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Using BITS to Transfer Ghost Images Tim Leamy IET – Academic Technology Services UC Davis Outline Why? Background & History Win9X WinXP – initial attempts Two partitions BITS Image creation overview Details Windows FreeDOS Initial PC setup Why? Ghost works well for imaging

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using bits to transfer ghost images
Using BITS to Transfer Ghost Images

Tim Leamy

IET – Academic Technology Services

UC Davis

UCCSC 2009

outline
Outline
  • Why?
  • Background & History
    • Win9X
    • WinXP – initial attempts
    • Two partitions
    • BITS
  • Image creation overview
  • Details
    • Windows
    • FreeDOS
  • Initial PC setup

UCCSC 2009

slide3
Why?
  • Ghost works well for imaging
  • But built-in tools have issues moving large image files, especially across multiple subnets
  • BITS Solution
    • Single server for all images
    • Images reliably transferred in the background while PCs are in use
    • Very short downtime to image
    • Free – already in Windows
  • Same BITS solution should apply to other imaging packages

UCCSC 2009

background history
Background & History
  • Computer Lab Management
    • 18 computer rooms
    • 10 separate networks
    • 330 PCs
    • Maintain 12 different images
      • Ranging from 5–10GB
    • PCs locked down and profiles deleted nightly

UCCSC 2009

background history windows 95 windows me
Background & HistoryWindows 95 – Windows ME
  • Win 9X – used PC-Rdist
    • Worked extremely well
    • Could rebuild registry in DOS before Windows started
    • Easy to copy changes from one lab to the next

UCCSC 2009

background history windows xp
Background & HistoryWindows XP
  • Win XP
    • Didn’t work well with PC-Rdist
    • Needed to use Ghost for initial install
  • Switched to using Ghost
    • Testing in the office worked well
    • Attempted to use one Ghost console for labs on multiple subnets
    • Attempted to multicast across routers

UCCSC 2009

background history ghost network issues
Background & History Ghost network issues
  • Encountered difficulties with Ghost tools working across different networks
  • Network connectivity & reliability across routers
  • Multicast didn’t work across routers
  • Large images meant long downtime

UCCSC 2009

background history two partitions
Background & HistoryTwo Partitions
  • Eureka moment – Ghost uses “virtual partitions” – why not use real ones?
  • Created two partitions on hard drive
    • FreeDOS partition
      • 4GB initially with FreeDOS, Ghost, and image files
      • Now 40GB
    • WinXP partition
      • Rest of disk

UCCSC 2009

background history two partitions9
Background & HistoryTwo Partitions
  • Used PC-Rdist to copy ghost image files from server to FreeDOS partition
  • Worked ok
    • Very fast to ghost from one partition to the other
    • Simple – put new image on server and it was copied to all clients
    • Could manage images for all labs from my office
    • But …

UCCSC 2009

background history two partitions10
Background & HistoryTwo Partitions
  • Problems
    • PC-Rdist took a while to copy down image files
    • Could make a PC unusable for 15 minutes in middle of day
    • Copying image to entire lab was very slow

UCCSC 2009

background history bits
Background & HistoryBITS
  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)
    • Used for Windows Automatic Updates
      • Already Built into XP
      • Robust
    • Uses “spare” bandwidth to download files in background
      • No disruption to student use
    • Uses standard web protocols

UCCSC 2009

background history bits12
Background & HistoryBITS
  • Switch to BITS
    • Moved images to web servers
    • Downloaded bitsadmin.exe
    • Created bits.pl script
    • Used cron for automation

UCCSC 2009

background history bits13
Background & HistoryBITS
  • Worked Great!
    • Images transferred in background
    • Very reliable – copy image up to server and all PCs restored the next morning
    • Fast – PC have only ~10 minutes downtime for imaging
    • Easy to manage images

UCCSC 2009

image creation overview
Image Creation Overview

Logon as restore

    • Sets Freedos partition as active
    • Reboots and reimages itself
  • Install new software, configure it, etc.
  • Run freedos.cmd in Windows to reboot to Freedos partition
    • Prepares the PC for imaging
    • Clears event logs, set NIC to DHCP, etc
    • Reboots to FreeDOS partition
  • Run image.bat to create new image

UCCSC 2009

image creation overview continued
Image Creation Overview continued
  • Run windows.bat to reboot into Windows
  • Run upload.cmd to copy new image to server
    • Move the updated image to the proper directory in the web server
  • The other PCs will see new image and download it in background with BITS
    • Takes a few hours to download, but PCs are still in use
  • PCs are turned off that night.
  • PC set to boot at 4:00am everyday
    • Boot to FreeDOS partition
    • Installs new image
    • Reboots to Windows

UCCSC 2009

the details
The Details
  • Windows side
  • FreeDOS side
  • Circular – so some things won’t make sense until the end

UCCSC 2009

the details windows side
The Details – Windows Side
  • Utilities
    • bitsadmin
    • robocopy
    • gdisk32
    • cron
    • ActiveState Perl

UCCSC 2009

the details windows side18
The Details – Windows Side
  • bits.pl
    • Runs every half-hour via cron
    • Checks status of BITS job (lines 39-77)
    • If a new images has been downloaded it copies new image files to Freedos partition and creates flag file (lines 50 – 61)
    • Checks web server for updated image files (lines 79-99)
    • Creates BITS jobs to download images with bitsadmin (lines 106-135)

UCCSC 2009

the details windows side19
The Details – Windows Side
  • Scripts – Windows Startup script
    • Sets environment variables used by other scripts from the PC name
      • LAB, PC_NUMBER
    • Sets IP address if needed

UCCSC 2009

the details windows side20
The Details – Windows Side
  • Scripts – Windows Logon script
    • If username is restore it sets the restore flags and reboots PC

UCCSC 2009

the details windows side21
The Details – Windows Side
  • Scripts – Windows Shutdown script
    • If flag file exists it uses gdisk32 to make the Freedos partition active
    • Runs restore.pl to create restore.bat
    • Clean up before imaging
      • Clears some log files & event logs
      • Set NIC to DHCP
      • Robocopy to make sure Freedos partition has correct files

UCCSC 2009

the details windows side22
The Details – Windows Side
  • restore.pl
    • Runs in shutdown script
    • Creates restore.bat in the Freedos partition
      • Uses lab and pc_number environment variables
      • restore.bat is custom for each PC
        • PC Name
        • SID

UCCSC 2009

the details windows side23
The Details – Windows Side
  • Scripts - freedos.cmd

echo clean > c:\temp\clean

gdisk32 1 /act /p:1 /i

c:\ucd\sd 4

UCCSC 2009

the details freedos partiton
The Details – Freedos Partiton
  • Utilities
    • ghost
    • gdisk
    • ghstwalk
    • wait
    • reboot

UCCSC 2009

the details freedos partiton25
The Details – Freedos Partiton
  • Scripts - autoexec.bat

@echo off

path=c:\

del *.tmp

wait 5 Starting computer....

if errorlevel 1 goto end

echo Starting restore

c:\restore.bat

:end

UCCSC 2009

the details freedos partiton26
The Details – Freedos Partiton
  • Scripts - restore.bat

rem Setting up to restore PC #00 in 163LIB

c:\ghost -clone,mode=pload,src=\images\winxp.gho:1,dst=1:2 -sure -batch -fni -auto

c:\ghstwalk /cn=XXXX /bv=1:2 /sid=XXXXXX /ignore_domain /sure /fni

c:\gdisk 1 /act /p:2 /i

c:\reboot

UCCSC 2009

the details freedos partiton27
The Details – Freedos Partiton
  • Scripts – image.bat

@echo off

rem Make new ghost image in c:\images\winxp.gho

rem delete ghost files (.gho & .ghs) but keep readme file

echo y | del c:\images\*.gh? > nul:

ghost -clone,mode=pdump,src=1:2,dst=c:\images\winxp.gho -z2 -fni -span -auto -sure

dir c:\images

UCCSC 2009

the details freedos partiton28
The Details – Freedos Partiton
  • Scripts – windows.bat

gdisk 1 /act /p:2 /i

reboot

UCCSC 2009

the details windows side29
The Details – Windows Side
  • Scripts - upload.cmd
    • Updates readme.txt in FreeDOS partition
    • Copies the updated image files to sever as LABNAME.new

UCCSC 2009

initial pc setup
Initial PC Setup
  • USB Hard Drive
    • FreeDOS
    • Uses ghost to install image with FreeDOS partition and empty 2nd partition to HD
    • Creates restore.bat
    • Copies image files to FreeDOS partition
    • Reboots to FreeDOS partition and ghosts itself

UCCSC 2009

initial pc setup31
Initial PC Setup
  • Linux Flash Drive
    • Also working on bootable flash drive with Linux
    • Connects to network and downloads image files from web server
    • Partition table differences – so there are some difficulties
  • Initially used floppies with DOS networking. But trying to move away from them.

UCCSC 2009

what do you need
What do you need?
  • Web server for images
  • 2nd partition on hard drive
  • Determine what restore.bat should contain for your setup
  • Script to create restore.bat if needed

UCCSC 2009

for more info
For More Info
  • UC Davis BITS Website
    • http://lm.ucdavis.edu/people/tim/lab/winxp/
  • Tim Leamy
  • Q&A

UCCSC 2009

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