FOG – Restoring an image to a client PC [VIDEO]

Following on from my previous post, this is the second video to demonstrate Fog on my home network. The video demonstrates how to deploy an image to a client, which again I have broken down into three simple steps:

1) Make sure the correct image is associated with the client
2) Create a Deployment task
3) PXE-boot the client into Fog to start the automatic restore process

Not having spent much time on editing, the video is a bit rushed as I don’t want to get distracted from working with Fog itself. As I explained before, the video is a demo for my own reference and not intended as a tutorial. With the videos out of the way I can concentrate on deploying applications remotely using Fog snap-ins.


FOG – Registering a client and Uploading an image [VIDEO]

I wanted to come up with a couple of videos to demonstrate Fog in action at  home – with the first video recorded I didn’t want to spend too much time editing and get distracted from experimenting with Fog itself. The videos are only a demo and not intended as a tutorial – in fact they’re more for my own reference.

This video demonstrates the steps needed to register a client and Uploading an image, which I’ve broken down into four steps:

1) Registering a client with Fog
2) Creating an image object and associating it with the client
3) Creating an Upload task for the client in Fog
4) PXE-booting the client to capture the image and upload it to the Fog server

For my own HP I have two Windows 7 images uploaded onto the Fog Server – a Windows 7 image with all plugins and applications, and the other without any applications to deploy software such as Office 2007 as snap-ins.

I’ll be back soon with the second video demonstrating deploying an image to a client (still under production).

Getting started with Windows Deployment

I’m a big fan of imaging as opposed to re-installing Windows from scratch and have been harbouring a keen interest in Windows deployment for some time now. I guess this came about from moving away from unattended installations to imaging a few years ago and now moving on to Windows deployment solutions in a network environment. A natural progression, now I come to think of it.

With not much encouragement at work and my research into the subject not satisfying my appetite I feel it’s time to try something more hands-on. With my true interests lying in Microsoft technologies for OS and application deployment, I will be experimenting with WAIK and MDT as well as looking into setting up a WDS server at home for “Lite Touch” deployment. Also I’d like to setup a deployment lab at home to get closer to deployment methods in a working environment.

I have a strong urge at this point to get started with SCCM right away, but I don’t want to jump the gun on this one. I want to start from the ground up before I get my hands dirty with the likes of WDS (or maybe even SCCM?).

With only a spare Packard Bell sitting at home, I need to get my hands on a few more test clients – I’m waiting (patiently) for a Dell I was promised by a friend and am contemplating buying a decent spec Viglen from another friend. I’m also hoping to get my hands on a couple of same spec Dell’s from work for multicasting – I’ve put the word out and am waiting for the green light. Getting hold of spare machines isn’t the problem; it’s finding the space to put them up that’s the real challenge :)

This is my first of many practical steps towards career progression – a New Year resolution I WILL fulfil.

FOG, A Linux-Based Cloning Solution

” FOG is a Linux-based, free and open source computer imaging solution for Windows XP, Vista and 7 that ties together a few open-source tools with a php-based web interface. The FOG server, by default, provides DHCP, NFS, PXE, FTP, HTTPD, and WOL services to the clients on the network. FOG doesn’t use any boot disks, or CDs; everything is done via TFTP and PXE.”

The above paragraph, taken from the Fog wiki page, pretty much sums up why I like Fog so much –it’s easy to set up, a simple web-based interface, no need for boot disks or CD’s and best of all it’s free clip_image001

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My tryst with IT Support (for friends and family)

Don’t ask me how, but somehow I’ve ended up with the responsibility of maintaining Windows PC’s/laptops for many a friends and family – I guess it comes with working in IT. I don’t complain (most of the time) but instead I try and make the most of this as a learning opportunity.

To rundown some of the problems and challenges I’ve faced over the years in my attempts to make life easier for myself: Continue reading