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Selectable ghost image loading

Created: 02 Feb 2010 • Updated: 03 Aug 2010 | 2 comments

My company uses Symantec Ghost to install software on a wide range of PC platforms. We are trying to transition away from installing from CD and now primarily install from an external hard drive. The biggest challenge in this transition is our inability (so far) to select which ghost image to load on a particular platform. What we need to be able to do, is make the external hard drive bootable so that a menu could be launched, which the user could use to select which ghost image to load on that particular PC. Since ghost images are bootable in and of themselves we have yet been unable to transition away from CD loading in this area.

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ezdee36's picture

Is it to support different platforms (PC brands and models), or do you you have different application needs on each?

EdT's picture

I developed a solution based on a hard disk that booted to WinPE.
Once WinPE is booted, you can give it a GUI front end using an HTA file.
The HTA I developed used WMI to detect the machine type (removing one possible technician error risk), and would then offer options to reformat and repartition the entire hard disk (normally two partitions, or alternatively reformat the C: partition only thus allowing restore of a build image without affecting existing DATA on the disk partition.
Although in my solution I used imagex for image loading, using Ghost would be a trivial change to the command line that the HTA called.

Writing HTA files is quite simple, as it's basically VBscript with some additional HTML bits to handle the GUI side.

The script would also identify the models which could handle either a 32 bit image or a 64 bit image and allow the technician to choose which one was laid down.

Finally, as the HTA was kept outside the WinPE wim file, it could be updated whenever required, as new models and builds were introduced.

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