How to duplicate a complete PC via network

This documentation started in 2001 when standard hard discs often still were measured in MB (MegaBytes) instead of GB. For today's discs approaching TerraBytes you'll need a sufficiently sized network: transferring TBs we're talking about hours or days when using a 1 Gbit/s or (ouch so painful) slower network. Likewise it now is completely unpractical to use it as backup means for bigger partitions (e.g. like images on DVDs). For a pure system backup filesystem-aware images like partimage, g4u, Norton Ghost or similar are better due to their reduced image size.

In contrast to these DD still is superiour when it comes to creating a forensic image. Or when the ghost doesn't recognize your file system, or similar. So here's how to do with on-board tools.

Nowadays (in contrast tp 2001) all CPUs are fast enough to do compression while still saturating a 1Gbit/s connection. If possible, use 10Gbit/s networks - at least for the server used to store the images.

One possible problem you might encounter is that FAT filesystems won't do more than 2GB image size, so choose an appropriate file system type on the server.


Create the image:

Flatten the "virgin" PC and impress the image:

Copy PC On-the-Fly without using an image server