Disc Images for Mirroring 30+ terminal lab

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by quanta, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. quanta macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Colorado
    #1
    Can anyone help me out with a good software solution to make a disc image which can be copied onto the 40 or so macs we have here in our lab?

    What we did with moderate success was to fashion one computer complete with software and then take the master drive from computer to computer and copy it straight across, then change back the sharing identity. For the most part this worked except in the case of aliases for Adobe products (i'm assuming because these are "network aware" apps and for Norton, also ATM was still looking for the fonts in the original location and lagged way down.

    Now i have all of the programs working, but there are some side effects which i'm not sure what the cause is.

    1. There is a lag before many apps open including Sherlock, Chooser and some others. Has anyone experienced something similar?

    2. In the chooser, if i log on to one of the other workstations and then try to log on to a second drive simultaneously, the only drive i am allowed to choose is the one already mounted and it is greyed out. This was not the case before we did the mirroring.

    3. The chooser also has a tendency to give a Type 2 error and crash.

    Other notes:

    We can mount multiple drives from our NT server, just not multiple workstations.

    The Macs are divided between 3 rooms, one set of QS/800s which we just installed Airport cards to network, one set of Sawtooth/500s which are ethernet (and also the most problematic), and are waiting for a set of QS/2x1ghz which will also be Airport ready and have not arrived yet. We're making the slow switch to OSX so the mirrored drives have both 9.2.2 (which is where these particular problems exist) and 10.1.? on them. We were unable to get the mirrored OSX to boot, so it had to be reinstalled, and hasn't been on the Sawtooth lab yet. We have a DHCP server.

    i guess that's all of the info that you could possibly ask for.

    if anyone can help so i don't have to go around to all of these computers and reinstall everything, that would be great.

    q
     
  2. evildead macrumors 65816

    evildead

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Location:
    WestCost, USA
    #2
    Apple Remote Desktop

    I think Apple remote desktop allows you to install Applications on several Mac's at once on a network. The only problem is that many Software titles like ones from Adobe wont run on a network togeter if they have the same Serial numbers. I assume that you have all the seperate licences but that will mean you will have to blow away the registration file on each mac and re-enter all the serial numbers. That is unless you have a site licence and a spechal copy of the packages.

    You can try using Toast or The Apple disk utill to make disk images of Hard drives (ones your not booted off of and all processes are dead) Then blast that out to all of the systems and move the files over... I dont know how well that will work.

    Too bad Apple dosent have jumpstart technology like Sun does with Solaris. Then you could just take a FlashArchive of any system and install all of them at the same time, making eash identical.

    Norton Ghost lets you do what your talking about.. but its only for Windows.... at least I think its called ghost. It's lab admins dream... if you dream of windows.

    -evildead
     
  3. mnkeybsness macrumors 68030

    mnkeybsness

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Location:
    Moneyapolis, Minnesota
    #3
    we got 12 new imacs in our multimedia lab last year and we tried doing it with an ipod...mounting the disk image to each one...but it took a long time (about an hour-hour and a half)...and only 1 out of 4 we tried worked...so we ended up installing every program one at a time.
     
  4. quanta thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Colorado
    #4
    hmmm... not quite there yet

    Yeah, i do dream of windows.... i'm still having nightmares about the Packard Bell that tore up two of my hard drives with all my files because of a bad mother board. it only took them 2 months or so to fix the problem, which was cool because my semester was 4 months long and i got it back just in time to put it in my truck and drive home for the summer.

    As far as the iPod solution... i'm surprised it took that long. Is firewire not really as fast as they make it out to be? It only took me about 7 minutes a drive over the Ultra ATA. It took longer to open ATM when the fonts were screwed up than to copy the 2.5 gigs. Were you copying OSX? OS9 copied fine for me.

    Back to evildead:

    Bruce Campbell is the greatest, most underappreciated actor of all time. He deserves an Oscar. Maybe one day they will create a new category for most kick ass B movie actor. Or i would settle for lifetime achievement....

    Anyhoo, we have site licenses for our stuff. i work at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design.... it's cool. They take good care of us here in the Graphic Design department. (We make the School the majority of it's tuition so...) We're getting a gaggle of dual gigs within the week and i'm excited.


    ANYONE KNOW MUCH ABOUT XSERVE???

    i've heard it has mirroring features and some other stuff. i'd love to convince my boss to swing that way, but i need solid arguments... advantages, etc. We're currently NT and it works fine, but things like security, and terminal emulation, ease of admin... these are things i'm curious. Please point me towards any articles you might be aware of as well.

    Thanks guys.
     
  5. posterboy81 macrumors newbie

    posterboy81

    Joined:
    May 4, 2002
    Location:
    Burnaby, B.C., Canada
    #5
    FireWire/Imaging Info

    FireWire is only as fast as it's controller. The newer the machine, the newer the controller, the better the speed. If you put a Pismo PowerBook beside a Son of Pismo iBook (600MHz 14") and do the same copy from an iPod to the hard drive it will go faster on the iBook. The specs for these machines are very very similar, except that the iBook has a way better FW controller, in fact FW will perform almost twice as well in this instance.

    I don't know about the iMacs that mnkeybsness was using, but there are number of other factor that would contribute to an iPod transferring faster on a PowerMac than an iMac, most noteably is the speed of the hard drive.

    Norton Ghost is the name of the App that allows you to create disc images that you can then apply to machines. In fact Ghost is what a lot of manufacturers use to create the restore CDs for their computers. What you would do is create the image the way you like it (sans serial numbers in all the Apps, because as it was pointed out big apps such as PS won't work on a network if i detects another copy of itself with the same serial), Make the image using Ghost to a CD or two, and then you could apply that image to any Machine. I honestly believe that not having a good app like that is a major factor in a lot of network admins and IT dept. only supporting Windows 2000/NT/98.

    Check out the Backup apps (i have no experience with them personally) for Mac, Dantz Retrospect is the only commercial one I can think of off the top of my head, but I would think it has at least some similar functionality to Ghost.
    If you have a dot-mac subscription, download Backup.app and what you can do is use it to back up everything (settings, apps, whatever) to CDs (or a DVD on the dual 1ghz machines) and then use the "restore" option in Backup.app on all of the other machines to import all of the files and settings to the new machine.

    Hope at least some of this helps.

    --PB
     
  6. quanta thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Colorado
    #6
    system specific

    My boss was saying that some of the features of the OS are linked to the name of the HD to which they were installed. Chooser for example. He's not really a mac guy, though he does know an awful lot about the admin side of things for a pro-pc person. Anyway, i'm sure that i've been able to change the name of my HD on recent systems without any problem and i think i remember a time when that was a no-no, but i thought they fixed that with OS 8 or one of those other systems of yore. So i'm wondering if there is something marrying the Drive name to the System file at its inception which, if it doesn't match the name of the drive it is copied onto, causes a disparity that keeps it from being able to match the new name with the name it thinks it has, and then subsequently any changes to the name continue to go unrecognized. IF this is the case, then would it be possible to get around this by naming the destination drive the same name as the original, and changing it AFTER the system is in place in the NEW drive, which it assumes is the same one because it shares the same name?

    Stay tuned, i'll let you know sometime tomorrow. It's too late to screw with that tonight. And if anyone knows anything about the arcane workings inside the Mac system, please help.
     
  7. posterboy81 macrumors newbie

    posterboy81

    Joined:
    May 4, 2002
    Location:
    Burnaby, B.C., Canada
    #7
    System/Hard Drive Name

    That problem was addressed in the OS, although I don;t know how Retrospect might act. Backup.app doesn't really care what the drive is called as far as I know.

    The name of the computer isn't actually decided by the hard drive name of course, it is the sharing name in the filesharing control panel/sharing preference pane, so why would you need to change the names of all of the Hard Drives anway? so long as they show up on the network with different names then everything should be good to go. You can always stick a little label on the top of the box that say s "Workstation #", which is what most admins will do anyway.

    It might be worth a look into Apple Remote Desktop, it is a little pricy, but you could do most of the trouble shooting for the network from anywhere on campus essentially. It would also be a good tool for instructors who need to demonstrate something, as they could use it to display their screen on every other screen in a room. conversly they could use it to view as many as four other screens on their display at once, monitoring the students and offering help on an individual basis. I have done this, and it is very cool.

    --PB
     
  8. oldMac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    #8
    Dumping the prefs...

    Hi Quanta,

    You've probably already done this, but try deleting all the contents of the Preferences folder (in the System folder under OS 9 and prior).

    Then reboot.
     
  9. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #9
    You want to check out Apple Software Restore...ARD won't touch a your System Folder.

    You can make disk images in Disk Copy, then load the images off of CD, Firewire or Network drive.

    We just did 30 machines today at work using it...took about 1 hour for the lab. We only had to change the display resolution and file sharing names once we rebooted. Very fast deployment, but the prep time is a bitch.

    Ghost is a little more fool-proof, but ASR is the closest I've found so far for Mac.
     
  10. quanta thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Colorado
    #10
    could you elaborate a bit Rower?

    i think i see what you are saying, but it's a bit fuzzy... did you reinstall the system to each computer then make an image of all of the other software you wanted to add?

    My boss talked with apple and Apple said there was no way to re-attach the system file to a new HD name after you've installed it, but i'm not really certain what the deal is. Almost every Mac owner that i know has changed the name of their HD and it never has caused any problems that i've seen.

    Now he thinks that we'll just go around and initialize all the drives and then re-install the software one at a time. That sounds a little ridiculous to me, so if you could elaborate your method a little bit more, it would save me a ton of time. i only have to do 16 macs, so maybe i could get it done in 32 min.?:p

    Thanks.
     
  11. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #11
    OK, here's a step-by-step:

    1) Install system software, applications, drivers onto one machine
    2) Boot from a CD/Zip disk/Firewire Drive, and use Disk Copy to create a disk image of the internal hard drive (the instructions are included with Apple Software Restore)
    3) Load the image onto a server/CD/Firewire drive
    4) Boot the machines you want to install the image onto from a CD/Zip/Firewire drive
    5) Run ASR and it will install the image onto the internal hard drive
    6) Reboot the machine to the internal hardrive
     

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