So, YTG is about to receive a donation of a bunch of Thinkpad notebooks/netbooks. These machines, which include licenses for Win 7 Pro, will be used for volunteers, board members, ensemble members, and interns. Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t own laptops, or own such big ones that carrying them around is a pain. This way, YTG volunteers will get a very light form factor machine, with all the required software installed.
Because all the machines are the same hardware, I am having to revisit creating a standard image: something I haven’t done in about 8 years. (At ASIJ I used images, at Nokia we used automated installs due to the ever-changing hardware.) Of course, that means learning how to use sysprep all over again… I’m sure that will be the subject of a later post.
There are three test machines that I’m currently playing with. I’ve been using Clonezilla to back up the machines, simply because it’s easier to make a boot USB disk for (the machines have no optical drive), but now that I’ve decided to install Windows 7 on all the machines (might as well, they all have a license, and Win 7 is less of a hassle than Xubuntu for me), I’m switching to DriveImageXML, which means BartPE.
Having worked out all the kinks from it when I used it at Nokia, I’d forgotten what a pain in the ass it could be. Not booting, bluescreening because of incorrect storage drivers (the base version doesn’t cover a lot of SATA drives), etc.
So just briefly, this is what the process was (in case I ever have to replicate it):
- Download and install pebuilder from nu2
- Download PEtoUSB from http://gocoding.com/page.php?al=petousb and move executable to pebuilder dir
- Download bootsect.exe from http://www.sevenforums.com/installation-setup/54443-32-bit-bootsect.html (had to join the forums to do so… boo!)
- Download DriverPacks Base, storage, and LAN from http://driverpacks.net/docs/Miscellaneous%20guides/driverpacks-base-bartpe-guide
- Run DriverPacks Base decompression/install.
- Copy the storage and LAN .7z files into its DriverPacks dir
- Run DriverPacks. Pick BartPE plugins location. Slipstream.
- Build with pebuilder
- Run PEtoUSB, point at BartPE folder in pebuilder
- From the command line run bootsect /nt52 p: where P: is the target drive you just installed BartPE onto.
That should do it. Target machine should boot.
Oh, I also had to download and install the DriveImage XML plugin (.cab file).