Restoring a Gold Image thru CMC


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rvasquez
rvasquez
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I am attempting to remotely restore a gold image using CMC. Is this possible? The only option available under Restore is to restore from a backup taken from that computer. I would like remotely image computers.

jphughan
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You'd have to sysprep the gold image system first, then reboot immediately into a Rescue environment and capture your gold image that way.  Do not allow the gold image system to boot to the hard drive after sysprepping but before capturing an image, otherwise you'll have to sysprep again.  However, unless you have Reflect licenses for every system to which you intend to deploy your images, you may need some other licensing arrangement.  I know there's a Deployment Kit license for this purpose, but that specifically says it's not compatible with Site Manager.

Edited 11 December 2017 8:44 PM by jphughan
Alex
Alex
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Hi,

You are correct that restoring directly from the Site Manager can only be done to the same computer the image has been taken from. However, if you run the Agent on a client computer, you will be given the option to create rescue media or restore to dissimilar hardware as in normal Reflect. Image files created by Site Manager are completely compatible with standalone Reflect, the PE restore environment and all Macrium tools.

jphughan is correct about the licensing issues - if you have enough licenses (standalone Reflect OR Site Manager MAL licenses) to license all computers involved, then this is no problem, or you can purchase a Deployment Kit and use Site Manager generated backups with it.

We are looking at expanding the capabilities of Site Manager as a deployment product, including requested feature such as network boot etc, but I can't provide any timeline on this.
Regards,
Alex Stevenson,
Macrium Software
jphughan
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Until Macrium develops such a solution, if you have any Windows Server systems in your organization, one option you might consider is keeping Reflect Site Manager for backups and restores of specific systems, but using WDS (Windows Deployment Services) for gold image deployment.  It's included with every Windows Server instance, fairly easy to set up (nothing like SCCM), and it has some very cool features.  For example:

- Images are file-level rather than block-level, which means the files can be single-instanced, so for example if you had two 25GB gold images that were 95% identical, then even before considering compression, the WDS server would only need a little over 26 GB (25GB + the 5% difference of the second image) rather than 50GB to store the two images.  This also means that a single image can support both Legacy BIOS and UEFI clients, since WDS deployment builds the "ancillary" partition structure dynamically for each client.

- It supports maintaining a driver library on the server external to the images, and it can then include those drivers with the image it deploys to clients either based on the client's detected hardware or always (e.g. to include drivers for external peripherals not connected during imaging).  This means that if you started rolling out a new type of PC, you would just need to add its required drivers to the WDS server, and ALL of the images you deploy through WDS now support that new PC, without ever having needed to touch the images themselves.  Same goes if you needed to start including a critical driver update in future images -- just replace the driver in the WDS library and images will start rolling out with the new driver instead, even if an older version of that driver was originally baked into the image.

- PCs can be automatically joined to the domain (or not) and named according to a formula you can specify.

- It supports network booting into both an image deployment environment and an image capture environment; the source image for both is just the Boot.wim file from any regular Windows installation media, though it includes support for injecting drivers into these boot environments and you can even fully customize the image through other means if desired.  It can also generate bootable media for the capture and deployment environments if you have systems that can't perform network booting.

Edited 12 December 2017 3:01 PM by jphughan
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