3 Replies Latest reply: Jun 7, 2007 8:15 PM by C.Moser
David L. Huxtable Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

I have about 30 Intel Macs in a lab that I want to restore with a bootable disk image I have created. I have an active netboot server, but all the clients boot to their local HDs.

I was planning on loading the disk image file on a mount point, booting the client machines to the netboot image, and then running disk utility to restore the client HDs from the disk image residing on the mount point.

Is this a good method? Is there a better solution? It is a 100-base network and the disk image for the local HDs can range from 25GB to 75GB. I'd like to be able to complete the restore within a 10-hour time frame--is this realistic?


PPC Xserve, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • Jeff Kelleher Level 4 Level 4 (3,015 points)
    When I do netinstalls, I do the following. Disclaimer - I know this is not the only way, but it works...

    Set up one client exactly as I want it, apply all updates, run fsck, repair permissions, and test it out thoroughly.

    I then boot the client in target mode, and attach it directly to the server with a firewire cable and use the image utility on the server to make an image. Follow the prompts to make it a netboot/netinstall image. From the clients, choose the network install image in StartupDisk (or hold the N key when you boot the client, or hold the option key for the bootmanager). You'll obviously need to enable netboot on the server, and it does rely on DNS to be running correctly on the server, just in case you weren't aware. This is not the only

    In my experience, with GB connections from the server to our core switch, and 100 base-t connection to the clients, a single 8GB or so image can take 8-10 minutes. If I do 20 or so at a time it can take a couple hours. 30 clients with large install images may take a long time - 10 hours might not be realistic, and even if it were, I'd suggest planning double. Nothing ever goes as planned


  • Antonio Rocco Level 6 Level 6 (10,390 points)
    Just to add to what Jeff has already stated – which is good advice by the way – Apple has tested their NetBoot/NetInstall Service with 50 Users on a fast ethernet switch (must be a switch and not a hub) with no problems at all, beyond that you are on your own. Ideally you should aim to upgrade your network to gigabit. Another method is use ARD to push out the single image to all your users, also and depending on how comfortable you are with the command line your could asr (apple software restore), consult the man page for proper usage.
  • C.Moser Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)
    If you really have a 75 GB image your network is definitly too sloow to image all macs at the same time. The only way i can imagine to do it is to use the multicast provided with ASR but needs some command line and some tuning to get the best speed.