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How to image 55 computers at the same time?


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We have been using SmartDeploy primarily to image one PC at a time. Our process:  1) Golden virtual image created.  2) SmartDeploy enterprise installed on admin PC) 3) Capture Image using SmartDeploy 4) Created smartdeploy boot USB media  5) Store image on a file share (also platform packs installed here)  6) our techs boot using the SmartDeploy USB media and points to the image.  7) Images successfully.

If we wanted to image a computer lab with 55 new PCs.  What is the best practices on imaging a large lab like this?  What would the steps be?  I see now SmartDeploy offers a client, but how does the new PCs get the client (esp if Windows is not setup on it) ?




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Hi Mo, 

You could keep right on using USB boot media for this - as soon as the device successfully boots to WindowsPE, the USB stick can be unplugged and you can boot the next computer. With a handful of USB sticks and technicians, it would not take long to get them all started. 

For 25+ computers deploying simultaneously, we would recommend setting up a solution that supports multicasting - this would either be the SmartDeploy client as you mentioned, or PXE boot via Windows Deployment Services (WDS). For brand new computers, we recommend USB or PXE boot media, because it avoids exactly the scenario you alluded to above - manually powering on each computer, creating a user, installing the client, etc. By booting directly to an external device, you don't have to mess with the preinstalled OEM OS (this would also work if the new device doesn't have any OS whatsoever installed). 

Multicasting has specific network requirements that you may need to configure on your network, so it's up to you if you think that's worth the trouble - if this lab of 55 computers is a one-off or infrequent need, then it may not be - you could just perform it in multiple batches, with fewer than 25 computers deploying at one time. In any case, you can contact us if you have any questions or issues (including if you want some best practices for setting up your network for multicasting). 

Some resources you may find useful:

You can reach us at support@smartdeploy.com. 

SmartDeploy Support

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