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I have several computers and they all have the same hardware. In my other question i was told that i can use Acronis True Image to make an image of the entire system, so that in case of a system failure i can recover easily without having to install os and all the software again. Now is it possible to automate this imaging process?

The reason why i would like to automate it is because we install software and every time we install software we have to make an image. Is it possible that whenever a new install is detected an image of the system is made?

OS is Windows XP

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You need Microsoft's SysPrep, otherwise you'll run into some serious SID problems.

  • Honestly, if this person isn't in a workgroup environment, SID issues won't really crop up. If he's a standalone computer, SID doesn't matter. If it's a domain computer, the SID gets changed based off the domain RID. Workgroup though... that will cause issues. From what I've read, the biggest issue with not doing sysprep is WSUS GUIDs and stuff. – Mike Christiansen Aug 12 '11 at 12:12
  • According to The Machine SID Duplication Myth by Mark Russinovich of Microsoft/Sysinternals, Sysprep is necessary, but duplicate SIDs should not cause any problems with Microsoft's own products, at least. – grawity Aug 21 '11 at 17:12
  • @grawity : Interesting article. While I've seen instances where I thought a clone SID had caused problems, it might have been just a correlation. A great read. – surfasb Aug 22 '11 at 4:49
  • @surfasb: Cloning can cause problems if you clone machines after joining them to a domain, thus cloning the domain SID which has to remain unique within a domain. (This is solved by [re-]joining each machine after cloning.) The machine SID, on the other hand, can be duplicated without any issues, as the article explains. – grawity Aug 22 '11 at 9:21
  • @grawity: Yeah, I noticed that was an updated part of the article. That part of the article was slightly confusing at first. Then I read the comment thread and the conversations that preceded to the domain SID discussion cleared things up. I have a bunch of Mark's articles on my todo list. Probably should get to reading them all. – surfasb Aug 22 '11 at 19:12

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