This is the first in what will become a multi-part series of posts on configuring Operating System Deployment in Configuration Manager 2012 R2. The end goal will be to use Configuration Manager with MDT integration to provide a rich end-user experience for deploying operating systems.
In this first part, we will lay the foundation for what will become the core of the deployment – the Windows Operating System images. In this part, we will create task sequences to build and capture the reference images and update them as needed.
In this instance however, we knew that the problem was specific to this model. Given that we are failing in the Windows Setup portion of the task sequence, the usual smsts.log file is of no help because the Configuration task sequence has not yet been re-initialized after the reboot at the Setup Windows and ConfigMgr step. in this instance, we need to refer to the setuperr.log and the setupact.log in the Panther directory which you will find in the Windows installation directory. This is where errors and actions relating to Windows Setup live as opposed to the normal smsts.log file.
If you have gone to the great lengths to make this happen in your environment, you may be left with a sinking feeling that everytime you PXE Boot or USB Media Boot a client to deploy, you still have to select a task sequence to run even though you only have one as shown in the sample below. Luckily, we have a solution to this and a way to allow us to skip the Task Sequence Selection wizard and automatically enter our one task sequence to rule them all and it is done using Prestart Commands on our Boot Images in Configuration Manager. You don’t need MDT or any other fancy software integration with Configuration Manager to do this as it is done using the default boot images.
I was working today testing the operating system deployment capability of System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (not R2) for a Windows 7 task sequence. In the environment, I am using a VMware vSphere virtual machine as my target for the deployment but sadly, the networks available to the host don’t have access to client DHCP enabled VLANs which means that everything needs to be done manually including booting the pre-execution environment as there is no way of getting this from the network as without DHCP to provide the Option Codes 66 and 67 which contain the TFTP server name and the boot image path the client doesn’t know what to do.