First New Computer Arrived
Initially, there were problems trying to deploy a Ghost Image. First, all my attempts to boot and copy an image via USB failed. It would freeze on booting into Ghost whether I booted from a USB flash drive or floppy. Thanks to some experimentation, I was finally able to deliver an image using the network. Then, I ran into another problem.
As you may or may not be aware, one of the anti-piracy features Microsoft has built into their OEM versions of Windows tracks changes in hardware. If you change major piece of hardware, such as a motherboard or hard drive, the system won't boot. I was building my Ghost images on older Pentium 4s with internal IDE drives, while the new computers are Pentium Ds with internal SATA drives. So, I kept getting the blue screen of Death and no boot. For a short while, I thought I'd have to start from scratch. However, there was a solution.
On the Windows installation disk, there is an option to a Windows Repair install. What this does is reinstall system and device files without touching any other user data. It forces Windows to re-detect all the hardware and boot as it should. It takes about forty minutes for all the files to be reinstalled, then another hour to download and install the security updates. In the end, it was up and running.
If you have an older computer running XP that you've upgraded, this procedure may work for you. You can thank M. Dowler at PCStats for his article "Beginners Guides: Upgrading A Motherboard Without Reinstalling."
Okay. So it's nice and it's working, but I'm sure there are those who'd ask this question: when do we, the public, get to use it? The rest of the computers will be delivered this week. This coming Monday is the Librarians meeting--I'm going to demonstrate the new computer and software, along with the new printer. During next week, a lot of pre-preparation will be completed. I want to setup the new computers as far in advance as possible. Ideally, I'd like to simply take them to a branch, unpack them, plug them in and turn them on.
So, deployment will happen during the week of November 6-10 for all branches. This will include re-imaging and redeploying the existing Pentium 4s, and installation of the new color laser printers.