Configuration Manager 2012: Select Preferred Deployment from a Prestart Command

  Over the next few weeks I will be covering some changes introduced into System Center 2012 Configuration Manager 2012. Configuration Manager 2012 Beta 1 introduces a new feature to select a preferred deployment from a prestart command.  This allows an administrator with a custom front end (i.e. HTA) or script the ability to deploy…

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Tips for Debugging Task Sequences

The definition of the task sequence (e.g. the specific steps to run) is distributed to the client using System Center Configuration Manager’s policy mechanism.  By default, clients are configured to download policy every 24 hours (this means that after you change the definition of a task sequence it could be up to 24 hours before…

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Inside the Run Command Line action

Once you have the basic Operating System Deployment process working with ConfigMgr 2007, you will likely want to begin customizing your task sequences.  The Run Command Line action provides a very flexible method to add custom steps.  There are a few things you should be aware of when developing Run Command Line steps. Shell Commands…

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Tips for resolving package references

In ConfigMgr 2007, we now have several different types of packages, which can make it difficult to find a specific package which is referenced by a task sequence.  Here are a couple of tips to help resolve package references: If you select your task sequence in the Admin UI and select the “References” tab on the…

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Joining a Domain: Epilogue

Fault Tolerance with Join Domain or Workgroup  Previously I mentioned that the Apply Network Settings step simply writes the domain join information to the Windows Setup answer file, and Windows Setup handles the actual domain join.  As a result, the Task Sequence is unaware of the domain join status and will continue execution after Windows…

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Joining a Domain, Part 2

Capture Network Settings and Apply Network Settings are designed to work together to migrate network membership (and other network configuration info) from the old operating system to the new operating system.  For network membership, these actions share the following Task Sequence variables: OSDJoinType (0 = domain, 1 = workgroup) OSDDomainOUName OSDDomainName OSDWorkgroupName These variables are…

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Joining a domain during an OS deployment

There are two ways to join a domain as part of an OS Deployment: Using the Apply Network Settings step in Windows PE Using the Join Domain or Workgroup step in the new operating system Apply Network SettingsApply Network Settings simply writes the required information to the Windows answer file (sysprep.inf, unattend.txt, or unattend.xml) and…

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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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