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Sys Prep prepares hard drives for imaging

Sys Prep prepares hard drives for imaging

One of the more frustrating experiences an IT administrator can have is finishing an imaging session of 250 workstations only to find that 250 workstations cannot log on because they lack the unique security IDs that are crucial to identification on an Windows NT network. Sys Prep resolves this by providing a means for regenerating system security IDs without relying on third-party software.

NT's security context is essentially built around the security identifier, so in the past it has been mandatory that the imaging software you use has some method of generating unique IDs. Sys Prep prepares the hard disk for imaging by regenerating the system security ID and running a Mini Set-Up wizard, which lets you input user-specific settings the first time the target machine reboots. You will have to use a third-party imaging tool such as those provided by Symantec, for example.

Sys Prep is subject to some stringent restrictions that third-party utilities lack. For instance, the tool only supports NT Workstation 4.0 and NT Server 4.0 acting as a stand-alone server. In addition, you have to install NT 4.0 from either a Select Volume Licensing or OEM CD for Sys Prep to work.

In addition, Microsoft Office customers will have to install Office from a Select or OEM CD to ensure they are staying within Microsoft's' multi-user licensing guidelines.

Finally, Sys Prep is not designed to be used in conjunction with other third-party tools, so you must be certain there is some way to turn this feature off if it is integrated into your current imaging product. Nevertheless, I found that Sys Prep required very little effort to use. With the exception of user-specific settings, all operations were done in the background.

Supportable solution

In short, combining Sys Prep with any imaging software on the market should provide you with a reliable, supportable solution for imaging NT-based workstations, as well as a viable alternative for upgrading to Windows 2000 once it is released.

Sys Prep is free to Microsoft OEM or select customers.

Microsoft

Tel 13 2058

www.microsoft.com/ntworkstation/default.asp


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