ing an operating system
and the basic applications
on a Wintel
machine can be tedious. You can cut down on the time by using the Sysdiff utility for your installations. I personally keep a Sysdiff file in case of a hard drive failure, and this file can be used on two of the three NT machines on my home network.
Sysdiff records the differences between a normal WinNT installation and a machine that has WinNT and applications installed. There are 5 modes to the Sysdiff utility:
The /SNAP mode creates a snapshot of the state of a WinNT operating system registry and added files and directories. This information is recorded in a snapshot file.
The /DIFF mode records the differences between the state of a previous snapshot of a WinNT installation and the current state of the files and operating system. These differences are recorded in a difference file.
The /APPLY mode applies the information from a difference file to the current WinNT installation.
The /INF mode creates an .inf file and installation data from a difference file. This can be stored on a server and shared throughout the network. If you reinstall from the network, you can set Windows NT up to automatically install the difference file to the new install.
The /DUMP mode produces a text dump of all the details in the difference file. This text dump is readable using Notepad.
To use Sysdiff:
- Install Windows NT on the first machine.
- Type sysdiff /snap in a DOS window to record the snapshot file.
- Install the additional applications on the first machine, such as Office 2000, Netscape, etc.
- Type sysdiff /diff to create the difference file.
- Install Windows NT on the other computers.
- Copy the difference file to the other computers, or share the file through the network.
- At the other computers, type sysdiff /apply to apply the applications and programs to each computer.