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Integrating Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Update 1 With System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2/R2 - Part 2 “Boot Images”

This will be a quick-start guide for integrating MDT 2010 Update 1 with ConfigMgr SP2/R2.  This information is provided as-is.

This will be a three part series covering the Setup, Boot Images and Task Sequences.

Part 1: Setup

Part 2: Boot Images

Part 3: Task Sequences

If you want specific information on UDI (User Drive Installation) setup and components, then I would point you to one of my previous posts on UDI.

Creating a Microsoft Deployment Toolkit based Boot Image

When MDT is integrated with ConfigMgr, a new option is available in the ConfigMgr console when creating a new Boot Image:

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If we select this option, we are presented with a wizard to create a new MDT based boot image for ConfigMgr.

The first screen requires us to provide a source directory for the boot image:

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I will typically recommend a path similar to below, putting all boot images in a subfolder called “boot”, and naming the folder with something descriptive. 

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Once you have entered in the path, you can click “Next” to proceed to the next screen.

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Next, we need to provide the name of the Boot Image we are creating, and the version and any other comments if desired.

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Click on “Next”:

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The “Image Options” page has several selections that we can choose from.

First we can select the architecture of the boot image we want to create:

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Next we can select to include ADO components (necessary for access to SQL databases) and optional fonts:

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We can also select to add a pre-execution hook/media hook to enable the Deployment Wizard for the boot media. By default this will give us a Computer Name prompt for any unknown device, however this can be expanded to launch a custom front-end or other custom options.

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We can also opt to include a custom background image into our boot image:

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Lastly, we can choose an Extra directory to add if we want to automatically include additional files to our boot image, for example putting Trace32 into our image for easier reading of log files.

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I’m going to add the Media Hook and include an Extra Files in this example:

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My extra files directory simply contains Trace32:

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The next screen presents you with a summary of the options you selected:

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Click on “Next”:

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The final screen, will show a confirmation of successful boot image creation:

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Click “Finish” to exit:

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Once completed, you will now have a new boot image under the Boot Images node in the ConfigMgr console:

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Lets open the properties of the boot image:

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Under the Data Source tab, you will see that the source points to the directory we had specifies previously:

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On the “Windows PE” tab we have a few options we’ll want to set:

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You will want to enable command prompt support for testing, so you can open up Trace32 and view log files.  This isn’t recommended for your production boot image, however many people will leave it enabled to be able to quick troubleshoot.  However, there is a security risk in having this left enabled.

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You can also add drivers to your boot image in this tab, however if you have to add multiple drivers, it’s much easier to do this from the drivers node rather than selecting the drivers from here. Please keep in mind that the boot image is based upon Windows 7 and thus you will need Windows 7 drivers for the boot image, and for the appropriate architecture.

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Adding from the Drivers node can be easier if you have multiple drivers, as you can select them all and then select “Add or Remove Drivers to Boot Images”

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You would also see your custom background set here if you had previously set that in the wizard.  Or you can change it here if ever needed.

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Once you have made the appropriate changes, you will be prompted to update the boot images if required. I typically say “No” here and finish adding my drivers and any other changes I need, then add the boot image to the Distribution Points manually.  Otherwise you can end up updating the boot image several times as you are making changes.

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I will not cover adding the boot image to the Distribution Points in this guide as I assume you already have that knowledge.  Keep in mind whenever drivers are added/removed you will have to recreate the boot image and update the DP’s.

In order to assign the boot image to a Task Sequence, we will need to go into the Task Sequence properties box.

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Go to the “Advanced” tab:

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Select “Browse”:

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Pick our custom boot image we created:

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Select “Ok”:

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Select “Ok” again:

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Manually modifying the boot image to add/remove/replace files

If you want to later add additional files to the boot image, this can be done using Imagex and the Deployment Tools Command Prompt (part of the Windows Automated Installation Toolkit aka WAIK).

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Open up the command prompt:

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Make a local directory to mount the image to, I generally use “C:\Mount”:

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Next we will want to mount our image to that directory so we can add files to it.  (DO NOT mount the WinPE.PackageID.WIM file)

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You want to mount the “WinPE.Wim” using the command line:

Imagex /mountrw [path]\winpe.wim 1 [destination]

The “1” is the image index, if you need to use a different index, be sure to change that to the appropriate index.

If you just want to verify files in the image, you can use /mount instead (read-only) access.

Successfully mounted image:

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Through explorer, we can see the files contained in the image now:

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If we browse to windows\system32 we can see that our Trace32.exe is there now that we had included in our Extrafiles directory when we created the boot image:

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Using explorer, you can add/remove any files you need to the c:\mount directory.  Once completed, close explorer and return to your Deployment Tools command prompt.

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To just unmount an image and discard any changes, use:

imagex /unmount [mountdir]

Example: imagex /unmount c:\mount

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To save your changes, you need to commit the changes to the image and unmount the image. This can be done together using the following command:

imagex /commit /unmount [path]

Example: imagex /commit /unmount c:\mount

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Once you have successfully unmounted the image, then be sure to update your Distribution Points to reflect the new changes you have made.

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