I would like to see if there is anybody staging workstations by maintaining the OEM image supplied by the manafacturer ( typically XP SP-2 ) and then running a process by which the machine is brought onto a domain and then has applications installed to bring it to a baseline standard. This is an ( almost ) automated process. Still have some issues with removing vendor supplied software *sigh* - may the creators of installshield rot in the very depths of hell.
We have gone away from using Ghost images in the build process as they have become too unwieldy to use now.
Would be happy to swap notes with anybody doing this or heading down this path.

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This is a theory I have had exposure to. The approach has theoretical benefits, but it's not one that I particularly like. I'll share my thoughts, which might help you make a decision.

1. Consider how many different makes and models you will have on your estate.

In my experience OEM images vary in terms of build, vendors utilites installed, custom permissions (watch out for this), components such as DirectX version, other vendors software - Acrobat Reader etc.

To have process which can bring such a vast variation of machines into "a baseline standard" would be very very hard work -sounds like you are discovering this!

2. As soon as you get a vendor supplying you an OEM image with something you don't like or your process does not handle, you need more developement work - so possibly no saving over any other form of build in terms of catering for new models.

3. Utilising what is already on the machine might sound like a time saving, but what happens when you need a full rebuild? Building just one machine from scratch manually with your vendor OEM image CD, then layering everything on top will be slow - just think if you had to do a batch in this scenario - most other build methods - RIS, image, scripted installations etc would all be quicker.

Hope that helps.
Answered 06/09/2005 by: GB1
Orange Belt

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