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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

Tim Leamy

IET – Academic Technology Services

UC Davis

UCCSC 2009


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Outline

  • Why?

  • Background & History

    • Win9X

    • WinXP – initial attempts

    • Two partitions

    • BITS

  • Image creation overview

  • Details

    • Windows

    • FreeDOS

  • Initial PC setup

UCCSC 2009


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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Background & HistoryBITS

  • Switch to BITS

    • Moved images to web servers

    • Downloaded bitsadmin.exe

    • Created bits.pl script

    • Used cron for automation

UCCSC 2009


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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


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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


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    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


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    The Details

    • Windows side

    • FreeDOS side

    • Circular – so some things won’t make sense until the end

    UCCSC 2009


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    The Details – Windows Side

    • Utilities

      • bitsadmin

      • robocopy

      • gdisk32

      • cron

      • ActiveState Perl

    UCCSC 2009


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    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


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    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


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    The Details – Windows Side

    • Scripts – Windows Logon script

      • If username is restore it sets the restore flags and reboots PC

    UCCSC 2009


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    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


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    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


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    The Details – Windows Side

    • Scripts - freedos.cmd

    echo clean > c:\temp\clean

    gdisk32 1 /act /p:1 /i

    c:\ucd\sd 4

    UCCSC 2009


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    The Details – Freedos Partiton

    • Utilities

      • ghost

      • gdisk

      • ghstwalk

      • wait

      • reboot

    UCCSC 2009


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    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


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    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


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    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


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    The Details – Freedos Partiton

    • Scripts – windows.bat

    gdisk 1 /act /p:2 /i

    reboot

    UCCSC 2009


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    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


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    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


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    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


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    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


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    For More Info

    • UC Davis BITS Website

      • http://lm.ucdavis.edu/people/tim/lab/winxp/

    • Tim Leamy

      • [email protected]

    • Q&A

    UCCSC 2009


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