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Multiple OS Deployment Problems RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am trying to deploy multiple OSes on a single machine and I encountered a few problems. I hope someone can help me on either one of them. I am trying to install Win7x32, Win7x64, Win8x32, Win8x64 on a single machine. The first one is that I could not manage to configure one task sequence to install multiple Oses(is it even possible?). Next thing I tried is having 4 task sequences, one for each OS. First thing I encountered is that if you do not check the Make this a boot partition on the Format Disk step in the task sequence, it installs the OS, but cannot finish: I get an error with Could not find Litetouch.wsf to continue deployment. In order to get one partition per OS I tried in Win7x32 task sequence(first one to be ran) to set up the partitioning: first one with 25% space, next with 33%, third with 50% and last with 100%. This way I get an even partitioning. The problem is that I cannot modify all partitions to make them boot partitions. Obviously, I have to disable this step in the next task sequences in order to keep the disk partitioning intact. The problem is that at the second OS the problem with "Could not find LiteTouch.wsf appears, because partition is not boot partition. So I enabled the format disk step in the second task sequence(Win7x64), but it formats the entire disk. Last thing I tried is setting up the first task sequence with 25% space from disk, then next task sequence to 50% space from disk and so on. The problem is that before taking x % from disk space, it wipes the disk clean.  If anyone ever did this and found a workaround I would appreciate the help. Or at least some hints as to where to look and what to try.

    Thank you

    Friday, May 31, 2013 4:42 PM

Answers

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  • By now I should know better than to ask why, but.... why?

    I think you'd be better served by getting some version of virtualization software and installing 4 vms.

    Friday, May 31, 2013 5:58 PM
  • Quad-boot, eh?  Adventurous!  However, as Joe said, it'd probably be better to do each in a different VM.  If you use Windows 8, Hyper-V is now available (and not just on the Server OS).  Another option would be to image the machine, then run the Task Sequences for "Deploy to VHD Client Task Sequence" for each OS you wanted to add.  Might take a bit of tweaking, but might meet your "requirements".

    However, doing multiple OS's from a single Task Sequence is pretty much not supported.  There are issues revolving around the OS GUID, but also the scripts and the selection of the appropriate unattend.xml.

    In short, just use a few VMs. : )


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

    Saturday, June 1, 2013 6:03 AM
    Answerer
  • Installing to VM is not really an option. The task for which I intend to use the 4 machines is driver testing. For this I have multiple machines, each with different hardware(on which to test). Because of this I think that imaging one machine and then deploying to 10 others will also be troublesome. I grant you the fact that 1 task Sequence per 4 Oses is too much to ask. But I was hoping some Task sequence step tuning exists in order to keep the currently partitioned disk, and just create a new partition(in the Format Disk and Partition at the Second OS/Task Sequence). 
    Saturday, June 1, 2013 10:34 AM
  • That's what the "Deploy to VHD Client Task Sequence" can do for you.  It creates a VHD, installs the OS into it (and whatever other steps you have setup), then if you are using Windows 8 on the machine, you can mount the VHD and set the machine to boot from it.  This way it's not a VM, but it also simplifies your BCD steps by making the additional OS just a VHD.

    You can read some info here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/mniehaus/archive/2012/10/02/mdt-2012-update-1-deploy-to-vhd.aspx

    And another here with screenshots of the whole thing: http://blogs.technet.com/b/manojnair/archive/2011/11/23/exploring-mdt-2012-beta-2-part-8-of-10-deploy-to-vhd-task-sequence.aspx


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

    • Proposed as answer by JoeZeppy Saturday, June 1, 2013 7:46 PM
    • Marked as answer by Cristian M1 Sunday, June 2, 2013 9:54 AM
    Saturday, June 1, 2013 1:38 PM
    Answerer
  • Niehaus's blog post should work for you, as long as you can work out the issues with disk size, formatting the physical disk, etcetera. I want to try that to allow beta testing of Windows 8 for developers, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm pretty sure booting to VHD is supported on Windows 7.
    Saturday, June 1, 2013 7:51 PM
  • If you think of it, let us know how that works for you.
    Sunday, June 2, 2013 9:15 PM
  • Hopefully I'll have some time this week to try it out. Hope it works. Thank you very much.
    Monday, June 3, 2013 6:51 AM