Q. I have some general System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007 R2 OS deployment pains. Any hints?

A. This weekend I configured SCCM 2007 R2 from scratch to deploy a Windows 7 image that would automatically join the domain. I hit a number of "fun" issues that I wanted to share, and how to resolve them.

1. First, I wanted to change the organization name that's displayed during the OS deployment from "IT Organization" to something custom. You won't find it under the preinstallation environment, the task sequence or anywhere else. To change the organization name, you have to change the Computer Access Account properties, which you find at Site Database, Site Management, , Client Agents. Select the Computer Client Agent and the Customization tab to change the name shown.

2. My next problem was that I had to press F12 on the machine where I was installing Windows 7 to select to boot over the network. This is an easy fix—just make sure to set SCCM so that the advertisement of the new OS is mandatory and you won't have to hit F12. You could also rename pxeboot.n12 to pxeboot.com under architecture in the RemoteInstall folder, but this isn't recommended, because if you rename the file it will make the user boot from the network every time the computer turns on. You only want to boot over the network if the user has to—if it's mandatory.

3. I tried to set a custom background, but the image I set was ignored. The problem was that I used a JPG. You have to pass a BMP and it will work fine, as shown here.

Custom PE background

Make sure your images are published to the PXE distribution points and not the standard distribution points. Deploy to the \\\SMSPXEIMAGES$ distribution point.

4. Intermittently, clients couldn't boot to the preinstallation environment. I had checked that the previous advertisement had been cleared, but it still didn't work. The SMSPXE.log file showed the following:

ProcessDatabaseReply: No Advertisement found in Db for device

After some investigation, I found that it was a problem with Windows Deployment Services (WDS). Restarting the WDS Server service from Server Manager solved this problem.

5. My domain join task sequence action was failing. I had specified the default Computers container as the target for the object, but this isn't supported. If you want the object created in the default container, leave the target field blank. You can only specific OU's as valid data.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.