The thing we need to do more of

On January 16, 2006, in Best Practices, by


You heard me.  We need to flatten the boxes we get from the OEMs and rebuild them as we see fit.  Without the junk.  The add ons.  The third party crud.  We also need to purchase the right boxes.  Yeah… it’s hard as a VAR/VAP to argue with the cheap OEM special but they are introducing too much risk in our firms… even our small ones.

SANS today has on their front page a discussion about deploying…and most of them flatten them and get them to a known state.

And look what we do around here.  We get OEM images that have stuff all over the place and have ….typically no restore disk [it’s hiding in a partition and you have to build your own] when you buy the cheap machines.  I’ve bought business machines and you ‘can’ ensure that you get real media and not ‘restore everything back to it’s annoying state’ restore media.

But it’s hard to talk a client into taking a nice new box and destroying it, isn’t it?

[and I don’t mean that you necessarily buy new licenses …but that you ensure you get that OEM media WITHOUT the crud and install from that]




4 Responses to The thing we need to do more of

  1. Enterprise has been doing this for years, so I don’t see how this is a “new” concept.

  2. Alun Jones says:

    You do have to get them over the concept of “but I already paid for a copy of Windows, and now I must buy another one?”

    You may have to go into the BIOS to rescue the disk space eaten up by the OEM’s restore data (this seems to be true of my Thinkpad).

    As a concept, it makes good sense – when you install software from boxes that you open, or from a standard installation source, you know what’s on your system. Who knows what third-party software your OEM installed? Better to discover now that you can’t easily flatten and restore the thing than to find out in a couple of years when you have to, and the OEM has lost the driver downloads.

  3. steve says:

    After I back up the drivers directory I flatten the box… works like a charm and is faster then Add/Remove programs + MsConfig + SymNRT.exe + ….what corporate user really needs RealJuke Box..and I’m sorry but I don’t need Dell’s advisory to the end user that they need an up to date modem driver.

  4. Nick Pieters says:

    This is why i love Fujitsu Siemens.

    Serverstart, enter the cd start the initial setup, partition etc… then it asks for the sbs cd1, after the install you only have the normal install of cd1, drivers for win2k3, serverview(servermanaging software, ex. temp.measuring), raidconfig, that’s it.
    I had 1 Dell box.. it was the last one, it has a big name but that’s the only thing..