Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE--August 15, 2005

Windows Tips &amp Tricks UPDATE, August 15, 2005, —brought to you by the Windows IT Pro Network and the Windows 2000 FAQ site
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FAQs

  • Q. How can I modify the text that the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack's initial screen displays?
  • Q. What's "Point and Print"?
  • Q. Why can't I connect as a CD-ROM drive to an ISO file larger than 2.2GB via Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 or Virtual Server 2005?
  • Q. How can I use VBScript to insert a line into a text file?
  • Q. How can I add more network drivers to a Microsoft Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) 2004 instance?

Commentary
by John Savill, FAQ Editor, [email protected]

In this issue, I tell you how to modify the text that the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack's initial screen displays and I discuss Windows 2000's Point and Print feature. I also explain why you can't connect as a CD-ROM drive to an ISO file larger than 2.2GB via Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 or Virtual Server 2005. Then I show you how to use VBScript to insert a line into a text file and how to add more network drivers to a Microsoft Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) 2004 instance.


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FAQs

Q. How can I modify the text that the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack's initial screen displays?

A. The default SMS dialog box that appears when an OS Deployment starts simply displays an SMS logo. However, you can use the dialog box to display additional information to the end user. To do so, you need to create the additional information and store it in a Rich Text Format (RTF) document on a network share. You can specify a different document for each OS program definition (You can learn more about OS program definitions in the FAQ "How can I capture an OS image by using the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack?" ). To replace the contents of the initial screen's dialog box with your own text, perform these steps:

  1. Right-click the specific SMS OS Deployment program that you've created according to the steps in the FAQ mentioned earlier. (Systems Management Server, Site Database, Image Packages, <OSD Package name>, Programs, <specific program>) and select Properties.
  2. Select the User Notification tab.
  3. Click Browse in the section for selecting the .rtf document you want to display (by default, SMS uses the osdsample.rtf file).
  4. Select the file you want to display from its Universal Naming Convention (UNC) location, as the figure shows and click OK.
  5. Click OK on the main program properties screen.
  6. Update the distribution points by right-clicking the Distribution Points branch of the OS package and selecting All Tasks, Update Distribution Points.

When you create the .rtf document, note that its content isn't auto-wrapped to fit in the displayed window area, so you might need to experiment to ensure the content doesn't go horizontally off the screen. The figure shows an example of a custom SMS startup screen.

Q. What's "Point and Print"?

A. Windows 2000 Server and later has the ability to automatically download and install printer drivers from the network print server for remote printers. This automatic printer driver installation is known as Point and Print because the user simply points to the remote printer he or she wants to use, and Windows takes care of the driver installation and configuration.

For example, Win2K and later clients use version 3 drivers, so you need only one printer driver to support all machines running Win2K and later. Older clients, such as Windows NT 4.0, use version 2 drivers. Therefore, to enable the Point and Print feature for NT 4.0 clients, you need to install the version 2 driver on the print server, which you do via the Printer Properties' Additional Drivers option. You can also add support for Windows 9x clients, however these clients use a Server Message Block (SMB) connection instead of the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) that NT 4.0 and later use. This means the print server can't pass configuration settings to the client and therefore some manual client-side action is required.

If a remote printer uses a driver not included with the client OS or if the printer has a newer driver, the print server notifies the client, which then pulls the driver from the print server and stores it in the %systemroot%\system32\spool\drivers\w32x86\3 folder. Additionally, whenever a newer driver is installed on the print server, the next time the client attempts to use the printer the print server sends the new driver to the client. Figure 1 and Figure 2 show a scenario in which a printer was using the built-in Windows driver, then the updated HP driver was installed and the print server sent the driver to the client when the client attempted to print.

This Point and Print behavior is useful in migration/upgrade situations. As long as you migrate the user's profile and settings, the printer drivers will automatically reinstall on the new OS when the user logs on or uses the printer.

Q. Why can't I connect as a CD-ROM drive to an ISO file larger than 2.2GB via Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 or Virtual Server 2005?

A. You can't connect because an ISO file larger than 2.2GB is a DVD ISO file, not a CD-ROM ISO file. Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1 (SP1) will add support for ISO files over 2.2GB. To resolve this problem, simply mount the ISO file on the host computer by using a CD emulator product such as Microsoft Virtual CD, which you can download here . Then under the Virtual PC environment, link the CD-ROM drive to the "physical" drive created by the virtual CD software, for example Z, which the figure shows.

Q. How can I use VBScript to insert a line into a text file?

A. VBScript has no built-in functionality that lets you insert a line into a file. The simplest way to do that is to open the file you want to insert a line into, write the file line by line to a new file, and insert the new line where you want it. I wrote the following script, which you can download at http://www.windowsitpro.com/content/content/47596/insertfile.zip to insert a line into a sysprep.inf file in the \[Unattended\] section. (Some lines wrap because of space constraints.)

Option Explicit

Dim strFileSourcePath, strFileTargetPath, objFSOSource, objFSOTarget, fso, objFilesSource, objFilesTarget, strCurrentLine

Const ForReading = 1, ForWriting = 2

strFileSourcePath = "C:\sysprep\sysprep.inf"
strFileTargetPath = "C:\sysprep\sysprep.new"

Set objFSOSource = CreateObject("scripting.filesystemobject")
Set objFSOTarget = CreateObject("scripting.filesystemobject")

Set objFilesSource = objFSOSource.OpenTextFile(strFileSourcePath,ForReading,True,0) 
Set objFilesTarget = objFSOSource.OpenTextFile(strFileTargetPath,ForWriting,True,0) 
Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

Do While objFilesSource.AtEndOfStream  True
  strCurrentLine = objFilesSource.ReadLine

  if StrComp(Left(strCurrentLine,12),"\[Unattended\]") = 0 then
    objFilesTarget.WriteLine strCurrentLine
    objFilesTarget.WriteLine "OemPnPDriversPath = xpdrivers\network; xpdrivers\storage; xpdrivers\Video"
  else
    objFilesTarget.WriteLine strCurrentLine
  end if

Loop

objFilesSource.Close
objFilesTarget.Close

Set objFSOSource = Nothing
Set objFSOTarget = Nothing

fso.MoveFile "C:\sysprep\sysprep.inf", "C:\sysprep\sysprep.old"
fso.MoveFile "C:\sysprep\sysprep.new", "C:\sysprep\sysprep.inf"

Set fso = Nothing
 
The script reads each line from the existing sysprep.inf and writes it to sysprep.new. It checks the first 12 characters of each line looking for the characters "\[Unattended\]" (not including quotation marks\}. When the script finds a line in which the first 12 characters are "\[Unattended\]", it writes the current line, then writes the new content (in my case a OemPnPDriversPath entry). At the end of the execution, the script renames the existing file with an .old file extension (i.e., sysprep.old) and renames the newly created file with an .inf file extension (i.e., sysprep.inf).

Q. How can I add more network drivers to a Microsoft Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) 2004 instance?

A. Each version of WinPE includes the drivers that are included with the OS that the WinPE is based on. For example, WinPE 2004 includes the drivers from Windows XP. However, in some situations, you might need to add other drivers. To add support for extra drivers, copy the files in Table 1, from the NIC's driver disk or download them to the directory listed. The %systemroot% will usually be the i386 folder of the WinPE location.

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