Automated Deployment Services (ADS) 1.0 and Windows Server 2003 SP1 Gotcha

This seemed a timely reminder with my webcast on Windows Server 2003 SP1 this afternoon. A small gotcha which caught me out last week when installing an ADS controller was that when ADS asks for the Windows Server 2003 media, you must use the RTM version, not a slipstreamed SP1 media. The ADS services won't start otherwise. Ironically, the only thing I didn't have to hand at the time was an RTM install - I've slipstreamed everything. Doh! This gotcha is due to be fixed in the next release of ADS.


Comments (4)
  1. Jeffery Hicks says:

    This bugged me to no end until I figured it out. Although I was getting a corrupt NTFS partition or bad/missing ntfs.sys. ADS ran just fine. I compared file versions of ntfs.sys and realized the SP1 version was probably the culprit.

  2. daniel barichello says:

    Hi, Have you tried to do a image capture since applying SP1. I am having timeout errors now. This never happend prior to sp1.

  3. Hi Daniel

    Sorry, no. I haven’t had a chance to try this out yet. The hardware I’ve been using at the roadshows were built before SP1 came out, and I left them in this state rather than change anything. Besides, they’re actually rented kit, so I don’t have them around to be able to investigate further. I’ll be using the same kit for TechEd, so won’t in reality get a chance to try this out until mid-July (VPCs and VS to try it out is too slow really). However, I’m not aware of any issues with SP1 being applied to the ADS controller box itself, only the issue about using SP1 files within the ADS installation itself.

    Is the _only_ thing which has changed is the application of SP1 to the ADS controller? Are you capturing a machine which had been successfully previously been captured? What is the error on the box being captured itself? There are some common causes documented in vsmt.chm such as drivers and hotfixes.

    Hope this helps?



  4. Marc Hernandez says:

    I was getting the error

    Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:


    when trying to boot from a completed ramdisk image.  I had already gone through hoops with the fact that ADS was installed on a SP2 Enterprise 2003 server, installing many a hotfix to get it all working.  The solution to my problem should have been obvious.  I dug out a copy of 2003 Enterprise RTM and copied the requisite driver files from the original disk and overwrote the ones the ADS deployment server created a copy of in the ADS nbs directory.  

    This fixed the issue immediately.  

    So as a note, since I can’t find anywhere else to post this, and could not find a solution on Google to save my life, when installing ADS, best to do it on an RTM release, and if you do not:

    1) Use an RTM disk for the installation files when it asks for them in the install process

    2)  install ALL the hotfixes necessary (google for the issues) after installation is complete, or you won’t be able to build a valid RAMDISK image.

    Phew!  This has been plaguing me for a few weeks now on a client’s remote server, and I am very happy to have found the solution.

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