Hi, I have just read whs' initial post on this thread and it is very informative, but I just have a few questions.
Just a little background information, I'm a young IT Professional who's working for a company that is not so big but can't really be considered as a "Small and Medium Enterprise". I have just recently started my employment with this company as an IT Support/IT Assistant. Our department consists of merely 4 employees including myself. One is the Systems Administrator and the other one is the Assistant Systems Administrator and then two IT Assistant's, again, myself included. We mostly refer to our Sys Ad as the most senior in our department, he is also mostly the one responsible for our company's networking with a little help from the Assistant Sys Ad. As for the other IT Assistant and I, we mostly focus on the on-site support for our users. We mostly deal with day to day troubleshooting and other daily tasks.
Anyway, since I started working for this company, I can't help but notice that some of their methodologies and/or strategies can still be improved to lessen our work load specially on busy and hectic days. One of the things I noticed that takes a lot of our time is when a workstation encounters problems and eventually needs a new hard drive or is need of a clean install. What they we/they normally do is reformat and reinstall everything via DVD, which I do find very tedious and time consuming mainly because you still need to change DVDs when installing board drivers
, video drivers, and other applications. Although we do have some of the software installers tucked in one of our data servers but still, you have to copy them to the local drive and still install them and wait for them to finish.
Now, I do know for a fact that this can be done since I have tried it and witnessed it. I have worked on two bigger companies as an IT Support Intern that had way more computers and a much larger IT Department and what they used to do there instead of reformatting and reinstalling every single software and/or drivers, they both used images of one computer from a certain department and stored it on their servers and they just pulled it up whenever a computer needs a clean wipe instead of doing all of it manually. The only problem is I do not have the specific knowledge nor experience to handle a project this big and this is why I'm here in hopes of some of you experienced IT Professionals can help and give me some advice regarding this matter.
I also have a couple of questions on my mind about how all this imaging thing works, and here they are:
a. First of all, when imaging, what exactly does happen to the OS's Serial Number/Product Key? Will we get any problems if we just image one computer with a different serial and then restore that image on another computer? We mostly use Windows 7 Professional and Windows XP Professional, but we have more Win 7 Pro PC's than Win XP.
b. In an office environment, where would be the best place to store them that would be easy enough for us to access, a server perhaps? or an external drive? What are it's pros and cons
c. We use custom built computers that mostly have different hardware, meaning, different hardware. It means if we might have more than 3 images for certain PC builds, with this being said, would my idea of imaging systems would still be a good idea or would it be more of an hassle for me and my colleagues?
d. Lastly, since we do use custom built PC's with mostly different hardware, and if you think that this idea would just provide more headache and hassle could you recommend other ways in where I can pursue this basic idea?
That would be my questions for now and I would certainly follow up when I do think of other questions. Thank you so much in advance.