:: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 ::
Replicating a machine for Uni High
I am in the process of building a P-IV 3.0 MHz 512MB RAM 80GB HDD DVD/CDRW Matrox G550 Intel Pro/100 machine for our school's Assistant Director.
To configure the software properly, we run Symantec's GHOST to clone from a standard machine to the new one. This saves HOURS in terms of setup. Unfortunately, this can cause some difficulties on our aging 10MBPS network. It can take up to 5 hours to copy the standard 14 GB disk images. So we have configured two 100MBPS switches to handle the cloning. One is the "live" network - all of our servers talk to each other at 100MBPS, and then to the rest of the world at 10MBPS. The other is the "blind" network: connected to our Windows Server 2003 machine via a second network card that uses the non-routable address block of 192.168.0.0.
To configure a machine enough to clone it takes several steps.
1. Build the machine. Yes, this involves clamping down the CPU and popping in the DIMMs and screwing in the Motherboard, etc.
2. Install Windows XP pro (Volume License Version).
3. Install the Intel Network Card drivers.
4. Connect to the Windows Server to install the GHOST client.
5. Reboot the machine. Configure the GHOST console to point to the machine to be cloned (the "deploy to single machine" task), and create a new configuration file for the machine. Remember to check the machine's CLIENT tab for proper network card configuration.
6. Switch the network cable from the "live" network to the "blind" network and reconfigure the TCP/IP numbers to point to 192.168... rather than 128.174... (UIUC). This is essential because if GHOST starts while on the live side of the network, the entire network WILL CRASH. It will hang and be unable to do anything. Evidently GHOST uses the TCP/IP multicast protocol that broadcasts on .255, and when it's doing so on a 100MBPS switch to a 10MBPS network, everything grinds to a halt.
7. Start GHOST
8. After Ghostwalker runs, switch the cable back to the "live" network and boot up in Windows. Verify that the correct name and machine account and domain are in place.
9. Install user-specific software.
10. Transfer files from old machine to new.
11. Install new machine in the office or lab.
During the course of this particular installation, I forgot step 6. As soon as I realized it, I tried to switch the cable. All it had done was wipe out the MBR on the client disk. But it hung and I ended up with a non-bootable volume. This was better, of course, than the saturated network we had.
I removed the client HDD and slid it in as an ATA Slave on a working machine. I am currently running chkdsk /r and it has been going for an hour+. We'll see if we have to reinstall Windows.
:: Matt 2/16/2005 11:20:00 AM :: permalink ::