Surface 3 running windows 7 used to set up 30 other Surface 3s

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by Randy Tucker, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Randy Tucker

    Randy Tucker New Member

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    I just started for a small tech organization in which we frequently use surface 3s and must have them all configured to be the same. Since it has been awhile since I have used system imaging, and I have limited resources, my question is: Can I set up one surface with all of the programs we need, create a system image on my 1TB Seagate external HDD and use it to restore from a system image on the other Surface 3s? All the surface 3s were bought at the same time and contain the same specs.

    Essentially, I am looking to clone one laptop to multiple others in the easiest way possible. (i.e. Cloning for dummies)
     
    #1 Randy Tucker, Sep 7, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
  2. Neemobeer

    Neemobeer Windows Forum Team
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  3. BIGBEARJEDI

    BIGBEARJEDI Honorable Member
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    Hi Randy,
    I've done what neemo is talking about, and that's a very advanced procedure IMHO. And it's extremely difficult to maintain if you ever have a hardware crash such as Motherboard or Hard Drive in one of your Surface 3 computers.

    I would look at using on of the following 3 Image backup programs instead here:

    1.) Macrium Reflect
    2.) Acronis TrueImage
    3.) EASETodo


    We've tested all these with W7/W8x/W10 and they are super reliable and all will work using their free versions. You may run into some problems with Mobo inconsistancies, if the clone was made from a Surface 3 back in 2015 let's say, and next year you experience a Mobo failure. If you purchase a new Mobo from Microsoft, hardware revs might cause an Image Restore failure!:waah: Instead, you will need to research the serial numbers of each of your surface 3's, and do some inventory and asset management recording. When one of those Mobo's fail you would have to look online and try to locate a Mobo in the appropriate serial number date range of the Surface 3 unit that failed, and you would have to get from ebay or 3rd party supplier. That can be tricky.o_O Large companies (Fortune500) handle this problem by either purchasing Mobo spares now and keeping in inventory for 5-10 years, or signing an annual Maintenance Contract with a major service provider such as IBM, Wang, etc. to maintain those spares in their inventory for you--at an annual cost (not cheap!).

    Some things to think about.:andwhat: Personally, if you just have a few machines; 3-5 Surface 3's for example, I'd just buy 1 or2 spare Mobos and keep on hand for these kinds of catastrophes. As I used to write service contracts for IBM, it's very cost prohibitive ($20k/year or more) to outsource a partner sparing program and you would need at least 100 units to make it worthwhile.

    Best of luck,:encouragement:
    <<<BIGBEARJEDI>>>
     
  4. Randy Tucker

    Randy Tucker New Member

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    I looked into what Neemo had suggested and it did seem a little beyond my understanding. My background is programming, and not IT, so I need a simple way to maintain the organizations computers. We currently have 60 Surface 3s. 30 of which were just purchased less than a month ago. Since IT is not my primary job responsibility, I need to be able to reimage the computers every year in a short amount of time. I also need to be able to set new computers up relatively quickly. We also have 60 HP notebooks that I would like to create the same thing for eventually. So my question is, am I still looking at image backup programs in order to do this, or something else entirely? Because from my understanding, I need to be able to use some type of image deployment software in order to accomplish what I am trying to do. I have created a master computer that is up to date with all of the programs we used installed. I have taken that computer and created a system image that is saved onto an external drive. I am just unsure of how to move that system image to the other 29 surfaces that we just purchased in a way that does not mess up or crash the computers. I will look into the programs you suggested, but I am not so sure that image backup is what I am looking to accomplish (although I could be wrong).
     
  5. Neemobeer

    Neemobeer Windows Forum Team
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    WDT is really the way to go, but yes the initial setup of your standard image is somewhat involved. Once setup though it would be a PXE boot and select the image and it doesn't require any user involvement and they image in 20-40 minutes ready to go.
     

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