WIM vs Ghost

I have a strange request and if someone doesn’t mind taking a few moment to get me pointed in the right direction I would appreciate it.

Using XP for training Windows 7 normal machines Have a WIM of each
not very formiliar with WIM’s on ways to update them and still be able to keep it deployable.

So I need to build like near 180 laptops for training class , and like somewhere between 5 and 50 for a totally different training class different software etc not to mention some normal new hires a few every week.

I’m wondering which is a better way I could reduce these down to a simple ghost image or WIM that I can apply the monthly security updates to the image in some form so I don’t have to like install months and months of updates or am I looking at needing to keep like a build machine i update every month and regenerate a new image ?

Ultimately I would like to get to where I have a easy manageable pre built image for each department that I can just drop it down and be like run the join domain scripts and not have to mess with each and every departments various needed app’s. (AKA this department uses this app configed this way that department app configed something completely different) ,
In lou the fact the place has no sharepoint / Altiris

Or am i just borked to days of boardem :stuck_out_tongue:


It’s been a long time since I’ve maintained build images, but when I did, I would build and config a test machine, load applications on it, and sysprep it, then dump it to an image.

After that, updating the image meant putting the image on a machine, running all the necessary updates, running sysprep again, and dumping it to a new image.

There are also tools for post-install apps, like the windows post install wizard. For applications that have configs that are not automation friendly there is always autoIT :slight_smile:

Maybe FOG?


I believe it will do everything you’ve mentioned…

If memory serves right you should have 3 options.
1 - If you have the WIM, you can download all the Windows Updates MSU files into a new folder and apply then through the command line. Put the Offline WIM file back into your repository and you should be good to go.
2 - You can use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit in conjunction with Windows Update Server Services to apply any Microsoft Updates or even 3rd party patches
3 - Install a 3rd party tool into the WIM like Altiris. Altiris will allow you to push and execute any exe to the machine on the list as well as provide you with a number reports about each pc.

If all your wanting to do is updates with patches #2 is the easiest choice. As long as you have WSUS set up properly all patches can be applied to each newly imaged machine as well as existing ones. If your wanting more control over each machine be like my work and use Altiris to really upset end users :slight_smile:

yea my last large project had Altaris it spoiled me BADDDDDD , it really floor’s me they have no form of automation where I am now every things nearly done manually someone like packages some the installs but there nothing in place that keeps real time track of everything going on and what has what at least viewable to me at the bottom the totem pole as a contractor. They have like bundle a monthly patch set and when i install the machine im having to do a install and do like 3-9 months worth of manual patch updates everyone taking anywhere from like 5 to 45 minutes and a reboot. Most the things im doing now is building training machines, and i spent half a day and made large improvements on the image and ghosted it least cute out 2-3 hours a machine for the 60 i need this week.