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Multiple restores instead of slow multiple installs RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi there,

    I have a school network with WHS + 10 identical second hand clean HP d530 PCs. I have installed Vista Education on one of them and backed it up to WHS.

    Question: can I now, using the connector CD, boot each machine in turn from the CD and install Vista from the original backup?

    Vista did not ask for a install code and I don't know if it is tied to the hardware on a PC or not.

    So, will it work?

    I guess I will need to change the PC name after each restore.

    Thoughts???
    Tuesday, October 9, 2007 3:38 AM

Answers

  • You are allowed to have as many installations of Vista as you've purchased licenses for. If you've bought 10 licenses, then I don't see any reason why what you propose would be illegal. However, I believe that you will be in an unsupported mode, because Microsoft doesn't typically support the cloning of a full system installation to multiple computers. See this Knowledgebase article for information on Microsoft's position on XP cloning.

    For XP, Microsoft does support cloning an XP system that has been prepared using SysPrep. I'm not sufficiently familiar with Vista to give specific parallels, but I'm pretty sure there will be some equivalent for Vista computers. Something else that isn't supported is changing the machine SID; there are tools, including one from SysInternals (now part of Microsoft) that will do this to improve security. Changing the SID is the main reason for not cloning an OS; you wind up with some serious security issues if multiple PCs have the same machine SID.

    So as a practical matter, you probably shouldn't do what you propose. It will almost certainly work, and the use of a tool such as NewSID will even take care of the security issue, but Microsoft won't support such a system.
    Tuesday, October 9, 2007 4:14 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • You are allowed to have as many installations of Vista as you've purchased licenses for. If you've bought 10 licenses, then I don't see any reason why what you propose would be illegal. However, I believe that you will be in an unsupported mode, because Microsoft doesn't typically support the cloning of a full system installation to multiple computers. See this Knowledgebase article for information on Microsoft's position on XP cloning.

    For XP, Microsoft does support cloning an XP system that has been prepared using SysPrep. I'm not sufficiently familiar with Vista to give specific parallels, but I'm pretty sure there will be some equivalent for Vista computers. Something else that isn't supported is changing the machine SID; there are tools, including one from SysInternals (now part of Microsoft) that will do this to improve security. Changing the SID is the main reason for not cloning an OS; you wind up with some serious security issues if multiple PCs have the same machine SID.

    So as a practical matter, you probably shouldn't do what you propose. It will almost certainly work, and the use of a tool such as NewSID will even take care of the security issue, but Microsoft won't support such a system.
    Tuesday, October 9, 2007 4:14 AM
    Moderator
  • Many thanks 4 that assistance. Much appreciated!

    Sunday, October 14, 2007 5:50 AM
  • Another thing to beware of, once they get restored and even if you change SID, I think they will have the same Home Server GUID, which will cause the display name on your console to change each time the new computer (with new name) communicates with the server.  so you'll need to also manually delete that registry key and re-discovery the home server on each computer (that is, if you plan to have them managed by the Home Server in the long run)

     

    Sunday, October 14, 2007 5:04 PM