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USMT 101

    Question

  • Have some general questions regarding USMT (4.x as I'm running SCCM SP2/R2). I've NOT done any USMT steps yet to upgrade a machine from XP, VISTA or Even Windowsw 7 to a "fresh" Windows 7 build. I've browsed around on various sites as I'm trying to understand the basic steps to get the USMT package setup as well as what options I need to consider for these upgrades. Specifically seen Windows-NOOB site which discusses multiple USMT packages and a bit about offline vs. I guess ONLINE mode. My basic questions are:

    • Sounds like I need multiple packages defined? can someone give a basic breakdown of what packages are needed and why?
    • What will USMT capture and how do I configure this? (for example if I want to include a specific User Folder to carry forward to the new build or exclude/include certain document types, how (or CAN) this be done)?
    • Looks like this OFFLINE USMT process will do the scanstate/etc. in WinPE mode, what's the advantage of this vs. I guess ONLINE USMT?
    • What is the "Hardlinks" process of USMT and can thi be used in OFFLINE mode and/or with Formatting my C: drive?
    • Can I still FORMAT MY C: drive as part of my task sequence? (using offline mode)? or is this when I would need a "State Migration Point"?

    THANKS As always.. your insights have been VERY helpful to a SCCM rookie.

    Monday, April 5, 2010 5:18 PM

Answers

  • THANKS Mike,

    changing the xcopy to use %_SMSTSabc12345%* (where abc12345 is the package ID of the package) to copy just the single package (when advertisement was set to "Access Content directly from Distribution point") corrected that issue.

    THANKS Niall, Mike and all for pointing me in the right direction.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010 1:13 PM

All replies

  • hiya,

    * for traditional USMT 4 you need just one package, which itself contains both the X86 and X64 bits, that will handle USMT 4 hardlinking and all the other things in SCCM, however if you want to do OFFLINE mode in WinPE (which isn't currently supported in SCCM) then you'll have to get creative and script something to figure out your architecture like Peter has done here:

    http://www.petervanderwoude.nl/post/Capture-User-Files-and-Settings-in-Offline-Mode-(WinPE)-with-ConfigMgr-2007.aspx

    * the reason I created a guide (and webcast ) which referenced only the X86 bits of the USMT 4 package is because I was proving that it could be done (in SCCM)  and thus was only verifying it worked in 32bit, Peter then went and kindly created the script to detect both architectures. So use what you want, we have provided both for you.

    *USMT will capture what is defined in the XML files that by default are included in the USMT package, they can be opened in notepad to review what is captured and what is not. Technet has full details of what is captured by default.

    * the advantage of offline mode is that no services or programs are running therefore no risk of locked files so no missed data risks..., plus it's faster.

    * look at my webcast above, it shows offline mode in winpe and it uses hardlinking too, i explain it all there.

    * offline mode with hardlinking wipes the drive, not format, if you want a format then use a SMP (state migration point..)

    hth

    cheers

    niall

     

     



    My step by step SCCM Guides
    windows-noob on Twitter
    Monday, April 5, 2010 7:09 PM
    Moderator
  • As always.. THANKS Niall

    Questions based on yoru response

    •  on your last statement "Hardlinking wipes the drive, not format" what does wiping the drive mean (ie. all that's left is the WIM image being installed and the c:\hardlink "folder" that is serving as the local SMP point for what USMT is saving/restoring? Is that my understanding?
    • Traditional USMT is NOT using Offline? (seems offline would be the way to go, but maybe I'm missing why traditional might be better)?

    THANKS again

    Monday, April 5, 2010 9:52 PM
  • * wiping means that all directories and files other than those being backed up via hardlinking and in process such as the task sequence files themselves are wiped (deleted) leaving a clean drive with a _SMSTSTasksequence folder and some sub-folders/files... if you have 60gb of local data on an XP box that you want to migrate to Windows 7, hardlinking would be the way to go (very fast to index the 60gb)

    * Traditional USMT did not use Offline mode prior to USMT4 so it's a new feature, to be honest i'd recommend you test both Offline and normal usmt 4 methods, remember that offline mode just means that you are running scanstate within windows PE, normally it would run in Windows... so files could be open, locked and therfore at risk of not being copied....

     

     



    My step by step SCCM Guides
    windows-noob on Twitter
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 5:33 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Niall,

    Reviewed your webcast and links (nice job btw) and have a couple more questions:

    • I've not seen documentation on the USMT packages that need to be created? is that documented somewhere (as it seems to be 2 or 3 packages)?
    • Presuming I will be installing some applications Like lets say Office & Visio (as an example), do I need to install the applications BEFORE the RESTORE USER FILES AND SETTINGS, so the settings for applications will be carried forward? or I guess hte questions is how does USMT capture/restore "state" work in conjunction with reinstalling applications and do you need to be concerned with what order the app install/USMT restore is done?

    THANKS

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 12:31 PM
  • Found this as a reference for USMT package?: http://scug.dk/blogs/configurationmanager/archive/2009/09/10/configuring-usmt-4-0-for-configuration-manager-part-1.aspx

    But was under the impression you need a couple differant packages???

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 12:35 PM
  • The only reason I can think of that would require you to need two different USMT packages would be if you are doing or using something that requires you to specify the 32bit or 64bit version of USMT that does not automatically detect the correct version to use by itself. 

    Other than that...  No, you only need one USMT package.


    Mike N.
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 1:48 PM
  • Thanks Mike,

    See now I guess the basic premise is the USMT package is xcopied to the local drive of the machine and then SCANSTATE.EXE is run (Bat File in Peter example determines the x64/x86 architecture and calls the correct executable) for the capture.

    Thanks for clarifying.

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 2:21 PM
  • i'll try again,

     

    normally in usmt 4 it's one package as described in the link above to scug.dk, that's a normal USMT 4 package.

    SCCM doesn't support OFFLINE mode in winpe via USMT 4 with or without a USMT 4 normal package, so in order for us to get it to work we have to script it, which requires manually calling the scanstate.exe, and hence, the workaround USMT 4 x86 package which I have referenced in my offline example guide,

    I'm pretty sure in the webcast and in the guide that I've made it clear that it's a workaround ! but perhaps i need to clarify that some more

    cheers

    niall



    My step by step SCCM Guides
    windows-noob on Twitter
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 3:09 PM
    Moderator
  • Basically sounds like getting offline USMT you need to copy and execute scanstate.exe (right architecture of course).. with whatever scripting means you desire (BAT as you & Peter's example shows are fine).

    I notice in your examples though the OSDStateStorePath is set to be the location of the hardlinked files (that's my impression), but I don't see where that path is ever specified when calling scanstate.exe. Is this OSDStateStorePath simply the default location where scanstate.exe will store the to-be-migrated documents/etc???

    Your guides are a BIG help in getting through various procedures in SCCM/MDT/AIK/OSD/etc. etc. etc.. It's never clear till you fight through it the first time (just like about everything else in SCCM) :) :)

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 3:58 PM
  • Ignore that.. I'm an idiot.

    See the OSDStateStorePath as the first variable in the SCANSTATE.EXE call.

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 4:11 PM
  • Ok Niall,

    Last question. In your webcast you show the TS Step for "Restore User Files and Settings" which is basically a "Restore User State" type task.

    How does LOADSTATE (which I'm presuming is "reloading" the State that was backed up by Scanstate.exe) know where the state is stored? I don't see any call being made to loadstate passing the OSDStateStorePath?

    You have a radio button selected in your webcast "Customize how user profiles are restored"? but I see no explanation of that in the webcast or your NOOB article.

    How does loadstate know where to load the state from?

    THANKS

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 4:30 PM
  • hi again

    that's a standard command from a ConfigMgr task sequence, which i have a screenshot of in this post (scroll down),

    you can specify xml files (i specify two) to tell loadstate what to restore and the osdstatestorepath variable tells it where to get the stuff from.



    My step by step SCCM Guides
    windows-noob on Twitter
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 5:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Niall, (Honestly don't see a screen shot of the "Restore User State" (see it in your webcast).. I can mange without, but I was just wondering how the OSDStateStorePath gets used by loadstate which you answered above.

    I've got this setup and am testing and running into an issue where the XCOPY of the USMT bits seems to be copying ALL CONTENTS of SMSPKG$ (or maybe a subset).. I'm not sure currently. I see on your site someone else on NOOB had this same issue (http://www.windows-noob.com/forums/index.php?/topic/1735-using-offline-mode-in-windows-pe-using-usmt-4-via-a-task-sequence-in-sccm-2007-sp2/page__pid__6137  ), but not sure I see a clear response on the workaround (or if there is one).. So maybe I need to come up with some creative way to xcopy the USMT bits down???

    Mention was made if the Advertisement was set to use "Access content directly from a distribution point when needed by the running task" but not sure why that would be a factor??

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 6:03 PM
  • can i see a screenshot of that step of your task sequence please

    My step by step SCCM Guides
    windows-noob on Twitter
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 6:45 PM
    Moderator
  • And you add a screenshot here how?
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 7:08 PM
  • upload it anywhere you want and link to it from here

    My step by step SCCM Guides
    windows-noob on Twitter
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 7:20 PM
    Moderator
  • Okay here it is:

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 7:21 PM
  • Okay lets try this again:

     

    08
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 7:58 PM
  • my command line reads:

     

    xcopy * %systemdrive%\USMTbits\X86 /herciy

     

    and my package reads:

     

    USMT 4 x86,

     

    both of yours are different in the screenshot above



    My step by step SCCM Guides
    windows-noob on Twitter
    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 8:04 PM
    Moderator
  • So you have a seperate Package for the X86 USMT files? (Before you said only needed one package for X86/AMD64)??

    The * implies ALL FILES from the package Specified? so all files from the package would be copied to the local USMT path specified (whatever it is).. WHY is xcopy copying all the packages from the SMSPKG$ share when this command is run?

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 11:04 PM
  • hi again,

    my sample for the Offline mode in WinPE is a Workaround and proof of concept , and therefore it uses TWO usmt4 packages, one is the normal usmt4 package containing both x86 and x64 and the other is merely pointing at the x86 folder and all files within, it works perfectly for me, the guide and webcast clearly state there are two usmt4 packages invovled and that it is a workaround and therefore not normal to have the two usmt4 packages...

    Peters produced his guide after i showed it could be done and it contains code to detect the architecture and therefore only needs the normal usmt4 package,

    i'm pretty sure i've pointed out that the usmt4 packages used in the workaround are just that, a workaround to get it working....

    cheers

    niall



    My step by step SCCM Guides
    windows-noob on Twitter
    Wednesday, April 7, 2010 3:49 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Niall, and yes that was my understanding as well (that only 1 package containing both x86 and x64 and have the code detect the proper call to scanstate after the xcopy copies the code locally).

    The issue I was pointing out was when copying (via the XCOPY) from the USMT package (yes both x86 & AMD64 folders) to the C:\USMTBITS folder (or whatever folder name you desire) and when you have the advertisement set to "Access Content Directly from a Distribution point when needed by the running task sequence", IT APPEARS TO COPY ALL THE CONTENTS from SMSPKGS$ (I had 4 packages copied to my C:\USMTBITS folder as I was monitoring it via F8 CMD line). (This is the same issue that someone on the NOOB site pointed out).

    I'm trying to understand:

    1. Why XCOPY is copying multiple packages instead of just the contents of the 1 package I have specified in the TS (I would expect to see the X86 & AMD64 folder/contents copied from my USMT package to C:\USMTBITS and that is NOT what I'm seeing. This seems to be true when the advertisement is set to access content directly.

    I'm obviously trying to find a way to XCOPY as desired the contents of the package, but do NOT want to keep the option to "Access content from the DP" in my advertisment for other reasons in my deployment.

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010 11:31 AM
  • I think you've stumbled onto a bug becasue the folks at Microsoft that do the Modena Tools development have come across the exact same thing.

    Here's what they recommend for their Modena Tools, but perhaps this will help you as well:

    http://blogs.technet.com/osd/archive/2009/12/31/why-do-all-packages-get-cached-when-steps-to-cache-content-from-a-specific-package-run.aspx

     


    Mike N.
    Thursday, April 8, 2010 6:05 PM
  • Thanks Mike. The quick reading seems to explain the issue I was seeing exactly. I'll take a look at the work arounds for this bug.
    Thursday, April 8, 2010 6:59 PM
  • Thanks Mike. The quick reading seems to explain the issue I was seeing exactly. I'll take a look at the work arounds for this bug.
    Thursday, April 8, 2010 6:59 PM
  • THANKS Mike,

    changing the xcopy to use %_SMSTSabc12345%* (where abc12345 is the package ID of the package) to copy just the single package (when advertisement was set to "Access Content directly from Distribution point") corrected that issue.

    THANKS Niall, Mike and all for pointing me in the right direction.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010 1:13 PM