'll most likely have to change the cdkey after putting the image on somehow, the other catch is if the computers are 2 different it might not boot, and if it does it will most likely uninstall and install a bunch of stuff, but should 'technically' work i think

otherwise an unattended install is your last option and will still be a major pain in the ass, nomatter what you do after you get into the os there's still going to be shit u gotta do so expect at least an hour per computer, time traveling to each computer, computers that have shit unplugged, just saying expect problems and plan for needing that time to do the job


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OfflinegENERIX
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Re: Deploying Windows 7 over 500+ PCs (need advice) [Re: Bacchus]
    #14288428 - 04/14/11 06:24 AM (10 years, 29 days ago)

Thanks for all the great advice. Unfortunately, I'm unsure as to whether the computers are identical. I guess I'll find that out when I attend the interview tomorrow.

With regards to licensing, I'm guessing they have a license for over 500+ computers. Its a big company thats having me in for an interview.

The only thing I'm a little unsure is whether they need any backups before hand? I can't imagine so but you never know. If its all shared across a network, I'd like to assume its saved on servers rather than the local C: drive.

Quote:

Bacchus said:
You'll want to do an "unattended installation." I've never done this personally, but these look promising:





Thanks for the links. I'll go through them later and hopefully it should clear up a few things. :thumbup:


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Re: Deploying Windows 7 over 500+ PCs (need advice) [Re: gENERIX] * 1
    #14288994 - 04/14/11 11:19 AM (10 years, 29 days ago)

You need to look into the windows automated installation kit. WAIK is a deployment toolkit made by microsoft. It has tools for creating and deploying images in large scale.

It allows you to boot to a dvd, cd or usb and install an image off a network or other source.


Edited by 1983 (04/14/11 12:32 PM)


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Re: Deploying Windows 7 over 500+ PCs (need advice) [Re: gENERIX]
    #14290727 - 04/14/11 05:21 PM (10 years, 28 days ago)

Quote:

gENERIX said:
Would I be asked to install each machine one by one? Surely not.




Yeah, that would be extremely moronic.

Useful suggestions have been done already. You could also check out this link: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa967394.aspx However, it requires you have at least one Windows 2003 or 2008 server in the network. You could of course set one up specifically for the purpose of installing the workstations, but for maintenance purposes, I'd convert that into a permanent situation anyway.

Another (dirty) method is creating a master image with the Windows installation as you'd like to have it with all applications and drivers installed to cover the different hardware configurations; hopefully, the hardware variety is limited, because that always tends to fuck stuff up. I have no experience in distributing Windows 7 in this way, but I have done projects involving 'cloning' dozens of Windows 9x and XP configurations. It worked ok-ish, but back in those days, you needed to reboot once or twice in order to let Windows detect hardware and install the required drivers (which should of course be provided in the disk image).

However, I would recommend using one of the Microsoft-supplied methods of unattended installation, as it is more likely to deal effectively with hardware variations and it will probably prevent some registry fuckups.


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Offlinegrimm_reefer
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Re: Deploying Windows 7 over 500+ PCs (need advice) [Re: koraks]
    #14303951 - 04/17/11 01:24 AM (10 years, 26 days ago)

i know you already had the interview, but if you havent already got any help on deploying windows 7, pm me your email and i can try to send you a copy of a VERY helpful book on deploying windows 7


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Re: Deploying Windows 7 over 500+ PCs (need advice) [Re: grimm_reefer]
    #14323785 - 04/20/11 06:07 PM (10 years, 22 days ago)

I use "FOG" at work.  I only image a few machines at a go, but I know it's possible to do way more than that.  You can actually install a service to re-image them at any time in the future from a central location as well.

http://www.fogproject.org/

This requires a server, a network with decent bandwidth, and the ability to setup DHCP and PXE/tFTP


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Re: Deploying Windows 7 over 500+ PCs (need advice) [Re: ShockValue]
    #14331284 - 04/22/11 03:08 AM (10 years, 21 days ago)

[quote} You can actually install a service to re-image them at any time in the future from a central location as well.



Yeah, that's a neat function. Back in the day I think I used Ghost Entreprise for that. It had a broadcast mode that allowed the distribution of an image to lots of pc's simultaneously if the network hardware supported it. I installed classroom pc's that way, but 5-10% of the machines wouldn't correctly pick up the image and you'd had to do those manually later on. One of those things that are very neat when they work as advertised, but very annoying when they don't.


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