Complete Novice Looking For Assistance



  • Hello everyone,

    I have been tasked to implement FOG Project for easy deployment of laptop images for the company I work for. I am a complete novice and only familiar with the concept of imaging. I was hoping someone could hold my hand through the process as there are some specifics that are even further out of my range such as virtual machines and repositories.

    These are the specifics my boss roughly told me:

    • He wants an image for each model of laptop we have (Does the model of the laptop matter or just the operating system?
    • He wants the project to be hosted on a NAS or virtual Ubuntu machine (not exactly clear on this)
    • Wants applications to be updated on occasion, maybe quarterly. So either updated in the image itself or in some kind of repository

    These are the apps he wants on the image or repository:
    PuTTy
    Notepad++
    Firefox
    Chrome
    FastStone Capture
    7Zip
    Team Viewer
    Adobe Reader DC
    CutePDF
    TFTPD64
    Google Earth
    Gimp
    NMap
    Wireshark
    Windows Update
    Dell Update
    AirMagnet SurveyPRO
    AirMagnet SpectrumXT
    AirMagnet Analyzer
    VLC Player

    Microsoft Office
    Microsoft Visio
    Visio Stencils
    Drive File Stream

    I am asking for a lot and I appreciate any and all help.



  • @george1421

    Thank you for this response. I am looking into getting Volume licenses. If it is viable for the company I will be moving forward with FOG Project.


  • Moderator

    @clyaa said in Complete Novice Looking For Assistance:

    No, the serial numbers should be tied to BIOS

    Right here you ran into your first roadblock. BIOS serial numbers imply you are using OEM licensing. It is against the Microsoft EULA to create a custom OEM based image and deploy it using any type of deployment tool other than the manufacturers OEM media. To comply with the MS EULA you will need to purchase a volume license key. Luckily if you have all windows 10 pro OEM licenses, and you will be deploying windows 10 pro, you only need 1 Windows 10 Pro VLK key. You need to make sure you are compliant with your licensing before you start imaging computers. I would not like a MS license audit catch you out of compliance because you deployed a custom OEM image to many computers not using the OEM media.

    Where should I begin?

    Start learning how to create your golden image. Ignore the FOG bits until you get your golden image created. You have many applications so I would surely create your golden image on a virtual machine to ensure you can save its state while you install the apps in “audit mode”. Hint: knowing what audit mode is and how to enter and exit it will be key for you.



  • @george1421

    @george1421 said in Complete Novice Looking For Assistance:

    I’m going to first start out like a jerk, but hopefully towards the end you’ll get something out of this post. First of all your request is not inline with the FOG Project charter. FOG doesn’t really care about how your reference image is setup or configured. FOG only moves the contents of the disk from the source location to the target location. As long as the source and destination locations match exactly that is all that FOG cares about.

    Thanks for the information. I appreciate the guidance. I will use the resources provided to move forward

    @Tom-Elliott said in Complete Novice Looking For Assistance:

    Does your organization have Volume Licenses of Windows 10?

    No, the serial numbers should be tied to BIOS

    Are all the laptops using the same “version” of Windows 10? (I.E. Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Pro)

    They are all Windows 10 Pro

    How many laptops are you planning to image?

    It looks to be about 25

    Is the imaging going to be happening at a central location?

    Response from my boss: “we prefer a central location, you can start hosting the images on the FOG server first and we can move them to NAS.”

    Are these going to be required to Join a Domain? (This can be handled using FOG Client or unattend setups).

    Response from my boss: "we are not using a domain controller but for authentication purposes Google or Microsoft can be used "

    Where should I begin?

    Thank you for the help again. Feel free to be as direct as you want.


  • Moderator

    I’m going to first start out like a jerk, but hopefully towards the end you’ll get something out of this post. First of all your request is not inline with the FOG Project charter. FOG doesn’t really care about how your reference image is setup or configured. FOG only moves the contents of the disk from the source location to the target location. As long as the source and destination locations match exactly that is all that FOG cares about.

    Now if we split your request into 2 parts there is a part the FOG Project can help you do.

    1. Reference image creation. The FOG Project can not walk you through the setup of your reference image. We can give you guidance on how FOG hooks into the reference image, but not how to create it. From the reference image creation standpoint can you do everything your boss laid out, yes. You will need to create your reference image in Audit Mode and then sysprep it and then capture with FOG. I would suggest that you create your reference image using a virtual machine where you can take snapshots between critical steps to keep you from having to start from the beginning when something goes wrong (trust me it will). For setting up your reference image I would suggest you bookmark https://deploymentresearch.com/ because it has valuable information on creating reference images with many examples and how-tos. I would also recommend that you get an account on Spiceworks. That is an excellent community for asking questions about setting up your reference / golden image. There are 1000s of online IT folks from all over the world in that community. Spiceworks is also another valuable resource. You don’t need model specific images for your computers. I have 2 based images for 15 different models. I have 2 base images because I need one for bios and one for uefi computers. For the different hardware models during imaging you need to place the required drivers on the target computer just after imaging so OOBE/WinSetup finds them on the first boot of windows. I do have a tutorial on how to set this up on the FOG tutorial forum.

    2. Setup the FOG server like your boss wants. FOG has an unsupported configuration where you can store the captured images on a NAS and only use the FOG Server VM to deploy software packages (called snapins). You do give up some capabilities in this configuration but it will work for a single site install of FOG. Install FOG on ubuntu, that is supported. The image repository could be FOG’s snapins or an external software like PDQ Deploy (free). Or get the paid for version of PDQ Deploy and PDQ Inventory so you can create software policies (i.e. a policy like all computers must have version XXX of Acrobat reader install. If a computer doesn’t match the policy PDQ Inventory will book a deployment to that found computer so it meets the policy all automatically.


  • Senior Developer

    Welcome to FOG.

    I cannot be the “hand holder” persay, but we have a fairly outgoing community here and I’m sure we’ll be able to help you, or at least help direct you where to go and what to look for.

    Some questions come to mind, and are important:

    Does your organization have Volume Licenses of Windows 10?

    Are all the laptops using the same “version” of Windows 10? (I.E. Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Pro)

    How many laptops are you planning to image?

    Is the imaging going to be happening at a central location?

    Are these going to be required to Join a Domain? (This can be handled using FOG Client or unattend setups).

    There’s likely many more questions others may have, but I think these are pretty good starting point.

    The laptops, I would suggest getting Volume Licenses if you don’t have them already. In particular you would need 1 Volume License per Version per Model. Meaning 1 VL for Windows 10 Pro for Dell E7750 and 1 VL for Windows 10 Enterprise for Dell E7750. Volume Licensing is a messy beast on its own (sorry). The 1 for each model and per version is important. You do not need X number of licenses = the number of laptops you have, as you have purchased OEM licenses for the model of laptop and version of Windows installed. (Anybody please correct me if I’m saying something incorrect here as I’m not a Lawyer or an Microsoft Licensing person.)

    Once you are situated with the volume licenses, I would highly suggest doing what’s called a Hardware independent image strategy. I believe @george1421 might even have a suggestion for MST for building a VM image nice and quickly (allowing you to update all your software easily) with the software and windows updates, then grabbing the “Fat” image required at the frequency you requested. The image would need to be a little heavy on base size if you have many different Laptop Models.

    Hopefully this helps you get started, and welcome to FOG.



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