Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Troubleshooting MDT 2010

Just starting to work with MDT.  A few issues of note.

1) If the logon information is not correct for the deployment share, you won't get an error. When booting from media, none of the task sequences will show up.

2) When creating media, ISOs are good for CDs/PXE booting and WIMS for WDS.  If you are using a USB key, the media needs to be created seperately by right clicking the media folder.  Doesn't not seem to work copying the folders from the boot folder. Also need to format the key properly. If you are not using x86, don't create the media.  Saves disk space and a little time.

When creating media for a USB key, note that task sequences are not copied over from deploymentshare\control.  (Point #8 is related). This causes various isses including:

- Unfinished task sequence. MININT and _SMSTaskSequence folders left on hard drive
- A link to wscript C:\MININT\Scripts\litetouch.wsf in the Start Menu
- An error upon startup that will ask for the USB media with WinPE on it
- If you do not delete the two above folders and reboot WinPE in an effort to reimage, you will get an endless reboot loop

The solution is, when updating the USB media, copy the entire contents of Control to Deploy\Control on the key.

3) The reference machine should not have an entry in the database. 

4) It seems that not one set of settings for the custom.ini and bootstrap.ini will work for both a capture & deployment.  May have to switch settings between the two.

5) Watch out for syntax errors.  I made one with an extra bracket in CustomSettings.ini and it failed to capture.

6) When importing the image, need to add the setup files. After selecting Custom image file in the Import Operating System Wizard, you need to select Copy Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, or later setup files from the specific path, and then point to a folder/DVD where you have the Windows 7 installation files. If you don't do this, you may see no end to hangs or other problems when WinPE boots, etc.

7)  If the host machine for MDT is in a domain, make sure it is in an OU with minimal group policy.  I used a normal lab machine for testing and Litetouch was unable to connect to the server due to group policy only allowing admin users to connect.

8) After capturing/deploying a machine a few times, WinPE does a continuous reboot loop. The solution is to reformat the hard drive or reload a different OS.  It seems to check the hd before running the task sequences. Or, if you can boot via an alternate media such as BartPE and remove the _SMSTaskSequence and MININT folders from the hard drive.  On occasion, you may also find "C:\Windows\system32\wscript.exe" "C:\MININT\Scripts\LiteTouch.wsf" in the startup folder.  You may want to delete as well.  MS does not clean up after itself.


9) WinPE boots, Microsoft Deployment Wizard runs. Hangs after that at the Microsoft Solution Accelerators screen. No task sequence screen to be found. The solution is buired in X:\minint\smsosd\osdlogs\bdd.log. The error was "Unable to connect to \\localhost\DeploymentShare$". This refers to the inability to connect to the SQL Server.  It looks like I need to change the logon account to one that has permissions. For now, I used the customsettings.ini and bootstrap.ini that I had before I installed the SQL server.

10) WinPE boots, Microsoft Deployment Wizard runs.  Gets to the "Welcome to Windows Deployment Wizard" screen.  After the deployment share and authentication is entered, nothing happens.  The X:\minint\smsosd\osdlogs\bdd.log indicated that it was trying to connect to the SQL Server localhost.  Fixed it by changing the SQL server in customsettings.ini to the correct server.  There is still a lag of what seems like a minutes before the task sequences show up.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pays to check your bandwidth

I was trying to do my first MDT capture of a reference image, and wondered why after an hour it was still not done... My NIC on the deployment share machine had autoed to 10 MB. Once I set it to 100 Full it was done in a matter of minutes.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Slipstreaming XP Pro with SP3

Ever wonder why you can't slipstream an XP SP3 in Windows 7?