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Hard drive Cloning

By mockzero56 ยท 5 replies
Oct 2, 2009
  1. I was wondering if there are any devices or software on the market to fit this scenario.

    First let me say that I run a computer rental department for an Audio VIsual Company. We have about 150 machines that go in and out on a dfaily basis. RIght now as these machines come in I hook the laptops up on a network and net boot them to a powerquest imaging program to image them. Desktops I hook up to a KVM switcher and image the same way.

    My issue is that this takes about a an hour to turn over 16 machines. Sometimes I need to turn over 50 machines in a few hours. This isn't as difficult with laptops as they don't need to be on a KVM switcher. The issue is the desktops.

    My idea is to have some type of machine with 10 hard drive slots easily accessable that i can load full of 10 drives and select an image to image at a bit level to each drive. That way I could have a stock of imaged hard drives ready to swap with the machines that are coming off of shows to go right back out the same day.

    Is there such a thing made that do this?

    Thank you so much for you're time in reading this lengthy post.
  2. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,236

    I understand what you're trying to do. Basically, you want to image the new hard drives without all the time consumig setup.

    I think the solution is using an eSATA drive with an external connector or maybe connect to the internal SATA bus. This allow an ultra fast imaging of the new drives. This way you can image the drives quickly and then physically install them in the chassis.

    Just an idea. Tell us if this can work.

    -- Andy
  3. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,236

    Another suggestion I have is multiple stations. Is your KVM only 2 stations or 4? If it's 4, then while one desktop is imaging, take down the other and setup the next one.

    -- Andy
  4. mockzero56

    mockzero56 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It is actually a 16 channel KVM I have built into some shelving to make a big imaging desk out of with networking and power bundled with the KVM cable.

    Right now these machines are in stacks of 12 in road cases on carts. The goal is to never take them out of the road cases. Just pop side covers off and swap out hard drives to send them on the next show as every machine has to have a clean and free of any crud other people might have put on them.

    The idea of the eSATA would be okay except I need to do about 10 at a time to make it efficient enough. If I could find software that could handle that then that could be great. It's the software or an already made stand alone device that could do that that I am looking for.

    Thanks for the suggestions!
  5. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,236

    Do you just have the one PC from which you image all the drives?

    -- Andy
  6. mockzero56

    mockzero56 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    We have a quad core server set up with a bootable PXE environment to network boot to with gigabit to all of the machines. It is in an entire other part of the building currently, I never really see it anymore to be honost. I can do all of the imaging work through the program after the machines are net booted.
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