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I often have batches of laptops/PC's to re-image and have tried various methods, but each of them has been problematic and often take more time to troubleshoot than it would have been to image them individually!

For example, I have tried to use Ghost - I installed ghostcast server on my laptop but the clients never seem to network boot successfully, or it takes an hour to get everything sorted (drivers, LAN, DHCP etc etc).

I want a reliable tool that makes imaging quick and easy - and I don't mind paying for it if it's going to work (but obviously free is always good!)

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closed as off topic by Journeyman Geek, random Jul 3 '12 at 12:19

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If you're using Windows, I would recommend the you use Acronis True Image. You can download the trial install it on one machine, create a bootable CD, which is Linux based, and go for it. I have been using it for over 8 years, and I will not use anything else. It fast and reliable. Alos it works on similar and different hardware. To download it, or for more info Check the Acronis Website.

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If you're using Windows you can use ImageX:

ImageX is a command-line tool that enables original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and corporations to capture, to modify, and to apply file-based disk images for rapid deployment. ImageX works with Windows image (.wim) files for copying to a network, or it can work with other technologies that use .wim images, such as Windows Setup, Windows Deployment Services (Windows DS), and the System Management Server (SMS) Operating System Feature Deployment Pack.

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Clonezilla might work for you. You could set this up with a PXE-Server to boot over Network. For more automation, modify the clonezilla image so that the generated images get stored on an ftp/nfs/smb/whatever share.

Tutorial on how to setup clonezilla with PXE

This way, you just have to network-boot the machines and wait till clonezilla finishes.

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