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Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:03 am

Best Way to setup and internet cafe?

Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:05 am

Hi guys, im back again, i am tasked to setup an internet cafe with 12 units + 1 server, my main concern is, what is an easy way to quickly install programs or format those 12 pc's? Is there an alternative rather than formatting a pc then installing games 1 by 1 then repeat to other computers after?

I have heard some good recommendations about disk cloning.... I have read about it but i cant fully understand i have some clarificiations...

-Does disk cloning copy the actual disk? Including the os, installed games, and any other installed programs or drivers on an disk? If so, you need exactly the same computer components to get it to work right yes?

-isnt it complicated? or isnt it reliable?

-so if ever, i format 1 pc, then install all needed applications to it, then i use it as my copy disk, how do i copy that disk to other pc's that are still not formatted? How would i copy it? would i save it in a dvd and run that in other unformatted computers dvd rom? im confused... please help? this is my first time setting an internet cafe, idont want to blow it up.. heheheheh thank you so much masterss...
Graphmaster Gerbil
Posts: 1096
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:57 pm
Location: Denver, CO.

Re: Best Way to setup and internet cafe?

Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:32 am

This may be of use: ... an-center/

Back when I helped work the backend of QuakeCon in 2001 or 2002, between each tournament the drives were ghosted from a master image. You basically boot off a CD that loads a clone program, gets an IP, and gets the image over the network.

I don't have firsthand experience with a cafe but that's the general gist of it. The server has disk images and as long as the hardware is identical, you can probably get away with doing that. Or have each workstation revert to a set snapshot upon reboot, like a read-only image. I've seen stuff like that for thin terminals and windows 2009 embedded (basically windows 7 embedded). You use admin rights to configure the image and then regular users have their stuff lost when it reboots.
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Posts: 3682
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Solna/Sweden

Re: Best Way to setup and internet cafe?

Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:10 pm

Nowdays there is much more to it then just having the computers. I've generally not being using them much, but was on a large gaming oriented place, more of a permanent lan setup with comps then a café really. They had a custom program to alot for time rented, and had a license for each comp for steam and a specialized gaming setup where you choose and started your games. The point is that it seems to alot a steam license to each comp dynamically at the time of loading each game, because you could see certain names jump around between players in the group I was with when we switched games.

Dunno where to find the supplier of such a solution though.
As for an internet café, if there is alot of comps and you espect to reimage them alot, get a setup where you have a PXE server to serve the images from and do an F12 PXE boot install from the lan. Depending on the OS of choice there are different solutions for the licesing models and how they are setup and used.
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:34 am

Re: Best Way to setup and internet cafe?

Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:46 pm

+1 on Aphasia's suggestion.

I remember you asked the same question a few weeks back, and PXE network boot is THE best way to do what you're thinking. Not only do you not have to worry about imaging the drive, but it also restores the system state with each reboot, and saves you a bunch of money because you no longer need to equip each PC with an HDD.

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