Well, I work at a school district that was previously using Symantec Ghost to deploy Windows XP images. Between the various makes and models, we had 1000 GB+ of Ghost images. With the impending closure of Windows XP support, my objective was to switch from our previous PXE Boot menu and migrate to using Windows Deployment Services in combination with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 to deploy Windows 7.
First, let's fast forward 6 months. Our Windows 7 deployments are working perfectly. After taking advantage of some of the advanced features that MDT 2012 has to offer (application installation and driver injection,) I was able to automate the Windows installation for every make and model we have in district.
Despite testing several Windows 7 64-bit NComputing prototypes in classrooms last year, we began experiencing technical difficulties with our NComputing stations after our migration to Windows 7. Our biggest issues were BSOD caused by a user logon to both host and X-series station with same user ID, and persistent issues with Flash-based programs (losing sound, Flash crashing.)
With a little research, I have learned this is a much more widespread issue than I originally anticipated. Merely Googling the phrase "ncomputing issue flash windows 7" shows several popular threads on NComputing forums with identical issues. The latest release of NComputing "vSpace" software supported for the X550 and X350 card has a long disclaimer list of "known issues" with their hardware.
I think it's time to bust out our old Windows XP images, utilize NComputing as much as possible before next summer (April 2014 is the official end of life for Windows XP,) and then abandon NComputing.
- MDT 2010 or 2012 DeploymentShare$
- GhWalk32.exe (we use it to change SID / name)
- Basic scripting knowledge
STEP 1: Create Ghost32 folder on DeploymentShare$
Your folder should contain:
My IMAGE FOLDER is named "Gen9_NC_2013."
My Install Script is named "Gen9_NC_2013.CMD"
if exist "Z:\Ghost32\GHOSTERR.txt" del "Z:\Ghost32\GHOSTERR.txt"
start /wait "" /D"Z:\Ghost32" "Ghost32.exe" -BATCH -CLONE,MODE=LOAD,SRC=Z:\Ghost32\Gen9_NC_2013\gen9_xp_ncomp.GHO,DST=1 -SURE
if exist "Z:\Ghost32\GHOSTERR.txt" goto ERROR
start /wait "" /D"Z:\Ghost32" "GhWalk32.exe" -SURE -CN="<RANDOM_NUMERIC>"
echo Ghost failed :(
echo Find out why at Z:\Ghost32\GHOSTERR.txt
This script does the following:
- Deletes any pre-existing GHOSTERR.txt logs
- Initiates Ghost32, loading an image from my Ghost32 directory to the first hard drive (DST=1)
- If GHOSTERR.txt exists, opens up error log and stops (without proceeding to GhWalk32.exe)
- If Ghost32.exe completes successfully, it initiates GhWalk32.exe (change SID, and computer name), then exits!
For information on Ghost32.exe switches, please refer to:
Ghost's command-line switches
Ghost32.exe example(s) on Symantec Forums
STEP 2: Create new "Task Sequence" for Ghost32
- New Task Sequence
- General Settings (name it whatever you like... I went with Ghost32)
- Select Template -> Custom Task Sequence
- Open the Task Sequence after creating it... delete the "Install Application"
- "Add" -> "General" -> "Run Command Line" -> cmd /c "Z:\Ghost32\Gen9_NC_2013.CMD (update for your location)
STEP 3: Testing it!
NOTE: You cannot use a 64-bit LiteTouch installation boot image, as it will be an "unsupported platform" for Ghost32.exe.