Microsoft Deployment Technical FAQ

Microsoft Deployment has been released for a little over three months and we now have had enough questions and support calls come in to generate a FAQ.  You might want to bookmark this post because we plan on updating this list as additional questions are asked.

Lite Touch Installation

Q:  Is it possible to change the text IT Organization in the task sequence dialog box?

A: Yes!  You can set the variable _SMSTSORGNAME in the custom settings.ini to match the text you want to use.  For example to set the text to Microsoft Corporation, add the following line to your customsettings.ini:

_SMSTSORGNAME = Microsoft Corporation

Q:  What is the purpose of each of the task sequence templates?

A: In BDD 2007 we supported only the installation of a client Operating System and did not technically support using task sequences for anything other than deploying an Operating System.  With Microsoft Deployment we now support deploying server Operating Systems as well as running customized task sequences that can perform any number of operations.  Here is a list of the templates we provide and their purpose:

  • Standard Client Task Sequence - Task sequence used for deploying client Operating Systems such as Windows XP or Windows Vista

  • Standard Server Task Sequence - Task sequence used for deploying server Operating Systems such as Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008

  • Standard Client Replace Task Sequence - This task sequence is designed to be run on the machine that is being replaced.  This task sequence should be initiated within the client Operating System and will perform a User State Migration, Boot into Windows PE, optionally perform a full system backup, and optionally securely wipe the disk

  • Custom Task Sequence - This task sequence is used as a template to install Applications.  This task sequence can be customized to perform any additional actions that you would like to add

Q:  For the Client Replace task sequence, how do I make the task sequence wipe the disk?

A:  Set the variable WipeDisk = TRUE in the customsettings.ini

Q:  In BDD 2007 I modified ztidiskpart.txt to create partitions.  How do I do this in Microsoft Deployment?

A:  Microsoft deployment does not use the ztidiskpart.txt file to create the partitions.  Now, this disks are configured run time based on the task sequence parameters in the Format and Partition Disk step.  This step allows you to create multiple partitions across several disks.  If you do not want a partition formatted you can create your own custom script that calls diskpart /s and provide your own diskpart.xt file

Q:  When trying to add a custom Vista WIM to the workbench, I receive the following error:
Error during wizard processing
An unexpected error occurred while processing the wizard results.
Collection was modified; enumeration operation may not execute.

A:  There is a hotfix available that will fix this problem.  See the following KB article for more information and to retrieve the hotfix:

Zero Touch Installation with ConfigMgr 2007

Q:  How do I use the media hook capabilities in Microsoft Deployment to deploy to unknown computers?

A: Michael Niehaus has a great blog entry and screencast on how to set up and configure this feature:

Q:  How do I configure my task sequence to capture a reference image?

A:  In the standard client task sequence there are a series of steps at the end of the task sequence that prepare the system for imaging, reboot to Windows PE, and then captures an image of the computer.  To enable these steps the following variable should be set in the customsettings.ini, Microsoft Deployment Database, ConfigMgr variables, or task sequence variables:

DoCapture = YES

Q:  Do I need to use the Microsoft Deployment database with ConfigMgr 2007?

A:  It depends.  We have made Microsoft Deployment flexible enough for you to use the Microsoft Deployment Database, customsettings.ini, ConfigMgr 2007 Task Sequence variables, Web Services, or Collection or Computer variables.  If you already have a populated database from using BDD 2007, you have the ability to use that database in conjunction with Microsoft Deployment and ConfigMgr by customizing the customsettings.ini to make the database connection.  If you choose to use the Microsoft Deployment database (or any other database) then you will need to use the Import Microsoft Deployment Task sequence to create a custom Windows PE image that includes ADO support

Q:  What is install updates offline and how do I use it?

A:  Install Updates offline is a step that can be added to the task sequence that will install Vista and Windows Server 2008 patches to the Operating System prior to the Operating System booting for the first time.  To use this step in the task sequence, you first need to create an updates package inside of ConfigMgr:  After creating your updates package you need to add the Install Updates Offline step in the task sequence in the PostInstall section immediately prior to the Configure step

Zero Touch Installation with SMS 2003 OSD

Q:  Is it possible to change the text IT Organization in the task sequence dialog box?

A:  Yes!  Due to how the task sequencing engine works with SMS 2003 OSD, the process is slightly different than for Lite Touch. 

Create a variables.dat file in your package source and distribute it to your SMS 2003 Distribution Points.  The contents of that variables.dat file should be the following:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<MediaVarList Version="4.00.5345.0000"><var name=”_SMSTSORGNAME”>My CorpName</var></MediaVarList>

Comments (7)
  1. Anonymous says:

    In case you haven’t seen this yet, here is the context.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Grab this link and bookmark it as the MD team will be updating the post as the FAQ grows. Lite Touch

  3. Anonymous says:

    Periodicamente sul Blog del gruppo di prodotto aggiornano le FAQ per Microsoft Deployment. Ogni tanto

  4. Anonymous says:

    We’ve added a new FAQ item with information on how to change the &quot;IT Organization&quot; text for

  5. joe smith says:

    How would you create a task sequence to install several hotfixes to a running OS via the BDD_Autorun script? I tried to create one, but it errors out saying installation failed…

  6. alex says:

    where I need to place the custom settings.ini file?

Comments are closed.

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