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Can I use MDT 2010 in conjunction with audit mode to capture reference images from deployment

    Question

  • I'm using MDT 2010 Update 1 on Windows Server 2008. I want to use MDT to refresh or replace hardware that currently runs Windows XP so that I can migrate to Windows 7.

    Despite having completed the Windows 7 Configuration course and exam and started on Windows 7 Administration, something seems to have passed me by.

    Audit Mode CTRL+SHIFT+F3

    I want to create my images using the audit mode method, i.e. boot the machine, install Win 7 manually from DVD, press Ctrl+Shift+F3 to enter audit mode and then configure my reference machine that way. I want to do it this way because there are many non-Microsoft applications that I want to include in the image and I don't want to have to go through the process of configuring applications and packages in MDT 2010, unfortunately I just don't have time. It would be something I would look at in the future.

    Capture from Audit Mode using MDT 2010

    What I thought I could do was when I'd completed configuring my reference machine in audit mode, instead of running Sysprep and capturing the image using Windows PE and ImageX as is documented... I was instead going to launch the LiteTouch.vbs script from within audit mode and then Sysprep and Capture task sequence to capture my image.

    Is this a supported method?

    I do understand that the proper way to use MDT 2010 is to configure it properly to deploy the OS, deploy the updates, deploy the packages to a reference machine and then sysprep and capture that reference machine to create a WIM image that will be deployed to the other computers in the enterprise.

    Essentially that's what I'm trying to achieve, but personally I'd rather do that manually in audit mode and then capture that. I don't have time to work out all the switches and silent installs that all my custom applications need.

    Once I've captured the image - I'll import it back into MDT and then deploy the image using the Replace or Refresh task sequence to perform the migration tasks - I'm comfortable with that part.

    Last time I did this - I created the reference image using audit mode. Ran Sysprep manually with the /oobe and /generalize switch. I then booted into WinPE and captured my image manually using command line ImageX. Following this I imported the resultant image into MDT2010 and deployed it and that worked okay.

    So far my attempts to capture from audit mode using an MDT task sequence have failed.

    Any thoughts?

    =====

    I found the below post which suggests that my method is possible just not used widely:

    https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/mdt/thread/195cabe7-4c44-4fde-83b7-0ada588dbeb5

    • Edited by nyQuist- Tuesday, March 13, 2012 9:49 PM
    Tuesday, March 13, 2012 9:01 PM

Answers

  • The method you are using is not widely used and rightly said by Johan in the last thread.

    Most companies using MDT use a virtual machine as their reference machine. Install all applications manually and make the customizations.

    Once all that is done, taking a snapshot is a good option.

    Here your reference machine is ready. Now you can use a task sequence in MDT called "sysprep and capture". Then from the reference machine connect to the deployment share and click on litetouch.vbs. This will prompt you for the capture wim location etc in the start and will syprep the machine and upload the image in WINPE phase. Now you can add that OS to Deployment Workbench.

    The benefit here is that you dont need to know about the switches etc and deploy applications using MDT. Just build the machine manually and capture it. Reverting is also easy, in case of a VM.


    Regards, Vik Singh

    • Marked as answer by nyQuist- Friday, March 16, 2012 1:18 PM
    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 2:13 PM

All replies

  • that's certainly possible we use that method at work.

    we install new computers with mdt which puts the pc in audit mode at the end of the TS. Then a technician can make the final adjustments and check if everything is working correct and then excecutes litetouch to use one of the sysprep task-sequences we have

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 10:12 AM
  • Thanks for your reply. It has reassured me.

    I think I was just concerned about reading all of the documentation and guides that seem to recommend a certain way of doing things.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 1:37 PM
  • The method you are using is not widely used and rightly said by Johan in the last thread.

    Most companies using MDT use a virtual machine as their reference machine. Install all applications manually and make the customizations.

    Once all that is done, taking a snapshot is a good option.

    Here your reference machine is ready. Now you can use a task sequence in MDT called "sysprep and capture". Then from the reference machine connect to the deployment share and click on litetouch.vbs. This will prompt you for the capture wim location etc in the start and will syprep the machine and upload the image in WINPE phase. Now you can add that OS to Deployment Workbench.

    The benefit here is that you dont need to know about the switches etc and deploy applications using MDT. Just build the machine manually and capture it. Reverting is also easy, in case of a VM.


    Regards, Vik Singh

    • Marked as answer by nyQuist- Friday, March 16, 2012 1:18 PM
    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 2:13 PM
  • I've read about this method before but didn't realise I'd be able to build it manually then do what I have been doing on a physical machine. It didn't occur to me that I'd be able to take a snapshot before I run Sysprep and Capture - but this sounds like a really good way to preserve your reference image and make changes if needed.

    I'm going to go away now and set up some virtual machines and give it a go.

    Thanks all for your responses. I think I just needed to be pointed in the right direction!

    Thursday, March 15, 2012 1:33 PM