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Use MDT 2012 to deploy in audit mode, then capture reference computer RRS feed

  • Question

  • Maybe I'm not searching right, I haven't found answers to what I'm trying and if there's a better way I'm all ears.

    Here's what I'm trying to do.

    1. Use MDT to deploy Windows in "Audit mode" to reference computer.
      + When I do this the MDT script halts after it runs the oobeSystem pass, Windows is in Audit mode, but MDT doesn't finish and clean up.
    2. Make manual adjustments to image, such as install some apps all computers will have, etc.
    3. Use MDT to sysprep and capture.
    4. Deploy captured image to target machines.

    Should I manually install Windows and then use Ctrl+Shift+F3 to go into Audit mode, make my changes, then leverage MDT?

    Is there a proper MDT way to deploy a reference image, manually add software and then sysprep and capture? I don't have virtual software at my disposal so I have to do this on actual hardware.

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 9:51 PM

Answers

  • Firstly, if at all possible, you should build your reference image in a virtual machine.  This is mostly due to drivers, but it makes your reference image "cleaner" and is the best practice.  If you have Windows 8, it now has Hyper-V (instead of only on Servers) and can be used to help with this.

    Assuming you are using MDT 2012 Update 1 (latest version) and are attempting to build your reference image, there is a Script in the Scripts folder (LTISuspend.wsf) that will pause in the middle of the Task Sequence, let you do manual work, and then resume the rest of the Task Sequence.  Just create a "Run Command Line" Step with the line "cscript.exe %SCRIPTROOT%\LTISuspend.wsf".

    That said, Jason is exactly correct.  You should strive to find a way to automate everything in building your reference image.  Manual steps take time, extra documentation, and are "error likely".  It's better to create PowerShell, batch, WSF, CMD, etc. scripts to do what you need during your build, even if it's just to copy a file into a folder, create a single registry key, etc.


    David Coulter | http://DCtheGeek.blogspot.com | @DCtheGeek

    • Marked as answer by Dan_Vega Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:23 PM
    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 11:22 PM
    Answerer

All replies

  • The proper way is to do anything manually -- it's anti-IT. That's the point of build and capture task sequences. Let MDT build your reference image for you.

    Jason | http://blog.configmgrftw.com

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:07 PM
  • But it can't do everything. I need to install a few apps that CAN'T be installed by creating an application package.

    Do I need to even go into Audit mode or can I deploy Windows, install the apps and then run a sysprep and capture task?

    • Edited by Dan_Vega Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:55 PM
    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:42 PM
  • Firstly, if at all possible, you should build your reference image in a virtual machine.  This is mostly due to drivers, but it makes your reference image "cleaner" and is the best practice.  If you have Windows 8, it now has Hyper-V (instead of only on Servers) and can be used to help with this.

    Assuming you are using MDT 2012 Update 1 (latest version) and are attempting to build your reference image, there is a Script in the Scripts folder (LTISuspend.wsf) that will pause in the middle of the Task Sequence, let you do manual work, and then resume the rest of the Task Sequence.  Just create a "Run Command Line" Step with the line "cscript.exe %SCRIPTROOT%\LTISuspend.wsf".

    That said, Jason is exactly correct.  You should strive to find a way to automate everything in building your reference image.  Manual steps take time, extra documentation, and are "error likely".  It's better to create PowerShell, batch, WSF, CMD, etc. scripts to do what you need during your build, even if it's just to copy a file into a folder, create a single registry key, etc.


    David Coulter | http://DCtheGeek.blogspot.com | @DCtheGeek

    • Marked as answer by Dan_Vega Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:23 PM
    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 11:22 PM
    Answerer
  • CAN'T


    Everything can be automated, that's the whole point of IT. It may take some time, knowledge, and effort, but it can be done.

    Jason | http://blog.configmgrftw.com

    Thursday, November 29, 2012 12:41 AM
  • Thanks, I guess I missed the announcement about Windows 8 coming with Hyper-V, I'll have to give that a try when I've got time.

    I'll try the suspend script, hopefully that's all I'll need. While yes I agree with automation (most everything I do is automated), there are a couple internal apps that can't be installed by creating a task with some switches. Since every single image pushed out needs this software, it makes more sense to bake it into the image.

    Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:52 PM
  • I agree with Jason. Create msi's for those apps. Will help you in the future if you need an upgrade. And add them to your TS. And then capture.
    Thursday, November 29, 2012 3:59 PM
  • Those apps are used for access to our mainframe, there's no msi and there will be no updates to it (last version was from 2009). Eventually we won't need it as the idea is to transition to web based, but I may be close to retirement by the time that happens. Everything else like java, flash, adobe apps, etc. is packaged and installed from an msi.

    I installed Hyper-V, I'm going to use David's suggestion of suspending the deployment so I can do what I need to. I'll use Hyper-V to snapshot it while it's suspended so if I ever need to I can reload from this point to make any needed changes to the reference image.

    Once I'm done I'll let MDT continue and it will do the capturing, the rest will all be handled by MDT.

    Thursday, November 29, 2012 4:30 PM
  • As an update I was able to successfully create a reference image using the LTISuspend script to modify what I needed to and update Windows. Hyper-V worked perfectly for what I needed/wanted to do. I made a snapshot of the reference image while LiteTouch was suspended, that way I can reload it to make any needed changes and capture a new updated reference image.

    I created two deployment shares. One of them houses my source OS files so I can create reference images, etc and no one else but me will have access to or deploy from there. The other deployment share is my main one which is used for pushing the reference images to the target computers, houses all the applications, etc. By doing it this way I don't have to hide tasks when I'm not working on the base images.

    In case it helps anyone, while creating my reference image I disabled the "Apply Local GPO Package" so it wouldn't modify anything. That way when you deploy the reference image you have the choice of applying a GPO pack or not.

    By following the steps provided in the quick start guide for creating a reference image and using the suspend script, I didn't have to deal with Audit mode at all. So if anyone else is trying to use it, you don't need to. Take advantage of Hyper-V on Windows 8, it's been wonderful to use.

    Friday, November 30, 2012 7:29 PM