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O/S Deployment Thread, Bulk format Classroom PCs in Technical; I dont know if anyone can help me, but over half-term I will be re-imaging 1 PC room with WDS ...
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    Bulk format Classroom PCs

    I dont know if anyone can help me, but over half-term I will be re-imaging 1 PC room with WDS and MDT. This afternoon I started with 1 machine just to try the image out and the PC kept restarting while it was loading the MDT imaging utility. I have had this happen before and I have had to format the hard drives before it will let me run the utility and image the machine.

    Rather than going to each machine and wiping them individually is there a way to bulk format 30 hard drives remotely?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    You can't remotely, but there are plenty of boot CDs you can download, delete partitions, then power off ready to PXE boot into WDS.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Moving to O/S Deployment forum.

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    ADMaster's Avatar
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    As Michael said not remotely. However I added gparted to my pxe boot menu. So if a machine doesn't image properly I can just reboot into gparted to clean out the partition table.

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    Thanks Dana, how did you add gparted to the pxe boot menu?

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    You can do this if you set up a Fog Server (which is not ideal if you're using WDS/MDT already). It has a wipe hard disks task built in, so you can select all the machines to wipe and tell them to wipe. When they reboot, the fog PXE environment boots and wipes them.

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    Thanks localzuk but I'm pretty set on WDS/MDT. I use UBCD on USB but its a pain having to do it onto every PC. Running something on PXE to format the hard drive or delete the partition would make life a lot easier.

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    I think the fastest way would be to make a DBAN USB stick and boot all machines from that, the process is pretty automated and you can remove the stick once the wipe starts.
    Darik's Boot And Nuke | Hard Drive Disk Wipe and Data Clearing
    Have you tried creating a custom task sequence in MDT that just repartitions the disk and does nothing else? It's worth a try if you really want to do it remotely. Or upgrade to MDT2012, I've only ever experienced the problem you describe on earlier versions.

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    As you've got MDT & WDS setup already, can't you still PXE boot, then when logon/select task menu appears press F8 for Dos Prompt, type 'DISKPART', 'Select Disk 0' then type 'clean'?

    Exit, reboot then start deployment process again.

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    ADMaster's Avatar
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    Sadams,
    I also use thinstation so the WDS server boots a linux pxe menu.

    Here is a guide to setup WDS to book pxe linux, it also shows gparted.
    WDSLINUX - Syslinux Wiki

    I added gparted to the menu because I had similar problems with MDT 2010, I have upgraded to 2012 but haven’t imaged enough to see if the problem still exists. In my case it was one model of machine that gave me the most trouble.

    I have not tried the F8 diskpart method, but certainly something to look into Monday.

    Good luck with which ever option you choose.

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