Better Task Deployment


  • group:cid:13:privileges:mods:members

    So i’ve been away for a while. Been getting certs like crazy, so lots of studying. Interestingly enough, i’ve worked with a lot of imaging both on PC and Macs. I’ve been using DeployStudio for the Macs, and a combination of WDS, SCCM, and MDT for Windows (Lite Touch and Zero Touch deployments). Both work extremely well for what they are, once they are properly configured, but that’s a different story :) However, both products are based heavily on tasks to deploy the image and software. While both imaging solutions work, they do it in different ways, at least the way I was using them.

    PC deployments - You image the machine with a very basic image. You install 7, sysprep it once you get it installed, and that’s your base image. Then MDT and SCCM would take over and basically run a script that would install the applications in order based on your config. It would keep installing and restarting as needed until everything was completed.

    Mac deployments - The Macs seemed to be almost identical with DeployStudio. You could do a “traditional sysprep” on the machine to give you the default image. Then you create a task list to do various tasks while the machine is being imaged. For instance you would set the task to Image the machine > download/install updates > install extra software that wasn’t in the image > Bind to AD or OD. All this would be done while the machine was netboot’d to the server. After that list completed, the machine would restart and everything would be good.

    So to me it seems like more mainstream imaging programs are going modular with using tasks, even down to the individual PC’s. So it would be nice to see if it would be possible to start seeing if FOG would start to incorporate this as well. That’s on my wish list, if only I could being to code that :)


  • Moderator

    no probs


  • group:cid:13:privileges:mods:members

    Awesome, thanks much.


  • Moderator


  • group:cid:13:privileges:mods:members

    Falko, would you happen to have that guide still from your DB? I had my computer crash and lost all my guides/notes I had made and found. Just trying to rebuild the collection. Being a fully encrypted RAID 0+1 setup, there wasn’t much chance of retrieving the data :) Thankfully, the VM’s are on a separate drive so I still have those.


  • Moderator

    oh fair enough, you could mention that you can install the client to enable domain joining, but disable all other services (to stop any other network traffic). PC can also use name given in FOG Webui, then join domain with that name, thats what I have set up.

    It use to be backwards at my old place of work, that’s what led me to FOG


  • group:cid:13:privileges:mods:members

    It wasn’t up to me unfortunately. I was told that we can’t use the client based on the fact that it would cause to much “traffic” on the network with it checking in. Our way of imaging computers was very backwards. A group of us built FOG in an office to get bugs worked out until we were ready to demo it. The boss liked what he saw, the fact that it was much simpler to setup machines, and the fact that you wouldn’t have to remember cd’s or flash drives everywhere you went, we could PXE boot from any machine. So we were asked to put our server in the DC. When we brought up installing the client on the machines, we had a test pilot group of computers which we were very successful with. However, we were told that we were unsure of the traffic it would generate being on every machine. So we are forced to look at doing the images without the clients installed. BTW, I’m not in charge of our images, I was just sick of all the little steps we had to take to get an image installed on a computer, hence why we put FOG together :)


  • Moderator

    I’m on me phone at the moment, but first thought is. %localhost% maybe


  • Moderator

    Yeah i found it when I checked my Dropbox folder, its the guide that got me started with sysprepping.
    Why do you not use the client, I only use it for joining domain?


  • group:cid:13:privileges:mods:members

    The guide worked perfectly. I just made some minor changes and got it configured the way I wanted to, so it’ll only prompt me for a PC name. However, the last hurdle, and apparently a well known issue, auto joining to the domain. From the way the answer file works, it’ll join the PC to the domain prior to being named, giving it a random name in AD. I’ve found the following command that can be used but have a question on one piece of it.

    [B][I]NETDOM /Domain:YOURDOMAIN /user:DOMAINADMIN /password:DOMAINPASSWORD MEMBER COMPUTERNAME /JOINDOMAIN[/I][/B]

    I know that you have to have the AD tools installed to used this, as netdom is not part of windows 7 by default. However, to truly automate the process can the computer name in blue be set to something like %pcname% to automatically pull in the name of the computer? With us having close to 10,000 machines, we would like to have as much of the imaging process automated as possible. I’ve seen a powershell script and also a vbs script that claim to do the same thing, so i’m curious to see if the above post would work, or if there is an easier way yet to accomplish this task.[B][I] [/I][I][/I][/B]


  • Moderator

    Try this sysprep guide

    http://db.tt/MxZvkNPT


  • group:cid:13:privileges:mods:members

    So I tried setting this up last night, and was going good until I tried loading a sysprepped image. I did a “hybrid” approach to this. As of right now, I’m trying to get this to work without the FOG client, as we do not use the client at my place of employment. I’ve setup a generic image in a VM, install the programs, ran my updates etc. I then used this document and followed the instructions to make the autounattend file, http://www.bauer-power.net/2011/02/how-to-sysprep-windows-7-on-easy.html. However, when the sysprepped image loads, I get a “Windows could not parse or process the (generalize)…” So i’ve been trying to figure out what has gone wrong. I think i’m going to just bite the bullet and create the same file in WAIK. So does everything that needs to be setup in WAIK need to be done under the specialize field? Or did you pretty much just do this portion from the guide you listed (of course, adjust as needed):

    MY IMAGE IS x64 SO I ADDED THE AMD64 OPTIONS

    1. Set Owner Information

    2. Enable the administrator account and set password

    3. Skip Activation

    4. Hide License Info

    5. Protect PC = 1 (basic protection)

    6. Network Location = Work

    7. Hide Wireless Setup

    8. Set Language to UK

    9. Show Windows Live = false

    10. Skip Rearm = 1
      This allows you to run sysprep more than 3 times on a machine, but i would recommend NOT using it.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff716063(WS.10).aspx

    1. copyprofile=true
      copy profile will copy the administrator profile on sysprep and make it the default for any new user login. could be handy (i will use)

  • Moderator

    this guide first got me started with using Virtualbox for building images

    http://blog.ibuddy.info/index.php/2011/05/fog-29-my-windows-7-guide-3264-bit-docv1/


  • group:cid:13:privileges:mods:members

    gotcha, so it’s really load it > updates > snapshot > sysprep > roll back > update > snapshot > sysprep > roll back > update etc more or less, never snapshot after a sysprep. I’ve never had much luck with trying to image Windows 7 this way. So i’m setting a VM up right now to test. If I can get this working reliably for me, this could save us a lot of time at work. Currently our Win7 image takes between 30-40 minutes to deploy per machine. It would be nice to just use FOG as deploying is sooo much faster. 3 minutes for a 10 gig image. I take it that you use the FOG client for the naming of the machines?


  • Moderator

    Working of snapshots so it doesn’t matter, as its like the machine is never really sysprepped


  • group:cid:13:privileges:mods:members

    Sysprepping that way, do you have to do the skiprearm thing as well? or doesn’t it matter since you’re just working off of snapshots?


  • Moderator

    yep thats it,

    join domain etc all comes from FOG

    also use steps 7 and 8 from this guide http://fogproject.org/forum/threads/windows-7-deployment-fog-sad2-driver-tool.380/


  • group:cid:13:privileges:mods:members

    mainly just a generic setting answer file? like language, timezone, product key? Stuff like that?


  • Moderator

    hmm, only created a single answer file, took 5 minutes tbh


  • group:cid:13:privileges:mods:members

    I’ve yet to find a way that I like to do Windows 7 imaging. Mostly, I hate using WAIK. I assume you setup your image this way?


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