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WinRE deployment for Windows 7 via MDT 2013/ADK8.1 RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I recently upgraded our deployment server to 2012R2 and MDT 2013 with ADK 8.1.

    Previously we were running on 2008R2 and MDT 2012 (original) with AIK 7SP1.

    On the previous deployment server I was able to utilize the Apply WinRE function in my task sequence to apply the custom DaRT WinRE to be my "Repair Your Computer" on our Windows 7 deployments.

    After the upgrade to the new server, I have everything configured the same, but the custom WinRE environment doesn't get applied.

    Looking through the deployment logs I noticed a comment in the WinRE section stating "WinRE cannot be enabled for Windows 7 when using Windows PE from ADK due to compatibility issue with ReAgentC.exe, skipping".

    I then looked at the ZTIWinRE.wsf script file from MDT 2013 and noticed this new IF statement:

    		ElseIf Left(oEnvironment.Item("ImageBuild"),3) = "6.1" and Left(oEnvironment.Item("OSCurrentVersion"),3) > "6.1" then
    			oLogging.CreateEntry "WinRE cannot be enabled for Windows 7 when using Windows PE from ADK due to compatibility issue with ReAgentC.exe, skipping.", LogTypeInfo
    			Main = SUCCESS
    			Exit function

    I did not know that Windows 7 WinRE deployments were now crippled in the new MDT 2013. I had read all the documentation, but never saw anything about this. Did I miss it somewhere?

    I've also searched Google a good bit, but am unable to really come up with anything.

    MDT 2013 says it requires ADK 8.1, so there is no way to utilize an older PE3.0 environment from AIK 7.

    If the WinRE apply process in MDT is indeed broken for Windows 7 under MDT 2013, is there any workaround to get my custom DaRT WinRE applied to my Windows 7 deployments during the process?

    Is it possible to somehow "inject" or "point it to" the required version of ReAgentC.exe and and dependencies so the WinRE process in MDT 2013 running under ADK 8.1/PE5.0 will work?

    I need to use MDT 2013/ADK 8.1 as I must deploy both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 computers.

    I also need to have the custom DaRT WinRE environments, with respect to the appropriate DaRT version for each, applied to both operating systems.

    Does anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks.





    • Edited by asantia Saturday, October 11, 2014 12:15 AM
    Saturday, October 11, 2014 12:10 AM

Answers

  • I handle the DaRT integration using some custom steps in the State Restore phase of the deployment. I'm using MDT 2013 and successfully deploying Win 7 with custom DaRT wim applied. Here's what I did:

    • I used the following article as guidance for creating our custom DaRT wim: LINK
    • Copied custom DaRT wim named winre_x64.wim to the Scripts folder in my deployment share.
    • Create 2 other files in the deployment share named BDE_Hide.txt and BDE_Show.txt. Contents of each are below.
    • Created the following Run Command Line task sequence steps in the Custom Tasks section of State Restore in this order:
    • Assign a drive letter to BDEDrive - command: diskpart.exe /s "%SCRIPTROOT%\BDE_Show.txt"
    • Create Folder on BDEDrive - command: cmd.exe /c mkdir R:\Recovery\WindowsRE
    • Copy DaRT Image - command: cmd.exe /c copy "%SCRIPTROOT%\winre_x64.wim" "R:\Recovery\WindowsRE\winre.wim"
    • Check Current WinRE Config - command: reagentc.exe /info
    • Disable Current WinRE Image - command: reagentc.exe /disable
    • Set DaRT as WinRE Image - command: reagentc.exe /setreimage /path R:\Recovery\WindowsRE /bootkey 3e00
    • Enable DaRT WinRE Image - command: reagentc.exe /enable
    • Remove Drive Letter from BDEDrive - command: diskpart.exe /s "%SCRIPTROOT%\BDE_Hide.txt"

    Note: the /bootkey 3e00 switch on the Set DaRT as WinRE Image step specifies that the F4 key can be used to boot to DaRT. This can be customized to any of the Function keys. See here for more info: LINK


    BDE_Show.txt

    Select Disk 0
    Detail Disk
    Select Partition 1
    Assign Letter=R
    Detail Disk
    Exit

    BDE_Hide.txt

    Select Disk 0
    Detail Disk
    Select Partition 1
    Remove Letter=R
    Detail Disk
    Exit

    Hope that helps


    Wednesday, October 22, 2014 4:02 PM

All replies

  • Just to be clear here, this line of code is *NOT NEW* for MDT 2013, it was there in MDT 2012 Update 1.

    It says that if you are deploying Windows 7, but running the ADK, MDT won't support WinRE.

    What changed is that you updated to the latest version of the ADK 8.1 from the WAIK.

    I can't find the exact note saying that that MDT 2013 requires the ADK, but if true, then you might have problems with this specific scenario.

    I have no workaround.


    Keith Garner - Principal Consultant [owner] - http://DeploymentLive.com

    Saturday, October 11, 2014 4:54 PM
    Moderator
  • Keith,

    Thanks for responding.

    It says here (along with many other places) that the 8.1 ADK is required: http://blogs.technet.com/b/msdeployment/archive/2013/10/21/microsoft-deployment-toolkit-2013-now-available.aspx  >  "MDT 2013 requires the use of the Windows ADK for Windows 8.1 which is also available for download."

    It doesn't say why though.

    ----

    I was trying to figure out a workaround.

    Are you able to apply a WinRE image to the OS once it has loaded or does it have to be done offline within WinPE?  If so how?   (Maybe I can create a custom Task Sequence item to preform the action once the deployed OS is booted.

    ----

    I take it that there is no issue with what version the WinRE image actually is, just something between the versions of ReAgentC.exe and the PE MDT is running in. Am I correct?

    Do you know if there are plans to fix this incompatibility as I can see many environments where Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Update/Windows 10 will co-exist?

    ----

    When it comes to ReAgentC.exe and 8.1 ADK PE, what is the actual incompatibility?

    When MDT calls ReAgentC.exe, is it calling a Win 8.1 version from within the ADK 8.1 PE environment or is it calling a version that was deployed during the OS image load to the local hard drive (in my case a Win 7 version).

    I'm trying to figure out if it is a "Win 7 ReAgentC.exe" running under "Win 8.1 PE" that is the problem or something else.

    I'd like to explore the possibility of creating a custom script to find and utilize compatible versions of PE & ReAgentC.exe to apply the WinRE image.



    • Edited by asantia Thursday, October 16, 2014 5:27 PM
    Thursday, October 16, 2014 5:23 PM
  • I handle the DaRT integration using some custom steps in the State Restore phase of the deployment. I'm using MDT 2013 and successfully deploying Win 7 with custom DaRT wim applied. Here's what I did:

    • I used the following article as guidance for creating our custom DaRT wim: LINK
    • Copied custom DaRT wim named winre_x64.wim to the Scripts folder in my deployment share.
    • Create 2 other files in the deployment share named BDE_Hide.txt and BDE_Show.txt. Contents of each are below.
    • Created the following Run Command Line task sequence steps in the Custom Tasks section of State Restore in this order:
    • Assign a drive letter to BDEDrive - command: diskpart.exe /s "%SCRIPTROOT%\BDE_Show.txt"
    • Create Folder on BDEDrive - command: cmd.exe /c mkdir R:\Recovery\WindowsRE
    • Copy DaRT Image - command: cmd.exe /c copy "%SCRIPTROOT%\winre_x64.wim" "R:\Recovery\WindowsRE\winre.wim"
    • Check Current WinRE Config - command: reagentc.exe /info
    • Disable Current WinRE Image - command: reagentc.exe /disable
    • Set DaRT as WinRE Image - command: reagentc.exe /setreimage /path R:\Recovery\WindowsRE /bootkey 3e00
    • Enable DaRT WinRE Image - command: reagentc.exe /enable
    • Remove Drive Letter from BDEDrive - command: diskpart.exe /s "%SCRIPTROOT%\BDE_Hide.txt"

    Note: the /bootkey 3e00 switch on the Set DaRT as WinRE Image step specifies that the F4 key can be used to boot to DaRT. This can be customized to any of the Function keys. See here for more info: LINK


    BDE_Show.txt

    Select Disk 0
    Detail Disk
    Select Partition 1
    Assign Letter=R
    Detail Disk
    Exit

    BDE_Hide.txt

    Select Disk 0
    Detail Disk
    Select Partition 1
    Remove Letter=R
    Detail Disk
    Exit

    Hope that helps


    Wednesday, October 22, 2014 4:02 PM
  • I had been using a script by Juan Cedeno to install dart and set the WinRe directory.

    https://deploymentworld.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/integrating-dart-in-a-mdt-2010-task-sequence/

    This scrip no longer works with MDT 2013 update 2. 

    Any one try the above steps with MDT 2013 update 2? looking for a solution to get Dart installed on out windows 7, 8.1 and windows 10 task sequences.



    • Edited by PeteBC Monday, April 25, 2016 3:49 PM
    • Edited by Ty GlanderModerator Monday, April 25, 2016 4:01 PM make the URL clickable and open in a new window
    Monday, April 25, 2016 3:48 PM