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Third-Party System Image Tools and Boot Camp

The system image creation tools built into Mac OS X v10.5 fulfill the installation deployment needs for many administrators. However, you may find some third-party installation tools more appropriate for your deployment needs. For instance, Mac OS X does not include any built-in support for creating system images of a Mac Boot Camp partition containing the Windows operating system.

The tools listed in this section are specific only to system image creation. Chapter 5, “Using NetBoot For Deployment,” covers several other third-party system management suites that can be used to create and deploy system images.

Cloned System Image Tools

The third-party tools listed here can be used to create deployable cloned system images. Although both include support for Boot Camp volumes, only NetRestore Helper can also clone Mac OS X volumes.

  • NetRestore Helper—NetRestore Helper is part of the NetRestore system deployment solution by Bombich. NetRestore Helper is a simple graphical tool that can be used to create deployable cloned Mac OS X system images, deployable cloned Boot Camp system images, and special NetRestore system images that can be used by the NetBoot service. NetRestore Helper is a free tool and has great documentation at the developer’s website.

  • Winclone—Winclone by Twocanoes is a simple graphical tool that can create deployable Boot Camp system images. Winclone also is a free tool with great documentation at the developer’s website.

Modular System Image Tools

The following two tools can be used automate the modular system image build process. You learned the hard way to do this by reading this chapter, which makes you better prepared for resolving issues should something go awry. However, in practice, automating the modular system image build process is the only way to go.

  • InstaDMG—InstaDMG by AFP548 is a series of reference UNIX scripts and documentation that will help you automate the modular system image build process. InstaDMG is a free tool and has a loyal following and a fabulous user forum community that is working hard to improve the quality of the InstaDMG project.

  • PKGImage—PKGImage by Apple-Scripts.com is a graphical modular system image build tool that is based on AppleScripts. This tool offers a simple graphical interface and some nice prebuilt configuration scripts. PKGImage is also a free tool.

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