Universal Imaging Utility for Windows XPOverview
The Universal Imaging Utility (UIU) Version 4.0 is an application that, when used in conjunction with your hard drive imaging software (e.g. Symantec GHOST, Altiris, ZenWorks, etc.), creates a hard drive image that can be successfully deployed to nearly any PC in your environment. A single, hardware independent Universal Image can now be deployed to desktops and laptops alike, regardless of HAL type, processor, PC make or model. Maintaining multiple individual images for PCs from Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. is no longer required.
The UIU 4.0 is designed for Microsoft Windows XP (SP2 & SP3) and Vista (SP1) systems specifically(Windows 2000 is still serviced by UIU v3.7). When you manually install Windows from CD, the installation CD/DVD will work on nearly any system. The UIU resets your existing Windows operating system to a Similar "pre-installation" state, allowing for correct detection of different hardware platforms upon image deployment without crashing the systems.
UIU then runs MIMIC and, new to v4.0, a pre-deployment Discovery Tool allowing you to access your environment and make any necessary adjustments before continuing the process.
Next, a regularly updated Driver Database is installed, assuring greater compatibility with new hardware components. As you acquire new hardware, with new video, network and audio components, you need not maintain the necessary drivers; Big Bang does the work for you.
Then, Microsoft Sysprep is launched. Running Sysprep helps keep you in compliance with Microsoft's standards for disk imaging, and the UIU uses it to help Detect the hardware components on a machine receiving a Universal Image. Additionally, Sysprep will change the Security ID (SID) on your recipient PCs, allowing for consistent interaction with any Active Directory domain structure. The UIU handles Sysprep answer files for you, (both XP and the new Vista XML format), so there is no need to build a custom Sysprep answer file.