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Desktops (Apple) Operating Systems Software

Best Way to Image and Deploy Dual-Boot Macintosh? 124

macpulse asks: "What is the best way to image and deploy dual-boot Intel Macintosh desktops in an Educational environment? Our organization is getting ready to purchase dozens of new Intel Macs for each campus and we're not sure how to proceed. With Windows XP and Dell, we've simply used Symantec's Enterprise Ghost to deploy our images. Playing with the test Intel Macs we have, we are unable to get Ghost to work with the Mac. I've also played with Bombich's NetRestore product (which is FOSS!) but without much success. I'm curious how my fellow readers have resolved this issue. Thanks!"
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Best Way to Image and Deploy Dual-Boot Macintosh?

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  • by delirium of disorder ( 701392 ) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @03:00AM (#18699127) Homepage Journal
    As long as all your hardware is the same, deploying a uniform image should be possible using simple tools that have been a part of any *nix system for decades. I don't see why you would need to purchase "enterprise" anything. First install the OSes you want on one the Macs (OSX and Linux, Solaris and OpenBSD, whatever). Configure everything as you want it to be on the image. Then boot that Mac using some medium other than the disk you just did the install to (cd boot, network boot (I imagine x86 macs can use PXE just like most intel systems)). Mount a network drive and use dd to make an image of the disk you did the install on. Then write a script for doing the re-imaging. All it would need to do would be to mount that network drive and dd the image from there to the disk. You could do checksums to make sure the transfer worked if you want to get fancy. Store this script on the pxe server or boot cd, or whatever you choose to use to boot the Macs that are getting imaged. You can even set it to autorun so all anyone doing the re-imaging has to do is put in the boot cd and reboot, or connect the Mac to be re-imaged to the same LAN as the networked server and reboot. This seams like pretty much what you would do when setting up imaging for PCs, Sun workstations, whatever. Is there something in particular about Macs that make them more difficult to work with? (I'm not a Mac user)
    • by grrrl ( 110084 )
      Can dd be used to auto-partition the new drive while copying over the image?

      Or does each partition have to be set up and then the image copied across?
    • by Bronster ( 13157 )
      There are always some things about each image that you want to have different (hostname, machine ID, /etc/ethertab or equivalent if you have one - er, XP activation gunk)

      Post installation scripts are pretty easy for your FOSS stuff (we do FAI + svn co + make -C conf install), not so easy on XP. I don't have a clue about OS X, my Mac days were pre version 8.

      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        by rikkards ( 98006 )
        WIth Windows XP and 2000 sysprep is your friend. With a properly setup Sysprep.inf, the hardware doesn't even need to be identical other than whether or not ACPI is supported.
    • by pe1chl ( 90186 )
      What free software are you using to host the "dd" that copies the network image to disk?
      I have tried using the free version of bpbatch in the past but I have never got it to work correctly.
      (it seems it loads itself somewhere in memory that later gets overwritten under certain circumstances. I tried to customize some of the examples provided to fdisk the HD and then copy something over from the network, but it always crashes with junk on the screen)

      Maybe there are other free PXE "Pre-OS"es?

      For now we use a
      • by sbryant ( 93075 )

        Maybe there are other free PXE "Pre-OS"es?

        Well, you can use PXELinux (part of the whole SysLinux [] thing) to boot a kernel with a RAM disk (initrd), and run whatever you want from there. You will need a basic live distribution to go in the RAM disk, which contains init,, sh and whatever other bits you need. You can keep the size down by using busybox []. Creating a working initrd can be a little hairy, as your compile-time paths are normally different than the runtime ones, which can break some prog

        • by pe1chl ( 90186 )
          Ok, I hoped that maybe some ready-made PXE image would exist that boots up a small fast-booting OS that can run simple scripts to perform tasks like partitioning, formatting, copying etc.
          BPbatch exactly fits the bill, but unfortunately I cannot get it to work.

          Using Linux for this seems overly complicated, but it could be practical when at least a readily usable configuration would exist. I know about busybox and assembling small Linux systems, but for this purpose (merely getting new machines installed) it
          • by sbryant ( 93075 )

            IMHO, an omission in PXE is the lack of parameter passing before the image is loaded. As it is now, you can have only a single PXE image that is served to all the systems that attempt a network boot. You could select on some DHCP parameters in the DHCP server, but there is no parameter that you can control sitting at the keyboard of the booting system.
            Things would be much more usable when a simple menu was part of the boot sequence, and/or you could press a key which would be passed in the DHCP request.

            • by pe1chl ( 90186 )
              I am aware of the possibility of using the MAC address. But that is not possible when sitting at the machine to be booted.
              What I like is to power-on the machine, press F12 for network boot, and then press some key to tell WHAT to boot.
              When I boot one image, e.g. PXElinux or the 3com Pre-OS, it is not possible to switch to another one (e.g. via a menu) later.
              The menu would have to be presented by the BIOS. Well, I will to further research, maybe this really can be done within PXE, or a first-stage loader
    • by SlamMan ( 221834 )
      No PXE on the current Intel Macs. They're netboot enabled, but its not quite the same thing.
      • by nevali ( 942731 )
        So NetBoot a Darwin installation; it's not going to be vastly different (and indeed it'll be /better/ under these circumstances because it'd understand HFS+) to PxeLinux.

        NetBoot Darwin, dd image, mount partition, tweak configuration, unmount, and reboot.
    • One of the biggest issues we're having trouble with (again, we are new to this) is getting ASR or Netrestore to work with an Intel Mac that is partitioned with Bootcamp correctly. We're also adding the machines to an Active Directory Domain and we've had trouble with duplicate names on both the Windows partition and the Mac partition, requiring lots of manual labor to resolve in a classroom of 25 machines. Formerly with Symantec Ghost on Dell's with XP, we would use Ghostwalker to change the SID (if needed
    • by Sentry21 ( 8183 )
      OS X Tiger Server has functionality which allows you to dish out a particular disk image to a particular class of machine (e.g. one image for Mac Pros, one for iMacs, etc.). Create a bootable image which, when booted, writes the disk image from the network to the local disk. Then all you have to do is go to each system and boot it from the network, and it'll take care of everything else. All guified and easy, if you know what you're doing.
    • I assume the OP is having trouble imaging the Windows partition, not the OSX partition.
      • I assume the OP is having trouble imaging the Windows partition, not the OSX partition.

        If I had to guess I'd say he's using the Ghost feature that lets you write a unique UUID to each NTFS image, and it doesn't understand EFI partition tables. In block mode it would work fine, but Windows has an onerous registration regime so you can't just do block mode.
  • I currently work at an educational institution and we have been using NetRestore to reimage our Macs for as long as I have been there. We recently deployed two labs of Intel iMacs and have been using NetRestore to image them as well.

    We started out by netbooting to image half the drive with a custom OS X install and then used the OS X install to image the other half of the drive with a custom Windows install. We decided to have two images to make maintenance simpler as if we end up having problems with eit
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anubis350 ( 772791 )
      Sounds wierd, but how about a server on wheels for the imaging? roll it into the lab you're imaging and hook it up to the local switch in the room, no tie up on building network resources for other purposes either. It may sound like a better idea now since I havent slept in a while though :-P
      • Good idea, but not very useful when we have 50 labs on a campus with 25-35 computers each!

        Also, this doesn't resolve the DUAL BOOT issue we're running into with Bootcamp.

    • by SlamMan ( 221834 )
      Check into the Multicast features that came out as part of asr in 10.4.x. Its not ideal for one or two, but if you're doing a new round machines, it keeps network bandwidth from being so much of a problem.
    • I have the same setup although we have a script that has netrestore restore the one partition then the other with only 1 click to save us time. I am lucky in that our labs have gigabit networking and of course the new iMacs and the Apple Xserv (imaging server) have GB network cards. It takes about 16 mins to do each machine. Although we do try to only do a few at a time because you still get bottlenecks. Still... we can get an entire lab of 20 done in about an hour.
  • DD (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bios_Hakr ( 68586 ) <[xptical] [at] []> on Thursday April 12, 2007 @03:08AM (#18699177)
    At my office, we have a master image of our desktop configuration. The image sits in a Debian box next to my desk.

    When we get a new PC, we remove the drive and drop it into an external USB/IDE/SATA enclosure and connect ti to the Debian box. We DD the image onto the drive. It usually takes less than an hour per drive.

    We can also image a drive across the LAN, but it's slower and we have to be present at the user's computer to boot off a KNOPPIX disc.

    We have played with the idea of creating a DVD that has a cut-down debian distro and the image file. Then we can just drop in the restore disc and reboot. Come back an hour later and we're done.

    You could also drop the image on the portable drive and use a boot CD to image PCs without opening them.
    • Wouln't it be easier to

      Host the image on a USB drive

      (A) make the drive itself a bootable install for machines that support USB boot
      (B) keep a Linux/BSD live CD on hand for those that don't support USB booting

      and then there is no need open up machines and you only need to deal with the USB enclosure once.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tgd ( 2822 )
      Yikes. Go download PING. It'll do the same thing in a LOT less time, and can do it over the network saving even more time.

      An hour to image a machine?

      The problem with DD is it has to write all the empty bits of the disk, too. A good imaging solution knows the filesystem and only writes the files. Since most desktops may have 5-6 gig of software on them by default, you don't want to be wasting time writing 80 or 100 gig of zeros.
      • The problem with DD is it has to write all the empty bits of the disk, too. A good imaging solution knows the filesystem and only writes the files. Since most desktops may have 5-6 gig of software on them by default, you don't want to be wasting time writing 80 or 100 gig of zeros.

        Or you can pipe dd through a compressor on the write; it will still read the zeroes, but it won't be writing them.

        If you don't specify of=filename to dd, it will write output to stdout.

        • by tgd ( 2822 )
          That helps taking the image... putting it back, DD still has to write all the decompressed zeros.

          DD has its place, but imaging a whole desktop is not it. There are massively better free tools for that.
      • by damacus ( 827187 )
        Thanks for the recommendation. Took me a little while to google it, given its shorthand name.

        For others reading this, here is a link to the PartImg Is Not Ghost tool: []
  • Partition the drives, run Ghost on the Windows portion, and Carbon Copy Cloner [] on the Mac portion.
  • three words (Score:4, Informative)

    by TRRosen ( 720617 ) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @03:33AM (#18699305)
    Taget Disk Mode .... much faster than network imaging and much easier then pulling hard drives.

    By the way you can use Apple restore program ASR to create a disk that will automatically wipe and restore the machine its booted on.

    PS unless you have something that would require dual booting (ie 3D PC apps) it would be much easier and more secure to use a virtual machine to run windows. (parallels or VMware Fusion).

    PPS if your installing numbers of Macs in an educational setting you really have to look at Apple Remote Desktop its a one stop shop for all your Mac administration needs.
    • by SlamMan ( 221834 )
      Incorrect - Netboot over a gig link provides faster restores than over firewire (varies by data size, but we save 2 min per image), and is significantly more scalable.
    • Target disk mode is useless in a lab of 25-35 Intel Macs that need to be reimaged in under an hour.
  • by Chris Hanson ( 1683 ) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @03:37AM (#18699337) Homepage
    Mac OS X includes a feature called Apple System Restore. You can access it through Disk Utility and use it to create an image of a partition or a whole disk, and replicate that image to another partition or whole disk - even over a network. There's also a command-line version in /usr/sbin/asr. I think Mac OS X Server will even let you NetBoot a system on your network and have it automatically restore its local disk from an ASR image.

    I have not done this, but I assume you'd be able to set up a system exactly as you want it to be set up - with both Mac OS X and Windows partitions - and create an ASR image from that, which you can then restore and use at will.
  • Don't Partition (Score:5, Informative)

    by ktappe ( 747125 ) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @04:20AM (#18699505)
    We had pondered this same question when we first got our Intel-based Macs. Then we tried Parallels and never looked back. It solves several problems:
    • No need to partition, an action which (to our knowledge) cannot be automated over netboot.
    • Both OSes can be included in a single, NetRestore-able disk image.
    • No need for end users to reboot to change OSes.
    So I strongly suggest you re-examine your decision to use BootCamp, and instead examine Parallels. By switching to Parallels you can use well-established tools such as NetRestore, RadMind, and other off-the-shelf solutions.

    I also must disagree with one of the other responders who recommended Target disk mode. While this is good for a few computers (and is a great tool for making your source .dmg you'll deploy using the above tools), it does not work well for reimaging hundreds of Macs that are widely distributed across a campus. It requires that each technician be equipped with a firewire drive, which tend to grow legs. Also, more and more security-conscious companies (and colleges) are locking down computers so that neither USB nor Firewire drives can be used and/or forbidding the use of such devices. And then you'll have the problem of keeping each Firewire drive up to date with exactly the same image instead of just updating a single, master .dmg on the server as you can when using NetRestore.

    True, it can be tricky to get NetBoot to work across subnets, but we got around that by putting multiple NICs in our NetBoot XServe, one for each subnet. (Yes, we tried Bombich's boot-across-subnets solution but could not get it to work, probably because of how our routers are configured.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) *

      Seconded. The only reasons to use Bootcamp are:

      (1) cost [Parallels is very inexpensive, but not free]
      (2) if you have high performance graphics requirements like games
      (3) if you have multi core requirements.

      If single core, non-accellerated performance will do, Parallels is a much better choice. Aside from being able to concurrently run OSX, XP and linux, the ability to work with the XP and linux OS images is superb; they're just files in the OSX filesystem. They're sandboxed, you can even isolate XP

      • (1) cost [Parallels is very inexpensive, but not free]
        (2) if you have high performance graphics requirements like games
        (3) if you have multi core requirements.

        Just some notes:

        (1) One of the catalogs offers Parallels for $7 with purchase of a Mac - BootCamp I heard will cost $30 when it's out of beta.
        (2) VMWare Fusion solves (soon) this for some Direct-X apps
        (3) VMWare Fusion solves this
    • Parallels really sucks, they just get attention because they were the first available and old-school Mac fanboys keep waxing on and on about it. The support really sucks for it as well. It's better than the old Virtual PC, but VMWare is a much, much, much better VM solution.

      If you want a native Windows experience, you go with Bootcamp.
      • by BobPaul ( 710574 ) *
        Parallels for Mac is more feature rich than VMWare. Things like drag-and-drop of files and coherence are really nice, and I'll be switching away from VMWare when Parallels updates their Linux workstation product.
      • by aftk2 ( 556992 )
        Can VMWare share a Boot Camp partition like Parallels can? I'm not (just) asking to be snarky - I'm really curious; this is the reason we bought Parallels.
    • Well, indeed part of the reason we've selected Bootcamp is because of the cost of Parallels and the performance advantage of Bootcamp. Our initial tests show that we'd need about 2GB of RAM in our iMacs just to make Parallels happy enough to run half-ass. Several of our classes use high performance Windows apps like AutoCAD, 3D Studio Max, etc that require graphic card acceleration as well. They work horribly under Parallels.
  • by tbo ( 35008 ) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @04:52AM (#18699681) Journal
    I know from experience that supporting dual-boot is a huge pain. We have a bunch of dual-boot Win XP / Linux machines (with an Xserve running OS X Server providing file and authentication services). Supporting a dual-boot machine is harder than supporting two single-boot machines. Why? Because each machine will typically spend almost all its time in only one OS. This means that automatic software updates, virus def updates , daily/weekly/monthly cron jobs, etc., won't happen on the other OS, and you'll have huge maintenance nightmares.

    Figure out what OS each machine needs to run, and install that one only. Another poster suggested Parallels, which is a great way to handle things if you only occasionally need a non-OS X OS.
    • by g-san ( 93038 )
      There could be a few security implications also, namely being able to mount the other OS volume and edit/delete files. Or put "del $USERPROFILE/*.*" into C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\happy.cmd

      I could go on all day!
      • If you make the Bootcamp partition NTFS, Mac OS X is unable to write to it - only has read access to NTFS partitions.
      • Parallels cheaped out and use a local disk share with full local user rights for drag-and-drop.

        If you want to use Parallels as a sandbox, make sure you have "Enable sharing for drag-and-drop" disabled.
    • Well.... easy now. A windows / linux box is a little different than a Win / OSX box on the new intel macs. You are correct in that you have delays in updates but I wouldn't go so far to say that this is any different that supporting 2 machines. In Windows with a good group policy any of your updates or virus defs will update as soon as the machine comes on. If you are using the right tools with OS X, (like Apple remote desktop) you can also have them run tasks when the machine comes on. Also using apple r
  • Lots of people have suggested Parallels (with good reason), though I'm curious whether it can handle various different users logging in to a single Windows disk image (not simultaneously). AFAIK the logged in OS X user needs full permissions on the disk image, so that's a bit of a security issue. The alternative could be one image per user, though that would suck for maintenance and also disk space?

    Also for the people suggesting ASR for a dual-boot cloning solution - will that work with non-HFS partitions?
    • This exact same question has come up in our discussions about Parallels vs Bootcamp. And how do you add a Parallels Virtual Machine to an Active Directory Domain under a multi-user Mac which is also attached to the domain? More questions, LOL!
      • This depends.
        Will the Parallels VM have it's own IP?
        If so, no problems. The OS in the VM will be seen as a unique machine by the server.
      • by batzo ( 168271 )
        > This exact same question has come up in our discussions about Parallels vs Bootcamp. And how do you add a Parallels Virtual Machine to an Active Directory Domain under a multi-user Mac which is also attached to the domain? More questions, LOL!

        Works fine... your parallels VM looks like a completely seperate machine to the AD server. everything pretty much works as you'd expect. even WSUS updates work fine
  • Have you looked into DRBL []?

    It has a program called Clonezilla [] that serves the images by multicast or unicast. I use that at work for installing the machines with multi-boot (WindowsXP+Ubuntu) and it works just fine and prety fast too :)

    The only thing that you have to try is if it work with mac, but i think it will because of the way that the program does the image of the disc.
  • Bootcamp is beta software with several large known bugs, and should not be used in a production environment. Also, the regular imaging tools won't work, you need something that understands GPT partition tables (from the Department of Reudundancy Department). Basically, from the sound of it, you don't know what you are doing, which for a large scale deployment in a production area, can only end in disaster.
    • by TrentC ( 11023 )
      Bootcamp is beta software with several large known bugs

      I was under the impression that all Boot Camp did was allow you to resize an existing HFS partition, insert some EFI extensions so that XP/Vista can load and allow you to select an OS on startup, and burn a drivers CD for you.

      A recent build of Boot Camp includes a host of updated drivers, which appear to fix most of the problems I've heard described about.

      What "large known bugs" are you referring to?
      • Take a look at the apple discussion board for bootcamp; there are stories of about 1% of iMacs being unable to run bootcamp at all, the British keyboard layout has no double quote key, resizing paritions in several cases has hosed systems, just to choose a few.
        • by n2art2 ( 945661 )
          1% is a small percentage, and the Brits are all stuck on a small little island, compared to the rest of this big ol world. . . so those don't really sound like "large known bugs" That sounds like those little pesky little gnats. lol
    • >Basically, from the sound of it, you don't know what you are doing, which for a large scale deployment in a production area, can only end in disaster.


      Let me clarify that I can image a lab full of Macs with ONLY Mac OS X installed just fine, no problems.


      I can image a lab full, or an entire campus, of Dell PCs with XP just fine as well - in fact, it's even easier.

      What we're running into a problem with is imaging DUAL-BOOT machines with Bootcamp. Apparently there are some round about way

  • by pete345 ( 1087427 ) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @06:13AM (#18700085)
    The only way to do this is to copy the entire drive, bit for bit. If you clone each partition, you lose out on the wacky Apple GPT/MBR stuff, which means your copy of Windows will die. The guide on NetRestore [] seems adequate but highlights the complexity. It should be possible to copy a drive image for osx, windows, and then update the GPT and MBR manually to match it, though.
    • +1,000,000 - THANK YOU! This complexity you speak of is exactly what encouraged me to Ask Slashdot.

      Is there not a bit for byte clone tool for Mac OS X that works with the Intel Mac GUID partition map?

      It would be nice if there was a tool as easy and elegant as Ghost or TrueImage for the Mac that worked regardless of how it was partitioned.

  • I definately would not go with the Boot-Camp method for a few reasons (I think they are all mentioned somewhere, so I won't re-iterate them). If you want to have Windows or another OS on the machine, I would use Parallels or VM-Ware. However, I think that an even better solution would be to have a server running MSTSS and have students remote-desktop ( ?) into Windows from the Macs. Although, Coherence mode is pretty cool... PS: Has anyone had a problem where their clock is wrong a
    • by topham ( 32406 )
      The clock problem related to Windows storing local time in the on-board clock; while Apple stores UTC.

      There are registry flags for Windows to override the default behaviour and use UTC for the on-board clock.

    • A substantial number of the 50 faculty MacBooks we deployed last Fall were for people who will be running Windows most of the time (and in a few cases, all of the time). Any configuration that runs OS X as the primary OS would not make sense in this situation (and anything that required broadband network connections would be certifiably insane), so "dual" boot with the WinXP partition set as the default is what we went with.
  • I would recommend checking into purchasing a machine with OS X Server installed.

    It has built-in facilities for booting and imaging systems over a network, in addition to facilities for distributing updates. The documentation doesn't look like it supports Windows partitions, but you could (at least in theory -- check with Apple ;-) add a startup script to your image that uses command-line tools to set up a new partition and dd a Windows image to it, then have it delete itself.

    I haven't personally done this,
  • CCCloner & Winclone (Score:4, Informative)

    by jeffasselin ( 566598 ) <cormacolinde@gmai l . com> on Thursday April 12, 2007 @07:40AM (#18700511) Journal
    I've done a certain number of these and tried a few solutions, in the end we used Carbon Copy Cloner ( and Winclone (, although you could use ASR with an OS X Server for the Mac part, Winclone is definitely the best solution to image Bootcamp, works very well. You use the diskutil command-line version to partition your drive, then restore the Mac portion using CCC or ASR, then Winclone. It works with FAT or NTFS.
    • HEY Thanks! That's exactly what I was looking for - a very simple way to work with Bootcamp partitions!

      I'll be giving this a try, thanks jeffasselin!

  • I use dd + a live cd (Score:3, Informative)

    by jimstapleton ( 999106 ) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @07:48AM (#18700543) Journal
    I typically use a live Linux or BSD CD, and then use 'dd'.

    if you have a usb drive mounted to /mnt

    [replace ad0 with hda if using Linux, or the appropriate device if neither]
    create image
    image storage: netcat -l -p PORT_NUMBER_HERE | split -b 1073741024 - img_name-
    image source: dd if=/dev/ad0 | bzip2 -z -9 | netcat STORAGE_MACHINE_IP PORT_NUMBER_HERE

    local USB HD
    dd if=/dev/ad0 | bzip2 -z -9 | split -b 1073741024 - /mnt/img_name-

    Restoration involves:
    destination machine: netcat -l -p PORT_NUMBER_HERE | dd of=/dev/ad0
    image storage: cat img_name-* | bunzip2 | netcat TARGET_IP PORTNUMBER

    usb drive:
    cat /mnt/img_name-* | bunzip2 | dd of=/dev/ad0

    Of course, this has the problem that it requires typing out a couple of commands and it does not autoconfigure your machines (so you have to go in and manually make any needed changes), but it's a fairly inexpensive process.
  • 1: Create a diskless netboot that has disk utility and terminal
    2: Prep both your final images (including radmind for the OSX one) for ASR multicast
    3: Start both asr multicast jobs

    Then on each computer, boot into the netboot image, reformat and then drop down the images with asr. If you're slick, this can all be scripted into launchd.
    • Will this work with Bootcamp partitions?
      • by norkakn ( 102380 )
        Sure. You should be able to stick everything inside the DMG. If you really plan ahead, you should be able to do it with only one image. That way, launchd just needs to call asr and reboot afterwords.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      The way to do it if you are of any decent size

      You boys are getting pretty explicit nowadays!
  • If you are useing a Image the system may think that is does not need a update when it does as apple sends out the firmware updates by the apple updater in OSX.
    Also they use the GUID Partition Table (GPT) and EFI there is also an EFI boot partition that is needed.
    Some times apple sends out systems with updated drivers / systems files that are newer then updates on apple update / apple website.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Setting up a dual boot Mac OS X/Windows XP environment on an out-of-the-box Mac

    Mac OS X Install DVD, or a bootable FireWire/USB drive
    BartPE CD with Ghost
    Windows XP SP2 CD
    Intel Mac (with all firmware updates applied)

    Once you've created your master Mac/PC images (using Ghost on the PC and Disk Utility/Apple Software Restore on the Mac), here's how they're deployed.

    1. Either boot from Mac OS X Install DVD or a FireWire/USB HD. Launch Disk Utility, restore HD with your Mac image.

    2. Boot off your Ma
  • We used portable Firewire drives (bootable) with various images on them. We'd boot from the FW drive, use Netrestore to image the computer, then boot the computer, update the firmware for Boot Camp (dunno if that's necessary anymore), then boot from a Norton Ghost CD and image the Windows partition across the network. Not the fastest or most autonomous way to do it, but it worked pretty darn well. Netrestore rocks.
  • I work in a K-12 Education district (primarily apples) and we have noticed a few quirks if you have been using non-intel apples and are changing to intel apples.
    To start, you want to create a GUID Partition Table on your external drive. This will allow the drive to boot from an intel mac. The older "Apple Partition Map" will not boot from an Intel, so this is the foundation step.
    Once you've got that ready, you will want to use Carbon Copy Cloner [] from Bombich to make your image(s) onto your external drive.
    • What are you using to deploy the image? The same external boot drive?

      So after you take the image, you then pass the external HD around to the other 24 Macs (25 in a lab in our case) and boot each one and push the image back to them?

      Is there a way to do it with less manual labor, and without Mac OS X Server?

      Since Netboot has difficulty working accross vlan segments, is there a way to make Mac OS X client work as a Netboot server? Say, have our instructor station in the room be the Netboot server?

      • What are you using to deploy the image? The same external boot drive? So after you take the image, you then pass the external HD around to the other 24 Macs (25 in a lab in our case) and boot each one and push the image back to them?

        I use more then one external hard drive in this case. We actually created an image of a stripped down osx install (800megs, anything further and I would have been getting ridiculus) for easy external HD prep. Just duplicate the image to however many external discs you feel you need, then go image crazy.
        I would also reccomend that you multiply the bottles of Rum in this instance, as it does tend to run out halfway through...
        As for the rest, I feign ignorance. (Read: I don't have the foggiest clue)
        Why is

  • We've got two Intel-Mac labs imaged using NetRestore from an X-Serve. It works great. Windows XP is running on all of them via Parallels. We don't partition. One image creates both the OSX and Windows environment. The only issue we've come across is licensing for software on each platform. Some of our software is site licensed, but other software is on a per-seat basis.
  • Some suggestions (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    > Did you figure out the problem with changing the partition size and cloning back the XP loadset with Ghost?

    From one of my collegues at work in charge of his own dept at our university.

    The key is that bootcamp doesn't make the partition "active".
    So we have a CD that boots into DOS to run fdisk to activate the partition.
    Then it's golden."

    Another issue

    " I was having problems getting my Ghosted XP load onto my new mini (I could Ghost to the bootcamp-created partition, I could use my 'fd

  • NetRestore FTW! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kid-noodle ( 669957 ) <> on Thursday April 12, 2007 @07:02PM (#18710603) Homepage
    We had to work this out in a hurry after a sudden decision to buy 70 iMacs - NetRestore saved our butts!

    We netboot to restore the OSX image, then simply roll the XP image as a post action. You can then reimage independently using netrestore. (We actually still use ghost for deploying some software, and the rest of our images - NetRestore is faster and easier!)

    Our only initial problem was getting the NTFS partition there to roll to, as ntfs-utils (NetRestore uses these to work with the NTFS filesystem) was having none of creating it itself!

    In theory you could automate the process entirely if you bypass bootcamp.

    Our mac image takes roughly 6 minutes to deploy, in groups of 5-6 over a gig link, and weighs in at about 5 gig, excluding the xp image.
  • I recommend that you stick with ghost - it is the most simple & reliable dual-boot deployment solution we have found. Once you have it set up - which doesn't take long, it is very easy to create & deploy images. This is great if you have new staff, or need someone else to deploy the lab for you.

    To run ghost, you can build a Bart PE CD - make sure you include ghost 8.2 files (especially if you are ghosting across subnets) & include the network drivers for your mac hardware. I have not tested th

  • by v1 ( 525388 )
    We have about 250 machines here, but none of them dual boot. We have a base image made for each specific group of machines, so for example the graphic lab has the adobe software on it etc. All said we have about 9 images we use. For now we put them on a 250gb firewire drive and take them where we need to image. When we get more server horsepower I plan to push for netrestore and netboot, so we can restore base images over the network from the server but for now only the backbone is gigabit so we are nea
  • This will help to get you started in a different direction than the rest of the comments I've read. I'm not sure how well this will scale, as it would depend on a lot of variables, but I can see the bigger steps being scriptable: 025130528687 []

    I can say that this worked for cloning a huge number (ok, more like 3) of MacBook Pros at work for dual booting. (Copying PAGEFILE.SYS is not necessary, as it will be created on Windows Boot.)

    Add some shell scripts, ssh

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.