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OK, Question is:

What is the easiest way to transfer a Desktop OS build to a laptop, make it boot and keep all the settings and updates I have done on that build?

I have a baseline built on a Desktop PC with all the updates and security setting but need to transfer that baseline to a laptop so I don’t have to rebuild the baseline from scratch for the laptop (It’s a lot of work).

I can use the “repair” option on the EX_SP2 OS CD on that build when I want it to boot on the laptop but I loose the updates and some of my security settings and it needs to be rebuilt again anyways.


The original build was for Dell Optiplex’s (GX270, GX620, GX620, GX745 and GX755). It works fine when transferring between these desk tops but craps out on any laptop. When I get the repair done on one laptop model it won’t work on a different model laptop either and I have about 8 different models of laptop. This will be a lot of unneeded work just to baseline these laptops.

Can someone save me some time? I don't want to build 14 baselines for 14 different machines :(

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Last Post by jbennet
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There is no way to move it without reparing.

Thats because windows customises the HAL specifically for that hardware as an antipiracy measure.

Thats why sysprep and ghost only work between machines of the same spec.

If its a corporate network, then why not just use nlite to make an unnatended install image with all the service packs and updates integrated, as well as any tweaks and settings. Then you could use WDS to deploy it across your domain.

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That is a great idea jbennet. I think I've heard of Nlite but not used it, I'll look it up.

Most of this I have been through and am working on, but I hate doing things the long way if I can help it :yawn: (naturally lazy). I have created a .vbs and txt files for the registry hacks and I have all the program Updates for burning to CD. I guess I will have to create my own SP CD to install all the Windows updates unattended since the XP_SP3 is not approved for use on my network yet. I was hoping someone out there had run across a magical fix but I guess, from most the site responses, that I am stuck doing it the hard way, unfortunately.

I still hope someone out there has that "Mistical/Magical" response

I don't know why they couldn't just keep the darn laptops out of the equation :confused:

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you can use a program called windows update downloader (google it) to easialy get all the updates downloaded to a directory - which you can then use for nliting

nlite is pretty good. you can also specify things to be run during install e.g reg hacks, and there is a large tweaks section. You can also specify things like joining a domain, automatucally confuguring update etc...

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What about SysPrep? I am trying that this morning. I got so used to using the "NewSID" command the past 3 years on the baseline to keep the SID different on each machine and I stopped using SysPrep almost 3 years ago si I didn't have to pop in the CD Key every time I put a new machine on the domain. I only use the "Seal" option so I'll try that. Any suggestions?

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Sysprep wont work if the machines have different hardwares. Same problem.

Just use WUD to download the patches, then nlite to build a windows CD
in nlite configure a semi-unnatended install + configuration.

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Yupper, Got The WUD and Nlite downloaded. Will need to play with it a couple days before I know what I'm doing. Too bad they just said "Put the hard drives together and get them deployed my Friday." They'll be getting a brand new 2 day baseline that wont be as secure as they would like ,lolexecutives, and I'll figure this out for the next model laptops that come in next week or two. Keep an eye out for this to be added to if I happen to get stuck once I start working with the WUD and Nlite. Probably wont get stuck but what the hey :P . Thanks for the great info. You all will hear back from me.

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Yeah just do what i do on my home lan

Integrate hotfixes, reg tweaks etc... into media using nlite
Configure unnateneded install using nlite
Use WDS to deploy

works fine.

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