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OSDComputername from a predefined file or list? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all, I've run into a situation with my deployments that I'm hoping someone could help with. I have my environment all set up to pull the computer name and the description from the MDT Database and it is working perfectly. However, we have some remote branch offices that I'll need to deploy to. Even though deploying across a WAN is not ideal, it would work. Just slowly. Add to that the fact that I'll need to go on-site anyways to install SSD's in all of them, I've decided to at least look at creating an offline media install on a USB flash drive. Since that would eliminate the possibility of pulling the computer name and description from the database, I'm looking for a way to have the customsettings.ini either get the info (computer name and description) from a text or csv file, or just add all the info to the actual customsettings.ini and have it read from there.

    Basically I envision a line in customsettings that looks like:

    OSDComputername = (look at "thisfile.txt")  where "thisfile.txt" would be just a text file or csv with a list of MAC addresses and their associated computer name and description. The same idea that you would use to do a mass import of computers into the database from a csv file, but have it done from the customsettings.ini.

    I'm really hoping there is a way to do this as I don't want to introduce any extra human error by having to type the name and description in for all 160 or so computers one at a time. Hopefully that all makes sense. I'll try to clarify if not.l

    Thanks in advance!

    Wednesday, November 6, 2019 4:54 PM

Answers

  • Thanks for that info. I've really only heard mentions of user exit scripts. Haven't had the chance to really look into using them though. I have however solved my issue.

    In short, since all the computers I will be imaging are technically still connected to the network, my "Offline Media" deployment is still able to contact the MDT database and pull the name and description, while the actual image deployment still comes from the USB. They won't be domain joined as they are all getting new SSD's. I guess it technically isn't a full offline deployment. I call it hybrid offline. Sort of the best of both worlds.

    I only came here looking for a solution because everything I read says you CAN'T use the MDT database in an offline media style deployment. Just my opinion, but I think the documentation is...not incorrect, but maybe incomplete. It may be true that you can't use the database for a true offline deployment where you don't have a connection, but I think it should be clarified that if the computer is physically connected to the same network as MDT, and the deployment has the correct credentials to access the database, then it absolutely CAN access it just fine.

    It ends up being slightly slower than a regular deployment across the network (on the same subnet, no WAN travel), but much faster than deploying across the network when you do have to go across a WAN.

    Hopefully that makes sense, I'm still not quite awake yet! 

    • Marked as answer by joe0110 Thursday, November 21, 2019 6:35 PM
    Tuesday, November 19, 2019 4:40 PM

All replies

  • Interesting....Do your parameter used in custom.Ini file working?

    You could use the powershell scripts inside Tasksequence to achieve this! I didn't tried yet but definitely that would be good. 

    Wednesday, November 6, 2019 5:20 PM
  • Interesting....Do your parameter used in custom.Ini file working?

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean. My current setup of pulling info from the database works 100% correctly. I just need a way to pull the same info I get from the database from a file of some sort, or a way to add the info directly to the customsettings.ini and pull it from there.

    You could use the powershell scripts inside Tasksequence to achieve this! I didn't tried yet but definitely that would be good.

     Are you saying I could create a powershell script inside a task sequence that would set the computer name? or would the powershell script just pull the info into a variable that I could then somehow tell MDT to use to set the computer name?


    Wednesday, November 6, 2019 5:54 PM
  • Do you know what a userexit script is?  The result of that script becomes a customsettings.ini variable.  There's some info here on running powershell from a user exit vbscript:  https://deploymentbunny.com/2014/11/11/osd-using-powershell-commands-in-userexit-vb-script-to-extend-the-ztigather-process-during-osd/  At the bottom, I have comments about using nslookup to set the computername with powershell.

    • Edited by JS2010 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 3:50 PM
    Tuesday, November 19, 2019 3:48 PM
  • Thanks for that info. I've really only heard mentions of user exit scripts. Haven't had the chance to really look into using them though. I have however solved my issue.

    In short, since all the computers I will be imaging are technically still connected to the network, my "Offline Media" deployment is still able to contact the MDT database and pull the name and description, while the actual image deployment still comes from the USB. They won't be domain joined as they are all getting new SSD's. I guess it technically isn't a full offline deployment. I call it hybrid offline. Sort of the best of both worlds.

    I only came here looking for a solution because everything I read says you CAN'T use the MDT database in an offline media style deployment. Just my opinion, but I think the documentation is...not incorrect, but maybe incomplete. It may be true that you can't use the database for a true offline deployment where you don't have a connection, but I think it should be clarified that if the computer is physically connected to the same network as MDT, and the deployment has the correct credentials to access the database, then it absolutely CAN access it just fine.

    It ends up being slightly slower than a regular deployment across the network (on the same subnet, no WAN travel), but much faster than deploying across the network when you do have to go across a WAN.

    Hopefully that makes sense, I'm still not quite awake yet! 

    • Marked as answer by joe0110 Thursday, November 21, 2019 6:35 PM
    Tuesday, November 19, 2019 4:40 PM