Can I image a dual boot system to install on multiple computers

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by jaymes1, Jun 7, 2009.

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  1. jaymes1

    jaymes1 Registered Member

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    I work as a volunteer in a Community Centre (a charity Org with no I.T. support and limited funding). We have funding to buy 8 new computers and all will be the same hardware configuration. We want to run classes for beginners in XP and Vista. We have Volume licensing, the machines will be bought without operating systems. I will be installing those. Hence the need for imaging.
    There will be 8 users accounts on each partition x 8 computers = 128 user accounts SIGH

    I can install Vista first, and then XP on a virtual partition (eg Vmware) but would prefer a dual boot system. To revert to a clean image at the end of each term or in the case of problems (virus etc), I would like to setup 1 computer then make an image of each partition or if possible the entire disk, then use those images to install on the other computers.

    The computers will be networked to share printers, Internet and files but that is as far as my networking knowledge goes (no server, each computer downloads updates individually. I don't know how to push an image out to other computers over a network so a bootable image is what I need)

    My questions is, can I make an image of the Vista partition and then an image of the XP partition, on boot-able disks, that then can then be used to install Vista and XP on the other clean machines?

    Is it maybe possible to image the whole hard-drive with both partitions already setup? Much the preferable choice.

    What about the need for sysprep in either of the above options?

    I am researching the best options for us at the moment before I purchase imaging software. Does True image do what I have explained above, and is anyone aware of a page showing how to do the above processes if I indeed buy True image for our Centre.

    Hope I have explained our situation properly.

    Thanks in advance, Jaymes
     
  2. snifferpro

    snifferpro Registered Member

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    James, if I understand you correctly, you want to configure one machine as your base with 2 partitions = one with Vista and one with XP?

    You then want to backup this machine up and restore it to 7 more hard drives
    that will be used in machines exactly like the first?

    Assuming I've read you correctly, I would first make sure your base machine can in fact dual boot with both operating systems installed.

    I would then insert a new drive into that machine and restore using the
    bootable rescue cd that you should have made.

    That will test the integrity of your rescue CD.

    Then, perform the restore to the new drive (it doesn't have to be formatted).

    Immediately after restoring to the new drive, I would unplug my base drive and try the dual boot from the newly restored drive.

    If it boots to both operating systems, you know you can successfully restore your base drive to 6 more drives.
     
  3. jaymes1

    jaymes1 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the quick response.

    You do understand the situation correctly. I want to set up 1 computer with 2 partitions, 1 Vista and 1 XP. Then make an image of the entire disk, then put that image on the other 7 computers, so that all 8 computers have exactly the same configurations.

    I don't have the new computers yet or imaging software. I am doing research at the moment to find out what I need to do the above.

    I assume that I will have no trouble setting up a dual boot system, have done it many times before. As to the rescue CD, is that made with acronis true image? I'm not sure what you mean there, I have never used a rescure CD before.
     
  4. snifferpro

    snifferpro Registered Member

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    The rescue CD is made from within Acronis. It is under Utilities I believe.

    The rescue CD allows you to boot directly into Acronis should you have a drive failure or some other catastrophe that prevents you from booting normally.

    You will have to set your BIOS to boot from CD/DVD first so that it will indeed boot from the CD.

    Also, if you use Acronis 2009, I believe the install disk is also bootable so that you can also use that to boot into acronis.

    I would keep things as simple as possible. Don't use the Securre Zone.

    Save the Rescue CD in a secure place.
     
  5. jaymes1

    jaymes1 Registered Member

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    Thanks
    Do you know if I need to use sysprep with acronis so each computer will have it's own SID and computer name.
     
  6. snifferpro

    snifferpro Registered Member

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    Not sure what you're referring to with sysprep.

    When you image a drive and restore it to a new drive, it will be exactly as the imaged drive looked. Same volume id, same user name, same computer name, same everything. You will have to change computer names on each machine.

    What are your plans for backup of each machine?
     
  7. jaymes1

    jaymes1 Registered Member

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    Sysprep is run before the image is created allowing new computer name and SID to be given to each new computer when image is installed. It is a microsoft product.

    As to a backup plan. The systems are just for teaching, no files needing to be backed up. The students learn how to customise Windows etc, so I would be using the images to revert to a clean system at the end of each term, or in the case of virus/sytem failure.
     
  8. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello jaymes1,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis True Image

    I can add that according to Acronis software licensing policy, you should purchase one copy of Acronis program per each machine it will be used with.

    There should be a unique license for each machine on which the software is used. This means the user may use one (1) license and install one (1) copy of the software on not more than one (1) machine. Only if the initial machine becomes inoperative or gets replaced, can the user install the software on another computer without the need of purchasing a new license.

    I may recommend you to install a trial version in order to make sure that the program runs flawless for you.

    Thank you.

    --
    Oleg Lee
     
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