I'm a computer technician and I have to reinstall computers of all brands a lot. Now i'm looking for a way to make a ghost image for example for XP which I can install on all computers. Just like you do a clean install?

Can someone think of something what works?

3 Answers 3


Sadly, XP doesn't do that. Windows 7 is intended to work that way (one image, regardless of hardware), but with XP you need a separate image for each make/model.

The closest you can get is to set up an unattended installation that you can fire & forget. It'll still take longer than just copying over an image, but at least you won't have to interact & answer the prompts.


Sounds like you want a custom automated install. Creating a ghost image of Windows and expecting it to work right out of the box on many different arrangements of hardware is a pipe dream of all windows administrators.

Have a read through this example using nLite: http://teamtutorials.com/windows-tutorials/how-to-make-a-custom-windows-install-w-nlite

There are other tools for doing similar things, and this is precisely what people like Dell and HP etc do when making a windows installation for distribution with a computer (packed full of rubbish AV software etc)


Clonezilla works for me and I bet it will work for you.

From wikipedia's page:

'Clonezilla Live' enables a user to clone a single computer's storage media, or a single partition on the media, to a separate medium device. The cloned data can be saved as an image-file or as a duplicated copy of the data. The data can be saved to locally attached storage device, a SSH server, Samba Server or a NFS file-share. The clone file can then be used to restore the original when needed.

The Clonezilla application can be run from a USB-flash-drive, a CD-ROM, or a DVD-ROM. Clonezilla requires no modification to the computer; the software runs in its own booted environment.

Try for yourself and good luck!

  • I'm aware ofnlite, but can you make a image with it which can be used for all xp machines and later on change the product key? (with a product key changer)
    – Chris
    Mar 1, 2011 at 16:26

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