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Re Imaging Computers For Multipurpose Labs

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Instrumentation and Laboratory Systems

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1037.1 - 9.1037.10

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Paper Authors

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Nathan Blackham

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Charles Higby

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Michael Bailey

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Re-Imaging Computers for Multipurpose Labs Charles F. Higby, Nathan Blackham, Brandon Rogers, Michael G. Bailey Brigham Young University


In lab environments, where multiple computers are used, a method called imaging can be used to handle the challenge of installing and configuring multiple machines. Imaging is a method that uses a client server relationship that allows the client to download and install the necessary software, virus updates, and security patches by selecting an image file that resides on a server. Several software components and services are necessary to successfully image a client. First, a DHCP server provides a connection between the client and the image server by assigning a dynamic IP address to each computer. In addition to a unique IP address, each client is required to have a unique hostname. This hostname is incorporated into the image for each client using a Security Identifier Generator also known as a SID Generator. Finally, the operating system software, application software, and data files are downloaded to the clients by using imaging software such as Altiris and Norton’s Ghost.

The ability to create and deploy multiple images in a reasonable time span eliminates the headaches and lost time network administrators would otherwise experience doing repetitive software changes to many machines. This technique also provides for better lab utilization, reducing lab downtime for software maintenance. Other advantages of imaging include facilitating using the lab for multiple classes, research projects, and individual testing, since an entire lab’s computers can be imaged within thirty minutes. Some applications require the use of multiple operating systems such as both Windows and Linux. By creating an image that dual boots operating systems computer equipment is fully utilized.

This paper shows the advantages of using imaging software to create and deploy images to large quantities of computers in a lab environment. A network is created with required machines, including a DHCP server, SID generator, an imaging server, and clients. Several images are created with different configurations, including dual booting operating systems. These images are used for class-oriented lab configurations and for various configurations required for research projects that use the same machines.


The competitive world of information technology has placed postsecondary educational institutions in a never ending battle to provide students resources needed in order to study the constantly changing and evolving field of information technology. The pressures to keep up with new technologies are seemingly unlimited, while the resources that are needed are not³.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering

Blackham, N., & Higby, C., & Bailey, M. (2004, June), Re Imaging Computers For Multipurpose Labs Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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