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Building a vanilla image RRS feed

  • Question

  • How do you build your vanilla/reference images for deployment and how do you go about editing them?

    Here is my setup.

    1. Create a VM and install Windows

    2. Install Windows updates

    3. Light configurations (do most (if not all) configurations via the Task sequences/unattend.xml during build process)

    4. Shut down and take Snapshot

    5. Boot into Windows and run Capture task via MDT. Import that into MDT

    ***Several months may have passed***

    6. Revert to Snapshot, install Windows updates

    7. Shut down and take Snapshot

    8. Boot into Windows and run Capture task via MDT. Import that into MDT

    ***Repeat process***

    I do the above to get around the Sysprep limit in Windows 7, 8.1 and 2012 R2. Can anyone suggest an alternative method?

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 4:25 AM

All replies

  • You can use MDT to create a build and capture task sequence, it will install Windows on a new VM configure it (apps and customizations then capture it).

    This kind of TS requires that you import all theses apps in MDT and that you create configuration scripts to run a fully automated process but then the gain of time is considerable.


    Mickael,
    My technet galleries contributions :
    ConfigMgr driver injector
    SCCM Collection splitter
    ConfigMgr TS Tools
    Customize WinPE images with powershell

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 10:35 AM
  • Something like this. You add a suspend sequence so that you can do any manual configurations needed and to give you a spot to revert to where you can run Windows Update to patch your image.

    To automate it, configure your customsettings.ini to include:
    DoCapture=YES  <-- this will sysprep and capture your image
    FinishAction=Shutdown  <-- Shuts the VM down after it's done

    Of course add any other Skip whatever settings to make it as automated as possible. This is why I like having a separate "Admin" deployment share, so you can have it configured just to build reference images.

    To continue the task sequence there will be a shortcut on the desktop called "Resume Task Sequence"


    If this post is helpful please vote it as Helpful or click Mark for answer.


    • Edited by Dan_Vega Wednesday, May 27, 2015 8:21 PM
    • Proposed as answer by Dan_Vega Wednesday, May 27, 2015 8:22 PM
    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 1:06 PM
  • I agree with mponsot's answer.

    The recommended method for updating your 'base' image is to rebuild it from scratch, and you can (and should) automate this process in MDT:

    1. Create task sequence called "Build reference image"
    2. As part of this task sequence choose the option to prepare and capture the image
    3. On your reference system (physical or virtual) boot into the Lite Touch image and choose the "Build reference image" task sequence.
    4. MDT installs Windows and all your other components and also runs sysprep and captures the image for you
    5. Import this image into MDT
    6. Create a task sequence to deploy it such as "Deploy Custom Image version #1"
    7. Deploy the image to your hardware using the "Deploy Custom Image Version #1" task sequence

    Fast forward 3 days/weeks/months later, you need to make revisions to the image.  Do so using the following process:

    1. Update your Deployment Share with the new applications, drivers etc..
    2. Update the "Build reference image" task sequence with your changes
    3. On your reference system (physical or virtual) boot into the Lite Touch image and choose the "Build reference image" task sequence. (Same as before)
    4. MDT installs Windows and all your other components and also runs sysprep and captures the image for you (Same as before)
    5. Import this new image into MDT (Same as before)
    6. Create a new task sequence to deploy it, for example "Deploy Custom Image Version #2"
    7. Deploy the image to your hardware using the "Deploy Custom Image Version #2" task sequence

    The difference is that you rebuild your reference image from scratch each time and sysprep is only run once.

    This is advantageous for several reasons including (but not limited to):

    1. Consistent process for building the reference image
    2. Requires no modification of the default install.wim
    3. Uses built in mechanisms of setup to add drivers and updates to the install
    4. Easy to add/remove components for testing
    5. No interaction required by the user or deployment technician.
    6. Decreases the risk of introducing configuration errors.

    With MDT automating the process of installing the operating system, drivers, updates, applications, and the capture of the image you ensure that each time you want to update an image the image is rebuilt in a consistent automated fashion.
    This image is also prepared with sysprep only once which helps prevent the random issues with images that have had sysprep run on them many times.


    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 3:24 PM
  • You can use MDT to create a build and capture task sequence, it will install Windows on a new VM configure it (apps and customizations then capture it).

    This kind of TS requires that you import all theses apps in MDT and that you create configuration scripts to run a fully automated process but then the gain of time is considerable.


    Mickael,
    My technet galleries contributions :
    ConfigMgr driver injector
    SCCM Collection splitter
    ConfigMgr TS Tools
    Customize WinPE images with powershell

    What? That wasn't my question - I know what MDT is. My question was related to the actual creation of a "Gold Disk".
    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 10:50 PM
  • Sounds like you have something that works for you...  Although I find it generally easier to just let MDT handle all the things.  I like to build 'gold image's from the ground up each time.

    Suggested reading:

    http://renshollanders.nl/2014/07/mdt-how-i-build-my-reference-images-user-question/

    http://deploymentresearch.com/Research/Post/357/Building-reference-images-like-a-boss


    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.

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 11:10 PM
    Moderator
  • Nice post Julius.
    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 11:16 PM