Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE, January 24, 2005

Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE, January 24, 2005, —brought to you by the Windows IT Pro Network and the Windows 2000 FAQ site
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FAQs

  • Q. What's the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack?
  • Q. How can I install the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack?
  • Q. How can I capture an OS image by using the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack?
  • Q. How can I create an OS deployment package by using the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack?
  • Q. How can I use Microsoft Remote Installation Services (RIS) to offer the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack Deployment CD-ROM content to new machines?
  • Q. How can I change the background image of the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack deployment Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) screen?

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

In this issue I tell you about the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack utility. I tell you how to install the tool, how to create an image of an existing system, and how to deploy the imaged system to other remote systems. I also explain how to use Microsoft Remote Installation Services (RIS) to deploy the imaged system to other systems, and how to change the background of the SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) screen.


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FAQs

Q. What's the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack?

A. Traditionally, Microsoft's desktop deployment strategy has been Microsoft Remote Installation Services (RIS), which is basically a full installation of the OS that delivers the installation files over the network instead of through a CD-ROM and includes some built-in unattended functionality. The RIS process is slow because it takes a full installation path each time. For faster installations, you can use third-party imaging tools to capture the image of a built reference system and copy it to multiple other machines.

Microsoft first introduced imaging technology in its Automated Deployment Services (ADS); however, you can use the ADS technology only with server builds and it requires that you run Windows Server 2000, Enterprise Edition.

The SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack is an image-based solution that lets you deploy Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 Server from your SMS infrastructure. You must run SMS 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) and install the SMS SP1 client throughout your enterprise to take advantage of the OS upgrade and refresh options that let you deploy OS upgrades to existing machines.

You can download the OS Deployment Feature Pack at http://www.microsoft.com/smserver/downloads/2003/osdfp.asp. The feature pack includes a great installation guide that walks you through all the configuration steps, so I won't delve into the steps here.

The OS Deployment Feature Pack uses Windows Imaging Format, which will likely be the format that all Microsoft's imaging technologies use from now on. Currently, you can't mount and edit .wim files, but Longhorn, the next Windows version, will add this support (Windows Imaging Format is a core part of the Longhorn deployment strategy.) Windows Imaging Format is file-based rather than sector-based, which means that the disk image can use Single-Instance Storage (SIS) technology. SIS reduces the amount of space that data requires because duplicate files are stored only once. Windows Imaging Format also uses a very high compression rate, which reduces image size to about one-third of the original content size, and you can deploy .wim files to partitions without first deleting a partition's existing content.

The OS Deployment Feature Pack uses the following technologies:

  • Sysprep--prepares the reference computer before its capture. The tool removes machine-specific settings so that you can deploy the disk image to other machines without System Identifier (SID) or globally unique identifier (GUID) clashes.
  • Microsoft Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE)--helps you capture and deploy the computer images. WinPE is included in the OS Deployment Feature Pack, so you don't need to worry about WinPE licensing. The SMS Management Console has options to build both the Image Capture CD-ROM and the Image Deployment CD-ROM based around WinPE. You can avoid using a deployment CD-ROM by using RIS to deploy WinPE. You also don't need a deployment CD-ROM if you're performing an upgrade or refresh of an existing SMS client. The OSD Feature Pack copies WinPE locally to the client-machine disk. (Because of this setup, complete disk wipes aren't supported; however, the next version of the OS Deployment Feature Pack might support running WinPE in RAM to avoid using the local disk.)
  • Diskpart--partitions the disk
  • User State Migration Tool (USMT)--used in computer refresh scenarios in which you want to preserve users' profiles. The OS Deployment Feature Pack copies the profiles (all profiles, not just the current user profile) to a specified location and then restores them after delivering the refreshed OS using the USMT.
  • The OS Deployment Feature Pack is a "light-touch" product, meaning it requires minimal user input. However, Microsoft provides another technology, the Business Desktop Deployment pack, which is a "zero-touch" technology that builds on the SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack. For information about this technology, visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet/desktopdeployment/bddoverview.mspx To capture a disk image, first configure the reference machine with required service packs, fixes, and applications; install the SMS SP1 Advanced Client, and copy Sysprep into the C:\sysprep folder. The machine must be configured to boot from CD-ROM before it boots from the hard disks. The reference machine must also be a member of a workgroup rather than a domain, and you shouldn't have renamed the Administrator account. Insert the SMS Image Capture CD-ROM into the reference machine and select Capture from the main menu. The capture process will run Sysprep with the parameters you provide (although default settings will be suggested based on the detected OS) then resets the SMS Advanced Client site membership if required. The machine will boot from the SMS Image Capture CD-ROM and launch WinPE. The capture process creates the .wim image and stores it on the remote server via the UNC path specified. Next, use the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Systems Management Server Administrator Console to create the image package and deployment settings, as the figure shows. You then send the image package to your typical SMS distribution points and advertise it to machines that require the OS upgrade.

    How can I install the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack?

    A.Before you install the SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack, you must install SMS Service Pack 1 (SP1) and the Q888311 hotfix on the SMS server. The hotfix is included with the OS Deployment Feature Pack download in the \Hotfix folder of the expanded executable. Double-click the hotfix file (SMS2003-SP1-KB888311-X86-ENU.exe) and follow the onscreen prompts. After you install the hotfix, your SMS site will be reset, which involves several of the SMS services restarting.

    To install the feature pack, perform these steps:

  1. Double-click the OSDeployment.msi file to start the installation.
  2. Click Next to go the SMS 2003 OS Deployment Feature Pack Setup introduction screen.
  3. Select "I accept the license agreement" and click Next.
  4. You'll see a warning message about the importance of limiting the privileges on the account you use for the unattended installations. Be aware that you can't secure the account's credentials, which means that a malicious user could use them for other purposes. Click Next.
  5. Click Next to go the installation screen. The process copies the required files to the system and registers several new modules.
  6. When the installation is done, click Finish.

Q. How can I capture an OS image by using the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack?

A.To capture an OS image, you must first prepare the reference computer (i.e., the computer being captured) by copying Sysprep into the C:\sysprep folder and installing the SMS Advanced Client. Then, perform these steps:

  1. Insert the SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack Capture CD-ROM into the machine to be captured. You create this CD-ROM via the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Systems Management Server Administrator Console. Open Site Database, Image Packages, All Tasks, then click Create Operating System Image Capture CD.
  2. The SMS 2003 Image Capture Wizard launches. Click Next.
  3. Enter a name for the image being captured, a location for it to be copied to, and the name of an account that has Write access to the specified share, as the figure shows. Click Next.
  4. The wizard prompts you to add the Sysprep parameters, as the figure shows. These parameters are filled in by default according to the installed version of Windows that the wizard detects and should be left as suggested. Click Next.
  5. At the next screen, you can enter comments and other optional information for the image that's being captured. Click Next.
  6. A confirmation screen is displayed, which states that actions might take a few minutes and that you must ensure that the computer is configured to boot via CD-ROM before booting from the local hard disk (you set this in the computer's BIOS boot order). Click Finish.
  7. The screen displays a notice that Sysprep is working. When the process is finished, the computer shuts down. Ensure that the OS Deployment Feature Pack Capture CD-ROM is still inserted and restart the machine. The computer will boot from the CD-ROM into the SMS customized Microsoft Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE).
  8. WinPE initializes, then launches the Image Capture Wizard.
  9. The wizard begins the capture process by checking the entire file system, which identifies duplicate files, then copies the files to the .wim file on the remote share, as the figureshows.
  10. After the capture is complete, you'll see a "Capture Complete!" confirmation screen. Click OK.

When you check the share, you'll see a new .wim file. In my test, a 1.86GB Windows XP Professional Edition Service Pack 2 (SP2) installation was stored in a 695MB .wim file.

Q. How can I create an OS deployment package by using the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack?

A. You can now use the .wim file to create an OS deployment package, by following these steps:

  1. Within the SMS Management Console, select New, Operating System Image Package from the context menu of the Image Packages leaf item.
  2. Click Next to launch the New Operating System Package Wizard.
  3. At the screen that the figure shows, enter a name for the package, the location of the .wim file, and a location to create the source for the new package, which will contain the .wim file to be deployed. The destination for the package source files should be a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path. You should use an empty or new folder for the destination because all existing files in the location will be deleted. Click Next.
  4. A copy progress dialog box will be displayed. After the process is done, click Finish.

Now that the image package exists, you need to deploy it to client machines via deployment points. From the SMS Management Console, select Image Package, then select the name of the image package you want to deploy. Right-click the package's Distribution Point, and select New, Distribution Points from the context menu. Then select the distribution points from which you want to distribute the OS package.

Next, you need to create a program to install the package, as follows:

  1. Right-click the Programs leaf of the new package and select New, Operating System Program.
  2. Click Next to launch the New Operating System Program Wizard.
  3. Enter a name for the program (e.g., WindowsXPSP2Install) and accept the default "Create a new Operating System Program with default settings," as the figureshows. (You can change the settings later.) Click Next.
  4. At the next screen, enter the product key to use for all installations (This feature is designed for customers with a select agreement that don't have to activate their Windows installations and that use one product key for all OS installations.) Enter the key and click Next, as the figureshows. You'll notice an option to use an encrypted product key; you can find more information about this option at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=328356.
  5. The wizard then prompts you to enter a workgroup or domain for the new OS to join. If you select a domain, the wizard prompts you to enter the name and password of an account with sufficient privileges to join multiple accounts to the domain, as the figureshows. You'll also notice an option to create a random local administrator password for the machine. This password won't be known, meaning the account can't be used by intruders. You must use domain accounts to log on to the newly built box. Click Next.
  6. Click Finish.
  7. Now that you've created a new program for the package, you need to update the distribution points. To do so, right-click Distribution Points and select All Tasks, Update Distribution Points from within the SMS Administrator Console.

    You now have an OS ready to deploy. You might want to perform more changes, such as setting User State Migration Tool (USMT) to capture the state of user profiles if you're refreshing machines. You can also create a CD-ROM to deploy this image to new machines. From the SMS Management Console, select Image Packages, then All Tasks, then click "Create Operating System Image Installation CD." The process creates an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) file, which you can then burn to a CD-ROM (remember, you need to burn the entire contents of the ISO file). Insert the newly created CD-ROM into a new machine, and the OS will deploy, as the figureshows. You can also use the CD-ROM in an existing installation to initiate an SMS-based upgrade.

    Q. How can I use Microsoft Remote Installation Services (RIS) to offer the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack Deployment CD-ROM content to new machines?

    A. You can use RIS to push out the content to new machines instead of inserting the SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack Deployment CD-ROM into each new computer. You simply boot the new machines by using the Preboot Execution Environment (PXE). The PXE boot lets the new machine contact RIS to get the OS image. To use RIS to push the OS to new machines, perform these steps:

    1. Create a new RIS client deployment of Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) slipstreamed into the source. For details about configuring RIS and adding new client OSs, see other FAQs in the Installation department of the Windows FAQ.
    2. When the system asks for the name of the new OS, enter "SMS OSD Deployment". After you create the new OS, you'll see a folder under the RemoteInstall root (e.g., D:\remoteinstall\setup\english\images\smsosddeploy).
    3. Take the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) file that you created, as described in the FAQ "How can I create an OS deployment package by using the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack?" deploy the selected OSs, and copy its entire contents over the content that the RIS client-creation process created. In other words, copy the ISO file content to the D:\remoteinstall\setup\english\images\smsosddeploy folder.
    4. You'll either need to mount the ISO file by using a utility or burn the file to CD-ROM before you can extract its content. After you copy the content to the folder, navigate to the \i386\templates subfolder, as the figure shows.
    5. Open the ristndrd.sif file in Notepad.
    6. Under the \[SetupData\] section, add the /minint switch to the OsLoadOptions, as follows:
      \[SetupData\]
      OsLoadOptions = "/noguiboot /fastdetect /minint" 
    7. Scroll down to the \[OSChooser\] options section and make the following changes:
      \[OSChooser\]
      Description ="WinPE 1.5"
      Help ="Windows PE 1.5 Source"
      LaunchFile = "%INSTALLPATH%\%MACHINETYPE%\templates\startrom.com"
      ImageType =WinPE
      Version="5.1 (0)" 
    8. Save the file.

    You could now edit the .osc files in the remoteinstall\oschooser\english folder to avoid having to enter user credentials. The OS Deployment Feature Pack documentation walks you through this process. At this point, you can boot a machine via PXE, and at the main RIS menu select "Maintenance and Troubleshooting." You'll now have a "WinPE 1.5" option that will start the SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack deployment.

    To avoid needing to select the "Maintenance and Troubleshooting" menu item, disable all the Choice Screen Options for the Remote Install Group Policy Object (GPO) except "Tools" for the default domain GPO (or whatever GPO applies to the RIS servers), as the figureshows. In my configuration, the only item I had to enter for a brand-new computer is the computer name; everything else is automated.

    Q. How can I change the background image of the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack deployment Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) screen?

    A. After you've created the SMS OS Deployment International Organization for Standardization (ISO) file, you'll find a file in the \i386\system32 folder named winpe.bmp. This file is the WinPE background image, and you can replace it with any bitmap image you want. It will be scaled to the resolution of the desktop screen. If you're deploying the CD-ROM content via Remote Installation Services (RIS), you'll find this file in the particular images system32 folder (e.g., D:\remoteinstall\setup\english\images\smsosddeploy\i386\system32). I changed the image to my old SavillTech logo, as the figure shows.

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