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CLonezilla Server

 

Howard Burpee, Professor, Information Technology, 207.956.0850, howardburpee@ctech.smccme.edu

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CLonezilla Server
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How to use the CSEC 04 classroom Clonezilla server.

Why?

You need to quickly get a version of Windows on a classroom system.

When?

When your instructor allows you to use a syspreped version of a Windows installation for a task, or when you are practicing a task and just need a quick install.

System requirements:

System hardware requirements, related to syspreped images of Windows, are specific to the HAL (hardware abstraction layer) that is generated as part of a Windows NT installation (all versions).  The Clonezilla images available in the classroom LAN may not work on all classroom systems due to differences in the HAL of the particular system your are using.

The system you use to access the Clonezilla server must have a NIC (network interface card) that is capable of PXE (pre execution environment) boot.

Software requirements:

None.


PXE booting a Room CSEC 04 system:

  • All of the classroom systems in CSEC 04. have an integrated wired NIC that is capable of a PXE boot, and the "boot to LAN" option has been enabled on the systems.
     
  • DO NOT
     
    • Change any of the settings in the BIOS setup, the PXE boot capability has already been enabled.  The factory default setting on most systems is disabled.
       
    • Change the boot order for the system in the BIOS setup. 
       
  • DO
     
    • Use the proper hotkey as the system boots to choose the boot to the NIC from the boot device option menu. F12 is the hotkey for the CSEC 04 classroom systems.
       
  • Steps to PXE boot a system:
  1. Starting with a system that is powered off.
    • If your system is powered on, either shutdown the system using the installed OS, or press and hold the power button for five seconds to power the system off
       
  2. Turn the system on


    Fig. 1

     
  3. Look for the Dell logo to appear as the system posts, and the message F12 Boot Options in the upper right part of the screen, as shown in Fig. 1.
     
  4. Press the F12 key until the message "preparing one-time boot menu" appears in the upper right corner.


    Fig. 1A
     
  5. Once the boot menu appears, as shown in Fig. 1A, use the down arrow key to selec the Onboard NIC choice, and hit enter.
  • As the system PXE boots, you will see a screen like the image below.


    Fig. 2
     
  • As the end of this boot process, you will see one of two things:

    1. The PXE boot process will receive a DHCP IP from the Clonezilla server and you can then continue on to the instructions below.

    2. The PXE boot process will not receive a DHCP IP from the Clonezilla server and the system will continue on and boot from the HDD.
    If the system does not PXE boot properly the most likely cause is that the Clonezilla Server is not available.

 

Using the Clonezilla Server to write an image to your system:
 

  1. The first menu delivered by the Clonezilla server is shown below.  You should choose the default Clonezilla menu item to continue.


    Fig. 3

     
  2. The next screen shows the DRBL (Debian Remote Boot Linux) OS loading.


    Fig. 4

     
  3. The first option menu, in the image below, shows two choices, the default is to work with disks using images. 

    The second choice would be used if you were cloning one HDD to another.  I use a Clonezilla live CD (download link) quite often when I am moving all my files, including the OS from one hard drive to a larger one.  Most likely when I have run out of space.

    In the classroom choose the default option by hitting enter or tabbing to OK and hitting enter.


    Fig. 5

     
  4. The next menu option allows you to choose either beginner or expert mode.

    I always choose advanced or custom modes for any software I install or use, but you may use beginner mode here by hitting enter.



    Fig. 6

     
  5. Assuming that you chose the default menu item "Beginner Mode" in step #4 (Fig.6), you will next see a menu where you will choose from multiple options.

    Here you must make your  choice on what you are trying to accomplish.  This whole process is about writing a sysprep image of Windows to a classroom system, so you should of course choose "Restore an image to a local disk".

    Important: Please do not choose the default option of "Save local disk as an image" as I have yet to determine how to supply this capability in the classroom without all users being able to write images to the server.



    Fig. 8

     
  6. The image below shows the correct choice.  Use the arrow keys to highlight the menu option and enter to continue.


    Fig. 9

     

  7. Your next menu choice will be to choose the image you wish to write to your local HDD.

    You choice  will be dependent upon what OS you need to work with.

    The items available on this list will vary over time.



    Fig. 10

     
  8. Once you selected your choice on the previous menu, you will see menu to choose the target (destination) disk.  The details on this menu will vary from classroom system to classroom system as the system have HDDs of different sizes.

    Hit enter to continue.


    Fig. 11

     

  9. You will now be shown a screen that you could copy and then create a script to automate the process related to your previous menu choices. 

    Hit enter to continue.


    Fig. 12

     

  10. Your next prompt "Are you sure.....?" requires that you type Y and hit enter at the command prompt to continue.


    Fig. 13

     
  11. What you should see next, after typing Y and hitting enter in step #11, is Clonezilla running the Partclone program to write the first partition that is part of the Windows OS sysprep image.

    As you know, all Windows versions create a small (100 to 300 MB) partition during the installation process, this partition is written first.


    Fig. 15

     
  12. The next step is for the Partclone program to write the %systemdrive% partition.

    This process will, of course, take longer as the this partition contains many more bits.

    The total time for this step will vary on the image you are writing and how many students are doing this at the same time (bandwidth?).


    Fig. 16

     
  13. After the Partclone program completes writing  the %systemdrive% partition, you will see the Linux commands scroll by, as shown in the image below.


    Fig. 17

     
  14. I have set the Clonzilla server to automatically reboot after the image has been written, as shown at the bottom of the image below.


    Fig . 18

     
  15. If the system does not reboot, use the power button again to shutdown and then restart the system.  You do not need to hit the F12 key as the system reboots this time, it should reboot to the OS on the HDD.
     
  16. Once your system reboots, you will see prompts from a Windows sysprep "mini-install".

    If you are not familiar with how the sysprep mini-install works, or is created, have patience, this topic is part of the CMIT 215, Microsoft Client Operating Systems class.

 

 

 


 

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