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Copying or cloning imaging USB drives?


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I have a few USB drives with our Windows 7 image on them, however the machine that I originally used to create and deploy this image has failed. I'd like to create more of the same drives for deployment of a fairly large project ASAP, however I don't have access to SmartDeploy, VMWare, or my former image now . Is it possible to simply copy and paste the entire contents of one SmartDeploy USB drive to another identical, blank USB drive? And if that doesn't work, would a free utility like Clonezilla using disk-to-disk cloning work instead? (Apologies if this violates the rules.)

Thanks in advance!

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Hi jmowrey,

Our recommended approach here would be to install SmartDeploy on a different workstation, then run Media Wizard to create new USB media. The specific method for this will vary a bit depending on the media type you created previously. 

If you created NTFS-formatted USB offline deployment media previously, then the image and Platform Packs would be sitting in the z folder on your USB media - you can simply copy these items to the corresponding folders in the C:\SmartDeploy directory - Images and Platform Packs respectively, and then just re-run Media Wizard. 

If you created FAT32-formatted USB offline deployment media (which is the default media type, in order to support UEFI boot on target devices), then - if your image is >4GB in size - it will still be in the z folder, but it will be split into two or more split-wim (.swm) files. If this is the case, then you won't be able to create offline deployment media directly (there's no method available to "merge" split-wim files back into a single .wim file, and Media Wizard will not allow you to select a .swm file).

But you can run Media Wizard to create USB boot media, then simply copy over the entire z folder from your old USB stick to your new one. You can actually use this method for NTFS as well - you'll just want to make sure you're creating the same media type that you created previously, as FAT32 has an absolute per-file limit of 4GB, so you will only be able to copy over an existing >4GB .wim file if your previous wim was NTFS, and the new one you're creating is also NTFS. 

I should also note, as a general practice, SmartDeploy's Media Wizard does not format your USB stick unless you tell it to switch file systems (from NTFS -> FAT32 or vice versa), and it will warn you before doing so. So if you simply wish to update your media to the latest version of SmartDeploy, you can run Media Wizard to create boot media, and then point to the drive letter for your existing SmartDeploy media. Even if it was offline deployment media to begin with, the z folder and its contents will remain untouched.

If you have any questions feel free to email us at support@smartdeploy.com, and be sure to reference this DeployCentral thread. 

SmartDeploy Support

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