Imaging PCs

Hey all

Wanting to see what everyone is using for Imaging PCs for deployment. We currently use FOG, it gets the job done just think it could be a lot better. We are wanting to start looking for something new. We did use WDS for a little while.

What are you using if anything. Do you have experience with anything else?
Give me all your opinions.

Clonezilla just released a new version.

Clonezilla Live is a Debian-based live CD containing Clonezilla, a partition and disk cloning software similar to Norton Ghost. It saves and restores only used blocks in hard drive. With Clonezilla, one can clone a 5 GB system to 40 clients in about 10 minutes. (description from Distrowatch)


When I used Windows, I used Acronis, for full images.

Now just DD or Gparted on 'nix / liveCD

@regulareel I have seen some on Clonezilla.

@Trooper_ish How did that work if you had different models of machines. Did you have to keep separate images of each?

Does anyone have experience with SmartDeploy? from what little I have read so far it looks to work really nicely. But the pricing is highway robbery.

I only used it at home, so like 3-4 full images of 2-4 machines’ boot drives on a couple of USB externals.

Ahh. gotcha. We are looking for a new solution for where I work.


hmmmm, you did even say :slight_smile:

They have Acronis Universal Restore.

A bit curious, what are you looking for in a new solution that above software dont have?

We use SmartDeploy where I work. It’s very nice.

At home i messed with CloneDeploy a bit. Seemed OK, just fiddly.

Well. We are spread out across a couple counties and have IT staff based in different offices.

Currently we have our imaging server located in our main office… The issue is that if I need to image more than one PC. I am pulling that from the main office and saturating our internet connection for my site. Stuff starts going a little slow, people get mad. Torches get lit. Its just a good time. haha. It would be great if a image could be stored locally at each of our sites and set it up so it would backup to the central DB to get any updates.

@marasm Did you think that the ease of use of SmartDeploy made it worth the high price tag.

For our situation, yes SmartDeploy made sense. Every new computer gets imaged, and I’m working through old systems updating to windows 10. The guaranteed consistency and reliability alone are worth it. The platform packs (driver packs) are a huge time saver as well.

But it’s mainly the speed and consistency that we like.

Quest KACE K2000 Deployment service. So far it has been satisfactory, since it mostly automates the the installation of the OS, installing apps, and joining domain for us.

You can check Acronis Snap Deploy.

@marasm Sounds a lot like our process. Do you know if it has the ability to add to a domain?

@Novasty I don’t think I have heard of that one. I will have to do some research on it. Having the process completely automated would be nice.

@TimHolus I have a tab open reading on Acronis now. Looks like they have quite a few different options that you can choose from. What do you think of Acronis?

It has the ability to do that, but I’ve never been able to get it to work. Almost certainly because of my lack of knowing how. Needs to be in a format I don’t understand.

I use as a backup solution I don’t complain. But if necessary you can also do Deploy using PXE.
It all depends on the scale. How many machines as often and how much money the company has to spend on it. For large corporate needs there will probably be more tailored solutions but small environments should be ok.

Yes i also use Clonezilla for that.

I used fog at my last job, and we liked it, but any imaging over the wan was a bit of a no go. Fog does have clustering if I remember correctly, so couldn’t you keep copies of all the gold images at each site to pull from there? Or even rsync to full local servers. Although if it is bandwidth you are worried about, could sent up a caching proxy.

@TimHolus Eh it kinda just depends. total machines I think is around 800… but we aren’t constantly re-imaging them. only when it goes to a different user or we have new stock.

@Peeanio I will have to look into the clustering of FOG.