Setting up 8 new computers with dual boot

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by jaymes1, Aug 2, 2009.

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  1. jaymes1

    jaymes1 Registered Member

    Jun 7, 2009

    Here's my situation. We are a community centre who have just acquired a donation enabling us to set up a computer room, with 8 new computers, for teaching purposes. We currently have 8 year old systems, sigh.

    Microsoft has donated volume licenses for both XP and Vista and we would like to teach using both of these operating systems, since there is a demand for both from the groups that use the room. All the new machines will be bought blank, with no OS installed.

    All the computers will be basically networked (no server) to share internet, printers and files.

    I want to dual boot all the machines and I have no trouble doing this, as I have done it many times before. Each OS will have at least 4 - 8 user accounts, for the different groups that will be using the new computer room.

    At the end of each Term, I will need to go through and return all the accounts to their original state (returning settings to default, deleting client created files etc). Very VERY tedious.

    My question is, can I setup one machine (dual boot, with all user accounts created and software installed) and them image the entire Hard-drive. Then use that image to setup the remaining 7 computers.

    This image would then be used at the end of each teaching Term, to restore all the computers to their original states. From my research I would at least have to use a program like Sysprep so that each system would have their own SID and computer name.

    The entire centre is run by volunteers, including me, so I have good computer skills but have never done imaging in this environment before, so any help will be greatful. And if this can be done, is there somewhere with a walkthrough/tutorial for me to follow.

    I need to know if Acronis can do this, before I put a recommendation for purchase of the software through to our committee

  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    Florida - USA
    Is it necessary to wait until the end of each Term to reset the computers? If not you can use what the Libraries use (I think it is Faronics DeepFreeze) where the systems are set to the same daily state each time they are started for the day.

    Licensing requirements aside, yes, you can use one Image for all systems. One easy way would be to make the Image of one system where the Display Adapter has been changed to Standard VGA. When this Image is restored to a different system it will go through a slew of "Found New Hardware" popups. When this is completed go into the Device Manager and update the Display Adapter to the correct one for that system.

    Rather than dual boot, I would set 4 of the systems to XP only and the other 4 for Vista - might save you some troubleshooting problems down the road. In a classroom environment you never know what students might do - you might as well keep things simple. I don't know how Faronics would handle a dual boot environment. And I'm of the "school" that feels that Vista can be tweaked so the user would not know it is Vista running things in the background, instead of XP.

    Also remember that Windows 7 is due out in October and from what I see it will be the answer to all those who dislike Vista. I've been using the various release candidates since January.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  3. jaymes1

    jaymes1 Registered Member

    Jun 7, 2009
    1) Students will be creating their own files and making changes during the term, so those things will need to be there the next time they come in. The term lasts 8 weeks.

    2)I can't setup 4 with each OS. One class will be a basic XP class (8 students), another Basic vista (8 students), all other classes aren't OS dependant (email/internet, Word processing, etc).

    3)Most of our students are seniors who have never used computers before, they have either been given hand-me-down computers (XP) or purchased new ones with Vista.
    Windows 7 is something we won't have to deal with until there is a new group of users wanting to learn because they have just purchased a new system with W7 on it.

    Thanks for your input
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Apr 28, 2004
    Hello all,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Corporate Products


    If the computers have different hardware, you should use Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Workstation with Acronis Universal Restore

    Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Workstation has a feature such as Acronis Universal Restore. Acronis Universal Restore provides an efficient solution for restoration of a hardware-independent system by replacing the crucial HAL and hard disk controller drivers. In the case of motherboard and CPU change the replacement of the crucial HAL is necessary.

    Acronis Universal Restore is an optional program feature.

    Please see the article Transferring Windows to Dissimilar Hardware for more information.

    If you would like to purchase Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Workstation, please visit the Acronis online store

    According to Acronis software licensing policy, you should purchase one copy of Acronis program per each machine it will be used with.

    Thank you.

    Oleg Lee
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