I've got 100 PC's to setup. Is it possible to set up 1 of these PC's with software, drivers, settings, configs, licenses etc, then clone/image exactly the same setup onto the other computers where each computer would have a different computer name, different user name for each application etc?

Part 2 - How do I prepare my system for cloning, before using CloneZilla?


I have used Clonezilla and sysprep to image and PCs; there are a few requirements. All PCs need to be the same.
You install Windows on the first PC, then run sysprep; this will set the computer up to request a new hostname when it is booted again.
Then use Clonezilla to make an image of the install.
Once you have an image it is just a question of using Clonezilla on the other computers to restore the image on all of them; after each restore, reboot the PC and give it a unique name.

  • This is confusing, I have to use both clonezilla and sysprep? Why can I not just use sysprep? – oshirowanen May 15 '12 at 11:49
  • sysprep prepares a windows install to be cloned but does not make images. it removes the hostname and the SID, (plus some other things with the dirver cache). clonezilla creates and restores images – Sibster May 15 '12 at 11:54
  • This seems to have worked, only issue is that the product key on the case of the computer is not working. We normally don't have to enter in the product key as the computers are all dell, and i think they have the bios linked with the installation cd? – oshirowanen May 15 '12 at 15:52
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    did you install from the dell instalation cd's ? or a windows installation cd. the product keys on the dell are OEM keys and wont work on a normal windows cd – Sibster May 15 '12 at 17:13
  • The PC from which the clone was taken from, had windows installed on it using the Dell installation CD. Then on that PC I used sysprep, and then used clonezilla to copy the setup onto a harddrive which goes into another identical Dell PC. – oshirowanen May 15 '12 at 18:20

To install just Windows in an automated way on multiple machines, you might want to check SysPrep from Microsoft.


And don't forget to change the SID of the computer after cloning:



In the context of the Microsoft Windows NT line of operating systems, a Security Identifier (commonly abbreviated SID) is a unique, immutable identifier of a user, user group, or other security principle. A security principle has a single SID for life, and all properties of the principle, including its name, are associated with the SID. This design allows a principal to be renamed (for example, from "John" to "Jane", without affecting the security attributes of objects that refer to the principal.

Problems with the same SID on two or more PCs:

The problem with duplicated SIDs in a Workgroup of computers running Windows NT/2K/XP is only related to different user accounts having the same SID. This could lead to unexpected access to shared files or files stored on a removable storage: If some access control lists are set on a file, the actual permissions can be associated with a user SID. If this user SID is duplicated on another computer (because the computer SID is duplicated and because the user SIDs are built based on the computer SID + a sequential number), a user of a second computer having the same SID could have access to the files that the user of a first computer has protected.


yeah, well, you can. There are imaging tools that do just that.

The keyword you're looking for is "Desktop deployment". http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee461266(v=ws.10).aspx

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