I am testing software on 4 OSes/4 dedicated machines. My goal is to
1)Bring up a fresh image of the OS
2) Perform test
4) reboot and bring a clean partition back
Has anybody ever implemented anything like that.
Thank you so much
Ps WE are using ghost 7.0 as our imaging system at this point
Yes I have done it, so it can be done. Having said that I am pretty much under strict contract with the company I did that for. I cannot give specific details. I did it with ghost 6.01 so my giess is you will have an easier time.
Look to get your generic strap reboot os to work with the highest os version. Plan the architecture (partitioning) of your hard drive/s
(and make them big). Be aware that NT 4.0 does NOT support Win32 FAT.
Also get your IS team involved with the design.
Get ready to read up on the bootstrap process (there are some good articles from Microsoft knowlege base) .. also one major flaw in this whole thing is TIME.
It takes a LOT of time to get AN image just right. This will also add about a half hour for every scenario you are planning to do this for.
(unless you are useing really old equip then expect even higher delays). P.S a Fast Hard drive is the key to speeding this up.\\Good luck
Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast!
Sr. QA Engineer
We did this a few years back utilizing Ghost as Rick said, and also a series of batch files where each step of the process rewrote the autoexec.bat file prior to rebooting to force carrying the next steps of the process.
The mistake someone made was in telling us (in QA) that it can't be done because it is like trying to eat your own head. "A machine can't format its own hard drive." Well, you never tell QA guys that it can't be done. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
We've implemented just what you've inquired about. It's is, as DJGray pointed out, a matter of getting a number of batch files doing what they're supposed to do at the right time. Not hard to do, but it does take time.
We've got it set up so we can double click an image file and the rest of the reghosting process is automatic.... Come back in 25 minutes to a clean OS, or new configuration with a given version of the product. Very slick! But requires sooooo much time to get all the images just right, and each PC must be have the right partitioning.
This was many many years ago, and honestly I don't recall.
I remember we stood at a HUGE white board and drew it out in a series of steps.
first this has to happen
second this has to happen, so the first step needs to write this into the autoexec.
Then third this needs to happen.
You will end up with about 10-12 batch files to make this work smoothly, but stick with it and you will get it.
As jhvincent pointed out, it WILL take some time, but when you get it working, it will be a thing of wonder to watch run.