I’m always looking for short-cuts.
No, seriously, there’s only one of me and my time is in HUGE demand, especially at the office. So, I’m always looking for ways to automate stuff so I don’t have to do it myself. Back in 2008, I cobbled together an imaging system that relied on Linux and a whole lot of personal documentation. (You can read that, in two parts, here and here.) It worked pretty well and I was pretty damn proud of myself for both figuring it out and saving me a whole lot of time doing each individual install of a machine.
Well, recently, we’ve started upgrading our engineers and draftsmen to the latest version of AutoCAD and Windows 7.
Naturally, Windows 7 uses disks in a totally different way than Windows XP, so all that work I did is now pretty much useless. Which, frankly, is par for the course in our line of work. IT is always changing, so we have to adapt, whether we like it or not. In this case, I don’t mind so much. Why? Because Clonezilla pretty much does everything that I was doing by hand, only it does it almost automagically. Just to be clear, I’m using the Clonezilla Live version and saving the images to my server. Now that I’ve upgraded the storage capacity to a little over 4 terabytes, I’m not so worried about saving images there. Especially because I still have most of the office convinced we only have a single terabyte of storage and that they need to keep their directories on the server lean. It doesn’t help much, but it’s enough.
Seriously, if you have to image machines, go check out Clonezilla. It works and, best of all, it’s FREE!
(Also? It’s pretty damn fast on my network, which is a huge bonus!)