For the basic OS install, I just use the CD that came with the system, or if I have a newer Dell Restore CD for the same system type, I use that (for example Windows XP with Service Pack 2). You often need the Dell Resource CD to get network adapter drivers after install, but then Windows Update should find the other drivers.
After that, here is a checklist of some manual steps to take:
- WindowsScripts to set IP address, then go to the Advanced TCP/IP properties of the network adapter.
- Make sure "Register this connection's address in DNS" is unchecked
- Add these to "Append DNS Suffixes"
- Create and share a C:\Users\ directory for backups
- Share C:\Documents and Settings\ as Profiles for backups
- WindowsClassic if you want the Classic look on XP
- Install the UWICK Starter Set and McAfee VirusScan
- Install MS-Office if the computer is licensed
- For workstations, join the BIOSTR.WASHINGTON.EDU domain; you may have to reboot twice for Firefox to install via Group Policy
- Install free applications from \\viscus\Public; for more ideas on public software, see the iSchool's list)
- Add printers if appropriate
There are a lot of other ways to install Windows, here are ones I don't use and why (I'd like to get WPKG working for application installation, though):
- Disk Imaging (Symantec Norton Ghost) - our hardware is too heterogenous (mostly Dell, but several models of Precision and OptiPlex)
- Unattended - need to have volume licensing version of Windows XP; requires DHCP and maintainence
- Microsoft Remote Installation Services - have to buy product, reviewers are not that impressed for small networks anyway
- http://ping.windowsdream.com/ - this looks better than Unattended but similar problems