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O/S Deployment Thread, MDT task sequence to accomplish prestaging like RIS in Technical; Hi all, I am a long time lurker who has got a load of great info from this site which ...
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    mhundley's Avatar
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    MDT task sequence to accomplish prestaging like RIS

    Hi all,

    I am a long time lurker who has got a load of great info from this site which I have been able to use in the schools I support. I work for an LA as a technician who along with my team support over 120 schools in our county.

    I have been playing with deploying Windows 7 from a Server 2008 machine running WDS and MDT2010, I have been able to get the system set up and make changes to the default Windows 7 image which is deployed so that info is pre-filled instead of prompting the user.

    I have got a lot of experience with using RIS/WDS Legacy to deploy XP machines which is what we currently use in many of the schools our team support. We use PXE boot to call the standard ms osc screens which prompt for username and password, In each OU we want to add machines to, we will have a user which has rights to join a machine to the domain.

    RIS/WDS is set to respond to all machines and to create a computer account in the same OU as the user, this means when we log on with an authorised user we have the computer account automatically created in the correct place so any GPO is applied from the beginning, also it has the advantage that we dont have to prestage any machines in AD as the machine is created with the correct naming convention and incremented automatically (set by the username e.g. Class1 will give a computer name of Class1-01, Class1-02 etc)

    The actual install of Windows is achieved by a modified .sif file so we can log on to a new machine and walkaway safe in the knowledge that the machine will do the rest for us.

    Okay enough background babble, the actual issue I am having is in emulating the RIS way of doing things, we are not open to the idea of manually prestaging machines due to the fact that we have a lot of schools and would need to set it up in each location, also I will be writing the draft procedures for out team to use and want to keep it as simple as possible.

    I would love to be able to PXE boot the machine, be prompted for the username and password and be able to step away. My understanding is that in RIS the machine will check in AD if the GUID/UUID exists for a computer account and if not creates a new machine record populated with the ID in the correct location.

    My thinking is that I will need a script to run at the beginning of the task sequence which

    1.Prompts for a username
    2.Gets the GUID of the machine
    3.Makes contact with the AD
    4.Checks for the GUID
    5(a).If there set the computername and OU settings to be used later,
    5(b).If not then create the computer account in the correct place and pass the values for later use.

    I have looked over the internet and have so far not managed to find anything which achieves the results I need, I guess its because W7 and MDT2010 are both new. I was lucky to find MSFN's Unattended Windows : Unattended Windows Introduction when I wanted to do research for XP but havent been too lucky yet.

    Over to you guys, I am open to ideas/advice/fully formed scripts which do it for me.


    Sorry for the length of post but I thought I should give as much info as I could to get started.


    Thanks in advance


    Marc

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    mhundley's Avatar
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    Bump

    Thought I might get a bit more response during the week rather than on a Friday night

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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    I'm going to be looking into the same issue after the xmas hols so i'll be interested in how you get on. We'll be going to Windows 7 in stages so i'll also need a way to deploy our current XP flat image do you know how to do that yet?

    Cheers.

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    azrael78's Avatar
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    Cool

    While this may not be entirely relevant...

    I've managed to mostly automate a Windows XP/Vista/7 install using WDS/MDT2010/SCCM - it can just be done using WDS/MDT2010.

    If memory serves though you have to use the WAIK (Windows 7/2008 R2 version) and use Windows SIM (System Image Manager) tool to create your unattended XML files.

    These in turn can be used instead of sysprep.inf which 2K/XP/2K3 used - however the newer answer file format is much more robust - does include joining to domains and perhaps OU placement also.

    As for XP - I'm afraid you'd still have to use sysprep for this, but once you have the image prepped like you normally would (for something like ghost) - you can then switch over to using WDS which will treat the image as a flat image - just don't apply Windows SIM stuff to your XP build and it should just work.

    I'm not 100% what either of you are trying to achieve exactly - if you can condense it down into what exactly you'd like it to do, I can hopefully come up with a better answer for you

    Az

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    Quote Originally Posted by azrael78 View Post
    While this may not be entirely relevant...

    I've managed to mostly automate a Windows XP/Vista/7 install using WDS/MDT2010/SCCM - it can just be done using WDS/MDT2010.

    If memory serves though you have to use the WAIK (Windows 7/2008 R2 version) and use Windows SIM (System Image Manager) tool to create your unattended XML files.

    These in turn can be used instead of sysprep.inf which 2K/XP/2K3 used - however the newer answer file format is much more robust - does include joining to domains and perhaps OU placement also.

    As for XP - I'm afraid you'd still have to use sysprep for this, but once you have the image prepped like you normally would (for something like ghost) - you can then switch over to using WDS which will treat the image as a flat image - just don't apply Windows SIM stuff to your XP build and it should just work.

    I'm not 100% what either of you are trying to achieve exactly - if you can condense it down into what exactly you'd like it to do, I can hopefully come up with a better answer for you

    Az

    Current background. We use WDS on 2003 SP2 in legacy mode to deliver a flat XP install which is hardware independent so we only need one image on the server. I'd like to be able to keep this on the new WDS and add a Windows 7 image, I've been told I could do this by deploying my current image to a station and capturing an image before it boots and runs setup.


    We use Server 2008 not 2008 R2 is what you suggested possible with just 2008 WDS and MDT2010?


    Thatís about all for now.

    Cheers.

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    azrael78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    We use Server 2008 not 2008 R2 is what you suggested possible with just 2008 WDS and MDT2010?
    Don't see why it wouldn't be possible - R2 only really adds Windows 7 based support to several items, but I don't believe WDS is one of them as MDT2010 adds that support for WDS.

    You'd have to have seperate images for XP and Win 7 due to the methods of sysprep used - but other than that you should be able to do it and I can't see a real reason why it wouldn't work.

    Az

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    Quote Originally Posted by azrael78 View Post
    Don't see why it wouldn't be possible - R2 only really adds Windows 7 based support to several items, but I don't believe WDS is one of them as MDT2010 adds that support for WDS.

    You'd have to have seperate images for XP and Win 7 due to the methods of sysprep used - but other than that you should be able to do it and I can't see a real reason why it wouldn't work.

    Az

    I think the Windows 7 bit should be fairly straight forward I'll see about the XP bit, an XP flat install image doesn't require sysprep so i'm not sure about that bit.


    So MDT2010 ties in with WDS, do you prepare the image with MDT2010 and then host it on the WDS?

    Cheers.

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    azrael78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    I think the Windows 7 bit should be fairly straight forward I'll see about the XP bit, an XP flat install image doesn't require sysprep so i'm not sure about that bit.


    So MDT2010 ties in with WDS, do you prepare the image with MDT2010 and then host it on the WDS?

    Cheers.
    Whilst I'm sure you may be right about your XP image, I've never heard of an XP image that doesn't need sysprep in some way or another.

    Even at the basic level - you'd need sysprep to regenerate your SIDs, which if you neglect to do can cause all kinds of problems on an AD-based network.

    If you don't need sysprep - I'd be curious as to how your XP image works.

    Az

    Edit: Ah - forgot to look at MDT... will take a quick peek at what we have here as we haven't used it to push out 7. I just know that for SCCM - you need MDT2010 to be able to push out 7. Will take a look and see what we have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by azrael78 View Post
    Whilst I'm sure you may be right about your XP image, I've never heard of an XP image that doesn't need sysprep in some way or another.

    Even at the basic level - you'd need sysprep to regenerate your SIDs, which if you neglect to do can cause all kinds of problems on an AD-based network.

    If you don't need sysprep - I'd be curious as to how your XP image works.

    Az

    Edit: Ah - forgot to look at MDT... will take a quick peek at what we have here as we haven't used it to push out 7. I just know that for SCCM - you need MDT2010 to be able to push out 7. Will take a look and see what we have.


    A flat image doesn't actually use an image so it runs setup. It basically copies i386 down to the PC with an extra drivers folder, it then uses setup.sif (another name for unattend.txt) to run setup with an answer file it finds all of the drivers in the drivers folder for newer hardware. As you see it runs a windows setup install which of course generates a unique SID. It's not technically an image in the 'Ghost' sence and it takes a bit longer to build the advantage is that you only need one image for all of your hardware.

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    azrael78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    A flat image doesn't actually use an image so it runs setup. It basically copies i386 down to the PC with an extra drivers folder, it then uses setup.sif (another name for unattend.txt) to run setup with an answer file it finds all of the drivers in the drivers folder for newer hardware. As you see it runs a windows setup install which of course generates a unique SID. It's not technically an image in the 'Ghost' sence and it takes a bit longer to build the advantage is that you only need one image for all of your hardware.
    Aha - this explains my confusion.
    I also don't think you need to use MDT2010 for Windows 7 but as we use SCCM for our images (or we will do) then it's a little difficult to point you in the right direction.

    As long as Windows SIM supports Windows 7 - you should be fine.

    Az

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    mhundley's Avatar
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    Cookie_Monster

    So far we have avoided the Win XP bit but are using Server 2k8R2 with WDS to successfully deploy windows 7 onto the domain. We have found several bits of useful info on the net and as with all things much more useless stuff. If you like I can dig out some of the info we have used (which will not cause any issues with the management)

    I am making some assumptions about your setup but if it is the same as us you are creating users which you log on as in the PXE/Blue screen(forgot the name) stage which automatically gives the machine a name for the domain and puts the machine in the same OU.

    WDS can provide the computer name in the same way as RIS/WDS legacy does but if you have two machines running at a different speed the domain join is done as part of the 7 install (at the customisation part if I remember correctly) whichever machine gets to this part first gets the earliest available machine number in AD. The only way we have found around this so far without prestaging the GUID of each machine into AD is to start one machine and then wait until it gets far enough for the next one to not catch up in time to join first.

    The easiest way we have found so far to deploy XP is to use 2008R2 with Hyper-V and to set up a 2K3R2 server running within it using WDS legacy. As long as you set up the Forest and Domain functional levels to be 2003 then you can build and join a 2003 virtual box within the 2K8R2 host and dcpromo it as a DC within the domain, then you will have full replication between the servers so the AD is maintained when new machines are added.

    This has advantages and drawbacks, although you can install XP clients using this method you cannot use the Driver injection offered with WDS in 2K8R2 onto windows 7 builds. One way around this would be to maintain WDS on both servers but use the 2K3 for XP and the 2K8 for Win7, stopping the WDSServer service on whichever system is not needed at the time. Over time this will not be an issue as the XP clients will start to fade away and we will have shiny Win7 Clients everywhere.


    I will point out that so far everything we have done has been on test machines in the office and we have not ventured onto a live system yet.


    If you have any further questions feel free to ask as we are still trying out new things ourselves and are no way there yet. But it is nice to know that someone out there works the same way we do and that there will be someone else to bounce ideas off.

    The Guy I am working with at our place is registered on these forums as jon_boy1984 and I am sure he will post anything I have forgotten.



    Good luck.

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    cookie_monster (17th December 2009)

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    Thanks mhundley i'll not be looking into this untill the new year so we'll see then.


    Az, I think I need to put aside some reading time to see the differences between MDT2010 and SCCM. If both are required and what their functions are.

    Thanks.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    WDS + Prestage
    WDS + MDT
    WDT + MDT/SCCM

    These are the main choices for deploying a machine which then joins the domain. You can use WDS and script is later on in the install too.

    The problem is the order in which the domain is joined, to use the built in domain joining function you need the computer name to be replaced in the unattended file which is what the prestage/MDT/SCCM do. You could prompt for the machine name in vista, it just didn't work as it joins the domain before setting the name. Windows 7 avoids this by simply not allowing the name prompt.

    I did use MDT2010 but really hated it, I'm much happier with just WDS and prestaging the machines. All I need to do is boot from network and it sorts the name and image type (staff/student/board etc) from the existing account. It's a lot easier to prestage with the MAC address than the GUID since you can collect them easily from DHCP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    WDS + Prestage
    WDS + MDT
    WDT + MDT/SCCM

    These are the main choices for deploying a machine which then joins the domain. You can use WDS and script is later on in the install too.

    The problem is the order in which the domain is joined, to use the built in domain joining function you need the computer name to be replaced in the unattended file which is what the prestage/MDT/SCCM do. You could prompt for the machine name in vista, it just didn't work as it joins the domain before setting the name. Windows 7 avoids this by simply not allowing the name prompt.

    I did use MDT2010 but really hated it, I'm much happier with just WDS and prestaging the machines. All I need to do is boot from network and it sorts the name and image type (staff/student/board etc) from the existing account. It's a lot easier to prestage with the MAC address than the GUID since you can collect them easily from DHCP.


    So with WDS you need to prestage all clients how does this work with a new PC do you need to grab the MAC address and then create an account before begining the build preocess?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    So with WDS you need to prestage all clients how does this work with a new PC do you need to grab the MAC address and then create an account before begining the build preocess?
    Yes, collect the MAC addresses and prestage,

    wdsutil /Add-Device /Device:L1301 /ID:001CC0693321 /ReferralServer:10.0.8.1 /WdsClientUnattend:WdsClientUnattend\Student.xml /User:MEDINA\WDS /JoinRights:Full /JoinDomain:Yes /OU:"OU=L13,OU=Students,OU=Computers,OU=Medina,DC=m edina,DC=school"

    This will join the machine with that MAC to the domain with the user account. This works in conjunction with the 2 unattended WDS files. If you need those files I can provide the ones we use.

    You can also modify the existing account it you don't want to delete and recreate them. The wdsclientunattend option can be used to specify which image is installed on the machine.

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