Lately I’ve been working on a Windows 7 SOE solution which is being deployed via System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.
The Windows 7 SOE design consists of a thin-image (captured using Configuration Manager – with all Critical, Important, Low Updates as well as IE9). I experienced nothing but good performance when capturing the image so was a bit surprised to discover when testing the end-to-end deployment of the Windows 7 SOE with Applications (deploying applications in the Task Sequence using the the new Install Application step (which I use variable instead of specifying each application), on some devices the time it would take to complete an Application Installation could take quite literally hours. Take the Adobe Flash Player installation as an example – it would normally be a case of blink and you miss it, but in some cases I found it could take a good 20 minutes.
The hardware I’m working with varies, but in nearly all cases it’s one of the various HP SFF’s or USDT’s. The client has been running a Windows XP image (deployed by Acronis – a solution built by the client’s internal IT department). Because the people who built the XP image struggled to get the Intel Storage Drivers working, they switched the BIOS Storage configuration to Legacy mode instead of AHCI. Doing this prevented the XP systems from Blue-screening due to missing storage driver.
I wondered what would happen if flicked that setting back to AHCI. So I did….
The build time on a HP 8000 Elite SFF and a DC7900 SFF has basically halved and most notably, the application installations are now installing as quickly as you would expect.
The HP 8000 Elite went from 2:05hr down to 0:41m.
The deployment includes:
- Windows 7 Enterprise SP1 x86 image
- Adobe Flash
- Adobe Reader
- Adobe Shockwave Player
- Microsoft Office 2010
- Microsoft Visio Viewer 2010
- Oracle Java Runtime 1.7
- McAfee Framework Package
I don’t know if it will work for everyone, but give it a go and see what happens.
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