This tool could give a new twist to unattended installs. Did this tonight:
1) Mounted my custom xp build in VM and installed the OS to the point where it copies all files during textmode and reports "computer is restarting" I then rebooted the Virtual machine and PXE booted it into BartPE via TFTP server ( in am .SDI file)
2) Did a drive copy with this program to a network share. This happens extremely fast at a total time of only *1:30. (*inside VM and with Raid0 raptors)
3) I then then started up the Virtual machine and PXE booted it with Bart again. The documentation shows that the drive need not be formatted, and this is what was done. DISKPART was ran to clean the disk, recreate the partition and assign the letter C: I did not format it and it was reported as a fat16 partition by the imaging software in the following step.
4) I then reloaded the image created in step 1. The total time to pull down this image was aproximately *2:30.
If the power down to the virtual machine in step 1 was timed correctly you will be greeted with the T38 portion of windows setup and install will commence.
(Huge Caveat, the following has only been done in VM and speeds will change for the slower in real world applications)
1) SIZE! The image file which was created by this program was 672 meg. The windows XP ISO I used to originally install this with was 875 meg. This CD contained all of Bashrats packs along with about 20 apps and all hotfixes..ect. There was a total space savings of 203 megs. By "cloning" an unattended CD to image in this way a signifigant space savings can be achieved. These images can also be browsed, which makes them a handy archive. (write capabilities sure would be nice.. thats what makes .SDI files so cool)
I also did an image of an unattended windows 2000 workstation build which was installed via the traditional winnt32.exe in the mapped network share method.The size of the image was 230 meg vs 302 for the i386 source folder. A savings of 70 meg and a noticably faster image install versus the winnt32.exe install method.
2) Speed! This app is incredibly fast at restoring images (at least in VM). My preliminary test above pulled the image from the network share where it was stored was performed in under 3 minutes. This same image when called via winnt32.exe takes far longer to load.
3) This would be an easy way for noobs to get into the unattended network install game as it affords a basically 1 click operation to pull down the unattended install image, instead of setting up network shares and getting scripted disk formatting working along with the winnt32.exe stuff.
I use Bart as a platform for unattended installls via winnt32.exe and network shares and the speeds achieved by this imaging program versus the traditional install method could be signifigant. I havent tested this on a real machine yet (testing this from home) but if this program is as fast on a real network as it is in virtual land, it will be a HUGE speed increase in network unattended deployments. The only problem would be the product key which must be changed during server deployments.... I wonder if the product key used in the build could be changed via the programs XML backup functionality??.
Major kudos to the devs in any event