Configuration Manager 2012: Hierarchy Wide Bootable Media

  Hierarchy wide Bootable or Prestaged media. One of the most requested features/capabilities around operating system deployment in Configuration Manager 2007 is the ability to have bootable media that is not tied to a specific site.  A large portion was restrictions within the Configuration Manger 2007.  In Configuration Manager 2012 we have spent time modernizing…

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BranchCache and Operating System Deployment

  Recently I have gotten some feedback on Operating System Deployment in Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 not properly leveraging BranchCache.  Let’s cover some of the implementation details to ensure this is working correctly. The most likely issue is caused due to the fact that the GPO is not being applied during the OS provisioning process. …

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Prestaged Media in Configuration Manager 2007 R3

Configuration Manager 2007 R3 is now in beta.  Click here for more information on the open beta.  Here is more information on the new Configuration Manager 2007 R3 feature, Prestaged Media: Prestaged media is an alternative way to deploy an operating system to computers. Prestaged media is a Windows Image (.wim) file that can be…

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Installing a Custom GINA

Recently, we’ve had some questions about how to install a 3rd party GINA as an Install Software step during an OSD Task Sequence.  The best solution is to install the GINA in the reference image outside of OSD.  However, if this is not possible and the GINA must be installed during the Task Sequence, then…


Implicit answer file settings, Part 1: Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003

When the Apply OS step is run, it adds or overwrites a number of entries in the setup answer file.  The specific settings depends on whether the deployment is image-based (Apply operating system from a captured image) or setup-based (Apply operating system from an original installation source).  In this post I’ll indicate which values are…

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How do I assign a drive letter in the Format and Partition Disk step?

The short answer is, “you can’t”.  Drive letters are only applicable to an instance of a running operating system.  Any drive letters assigned in Windows PE would not be persisted when you reboot into the new operating system (or when you reboot to Windows PE for that matter), which will re-enumerate the drives and assign…

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Why does Vista end up on the D: drive?

Several people have tried to use the install.wim from the Windows Vista installation media in an Install an existing image package task sequence.  They are surprised to discover that, upon completion, the operating system is on the D: drive instead of the C: drive.  The short explanation for why this happens is that the operating…

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What is OSDDiskpartBiosCompatibilityMode?

Prior to Vista, the default alignment for partitions was cylinder alignment for MBR disks and sector alignment for GPT disks.  With Vista (and Windows PE 2.0), the default partition alignment was changed to 1 MB.  This can result in a 2x performance enhancement, since disk sectors are aligned with the cache line size.  Unfortunately, this…

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