Posts belonging to Category OS Deployment

Enhanced OSD support in Parallels Mac Management 4.0 for ConfigMgr 2012

Last year I wrote several blogs about a great plugin for Configuration Manager 2012 R2, Read more

Session resources BriForum Denver

Yesterday I was honored to speak at BriForum about managing Mac OS X devices with Read more

Parallels Mac Management for SCCM review (part 5)

So now we have looked at the features and Client in the first blog, looked Read more

My top 10 new features of ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 – part 1

sccm2012-logoWith the upcoming release of Service Pack 1 for Configuration Manager 2012 lots of really cool new features come available to us. I would like to dedicate the next blogs to my top 10 new features in Configuration Manager 2012. Kicking off in part 1 about a new enhancements while deploying a Task Sequence.

When deploying a Task Sequence you have the option to choose if a Task Sequence is available to Configuration Manager Clients and whether it is available to run if you deploy an operating system when using boot media, prestaged media or PXE. By using this option you are able to manage the deployment of Operating Systems better.

New OSD Deployment Options

New OSD Deployment Options

Only Configuration Manager Client
The deployment will only be started from an existing Operating System with a Configuration Manager Client. Very handy if you want to refresh a workstation without the possibility that a workstation will unintentionally boot into PXE.

Task Sequence availability

Task Sequence availability

Configuration Manager clients, media and PXE
The old fashion way ;) The Task Sequence is available for all OS Deployment methods and supports all deployment scenarios, like the New Computer Scenario, Refresh Computer Scenario and Replace Computer Scenario.

Only media and PXE
Only media and PXE only supports deploying an Operating System from the Windows PE environment. When using this option you definitely using the New Computer Scenario (Bare metal) via PXE or a boot DVD. :)

Only media end PXE (hidden)
When provisioning Windows 8 To Go and using prestaged media you need to be sure to select this availability option. More on this in a later blog about how we can provision Windows To Go with Configuration Manager 2012.

Managing metered connections

Managing metered connections

When choosing a deployment purpose to be required you are able to manage if clients on a metered Internet connection are able to download the content or not after an installation deadline has been reached. Be aware for extra (mobile data) costs when enabling this option in combination with the availability for Configuration Manager clients.

Managing Operating System deployments has been become much better and the time of unintentionally reinstalled operating systems is become history, yeah you still need to know what you are doing ;)

Next blog in my top 10 new Service Pack 1 features blog series will be about Software Update deployment enhancements, so stay tuned.

Happy holidays and merry Christmas to all of you!


Nice Configuration Manager (2012) behavior :)

While implementing Configuration Manager 2012 at a customer recently, I had a nice Configuration Manager experience which I really want to share. See the following scenario; for security reasons a  customer is not allowing DHCP in their network. For this customer I need to implement a Operating System Deployment solution with Configuration Manager. Also one [...]

OSD hanging at Software Updates installation task sequence step

I came across an old issue that is still there when installing Software Updates during the Operating System Deployment process. This is what happens, when there are too many Software Updates available for installation, the deployment process can hang while “Waiting for job status notification”. This issue can occur in while deploying Windows 7 via Configuration [...]

A quick Configuration Manager 2012 note about something nice

This time just a quick note about something nice ;) While playing around with Configuration Manager 2012 and writing one of my chapters about Operating System Deployment for the book Mastering System Center 2012 Configuration Manager I came across a nice warning when a user wants to install a new Operating System.

When making in Configuration Manager 2012 a Windows 7 deployment available for a workstation, a user is able to reinstall the Windows image by going to the Software Center and select the Windows 7 Image to reinstall like shown below.

The new Software Center use to install or request software, updates and operating systems

When pressing on the Reinstall button you will receive a warning that you need to confirm that you want to install a new operating system on your computer. This is definitely a new part of the new Software Center feature that is very welcome, I couldn’t find the place to change the text of the warning. Would be nice to tell the users that the local data and settings are preserved by the State Migration feature of Configuration Manager 2012 :) Maybe this is something for SP1 of Configuration Manager 2012 :) (A DCR is submitted)

The waning that you are about to install an Operating System

After pressing on Install Operating System the Zero-Touch installation of Windows 7 will start.


MDT 2012 integration in Configuration Manager 2012 – part 2

It has been a while that I blogged about the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 integration with Configuration Manager 2012. Let’s see today how you are able to create a task sequence and what you are able to do with it.

When being in the Configuration Manager 2012 Console, go to the Software Library workspace and browse to Operating Systems and Task Sequences. From there click on the Create MDT Task Sequence button in the home ribbon.

The Create MDT task sequence will start and let’s choose Client Task Sequence. Other options are Client Replace Task Sequence, OEM Preload Task Sequence (Post-OEM), OEM Preload Task Sequence (Pre-OEM), Microsoft Deployment Custom Task Sequence, Server Task Sequence and User Driven Installation Task Sequence. In the following blogs I will come back at all the different Task Sequences.

Select the right task sequence template

Give the Task Sequence a name and click on Next to proceed configuring the Task Sequence.

Supply a name for the Task Sequence

Supply details about the domain you are joining, the account which is used to join the workstation to the domain and the Windows Settings.

Select the components for your new Boot Image

If you don’t want to backup a computer before reimaging, click on Next. Select or create a new Boot image, based on the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit. Let’s create a new one for this blog so supply an UNC path and click on next. After that supply the name and version of the boot image and click on next. Select the Boot Image components. Go further with configuring.

When being in the testing phase select the enable command support (F8) at the customizations screen and click on next. After creating a custom boot image, let’s supply the information to create a Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 package. Next you need to select the Windows Image that you want to deploy.

If don’t already have a Configuration Manager 2012 Client package, you are able to let the wizard create a package for you.

Create a new Conifguration Manager 2012 Client package

The next step is to use or create an User State Migration Toolkit 4 package, let’s create one and supply the information (UNC path for the source, name and version etc) to create a new one. Next you need to create a new Settings package, in this package a new customsettings.ini and unattended.xml is deployed.

Skip the Sysprep package since we will deploy a Windows 7 image and finish the Wizard.

While creating the MDT Task Sequence, the boot image, Configuration Manager Client package, USMT package and settings package are created. Be sure to place them on the distribution points in your environment.

While creating the boot image you see some action in the package source folder and in the process bar.

The WIM file is being created

Monitor the progress bar

Let’s see how the just created Task Sequence looks like by selecting the Task Sequence and clicking on the edit button in the home ribbon.

Task Sequence full of tasks

As you see a lot more tasks in the task sequence are there, this is because this one task sequence supports three deployment scenario’s, the refresh scenario, new computer and the replace scenario (in combination with the Client Replace Task Sequence). Further
scripts that make the deployment of a Windows image smoother are added to the task sequence.

Next you need to deploy this task sequence to a collection and be sure to copy all the related content to the distribution points like mentioned earlier. Also be sure to enable the new boot image for booting with PXE.

Boot your machine into PXE and depending of your task sequence and deployment the deployment will start automatically or you need to entwer WinPE by pressing F12 while booting into PXE.

Windows 7 is being installed


Earlier blogs about the MDT 2012 integration with Configuration Manager 2012:

Till next time!

Updating WIM images in Configuration Manager 2012

This week I was triggered by a question on the support forum of the Configuration Manager 2012 CEP about a nice new feature in Configuration Manager 2012. With Configuration Manager 2012 you are able to service your OS Images by integrating the latest Software Updates from the Configuration Manager Console. Let’s see how this works.

When you want to update Windows 7 WIM files in an Configuration Manager 2007 environment, you need to use tools like DISM to update your images offline. In Configuration Manager 2012 a real cool new feature is there to update your WIM images in the Configuration Manager 2012 console with updates that are approved in Configuration Manager 2012. Be sure to configure the Software Update Point and Software Update Deployments.

  • Start the Configuration Manager 2012 Console and browse to your WIM image that you want to update

Select the Image and click on Schedule Updates

  • Select the image and click on Schedule Updates

Select the updates

  • Select the software updates that you want to install into the WIM image and click on Next

Select a schedule

  • Select a schedule or choose As soon as possible and click on Next twice.


Review the actions


  • After scheduling review the settings and click on Close

In Process

  • You can monitor the update process by viewing selecting the Windows 7 Enterprise object, which shows above the “In process” status. After the process is finished you can view which software updates are installed by selecting the Update Status tab like shown below. You can also monitor the process by viewing the  OfflineServicingMgr.log which is updated in the logs directory.

Installed updates

Another real nice feature that is implemented in Configuration Manager 2012 and makes the life of the Configuration Manager easier. This test is done with a standard Windows 7 WIM Image from the installation DVD and a custom Windows 7 image.

Till next time.


Customizing Windows PE for troubleshooting OSD in SCCM 2007 R3

During the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, Deployment guru Johan Arwidmark had a session about troubleshooting Configuration Manager 2007 OS Deployments. During this session Johan had a couple of nice tips to make the troubleshooting a little bit easier.

One of the tips was adding the “SMS Trace” (trace32.exe) tool to Windows PE and changing the log size of the smsts.log file. Normally this file has a maximum size of 1MB, after the file reaches the maximum size another smsts-<date>.log file will be created. Also this file has a limit of 1 MB and it will rollover when the maximum size is reached. With setting the maximum log size to a higher level no log entries will be lost.

Changing the Windows PE can be done by following the steps beneath:

  1. Create a Custom Windows PE image with the “Create Boot Image using Microsoft Deployment” option, (package source used in this example F:\Packagesource\OS\WinPE\x86\)
  2. Mount the new Windows PE image with imagex: imagex.exe /mountrw F:\Packagesource\OS\WinPE\x86\winpe.wim 1 E:\winpe\mount
  3. copy trace32.exe naar F:\winpe\mount\windows\system32
  4. copy smsts.ini naar F:\winpe\mount\windows\SMSTS.INI
  5. Sets the available scratch space in megabytes: Dism /image:F:\winpe\mount /Set-ScratchSpace:128
  6. Dismount and commit the changes to the Windows PE image: Imagex /unmount /commit F:\winpe\mount

When changing the amount of log files and the size in Windows PE, you also need to change the size for in the post Windows PE phases. You can do this by adding the following parameters to the “Setup Windows and ConfigMgr” task in the OS Deployment Task Sequence.


Another way of adding files is to use the ExtraFiles option while creating the Custom Windows PE Boot images. Since we also want enlarge the available scratch space, using imagex is in this case the easiest way.