HDD Image Process

I figured I’d share how I do my Hard Disk Drive Images. I use Norton Ghost 2003 because it doesn’t require an install, if you boot with the CD and it works with Win 98, NT, 2000, XP and Linux.

Anyway I do the following:

  • Fresh install of XP
  • Get Service Packs (if not on the CD)

Create Image

  • Drivers for the Motherboard and Hardware
  • Get all updates
  • Tweak settings in Windows
    • Folder Options
    • Search Options (I disable XP’s Rover the animated dog and set some other options)
    • Set options in Internet Explorer
    • Taskbar Options
    • Start Menu Options
    • Desktop Options (screensaver, theme, effects, resolution, …)
    • Add/Remove Windows Components (get rid of MSN, Outlook and any other Windows components I don’t need)
    • Accessibility Options (turn off StickyKeys)
    • Automatic Updates settings
    • Firewall settings
    • Virus Protection settings
    • Sound Options
    • any other Windows settings (I think I covered them all above)

Create another Image

Install the following plugins, codecs and applications (if necessary):

  • Adobe Reader
  • Flash Player
  • Shockwave Player
  • Java Runtime Environment
  • Quicktime
  • Xvid
  • DivX
  • Indeo Codec
  • DVD Player Codec
  • CD/DVD Burning Software
  • Drivers for Peripherals (printer, scanner, …)
  • Anti-Virus
  • Anti-Spyware
  • Firewall Software
  • Izarc
  • 7-Zip
  • Firefox
  • Crimson Editor
  • Tweak Options in these plugins, applications as needed

Create another Image

At this point I may add other software, depending on how I plan to use the setup and then create another Image. I will also tailor various settings or leave off certain things I won’t need on the install as well. Basically this is what I do for using my ComBox and setting up my drives for it. The great thing about Hard Disk Drive Images, is that if I need to reinstall the OS at some point I can much faster than starting from scratch. It also allows me to setup other drives or setups slightly different but based on the other core images I made previously.

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