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.wim deployment from thumb drive - unattend.xml variable computername RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a functioning WDS server that works great for deployment of Win 7 in our local office. However, I have a couple dozen PCs in remote offices that I will be unable to push the image out to so I was hoping to be able to install off a thumb drive. The install off a thumb drive works fine but only with a static computer name. It fails when I try to use %assettag% in the autounattend.xml. Ideally, I'd like to have a csv with a list of macs and names that the answer file can reference but any solution would be great. Could someone please point me towards a simple resolution for this? Thanks


    Friday, August 9, 2013 7:02 PM

Answers

  • Sounds like you are trying to do it manually.  Let MDT do it for you with Media!  In your Deployment Workbench, under Advanced Configuration is a Media sub-folder.  You'll first want to create a Selection Profile (also under Advanced) that references each area that you need to be included in this thumb-drive (Apps, OS, Drivers, Task Sequence, etc).  The properties for this new Media will let you add Rules (just like the root of the Deployment Share) that are for CustomSettings.ini and BootStrap.ini, they are just specific to this Media itself.  I like to check the 'Generate a Lite Touch bootable ISO image' because I can easily test in a non-networked Virtual Machine that the whole process is working disconnected.  This gives you the full power of doing MDT based deployments without needing a network connection for exactly the scenario you mentioned  (remote offices).  Plus, it lets you leverage your knowledge of MDT and not do it manually by hand every time a change needs to be made.

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

    • Marked as answer by Skribbles Friday, August 9, 2013 9:33 PM
    Friday, August 9, 2013 9:24 PM
    Answerer

All replies

  • You could use a UserExit script that reads the MAC and looks at a CSV and sets the OSDComputerName on a match.  You can see a small example of a UserExit at Mikael's website: http://deploymentbunny.com/2013/03/06/back-to-basiccustomsettings-inisample-2/

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

    Friday, August 9, 2013 7:11 PM
    Answerer
  • I'm confused by this. By installing off the thumbdrive, I don't reference the customsettings.ini at all. 

    I thought I'd be able to call a .vbsscript from inside the autounattend.xml (not sure if this is possible or how to do it) and have that script return a computer name based on the mac from a csv that is stored on the thumb drive. 

    Friday, August 9, 2013 7:50 PM
  • Are you creating MDT media for this? Media would absolutely have a CustomSettings.ini file that would be referenced.

    -Nick O.

    Friday, August 9, 2013 8:13 PM
  • I used the Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool to create a bootable Windows 7 thumb drive. Then replaced the install.wim file on it with my windows7.wim file created for WDS. Added drivers and an autounattend.xml script. No where on the drive is there a customsettings.ini file. 
    Friday, August 9, 2013 9:12 PM
  • Sounds like you are trying to do it manually.  Let MDT do it for you with Media!  In your Deployment Workbench, under Advanced Configuration is a Media sub-folder.  You'll first want to create a Selection Profile (also under Advanced) that references each area that you need to be included in this thumb-drive (Apps, OS, Drivers, Task Sequence, etc).  The properties for this new Media will let you add Rules (just like the root of the Deployment Share) that are for CustomSettings.ini and BootStrap.ini, they are just specific to this Media itself.  I like to check the 'Generate a Lite Touch bootable ISO image' because I can easily test in a non-networked Virtual Machine that the whole process is working disconnected.  This gives you the full power of doing MDT based deployments without needing a network connection for exactly the scenario you mentioned  (remote offices).  Plus, it lets you leverage your knowledge of MDT and not do it manually by hand every time a change needs to be made.

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

    • Marked as answer by Skribbles Friday, August 9, 2013 9:33 PM
    Friday, August 9, 2013 9:24 PM
    Answerer
  • Makes sense.

    When we mention MDT media, we are referring to the Media option under Advanced Configuration in the MDT workbench, where you can apply the MDT environment to bootable media, like a USB. 

    "You can create stand-alone media from which to run an operating system image deployment. The stand-alone media will contain all necessary data to run the specified operating system deployment task sequences without requiring a connection to a Configuration Manager site. Stand-alone media will operate regardless of whether a Configuration Manager client is installed on the target computer, and they will operate without communicating with a Configuration Manager server infrastructure, such as a management point or distribution point."

    Although this references ConfigMgr, it functions essentially the same way in MDT: The task sequence engine and required files/scripts, images, applications, and so on, are made in a designated folder, and then you just copy the contents of the folder to the USB key.


    -Nick O.


    • Edited by Nick Ourso Friday, August 9, 2013 9:31 PM edits
    Friday, August 9, 2013 9:29 PM
  • Well that makes much more sense and would probably would have been a lot easier! Wish I had known that when I started this. I'll definitely attack it that way for the next round of rollouts. Thanks.

    I did get this figured out with my 'incorrect' method. Instead of joining the domain during the install, I added some scripts to <firstlogoncommands> that seems to be acheiving what I want ie. renaming the PC from a CSV, joining the domain and correct OU/groups. 

    Friday, August 9, 2013 9:41 PM