How to use symantec AI builder

Written by jeff grundy Google
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AI Builder is a component of the Symantec Ghost disk cloning application. AI Builder allows you to create automatic installation routines that will install needed software on a group of computers with a minimum of effort. As a network or workgroup administrator, you can use AI Builder to create custom drive images that make deploying a fully usable software image for multiple computers relatively easy. Before deploying an AI Builder image, though, you must create a model configuration and use AI Builder to track changes in the application package.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Computer to use an application model
  • CD/DVD burner

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    Preparing the Model Computer

  1. 1

    Format the hard drive of the model computer. Install a fresh copy of the operating system on the computer.

  2. 2

    Install device drivers for the hardware components in the model computer. Download and install updates for the computer as needed.

  3. 3

    Insert the Symantec Ghost installation CD in the CD/DVD drive of the model computer. Wait for the installation wizard to appear on the screen.

  4. 4

    Click the "Install AI Snapshot" option on the installation screen. Follow the onscreen prompts to create a "master operating system image" for use on other computers. Reboot the computer if prompted to do so. Depending on the configuration of the model computer, you may have to reboot the system several times.

    Creating an Application Snapshot

  1. 1

    Launch the Symantec Ghost application on the model computer. Click the "AI Snapshot" link in the Symantec Ghost program window.

  2. 2

    Enable the default snapshot options and click the "Change" button next to the "Search Path" label. Browse to the "C:\Program Files" folder if installing a Windows application, unless the program uses a custom installation folder or the root drive. If the program uses another installation path -- most do not -- the "C:\Program Files" folder path works best.

  3. 3

    Enable the default "Temporary Work Directory" path. Click the "OK" and then the "Next" buttons. Wait for Symantec Ghost to record a snapshot image of the computer hard drive and write it to the "Temporary Work Directory."

  4. 4

    Insert the installation CD of the application you want to install.

  5. 5

    Enter the path file name of the "install.exe" or "setup.exe" file on the CD in the "Application Path" field of the Symantec Ghost program window. Click the "Next" button.

  6. 6

    Wait while Symantec Ghost initiates the application installer on the CD. Follow the onscreen prompts to install the application on the computer. If prompted to reboot the computer, restart the computer, complete the installation and then return to AI Snapshot.

  7. 7

    Enter a descriptive name in the "Install Package Name" field. Click the "Compare" button. Wait for Ghost AI Snapshot to scan for changes made to the system after installing the application. Wait for the "Congratulations" confirmation window to appear.

  8. 8

    Record the path displayed in the "Congratulations" window for the ".cfg" comparison file. Click the "Build" button. Wait while Symantec Ghost creates an ".exe" file for the installation. This is the file used to distribute the image to other computers. The ".exe" file uses the descriptive name you entered earlier as the file name. For example, if you enter "ABCApplication" in the "Install Package Name" field, Symantec Ghost saves the executable file as "ABCApplication.exe" in the "Temporary Work Directory" folder.

  9. 9

    Burn the Symantec Ghost executable to a CD or DVD disc. Alternatively, save the file on a network drive. Run the executable file from a workgroup PC. When you run the file, Symantec Ghost will format the drive of the computer and install the "master image" operating system and application snapshot.

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