PC imaging software

Imaging computers using modern techniques

Computer Imaging is the process of deploying and installing the operating system, applications, drivers, and other settings to the computers that have been newly provisioned, or have a corrupted OS.

Imaging computers on a network using a PC imaging software is crucial for OS deployment. Administrators must image a computer and provide a proper OS to users' computers without disturbing the systems' functionalities.

In order to deploy an OS, the admin has to capture an image of the system containing the required OS using a computer imaging software. This imaging process is essentially a way to copy the OS from the master system to distribute it to other target computers. Automating this process is beneficial for the IT team, and ManageEngine OS Deployer does so in a few simple steps.

What does imaging a computer mean?

Computer imaging refers to the process of creating an image of an Operating System from a suitable computer. Once the admin sets up a master computer with the required operating system, they can easily perform imaging using our desktop imaging techniques. OS Deployer, our computer image software supports both online and offline imaging modes to image a computer. Once the imaging the PC is complete, the images can be stored in the configured image repository, a network share, where they can be used for deployment when needed. These images created by our computer imaging software can either be deployed on a new bare metal computer or a computer with a corrupted OS.

Computer Imaging: Traditional vs. Cloud Based

While imaging a computer, it is important to understand how traditional and cloud-based methods can impact the contents of the system. Traditional computer imaging refers to the process of deploying images to the computers from a golden image, i.e. a templatized image served to multiple computers in the network.

On the other hand, in cloud-based computer imaging, the vendor, i.e. the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) directly ships the systems to the users. Once the users log in, the operating systems, applications, settings, and other files are directly downloaded to them.

The benefit of imaging computers via the traditional method is that it offers more control and security. Enterprises can configure the necessary files and settings to be imaged in the systems. On the contrary, in cloud-based imaging, the enterprise doesn't initially have this level of control, since the image is shipped by the OEM. In certain cases, the images contain bloatware that can prove to be counter-productive.

Computer imaging solutions such as OS Deployer offer admins the added advantage of securing the systems along with flexibility in image creation and deployment.

Benefits of PC Imaging

PC Imaging is the process of deploying pre-configured applications, operating systems, and settings to multiple computers in an enterprise. While this might be a business overhead if done manually, PC imaging software can greatly reduce the workload, thereby streamlining the process.

Here are some of the benefits of imaging computers with PC imaging software:

  1. Increased security: Computer imaging systems provide admins with the flexibility of choosing the required operating system, applications, and settings. This ensures that the systems are pre-loaded with enterprise-recommended applications and not bloatware or other unnecessary applications.
  2. Improved productivity: Deploying operating systems and related applications to multiple computers in the enterprise manually can be a daunting task. Additionally, re-imaging computers infected by viruses manually can contribute to significant business overhead, based on the department the system is used in. This is where computer imaging solutions act as a lifesaver. A single dashboard allows the admins to deploy templatized OS images to multiple systems simultaneously, thereby limiting manual workload and effort.
  3. Compliant systems: When it comes to compliance standards, it is mandatory to have standardized policies across the enterprise. Deploying computer images streamlines the standardization process by adhering to the base template, that has been curated by the admins. This ensures that all newly provisioned computers are automatically compliant with the required software and settings configured.

Types of computer imaging

Online imaging:

This method allows administrators to capture the image of a system when it is live and functioning in the network. This method doesn't require a system reboot to perform imaging, and the user on the system can continue to work without suspending any operations.

Offline imaging:

Administrators can use our computer image software to image a system which is not functioning in the network; that is, when the system is shut down. Over here, the system is booted into the Windows pre-installation environment, and imaging is performed using the WinPE component. OS Deployers allows this WinPE component to be stored within a media which can be USB, ISO, or PXE.

Key features of computer imaging software

PC imaging software - ManageEngine OS Deployer

Image computers using disk partitions

OS Deployer allows imaging computers with only a single partition, multiple partitions, or an entire disk based on the organizational needs. This feature can also be used to create a backup of a computer in case of a migration or system corruption.

Shrink partitions during PC imaging

OS Deployer allows shrinking the disk partitions to minimize the space occupied by the primary partitions and logical drivers. This also helps users to avoid the disk size incompatibility errors.

Compression level adjustment

You can adjust the image compression level according to your requirements, thereby minimizing the size of the image and optimizing the image storage space.

Customized memory usage

You can customize the memory usage level during the PC imaging process. This ensures optimal memory usage based on the requirements of the organization.

Automated driver collection while imaging computers

During the process of imaging computers, the drivers are automatically collected from the computer that is imaged.The drivers are then stored in the designated driver repository that is configured in a network share.

How to deploy the images?

Computer imaging solutions such as OS Deployer offer flexible image deployment with customized tasks. These tasks can be configured to be deployed at once (multicast deployment), or to single systems (unicast deployment). Alternatively, the computer image deployment tasks can also be scheduled. To know more about the steps to deploy computer images, refer here.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a computer image?

A computer image is a file that contains the operating system, user profiles, applications, drivers, settings, files, and folders using a computer imaging solution. This file created by imaging a computer can then be deployed to multiple computers simultaneously.

2. What is computer imaging?

Computer imaging is the process of capturing the OS images of the target computers using a computer imaging system which then can be distributed to other computers in your network.

3. How to image computers on a network?

We can image a computer on a network using our online imaging feature. You can image computers that are online with applications running.

4. How to image machines that are not functioning?

OS Deployer allows imaging a pc that is in standby mode or even comuters that are completely shut down using our offline imaging feature.

5. How many times can I deploy an image to a computer?

OS Deployer works on a device-based licensing model. Once a particular computer is tied up to a license, we can deploy images any number of times to that particular computer.

6. Can I shrink the disk partitions before imaging?

Yes. We can shrink the images if the target disk size is less than the image size.

7. Can I image Windows 10 operating system?

Yes, OS Deployer supports imaging computers that have Windows operating systems ranging from Windows XP to Windows 11. We support imaging computers that have both client-based as well as server-based operating systems.

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