We’ve also used sysprep quite a bit:
microsoft.com/windows2000/do … efault.asp
Our situation is a bit different, though. We’re not making one copy of a computer, we’re usually making 100 copies. And there may be 8 or 9 different types of computers, but we want them all to look the same. So we use sysprep or do the generic IDE thing, then shutdown. Then we make a ghost image onto the network. THen on each computer, we connect to the network with a boot floppy and copy down the image.
And yeah, ghost works great for us, yes, it makes a copy, doesn’t erase the original.
We’re using windows 2000 almost exclusively. XP is fine on single workstations (not student ones), when you can set it to auto-update.
My big issue with computers that aren’t locked down (with DeepFreeze), is that within a week or two, they just get filled with spyware and other assorted junk.