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How Do You Clone a PC in Plain English?

Created: 23 Oct 2007 • Updated: 21 May 2010 | 3 comments
I have 18 desktop systems, all from the same manufacturer, same hardware, running WinXP. I'm using the Ghost Solution Suite 2.0. And I can't make any sense out of the Implementation Guide. Does anyone have any step-by-step instructions on how to clone one pc and then make a bootable CD/DVD that I can insert into the other 17 systems? I'm also not familiar with Sysprep, which I've read would help too.
Thank you
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Nigel Bree's picture

I received an e-mail asking for similar help over the weekend, and so I wrote up this simple walkthrough of taking an image using Sysprep and putting it back to a single machine. I'm no great shakes as a writer, and it could probably be clearer in places (criticism is welcome), but I took a lot of screenshots along the way and so you may find it useful.

There's also a set of animated tutorials on the install CD (in the \TUTORIALS folder) that walk through some basics of using the GSS console.

DJ33426's picture

I understand that process from begining to end. Now I want to know how to take that ghost image so I can store it on a cd. Is this call clooning? Well I want to be able to use this disk to be able to restore computer that come into the I.T department. Last job were I was at, we use ghost disk to restore computers that was sent in to its default settings. The only problem I was not the on who created them. I just remember there would be 3 disk, and after each disk it would tell you to put it the next one.  


Please help this would be a big help

Steven L.'s picture

Hello DJ33426:


   Putting data on a CD is called "burning/writing."  Cloning is the same as Imaging, meaning to take a disk copy of a source hard disk and put that copy on one or many target computer hard disks.  Ghosting and Ghostcasting are the terms used to describe the copying or creating of new Images.  We mostly use Ghostcasting when cloning over the network using a multicast session.


  You can burn an Image to CD/DVD using the Ghost Boot Wizard.


The best approach is to setup a PXE Boot environment, store the Image of your laptops on your Ghost Console computer.  Enable the laptops to boot via PXE on the network.  Then whenever a new laptop comes in for rebuild, send an image/clone it from the Ghost Console; this process takes less than 5 minutes for small images!  Or install the Ghost Console Client on the laptops and send an image/clone them.  The problem with burning the image to a CD/DVD is keeping track of a library of CD/DVD's; this can be a headache.  Most XP Images with a base install are 3 to 4GB.  Then you add Office and other applications and the image grows, you will need a lot of CD's or DVD's to carry around w/ you.