Clonezilla works, FOG does not - both use PARTCLONE 0.2.69...help please



  • Hello:
    I have 900 new Lenovo T440 laptops that I’d like to image all identical.
    I have no windows bullshit anywhwere so SIDs are not an issue…I just want to replicate on to many.
    I used clonezilla live from a bootable flash drive, created the image and pushed it back to another machine with no problem at all. That’s great for onezy twozy images, but I need to deploy this to 899 more.
    To accomplish this I was hoping to use FOG. I love it’s features. I set it all up with a Ubuntu server and dhcp and PXE boot and the whole 9 yards. It seems to work fine, I can create the image, then push it back to another machine. The problem is the machine I push to is not bootable after the image. All of the data seems to be there, but it is not bootable. again, clonezilla works fine and both FOG and clonezilla use partclone 0.2.69. I did try creating the image multi partition all disks and multi partition single disk…I am currently sitting here waiting for the 6 hours to try a RAW image.

    Can anyone shed light on what clonezilla does differently?
    I did notice the clonezilla live saves a single .img file while FOG saves a whole bunch of other files.
    Thanks for any help!



  • Thank you Jamie.
    I will keep that in mind. If I go that route, I could use all the help I can get.



  • Creating the answer file for Sysprep is really not that time-consuming. I could send you a sample of mine if you want.

    [quote=“user 1111122222, post: 29316, member: 24492”]Thanks to all of you for helping me out.
    I have to disagree with the person who said SYSPREP does not mess with activation. It certainly does. when you generalize, it forces you through the OOBE (out of box experience) and you have to put a key in again unless you have an OEM liscense. Granted, you can create an answer file to put that number in, but I don’t want to mess with that.
    Furthermore, While I do have the OEM license number off the bottom of the machine, I don’t have OEM media with which to install. I have the Volume licensing media with our campus site license agreement. OEM numbers do not work in volume media and Vice-Versa

    As I wrote that post yesterday, I was waiting for a RAW image upload to finish.
    Now that is has completed I pushed it back to the client computer and it works exactly as I want it to.
    NO SYSPREP required. No changes to the BIOS that I would have to make on 900 laptops. Something must be different there.
    I’ll just use RAW until FOG supports UEFI
    The upload of the image takes 5 hours, but the download is reasonable at 45 minutes.
    I can live with that.
    Thanks again for all of your input.
    I am very grateful.[/quote]



  • Thanks to all of you for helping me out.
    I have to disagree with the person who said SYSPREP does not mess with activation. It certainly does. when you generalize, it forces you through the OOBE (out of box experience) and you have to put a key in again unless you have an OEM liscense. Granted, you can create an answer file to put that number in, but I don’t want to mess with that.
    Furthermore, While I do have the OEM license number off the bottom of the machine, I don’t have OEM media with which to install. I have the Volume licensing media with our campus site license agreement. OEM numbers do not work in volume media and Vice-Versa

    As I wrote that post yesterday, I was waiting for a RAW image upload to finish.
    Now that is has completed I pushed it back to the client computer and it works exactly as I want it to.
    NO SYSPREP required. No changes to the BIOS that I would have to make on 900 laptops. Something must be different there.
    I’ll just use RAW until FOG supports UEFI
    The upload of the image takes 5 hours, but the download is reasonable at 45 minutes.
    I can live with that.
    Thanks again for all of your input.
    I am very grateful.


  • Developer

    [quote=“user 1111122222, post: 29183, member: 24492”]Hello:
    I have 900 new Lenovo T440 laptops that I’d like to image all identical.
    I have no windows bullshit anywhwere so SIDs are not an issue…I just want to replicate on to many.
    I used clonezilla live from a bootable flash drive, created the image and pushed it back to another machine with no problem at all. That’s great for onezy twozy images, but I need to deploy this to 899 more.
    To accomplish this I was hoping to use FOG. I love it’s features. I set it all up with a Ubuntu server and dhcp and PXE boot and the whole 9 yards. It seems to work fine, I can create the image, then push it back to another machine. The problem is the machine I push to is not bootable after the image. All of the data seems to be there, but it is not bootable. again, clonezilla works fine and both FOG and clonezilla use partclone 0.2.69. I did try creating the image multi partition all disks and multi partition single disk…I am currently sitting here waiting for the 6 hours to try a RAW image.

    Can anyone shed light on what clonezilla does differently?
    I did notice the clonezilla live saves a single .img file while FOG saves a whole bunch of other files.
    Thanks for any help![/quote]

    The only thing that sysprep does is generalize the installation so that it can be replicated to many machines and have new drivers and unique identifiers for that machine.

    If you installed your key into your image and you push it, it will stay “activated” because it was already activated. in sysprep you never activate until it reaches the client. It also allows you to join a domain with the file which is not necessary if you want to use the FOG counter parts.

    I would be interested to see how the partitions are laid out on the disc, FOG doesn’t particularly enjoy OEM images. GPT Format causes problems as well.

    Clonezilla uses a different method to capture the disk than FOG does, that is why you get a single .img output.

    [quote=“user 1111122222, post: 29202, member: 24492”]Thank you so much for your replies. I am afraid of wiping and reloading the OS for fear of windows needing activation in 60 days. I was burned by that one year. Half way through the semester 800 of my laptop students got a little key down by the clock saying the windows was not genuine and needed activated. Huge mess.

    This is also the same reason I don’t want to run SYSPREP. If I was willing to run SYSPREP and risk the activation issue, I would just use a windows server with WDS to do the imaging. I already have that working too, but stupid windows WDS won’t “see” any drive that is not SYSPREPed.

    Is there a release date in mind for the UEFI support for FOG? I have 2 more months until I need to get these imaged. Semester does not start until August, we usually mass image late july.[/quote]

    You can use a script to activate windows after you push the image and use the same key that you used in the beginning.

    The purpose behind sysprep is being able to activate mulitple times.

    You can check the settings after you image to see if windows is activated, and if it is then you won’t have to doctor anything but you will need to test and get your script working to activate. I do so to a kms server.

    IMHO, FOG is a far superior way to image as opposed to the windows imaging system. The only advantages the windows imaging system has is the ease of point and click driving, which is the kind of user that windows attracts in the first place. There is fruit in the labor of FOG because it is adaptable to many systems.



  • As SuP3R_Ch1cKeN said, if you have an OEM license you should not have this problem. I HAVE in some instances had situations where my OEM has asked to be REACTIVATED, which is a quick and painless process. This can happen if there is a major hardware difference, etc.



  • You can just verify that the image is genuine before you upload (Press windows key + pause/break then scroll all the way down). You should have an OEM license if it comes preloaded and you use the same OS. We do that for every image my company uses.



  • Thank you so much for your replies. I am afraid of wiping and reloading the OS for fear of windows needing activation in 60 days. I was burned by that one year. Half way through the semester 800 of my laptop students got a little key down by the clock saying the windows was not genuine and needed activated. Huge mess.

    This is also the same reason I don’t want to run SYSPREP. If I was willing to run SYSPREP and risk the activation issue, I would just use a windows server with WDS to do the imaging. I already have that working too, but stupid windows WDS won’t “see” any drive that is not SYSPREPed.

    Is there a release date in mind for the UEFI support for FOG? I have 2 more months until I need to get these imaged. Semester does not start until August, we usually mass image late july.


  • Senior Developer

    All it does it turn it off, but it won’t change the partitioning or layout of the OS at all. It is much easier to “reinstall” the image after making these setting changes so that you know everything will work. The initial image creation will be a little bit of work.

    You need to place the system in Legacy mode, disable secure boot as you did. Then WIPE the hard drive. Completely nuke it. Simplest means to succeed is to setup, boot into a debug task in FOG and run:
    [code]sgdisk -Z /dev/sda[/code]

    That will completely remove all partition information from disk.

    Then restart the system and perform a fresh Windows install.

    This will ensure the system is loaded purely in MBR/Legacy mode.

    Once done tweaking your image, upload it to the system.

    Then the only work you’ll need for the other 900 is to set them into legacy mode. FOG will take care of the rest.



  • You are correct Tom, these are new UEFI, but I have that set to “Legacy first” and “secure boot” disabled.
    Doesn’t that turn that stuff off until the OS calls for it?


  • Senior Developer

    I’m going out on a limb and going to ask, are you trying to image UEFI systems?

    This is not “officially” supported in the strongest sense of the word. Clonezilla can load the EFI information where FOG Cannot yet. We have everything prepared to do so when we can, but it is not ready quite yet as UEFI pxe booting is not supported yet.


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