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Can I perform an OFFLINE (NO LAN) USB deployment? RRS feed

  • Question

  • What's up everybody!

    I'm trying to deploy Windows 7 through an offline media installation on an USB key. I'm wondering if it's possible to get an installation of the operating system image, drivers, some apps like Office, via offline instalation without LAN connection. 

    I've been trying to find out an answer and I've found some blogs on the internet about how to create an usb deployment but it seems to use the share folder like "\\Server\deploymentShare" as DeployRoot. Can I put into my bootstrap.ini something like F:\Deploy?? And so on my TaskSequence??

    Every time I run a windows installation through USB key in a couple of PCs it seems to assign by default letter F:\, so F:\ would be the letter to use.

    This is getting on my nerves! And I'm testing with no luck.

    Hope everyone could help!

    Thank you everybody

    Thursday, May 16, 2013 9:51 AM

Answers

  • The first error is "rule Priority key not set in section [Settings]".  Can you post your CustomSettings.ini from the Media (not the Deploy Share)?  It looks like you might have cut too much out, so Gather is failing.

    As for bginfo.exe, try replacing Z: with %DeployRoot% (both in Command line and Start in).


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

    • Marked as answer by Alex López Tuesday, May 21, 2013 6:20 AM
    Friday, May 17, 2013 1:20 PM
    Answerer

All replies

  • HI,

     I was managed to deploy VIA USB  and DVD.

    USB

    Step1

    Formatting with NFTS works fine.

    diskpart list disk select disk X (where X is the disk ID) clean
    format fs=ntfs quick
    active
    exit

    Step 2.

    Create the Deployment share and add the Image / Drivers and create TS for Image. Then under Advance Create the Media. ( NO LAN Required)

    Copy the content to the USB

    Let me know if this work.

    AS

    Thursday, May 16, 2013 11:38 AM
  • Hi AS,

    Thanks for your answer...!

    Have you deployed this USB Stick in a PC without ethernet cable??

    I've been trying to do this like you're saying with no luck. I'm trying to deploy to a PC via USB stick, and this PC hasn't got any Ethernet cable connected.

    I've skipped any wizard window except when I have to put the machine name and after that, it makes all unattended.

    When I connect the USB Stick I can boot through it but when I put the machine name, and click "Next" it crashes without any error and restart machine...

    I think it could be problem of working directories. 

    Thank you again for your help!

    Thursday, May 16, 2013 12:00 PM
  • Media is precisely the way to do what you want.  You'll need to have already created your Applications, Operating System, Out-of-Box Drivers, and Task Sequence that you want to use Offline.  Then you create a Selection Profile that includes each of these things (Applications, OS, OoB Drivers, Task Sequence).  The Offline Media also has it's own CustomSettings.ini and Bootstrap.ini (editable from the Media item properties) as well as WinPE rules for Features and Drivers.  Once everything is setup, update the Media by right-clicking and doing "Update Media Content".  By default, this will build out LiteTouchMedia.iso in your Media folder and inject everything based on your Selection Profiles.  The easiest way to test this is mount it on a Virtual Machine with no network to validate the Task Sequence and all apps work as expected.

    Some things may need minor tweaking, but that's the gist of it.


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

    Thursday, May 16, 2013 12:57 PM
    Answerer
  • Thanks David,

    So, obviously there's something I'm doing wrong...! Let's try to expose what I'm doing:

    I've got a DeploymentShare for PXE installation and it works like a charm. So, I've created a new Task Sequence called OfflineTS and copy & paste almost every phase of the active Task sequence (only deleted some drivers which I don't need).

    I've created a selection profile called OfflineProfile selecting everything I need and created my Media.

    I've copied the CustomSettings.ini from the online task sequence to Media except part of joining domain (JoinDomain, DomainAdmin,...). For bootstrap.ini I've copied everything too... The DeployRoot for my Online Task sequence is \\Server\DeploymentShare$ and so is in my Media bootstrap.ini (I think this is wrong, isn't it? Have I got to configure some DeployRoot in bootstrap.ini for offline installation?).

    I've got the iso image and I've tested to a virtual machine and it crashes... :(

    What am I doing wrong??

    I'd appreciate any help!

    Alex López.

    Thursday, May 16, 2013 5:30 PM
  • 1.  Delete DeployRoot from your Media's Bootstrap.ini.  It's not needed and is likely confusing things.

    2.  How big is your generated ISO?  Let's validate it has everything you need.  Mount it up to a working Virtual Machine in Full OS and browse it.  You should be able to see stuff under \Applications, \Operating Systems, \Out-of-Box Drivers, \Control.  Basically, everything you would in a normal deployment share, except now it's in your ISO file.  This will let us validate that your Selection Profiles are working.

    Once you've checked both those, we can try again and see what happens and debug from there.


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

    Thursday, May 16, 2013 5:36 PM
    Answerer
  • Once again thanks for your help, I really apreciate it so much David.

    Well, I've been trying this on a VM and took a few screenshots:

    - I deleted DeployRooy from Media's Bootstrap.ini as you said.

    - I made a new selection profile called "Offline Selection Profile" selecting the drivers which I only need, all aplications, W7 image, and a new task sequence called "OfflineTS". After that I've created Media item with this selection profile.

    - This finally generates an iso file with this size: 4,64 GB

    - After that, I've connected this media to a Virtual Machine and explore what the contents would be.

    - Everything seems to be alright. It has \Boot \Deploy \EFI and if you explore \Deploy, you get \$OEM$, Applications, Backup, Boot, Captures, Control, Operating System, Out-of-Box Drivers, Packages, Scripts, Servicing, Tools, USMT and a file called "Audit.txt". So I start the deploy process on my Virtual Machine and I 'm seeing Windows Boot Manager black screen asking for chose between Litetouch Boot x86 and x64 (maybe this is because I've updated media content selecting x86 and x64 images, isn't it...? I will unselect x64)

    - After selecting x86, I put some options to my deployment wizard as hostname and workgroup and get the following error:

    - It says "Failed to run the last action: Iniciando Fase" this time, and I think this is because I'm using bginfo to customize my deployment pointing to the shared folder of the PXE deployment. What kind of path should I use for this case "F:\Deploy\Tools\..." or "X:\Deploy\Tools\..."??

    Removing the option "DeployRoot" from Bootstrap.ini has done another errors I've got to disappear.

    While you answer, I'll try to disable the steps where I'm using bginfo and try again.

    Thanks again!

    Friday, May 17, 2013 7:22 AM
  • The first error is "rule Priority key not set in section [Settings]".  Can you post your CustomSettings.ini from the Media (not the Deploy Share)?  It looks like you might have cut too much out, so Gather is failing.

    As for bginfo.exe, try replacing Z: with %DeployRoot% (both in Command line and Start in).


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

    • Marked as answer by Alex López Tuesday, May 21, 2013 6:20 AM
    Friday, May 17, 2013 1:20 PM
    Answerer
  • I've changed Z: with %DeployRoot%, edited my CustomSettings.ini with some rules I've forgotten and it works like a charm!

    I really appreciate your help David. World would be a better place to live if there were more people like you!

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013 6:23 AM