What is an OS image?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by mehmetmunur, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. mehmetmunur

    mehmetmunur Senior member

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    I was reading reviews of business/corporate laptops (Compaq nc6000, IBM thinpad t42, Dell Latitude d600 etc) on PC Mag and I realized that they were constantly referring to the OS image stability and how long it was stable for; ex. 12-18 months. I have no clue what this is referrring to, aside from the fact that it has something to do with the OS... Anyone?
     
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  3. bluestrobe

    bluestrobe Platinum Member

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    OS image is usually a premade OS install that is copied from a server to the production unit's hard drive. Easy way of putting it is when production computers are built, they just copy a preinstalled OS "image" onto the hard drive rather than spend the 2+ hours installing the OS, drives, files, ect. The image already has the drivers, 3rd party apps, and the tweaked OS for that system. Problem with images is they can become corrupt and companies might try cutting corners and using 1 image for several models of computers playing hit-n-miss with drivers and the tweaked parts. So to answer your question in a short way, an Image is a electronicly photocopied data installed onto other hard drives for easy of use and less tweak time. (less production time= less money)
     
  4. Zugzwang152

    Zugzwang152 Lifer

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    nice in-depth answer. stay away from ATOT and you'll make the world a better place with your posts. :)
     
  5. CTho9305

    CTho9305 Elite Member

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    It's not that images become corrupt - images are just files like any others, and you back them up like regular data. The problem is also not that 1 image can be used for several computers (being able to use 1 image across models is actually a good thing). The important thing, when you're a company, is to be able to buy 1000 units of laptop foo today, create an image with all the drivers, and customize it however you want, then be able to buy another 200 units of laptop foo in 6 months or a year, and use the same image. If the manufacturer is cutting costs, they might switch from, say, a 3com ethernet chip to a netgear ethernet chip, and your image will no longer have the right drivers.
     
  6. Phoenix86

    Phoenix86 Lifer

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    Images are like a zipped copy of a HDD in a single file. It contains a mirror image (thus the name) of all the files on the HDD, and information about where on the HDD things go, like boot sectors (even partitions). Normaly you setup your machine, install all the drivers and software, then take the image. There are a lot of different methods...

    When you "unzip" the file to a HDD, it's ready to boot, just like when you created the image. They can be setup so they are viable for many different motherboards/hardware setups. Look into sysprep from MS for this. I use a single syspreped image for hundreds of machines, rarely does it not work because of hardware incomaptiblities.
     
  7. dclive

    dclive Elite Member

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    This isn't nearly the issue that it once was. Yes, you'd have to test things more, and if they go from 3COM to Netgear it's a PITA to do that testing, but from an image POV, this isnt' a problem anymore. Sysprep (and RIS) have PnP capabilities now that really mean this isn't a big deal anymore - basically you make one image, include a dozen different drivers in the OEMPNPDRIVERSPATH= directory, and boom, every time you splash the image onto a new laptop or desktop, the correct drivers are automatically chosen.

    New drivers? Splash the Sysprep image onto a machine (any machine), and update the drivers in the path - problem solved. Then just Ghost/PQDI the image and you're all done.
     
  8. bluestrobe

    bluestrobe Platinum Member

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    :(