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Alternatives to MDT USB vs. MDT Offline USB Media? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I know many organizations who are standalone MDT litetouch shops use USB drives with the boot.iso to kick off MDT litetouch instead of PXE or ISO for refresh scenarios. We seldom do this, as PXE works fine for most scenarios.

    However, in the past when my organization has done massive organizational in place refreshes of our remote locations, we'd just cook up a dozen or so offline media and run the entire deployment from the USB flash drive so that the image was pulled from the USB drive and all the applications and not over our very small WAN pipes to these locations from our datacenter across town.

    This second approach has some limitations, such as the time to set these up, copy them, and then I'm stuck pulling out of date applications and task sequences from the USB, if I make a change to the TS or Applications, I need to recook a dozen or more USB flash drives.

    My question: is there a way I can modify a simple USB boot drive to pull a special task sequence that's coming from the share, just pulling the image from the USB? I don't mind using a 'live' task sequence that's on the share and pulling the applications and updates from the data center, our pipes can handle that. The real reason we're really even been using offline media is to avoid having a dozen some PCs pulling a 7GB wim at the same time across the WAN. I don't mind apps and updates coming across the pipe, it can handle that, it's the massive image I'd like to just pull from the USB we're booting from.

    There's got to be a way to modify the unattended.xml in an identical task sequence to pull from the USB, not across the WAN.

    Couldn't I just modify the <InstallFrom> <path> and have it do everything else across the pipe EXEPT lay down the wim?

    I'm open to other ideas, its just the full offline media's a beast, and I'm trying to think of some way to get the basic boot USBs to just pull the image from USB and then pull everything else across the WAN which I don't mind as much a 7gig wim.

    Friday, October 14, 2016 5:53 PM

Answers

  • Short answer is no because the USB drive letter will change mid stream.  My personal suggestion if you want to do something super portable is bring a laptop and use it as the server.  Then you could use USB boot media that uses the laptop.

    Many questions such as where do I find logs and what logs are interesting are found in: MDT TechNet Forum - FAQ & Getting Started Guide Please take the time to read it. Also if you don't post logs your problem won't be easily solved.

    Saturday, October 15, 2016 2:32 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Short answer is no because the USB drive letter will change mid stream.  My personal suggestion if you want to do something super portable is bring a laptop and use it as the server.  Then you could use USB boot media that uses the laptop.

    Many questions such as where do I find logs and what logs are interesting are found in: MDT TechNet Forum - FAQ & Getting Started Guide Please take the time to read it. Also if you don't post logs your problem won't be easily solved.

    Saturday, October 15, 2016 2:32 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you Ty. I will look into this and see what we can do. We have a super tricked out NUC I believe we can use for this purpose.
    Monday, October 17, 2016 4:38 PM