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The Perfect Boot Image?

    Question

  • Dear Fellow Deployment Pirates,

     

    How do you all have your MDT / WDS setup to build your boot images?  How do you suggest that I set up my system to build an appropriate LiteTouchPE.wim?

     

    My setup and situation:

    Gateway E6300 workstation

    4GB RAM

    WDS and MDT2012 installed to secondary RocketRAID 2TB Volume

    Database is default install

     

    Computers that I am trying to deploy to so far:

    Dell:                       29 Models

    HP:                         6 Models

    Gateway:            17 Models

     

    Under Out-of-Box Drivers I have created folders for Windows 7 x86 and Windows 7 x64.  Under each folder OS I have a folder for each manufacturer and a folder for each model.  I have imported all drivers that I could download for each model in their own folder for that OS.  I also created WinPE x86 and WinPE x64 folders with sub-folders with the same layout of manufacturer then model.  In those folders under the WinPE folders, they only contain mass storage and nic drivers.  I have created WinPE x86 and WinPE x64 Selection Profiles set to include only the drivers for the WinPE folders when creating the LiteTouch.wim file.  I also set MDT Deployment Share Properties x86 and x64 to use the appropriate WinPE selection profile.  The result is a few computers and Virtual Box virtual OS boot in 2 min 15 sec.  Others boot 20-40 minutes.  To me it seems as if I have mass storage or nic driver issues. 

    Thanks,

    Travis


    Monday, August 29, 2011 7:28 PM

All replies

  • => Travis

    Can you please be specific regarding this statement.  "Others boot 20-40 minutes.  To me it seems as if I have mass storage or nic driver issues.".  Also, at what point are the "others" lagging in WinPE?  The phase of the black screen with white progress bar or are they hanging after the background is displayed?


    -BrianG (http://supportishere.com)
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 4:25 AM
  • Hi Brian, thanks for the reply.  The time I am referring to is the PXE boot black and white screen with the white progress bar.  The preboot.n12 takes 20 seconds, boot.sdi seems to take 54 seconds, and the LiteTouchPE_x86.wim (924 MB on the WDS server) takes 28 minutes to get to the logon to then choose a task to begin to deploy a selected OS.  My Virtualbox guest Os can be up to the logon screen in 2:50 from the time I hit F12.

    Thanks,

    Travis

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 2:27 PM
  • My setup is very similar to yours but I don't worry with Make/Model subfolders for my WinPE OOB driver folder within MDT.

    Out-of-Box Drivers
    ---WinPE
    --------x86
    --------x64

    I have a Drivers folder on the MDT server than contains all of SCSI and Network drivers, separated by Make/Model subfolders. I import those drivers into the correct folder in MDT, and then I manually delete any mismatched drivers. (No x86-only drivers in the x64 folder, for example.) My Selection Profiles point to the appropriate driver locations, and the x86 and x64 tabs under my deployment share properties points to the aforementioned Selection Profiles, and the "Include all video drivers" and "Include all system-class drives" checkboxes are not selected.

    My x64 boot WIM is 197MB; my x86 boot WIM is 183MB.

    My setup is a Dell PowerEdge T610, 12GB of RAM, WDS and MDT 2010 Update 1, no database. I only support 3 HP models and about 10 Dell models, which may have something to do with the smaller boot images. Still, 924 MB is huge. Are you sure you only have the minimum boot and network drivers required?


    -Nick O.
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 8:35 PM
  • Hi,

    Your boot image is rather large, the only drivers that you should really need to be included in Windows PE are network drivers and mass storage device drivers (raid hba's, sata chipset drivers, scsi, etc.)

    Since you're stating that your tftp transfer speed is taking forever, would this happen to be on Yukon onboard NIC devices?

     

    Kind regards,

    Stephan Schwarz.


    If one of these posts answered your question or issue, please click on "Mark as answer".

    My Blog | Twitter: @Schwarz_Stephan | MCTS, MCITP, MCC.
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 9:13 PM
  • FN01980,

    My LiteTouch_x86.wim file in the Deployment Share\Boot folder is 156 MB, but when I import it to WDS, it bloats to 924 MB!  Not sure why there is a difference.  I am only injecting drivers per the selection profile (WinPEx86) I set to include all drivers from the selected profile. I just have nic and storage drivers in a separate folder in Out-of-Box drivers and I have manually cleaned x64 drivers from x86.

    Thanks,

    Travis
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 10:00 PM
  • Stephan Schwarz,

    I have a Dell Latitude E5400 that went super fast, 1:35 from F12 to logon and it has Broadcom NetExtreme 57xx Gigabit Controler.  I have a Dell Latitude E6500 with Intel 82567LM that took 30 min from F12 to logon.  I have a Gateway E6300 with a Marvell Yukon 88E8050 Gigabit Controller that also took 30 min from F12 to logon. 

    Thanks,

    Travis


    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 10:08 PM
  • I see what you're saying now. The 924 MB size in WDS is normal; it's showing you the uncompressed file size.

    When you say "F12 to logon" you mean the deployment wizard or an actual Windows 7 login screen?


    -Nick O.
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 10:43 PM
  • I'm familiar with the issue you're having. FNO1980 is right on the image showing in WDS as a larger size then the actual file size on the hdd, that's the difference between the uncompressed image and the compressed image size, it's the compressed size that is transferred using tftp.

    As for the slow TFTP performance, could you try one of the following options.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772277(WS.10).aspx

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948496/

    http://blog.danovich.com.au/2011/07/28/slow-sccm-osd-tftp-pxe/

     

    Kind regards,

    Stephan Schwarz.


    If one of these posts answered your question or issue, please click on "Mark as answer".

    My Blog | Twitter: @Schwarz_Stephan | MCTS, MCITP, MCC.
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 8:27 AM
  • FNO1980,

    Yes, F12 to logon I mean the Deployment Wizard authentication to begin a task sequence to deploy an image.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 1:49 PM
  • The links Stephan supplied should help get started with troubleshooting. I've also seen noticeable delays, although not significant delays, if the database is extensive or if database credentials are not set up correctly. I'd check into Stephan's links before tinkering with the DB.
    -Nick O.
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 2:32 PM
  • Stephan,

    I have tried manually configuring it using this tip: http://blog.uvm.edu/jgm/2010/11/04/tuning-microsoft-pxe-tftp/ and also found

    Joachim Nässlander's write up of Deploying Windows at multiple locations with TFTP and MDT

    http://www.nullsession.com/2010/03/07/deploying-windows-at-multiple-locations-with-tftpd-and-mdt/ where I tried the script he mentions from Johan Arwidmark.

    Do you think its still an TFTP issue if some computers boot fast and others slow?

    I had my MDT setup for probably a year and worked fine.  My setup was the Total Chaos for 40 something models.  Not sure how I had it working so well with so many different models.  Occasionally I would run into a new model that we would get and I would have to add a new nic or mass storage controllers to get it to boot it would boot but then not see the hard drive, so adding the new drivers would fix that.  Seems like a few months after jumping to MDT 2012 I have run into more issues with it being slow to boot or transfer my boot image or LiteTouch_x86 ot x64.wim file.

    I have in the last few days build another MDT Deployment share on a spare workstation with Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit and this is setup using the Total Control method and I still have the same issues.

    My current TFTP settings are:
    D:\>bcdedit /enum all /store d:\Remoteinstall\boot\x86\default.bcd
    
    Windows Boot Manager
    --------------------
    identifier       {bootmgr}
    fontpath        \boot\fonts
    inherit         {dbgsettings}
    timeout         30
    
    Debugger Settings
    -----------------
    identifier       {dbgsettings}
    debugtype        Serial
    debugport        1
    baudrate        115200
    
    Device options
    --------------
    identifier       {68d9e51c-a129-4ee1-9725-2ab00a957daf}
    ramdisksdidevice    boot
    ramdisksdipath     \Boot\Boot.SDI
    ramdisktftpblocksize  4096
    ramdisktftpwindowsize  8192


    Thanks for all the help so far,
    Travis

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 2:40 PM
  • Are you using MDT 2010 or MDT 2012? Also, was your spare workstation that same as your production workstation? (Gateway E6300)


    -Nick O.
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 3:23 PM
  • If I understand it correctly, you're using a 3rd party TFTP/PXE server that allows the clients to boot from the network and not a Server 2003/2008(R2) server with the WDS server role?

    To be clear, it is tftp related when the initial file transfer takes forever. So when you start from the network and see the white bar on the bottom that shows the 3 files that are loaded the network bootprogram, the boot.sdi and the .wim image all of this is done as TFTP traffic. The drivers within your boot image are not loaded untill Windows PE is actually fully transfered and started from the system memory.

    The links I provided should still apply in your case for things to check out.

    I've seen these issues often enough at work with particular series of network adapters. We opted to simply manually insert a pci/pci-e intel nic (pro 1000 gt /ct desktop adapter) since we only have a handfull of computers suffering from this.

     

    Kind regards,

    Stephan Schwarz.


    If one of these posts answered your question or issue, please click on "Mark as answer".

    My Blog | Twitter: @Schwarz_Stephan | MCTS, MCITP, MCC.
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 3:44 PM
  • FNO1980,

    I am using MDT 2012.  I grabbed a Dell Precision T3500 with Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit with 12 GB of RAM.  My new MDT 2012 server (Dell) has a  Broadcom NetXtreme 57xx Gigabit Controller and my old MDT 2012 server 2008 Enterprise (Gateway Workstation, not actual server hardware) has a Marvell Yukon 88E8050 Gigabit Ethernet Controller.  The new server (Dell) hosts DeploymentShare but the other server (Gateway) points WDS boot image to new (Dell) server.  So I could use both servers without having to mess with IP helpers to PXE booting, just have WDS point to which server to boot from.

     

    Thanks,

    Travis


    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 4:55 PM
  • Stephan Schwarz,

    I am using an all stock setup.  Windows 2008 Enterprise Server with MDT 2012 and WDS.

    Thanks,

    Travis

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 4:59 PM
  • Yeah sorry, got confused when I read your link regarding to setting up MDT with a 3rd party PXE server... I remembered too late that you're running WDS :).
    If one of these posts answered your question or issue, please click on "Mark as answer".

    My Blog | Twitter: @Schwarz_Stephan | MCTS, MCITP, MCC.
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 5:11 PM
  • No prob.  Figured you might have.  That is why I didn't go into it very much on the reply.  Does that make sense though that one can boot fast and another slow?  I would think that if my TFTP is wacked or setup improperly, it would be slow for all.

    I had a laptop and my virtual machine were both really slow and after configuring the nic drivers they boot extremely fast.  I am running latest versions of nic drivers on my 'servers'.  I just think that I have soo many nic drivers that I am try to accommodate that maybe the proper one is being overruled due to the ranking.  I was hoping that someone had a good definitive way of clearing out drivers that are not needed or have been declared bad for PXE.

     

    Thanks,

    Travis

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 6:24 PM
  • Hi Travis,

    I know it doesn't make sense that some clients transfer the files so slow and that others will do it without problems. I had this issue at work as well, for us it's pretty much any client that has an yukon network adapter to boot from the tftp speed takes ages, the speeds that you described. Once you're within Windows PE, the network adapter will operate at regular performance again, correct?

    I don't want to sound repetitive, but at this stage the Windows 7/Server 2008R2 drivers that you added to your boot image for the network cards are simply not used yet. The network bootrom basicly is a small piece of software with it's own driver that allows it to find a PXE server. Hence it's not a matter of which drivers are in your Litetouch.wim, those drivers will load once WindowsPE actually is booted into your system ram and needs access to the local hardware.

    The only driver that actually is used during this stage is the network driver of the server running WDS. You can try to update the NIC driver, unless it's a Hyper-V machine then you can't.

    I'll post the links of interest regarding slow tftp speed. In particular try the 2nd one I've read on multiple occasions that this solved their issues.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772277(WS.10).aspx

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948496/

    http://blog.danovich.com.au/2011/07/28/slow-sccm-osd-tftp-pxe/

     

    Kind regards,

    Stephan Schwarz.


    If one of these posts answered your question or issue, please click on "Mark as answer".

    My Blog | Twitter: @Schwarz_Stephan | MCTS, MCITP, MCC.
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 7:15 PM
  • Stephan Schwarz,

    I dont really have those options available.  Think I should add a card to the server?

     

    Thanks,

    Travis



    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 9:22 PM
  • Could you verify whether or not Jumo Packets are configured in that screen?
    Also, could you try this;

    To manually disable RSS and TCP Offload yourself, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
    2. Locate the following registry subkey:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters
    3. Right-click EnableTCPChimney, and then click Modify.
    4. In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
    5. Right-click EnableRSS, and then click Modify.
    6. In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
    7. Right-click EnableTCPA, and then click Modify.
    8. In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
    9. Exit Registry Editor, and then restart the computer.

    If you changed the tftp block size, could you revert it to the original setting before trying out the above.
    I suppose it's worth a shot trying to use a different network adapter, considering it works using a different nic on the client side it might as well have some luck the other way around.


    Kind regards,

    Stephan Schwarz.

    If one of these posts answered your question or issue, please click on "Mark as answer".

    My Blog | Twitter: @Schwarz_Stephan | MCTS, MCITP, MCC.
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 10:13 PM
  • I was talking to a server person and he agreed that I don't have these options as my server is a Desktop and not a true Server, therefore not having a buffed up a Server nic  If I were to find a true server nic and install it, I would have these options only to disable them.  Not sure this will do much good.  What do you guys think?  The other thing that makes me think it is not a tftp issue is that it works on some computer setups but not others.  Wouldn't it be across the board slow?

    Thanks,

    Travis
    Friday, September 09, 2011 7:28 PM