AOMEI Image Deploy Overview

AOMEI Image Deploy is an image deployment software or network clone software, which allows you to deploy or restore image to multiple computers over network. And you can use them in the following operating system. Thus,  you don't need to worry about the installation and configuration system problems of a batch of computers. 

  • Microsoft Windows XP (all editions, 32-bit and 64-bit)

  • Microsoft Windows Vista (all editions, 32-bit and 64-bit)

  • Microsoft Windows 7 (all editions, 32-bit and 64-bit)

  • Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 (all editions, 32-bit and 64-bit)

  • Microsoft Windows 10 (all editions, 32-bit and 64-bit)

  • Microsoft Windows 11 (all editions, 32-bit and 64-bit)

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and 2003 R2 (all editions, 32-bit and 64-bit)

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 (all editions, 32-bit and 64-bit)

  • Microsoft Windows Home Server (WHS) 2011 and Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2011

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2(all editions)

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016 (all editions)

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019 (all editions)

Originally, if there are 30 computers, we only can use bootable CD/USB to deploy/restore computers one by one. That would add much extra work because of computers’ different hardware configurations. For example, some computers do not have CD-ROM drive, which will take a lot of time to install OS. Under this circumstance, AOMEI Image Deploy can help you solve the problem easily. 

How does AOMEI Image Deploy work? 

To restore system to multiple computers simultaneously with AOMEI Image Deploy, you need to select a server computer and decide on all the client computers you want to deploy an image to.

The server computer can be any PC or server machine and you need to install AOMEI Image Deploy, which is used to deploy images. By contrast, the client computers are the ones to receive backup image, and usually, they don't have the operating system.

Besides, you need a system image backup or disk backup without SID, otherwise, the deployed computers will be incompatible. In sum, you need image deployment software - AOMEI Image Deploy and free backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard to accomplish this task.

If you don't want to download both software, you can create an all-in-one backup and restore software integrated with this software. AOMEI Backupper Technician or TechPlus are such software, and all the preparations and steps are the same.

How to Use AOMEI Image Deploy to Deploy Image to Multiple Computers

Before you start to clone multiple computers over network, you need to make some preparations for server computer and client computers. Also, you need to create a system image or disk backup ahead of time. Please check the following contents carefully:

Preparation of server and client computers:

  • Install and launch AOMEI Image Deploy on the server computer. It can be any PCs or servers, but it's suggested to use Windows 7 or higher version as server computer. Since this software requires Windows AIK/ADK to ensure you can create Windows PE successfully  if you use previous version of Windows 7. 

  • Check the cable connection between server and client computers, ensure that they are in the same network segment in a LAN.

  • Verify the network card of client computer supports network boot (PXE boot).

  • Get into all client computers’ BIOS to open PXE function, set up the first boot as network boot or similar option.

  • Verify that the disk number for installing system in client computers are the same as disk number of server computer. If there is only one disk, it is disk 0.

  • Remove all the other disks on the client computer in case of mistake selection and data loss due to it.

Remove SID and Create A System Image on A Well-Configured Computer

To minimize the follow-up work of image deployment, you need to configure a computer with everything you want. And it does not have to be the server computer. If you don't want to encounter compatible issues after image deployment, you need to remove the SID before backing up it.  Then, the overall steps should be as below:

1. Create a bootable USB with AOMEI Backupper. It is used to boot the well-configured computer immediately after you remove the SID on it, otherwise it will create a new one. 

  • Download and install AOMEI Backupper. You can choose to use free edition, or Technician and TechPlus edition. The later ones integate AOMEI Image Deploy Technician into it, so you don't need to download both image deployment software and free backup software.
Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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  •  Launch this software, click "Tools" > "Create Bootable Media", select bootable disc types - Windows PE and boot device - USB, CD/DVD or ISO file. Then, click "Next", it will create a bootable media for you to boot any computer.

Create Bootable Media

2. Remove SID on the computer you want to backup. 

Press "Win + R" and enter "sysprep" in the textbox to find Sysprep.exe. Run it and choose Enter System OOBE, tick Generalize option, and select Shutdown. This step is necessary for users to avoid compatible issues after deployment.

sysprep remove sid

3. Boot the computer you want to backup from the created bootable USB and then create a system image with AOMEI Backupper.

  • Insert the bootable USB created in the Step 1, set it as the first boot option and boot from it.
  • In the main page of AOMEI Backupper, click "Backup" >  "System Backup". Also, you can create a disk backup by selecting Disk Backup in the following picture.
  • Then, select a network share or NAS to store backup image and "Start Backup" to excute this operation. Note the network path should be on the same network segment with all the client computers and server computer. For detailed steps, you can refer to backup Windows 10 to network drive.  

System Backup

Deploy Image to Multiple Computers Step by Step

After making all the preparations for server and client computers and creating a system image backup, you can follow the steps below to deploy image to multiple computer in simple steps.

1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Image Deploy Free edition. Also, you can launch this software in AOMEI Backupper Technician or TechPlus edition by selecting "Tools" > "AOMEI Image Deploy".

Download FreewareWin PCs & servers
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2. Then, click "Create WinPE automatically" to create a bootable ISO file and tick "Enable DHCP", so you can boot up client computers over network. Then, click Next.

Bootable File

Notes:

  • If there are drivers being incompatible with your hardware and the WinPE cannot start up the client computers, select "Create bootable WinPE ISO manually" option. It allows you to create Windows PE and add compatible device drivers into WinPE by clicking “Make WinPE” in the main page and then “Add Drivers” . Then, you need to select ISO files manually by clicking “Browse”.
  • Usually, the DHCP server is enabled if you use a router and used to assign IP address for computer. And it's suggested to tick  "Enable DHCP" to ensure your computer can be connected to network automatically. Note  there has to be and one only DHCP server within LAN, otherwise, the client IP address distribution may be messed up. 

3. In the second wizard page, AOMEI Image Deploy program will prompt “The service has started, waiting for connect…”, then start all the client computers and set the PXE boot or network boot as the first boot option, boot from it. Then, you will see the following screens, the IP address of server and client computer as well as the connection status is displayed after each client computers boot.

Loading WinPE

Client Connection Status

At the same time, you can see the connection status of all the client computers on the server computer. Then, click "I confirm ...." and "Next".

Connect

Notes:

  • Client computers have to wait to boot till the prompt “The service has started, waiting for connect…”. Otherwise, client computers cannot boot successfully.

  • If your BIOS is UEFI mode, you should set “UEFI and Legacy” or “Legacy Only” to boot the client computers. (If your BIOS does not support UEFI, you can ignore the operation step).

4. Specify backup image and image deployment settings.

Settings

  • Click “Browse” > “Add share or NAS device”  and input the display name, IP address, user name and password. Then, you can select the backup image (its file name is .adi) you want to deploy.
  • Then, select "All" to select all the online client computers or only tick some of the client computers for image deployment.
  • Afterward, set the disk number and deployed computers at a time. 
  • Click "Settings" to set computer name for client computers. And the Technician edition still allows you to batch preset IP addresses and perform dissimilar hardware restore if the hardware of client computers, like CPU, motherboard, is not the same as the computer where you create a system image.

advanced Settings

Notes: 

  • All the client computers need to use the same disk number as the server computer, otherwise, this software will report an error. And if you restore to the wrong disk, there may be data loss.
  • If there is only one disk on the client computers, it is 0. And the disk number ranges from 0 to 256.
  • The number of deployed computers is at least 1, and 33 at most. The more computers you want to deploy, the longer it will take to deploy. The suggested number is 5 and in this case, it will restore 5 computers every time and then go for the next 5 computers.
  • Please don't set the already used computer name and IP address within LAN. Thus, you don't need to worry about network issue and boot failure.

5. Confirm all the settings and click "Start Deploy" to clone multiple computers over network. You can use “Shut down PC” or “Restart PC” to set whether to shut down or restart the client computers after restoring image.

Complete

Note the free edition allows you to deploy image on unlimited Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista PCs and 20 servers. If you have more than 20 servers, try AOMEI Image Deployment Technician.

If you cannot find what you are looking for and need further help, please do not hesitate to send an email to[email protected], or visit www.aomeitech.com.

AOMEI Image Deploy FAQs

Q: Why the “Local IP” and the “Server IP” showed in client computer have different network segment and also the connection status is “None”?

A: Maybe there are multiple DHCP servers in the LAN. Please just keep one DHCP server and Disable others.

Q: Why you just can restore one disk of the backup image which has several disks?

A: If the one disk backup image has multiple disks, the software just support to restore the first one of that disk backup image.

Q: Why the disk format of the client computer sometimes is changed from GPT to MBR or from MBR to GPT after restore?

A: When you restore the backup image to the client computer, the software will delete all the data in the destination and then change the disk format of the client computer to be the same as the disk format of the backup image. For example, if the disk is MBR in the backup image but the target disk is GPT in the client computer, when the software does the restore, the disk in the client computer will be changed to MBR. If the disk format is same, the software will directly continue to create the partition to do the restore. Therefore, the disk format of the client computer must be same as the one in the backup image. If not, the software will change it automatically.

Q: How to ensure that the client computer is bootable after restoring the system image or disk backup image?

A:1. Please check if the boot mode in BIOS is consistent with the restored disk or system. If the restored disk is GPT, the boot mode must be EFI/UEFI. If the restored disk is MBR, the boot mode is legacy. 2. Please ensure that the computer name and the IP address you set for the client computer are not used by another computer in the same LAN. If they are used by another computer and this computer is on, when you boot the client computer you will get the error message that the computer name and the IP address conflict with another computer which is in the same LAN.

Q: Why the Windows PE ISO made with the AOMEI Backupper cannot be used by the AOMEI Image Deploy software to deploy the system?

A: Because that only the Windows PE made with AOMEI Image Deploy software can communicate with the AOMEI Image Deploy server. Please use the AOMEI Image Deploy to do the Windows PE ISO file. In addition, the AOMEI Image Deploy cannot recognize the Windows PE ISO made with other software.

Q: Why the server shows that the client computer information is that “Respond to boot request” and the client computer is stuck in this page that “PXELINUX 6.03 lwIP Copyright (c)1994-2014 H.Peter Anvin et al -”all the time?

A: Usually, you encounter this problem because you use the “Enable DHCP” feature but the IP address of client computer allocated by the DHCP server is same with (conflicts with) the one of another computer which is running in the same LAN. We advise you to turn off that running another computer or change the IP address of that computer. Then please reboot the client computer to do the operation again.

Summary

You can easily deloy image to multiple computers with the help of image deployment software - AOMEI Image Deploy as well backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard. The technician edition of AOMEI Image Deploy allows you to batch preset IP address and perform dissimilar hardware restore, so you don't need to worry about network issue and boot failure. 

Besides, you can use AOMEI Backupper Technician or TechPlus, it can do both system or disk backup and image deployment. Thus, you don't download AOMEI Image Deploy manually and then perform this operation. And it is more compatible for computers, you can use it on both UEFI and Legacy boot computer. For differences, check the edition comparison page.