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Best way to setup multiple computer the same way


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#1 sweedishfish

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 05:21 PM

We've just orders 28 new acer computers (windows 10) and these computer will be used by the same department, so all computer will be the same and will use the same apps and all that stuff.

 

Instead of going through each computer individually and setting them up manually, how can I tackle this project easily (and free) without messing up the Windows licensing on computer? I know some of you will say create an image and use it, but can you guys also give me some "how to" tips?


Edited by sweedishfish, 14 August 2016 - 05:22 PM.


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#2 ScathEnfys

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 05:52 PM

Are the computers going to be set up on a domain? If so, it should be fairly easy to deploy apps and group policy settings, especially if you're using Enterprise versions of Windows and AD (Active Directory).
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#3 sweedishfish

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 06:09 PM

Nope, all local computers



#4 RolandJS

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 06:46 PM

Are there going to be any ethernet and/or wireless connectivity?  Peer-to-peer or local server connectivity?  Or, will all these computers operate on a "SneakerNet" basis?  I might be able to recall some things of what our local network guru did concerning backup, restore, deployment - depending upon the answers to the above questions.


Edited by RolandJS, 14 August 2016 - 06:47 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#5 sweedishfish

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 08:31 PM

RolandJS, yup there will be connectivity

#6 RolandJS

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 09:54 PM

Years ago, he had a small version of a "net-station download."   Wasn't free.  Ok, I'm listen' in, will learn alongside you.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#7 neuronic

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 08:59 PM

We've just orders 28 new acer computers (windows 10) and these computer will be used by the same department, so all computer will be the same and will use the same apps and all that stuff.

 

Instead of going through each computer individually and setting them up manually, how can I tackle this project easily (and free) without messing up the Windows licensing on computer? I know some of you will say create an image and use it, but can you guys also give me some "how to" tips?

 

Powershell? Script it once and then run it on the other systems?



#8 ScathEnfys

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 09:08 PM

@neuronic

you would still have to enable unsigned PS scrips manually... that would be a pain.
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#9 sweedishfish

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 09:20 PM

Oh man, I honestly thought this was going to be a simple one. :D

 

Can this be done with software like Acronis or Macrium? Or any other software?



#10 RolandJS

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 08:30 AM

Have you ever done something like this project before?  While something of a pay-for adkin to Acronis True Image or Macrium Reflect Pro may very well do what you want -- you'll need some thorough walk-throughs.  Perhaps, sooner or later, those here in BC who can provide such walk-throughs will be available.  Also, Time in these forums does not exist as we know it -- patience to wait will be needed.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#11 smax013

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 09:40 AM

Oh man, I honestly thought this was going to be a simple one. :D
 
Can this be done with software like Acronis or Macrium? Or any other software?


Potentially...depending on how Acer does it OEM license on the computer...and assuming all 28 computers have the EXACT same hardware.

Generally, the things that mess up typical cloning/imaging from one computer to the next are licenses and hardware drivers.

If the hardware is all the same (i.e. identical Acer models with identical hardware), then this issue goes away.

That would only leave the licensing...both Windows and programs.

Some programs might be easy as you might be able to install the program without activating/entering the key and then at each computer after the clone enter the license key for the program for that specific computer. Other programs the require you to enter the license key as part of the install process might be tougher. At a minimum, it might force you to enter a new license key when it phones home to check the numbers of instances in use, but at worse might require you to uninstall the program and reinstall with the different key for the computer.

For Windows, some companies essentially setup the Windows licensing so that it is tied to their hardware and does not require you to enter the license key as long as it is their hardware. Dell has done this in the past. When I had to reinstall Windows on one of my old Dell computers from the provided install discs (while I have my reasons to hate Dell [long story], they were always good at providing actual Windows install discs rather than provide or make you create restore discs), I never had to enter in my activation key for Windows after re-installing Windows from the Dell Windows install disc. If Acer operates the same way, then you will likely not have any issues with Windows licensing.

Best I can suggest is experiment with two computers. Setup the first computer, then clone/image it. Then restore the clone/image to the second computer and see what problems you might encounter. To be on the safe side, make sure you have a backup of the second computer's "factory state" or recovery/install discs.

The other overall option is to use a deployment type program. Acronis has such a program called Snap Deploy 5. I have never used it, so I have no direct experience with it. It seems more aimed at huge operations (i.e. hundreds, if not thousands, of computers that need to be deployed over time) and it is not free. But, it is made for exactly what you want to do. They do offer a free trial, although I don't know what kind of limitations it might have as they don't say.

http://www.acronis.com/en-us/business/enterprise-solutions/image-deployment/

FWIW, it looks like it would cost about $280 to use it to deploy your 28 computers once. Probably cheaper than paying someone to sit in front of all those computers installing programs and setting them up.

Edited by smax013, 16 August 2016 - 09:41 AM.


#12 RolandJS

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 02:13 PM

"...They do offer a free trial, although I don't know what kind of limitations it might have as they don't say..."

If my past experiences with Acronis True Image and Disk Director are the norm, then mostly what you get as a trial version is a demo version.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#13 ScathEnfys

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 09:44 PM

Alternatively you could write a batch file to get and run all the installers from a central server. However you would still have to click through unless the installers have a "quiet mode".
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#14 sweedishfish

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 09:52 PM

smax013, thanks a lot for the great suggestions. I will most likely to try cloning the HHDs and go from there.

By the way, now that I think about it, since the computers are going to be windows 10, I'm assuming there won't be any windows licensing issues (hopefully).

 

If you guys think about any other ideas, solutions or whatever, please feel free to share them. It might also be helpful for other people moving forward.

 

Thanks a lot everybody.






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