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how to transfer an iso image to18 laptop all at once.

by miadl11 / September 21, 2011 9:29 AM PDT

I work for a college and I have been given the task of creating an ISO image from 9 dvds(8G each) and installing that info on to 18 laptops. It wouldn't be a big deal if I only had to do it once, but I will be doning this every 6 mos. What I do is place the iso on an external drive an then go from laptop to laptop placing the images on each one. The process takes about 1 for each one. Sad there has to be a faster way of getting this done. Because it's proprietary information I can not place it on a hard drive and duplicate it. We are allowed to place the information on each laptop because they are service laptops. If I were to use a router would that let me send the info to each laptop? I would like to be able to connect all the laptop to to one thing and get all the info delivered at one time. Is this possible?

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All Answers

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Connect the external drive to a computer
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 21, 2011 10:36 AM PDT

share the computer over the rooms network.
Make sure you include the external drive in the shared items.

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If speed is an issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 21, 2011 10:44 AM PDT

Why not get more external drives? This is not a big amount of data and multiple drives are pretty cheap.

I know you wrote you can't do that but it's time to get the person/company that made that rule and do some arm twisting as it's a dumb rule.

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Image transfer to 18 laptops all at once
by kts1442a / September 22, 2011 1:26 AM PDT
miadl11, if you are using Microsoft's Windows Vista or 7 OSs for the laptops and their "Server 200x" as a part of the network in the company, you need to check into the Windows Automated Installation Toolkit (AIK) 2.0. Not only can you use it to basically install the operating system all at once over the network (boot from Network option in BIOS), you can create/customize the OS installation process, you can add/change/delete 3rd party/proprietary software installations all using the original drive image for the OS. This way, not only can you FORGET ABOUT the 18 CDs and having to keep them together/in order, the company's information can stay securely on their server as their image and they don't have to worry about anyone walking out the door or losing any of those CDs. The entire process can be done at once (though it may be a bit slower doing all 18 at one time), but it can be done almost completely unattended once you set up the installation image file with the company software. It may be worth looking into. Check out Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 while you're at it.

The second option would be to use live-boot CDs, a cross-over cable to connect one laptop to another and copy the image from one laptop to another, then from two laptops to two others, then four to four. and so on.

If you're not on a network or don't have access to those tools, mrMacfixit is probably right, an external hard drive may be a good option. I'm not sure a router by itself is going to be helpful at all - there's got to be a server to support multiple computer connections at once. Lacking that, consider it job security. Good luck!
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by Willy / September 22, 2011 3:10 AM PDT

Either do this from some network setup or use a NAS type that each laptop can access. If possible make this a dedicated network or NAS arrangement. the network needn't be too advanced other than working. With all the laptops attached, or several to accomplish the task. -OR- use some USB ext. HDs(several) to spread the install individuality but more than one to cut time. The same can be done with capable Gb flash drives. Odd, to install on several laptops but not 1 HD, which may defeat any generalized dispersal of a install.

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