Automatic Restore from USB Pen

Installation issues, feature requests, help, etc.

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kepano
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:05 pm

Automatic Restore from USB Pen

Postby kepano » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:08 pm

Could someone give me a nudge in the right direction for automatic restore from a USB pen drive.

We have a 32gb Pen drive with a successfully imaged machine on it, we require it for remote users to be able to restore it, and ideally would just like it so that they put the pen drive in and it reimages the machine.

The reeason for this, is the machines could be in some very remote parts of the world

Regards

gczychi
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: Automatic Restore from USB Pen

Postby gczychi » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:38 pm

Hi,

I can't help you (yet), I only want to say that I have a similar plan:

  1)  Create a bootable USB stick with PING on it,
  2)  Create an ISO image of a NTFS hard drive,
  3)  Copy the .iso onto the USB pen drive,
  4)  Boot PC with USB stick,
  5)  Format (or erase partition) on destination hard drive, and
  6)  Restore the .iso on the USB pen onto the freshly created NTFS partition.

I'm just beginning with this task, so I have no idea yet where there might be obstacles. For example, is it possible with PING to format in NTFS??

Any insight greatly appreciated. And of course, I'll write a short tutorial once I figured out how this works.

Thanks a lot for any advice.

Regards,

Gary

lyndesc
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:30 pm

Re: Automatic Restore from USB Pen

Postby lyndesc » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:58 pm

Folks,

I have gotten this to work.

1. Create bootable USB drive from the Ping ISO (3.0 or 3.01) using unetbootin-windows-527.exe
2. Replace the syslinux.cfg file on the bootable USB with the following (in a file named syslinux.cfg)

------Begin syslinux.cfg

DEFAULT default
PROMPT 1
TIMEOUT 26
DISPLAY boot.msg

LABEL default
KERNEL kernel
APPEND Server=/dev/sdb1 Directory=/ Image_To_Restore=Ping_Image After_Completion=Shutdown Replace_BIOS=N AUTO=Y Restore_Only=Y Its_HDA_Stupid=Y Force_Dirty_NTFS_Mount=Y vga=normal devfs=nomount pxe ramdisk_size=55000 load_ramdisk=1 init=/linuxrc prompt_ramdisk=0 initrd=initrd.gz root=/dev/ram0 rw noapic nolapic lba combined_mode=libata ide0=noprobe nomce pci=nomsi irqpoll quiet

LABEL dummy
KERNEL kernel

----- End syslinux.cfg
The append line has the commands in it that answer all the PING questions.

3. Create a folder in the root of the USB drive named Ping_Image
4. Copy the contents of the image folder created by Ping to the Ping_Image folder.

That's all!
Craig Lyndes
St Albans City School

pbpcservices
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:41 pm

Re: Automatic Restore from USB Pen

Postby pbpcservices » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:32 pm

Lyndesc,

Thank you for the post about the USB bootable flah drive with PING. I have been using it and it works great for me; hower I am having difficulty reimaging Windows 7. It works great for Windows XP, but not so for WIN 7.

During the reimaging of Windows 7 it would start with the first partition (sda1), which takes seconds and then do its normal thing, but can never start with the second partition (sda2).

I am using a Dell Latitude E6420, I5 processor, 230gb hard drive, 2gb of ram.

I would really appreciate it if you can shed some light about it. You can also email me directly at pbpcservices@gmail.com if this is not too much for you.

Thanks and regards,
pbpcservices

lyndesc
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:30 pm

Re: Automatic Restore from USB Pen

Postby lyndesc » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:22 pm

Pbpcservices,

It works with Windows 7 very well on our Lenovo and HP machines. I am able to create an image of an activated install of Win 7 Pro 64 bit on a lenovo and restore it on an identical model. Once it is restored I have to enter the product key for the computer that has been imaged and activate again. On the HP's I do not have to reactivate, they come up as activated once Ping has finished imaging.

Dell on the other hand has the Dell partition that presents a lot of problems. I wish I had just wiped out the hard drive and re-installed from a Win 7 install CD. However I left the Dell partition and that has made it less than automatic to re-image. When you create the image from a Dell PING will warn you that it won't work. Ignore that and make an image of all the partitions.

When you go to use that image, whether from a CD or a flash drive, PING will complain that there is a problem with the Dell Partition, again ignore it and it will work.

This is starting from an activated computer. And is imaging on an identical computer that has an existing Dell partition.

I tend to stay away from Dells for just this reason.

Craig Lyndes
St Albans City School

pbpcservices
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:41 pm

Re: Automatic Restore from USB Pen

Postby pbpcservices » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:01 pm

Lyndesc,

I was able to make this work by using an older initrd.gz and isolinux.bin. for some reasone the new then files that I downloaded from the site would not work.

Thank you for your quick response on this, I really appreciate.

Thanks,
pbpcservices


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