How to make existing custom image work with new Advanced Format disks? RRS feed

  • Question

  • We have an existing custom Windows 7 image that we use on multiple computer models.  The newer shipments of these otherwise similar PCs (same model name) have started to be shipped with Advanced Format disks and our image doesn't work on the more recently manufactured systems.

    We are deploying both kinds of hard disks at the same time with the same custom wim file.

    With MDT 2010, how can we make an existing image created on a conventional disk work on an advanced format disk?

    Is there a way to make the new 4K disk work as a 512K disk with a disk config tool or is there a command in MDT 2010 to do some kind of special partitioning that works with advanced format disks only if the system is detected as having a 4K disk?

    Friday, April 18, 2014 2:34 AM

All replies

  • Not sure what you mean by: "...our image doesn't work on the more recently manufactured systems."

    Wim files are not sector based so as long as the disk is formatted properly, whatever the contents of the Wim file will be applied properly to the disk. So the real trick is ensure that you are using a modern version of WinPE, at least WinPE 3.1 or greater.

    See my old post from 2011 about Advanced Format disks: http://xtremeconsulting.com/blog/new-tool-advanced-format-drives/

    Keith Garner - keithga.wordpress.com

    Friday, April 18, 2014 4:19 PM
  • To add on to what Keith said, is there a reason why you are using the old deployment tools? The only reason why I am asking is for the fact that you are losing much needed support for newer hardware, OSs, UEFI, etc.

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”

    Friday, April 18, 2014 4:30 PM
  • Our current version of MDT is capable of deploying to these disks because a different Windows 7 image we have deploys from the same MDT server successfully to both the previous PCs with standard disks and the new PC with the AF drives.

    It appears the problem image that only works when the PC has a standard drive installed is missing something (maybe too old version of Intel Rapid Storage Technology) or some other disk related driver and we need some way of adding the fix to the image.

    Just swapping the AF disk out for a standard disk make this image work, but we cannot swap all these drives as a solution. 

    We will upgrade to a newer version of MDT later, but are in no hurry because we do not deploy Windows 8 or 8.1 at this time.

    • Edited by MyGposts Saturday, April 19, 2014 5:46 AM
    Saturday, April 19, 2014 5:45 AM
  • You may be able to get by with just running MDT 2010 for now. *However* you *must* ensure that you are running WinPE 3.1 or greater, If you are unsure, open up a command prompt in WinPE (PRess F8), and run "ver" it should say build 7601 or greater, 7600 and less is not compatible.

    When done, Run the Dell Advanced Format tool in the Full OS on a deployed machine to verify:  http://del.ly/afhdd  Although it is possible to install an OS on an Advanced Format Drive with WInPE 3.0 or earlier, and it may *appear* to work, performance may suffer. The Dell AF tool should tell you if the sectors are aligned properly.

    Additionally, it is also possible that the storage driver you have installed in your image is incompatible with AF drives. Check the Make/Model and check with the Hardware Mfg to see if they have driver that supports AF drives.

    Keith Garner - keithga.wordpress.com

    Saturday, April 19, 2014 5:37 PM
  • One thing that I thought of was your custom image. Did you install any storage drivers into the image before capturing? If you did (you did it wrong), then check your driver version. It's known that old Intel Sata drivers have issues with 4k disks. You need at least version 9.6.


    Tuesday, April 22, 2014 2:54 PM