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Microsoft Surface Pro 3

In order to successfully deploy the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 with SmartDeploy, you'll need to use SmartDeploy version 1.1.5010 or later. Additionally, this UEFI Class 3 device automatically adds a BCD firmware entry for any present bootable USB media on each boot. This means that even with the UEFI "Alternate System Boot Order" set to "SSD Only", the machine will still boot to a bootable USB device on each boot. Therefore when deploying the machine via offline USB media, the machine wou

Allen Marsh

Allen Marsh

 

SmartDeploy Enterprise v1.1.2010 – VMware Notes

If you are using VMware virtualization products to build reference computers with SmartDeploy, and you want to create a Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 image, you'll need to follow these instructions. Through testing, we have noticed inconsistent shut down results from within VMware products. When using the Capture Wizard to subsequently capture an image of that machine, the resultant image file does not contain full metadata. If you then attempt to deploy this image, it will result in th

Allen Marsh

Allen Marsh

 

Windows 8 Features

Microsoft is doing some pretty cool things within Windows 8 to allow you to Refresh and reset your PC to a known good starting point. This should be a much cleaner WinRE implementation than the PC Manufacture's implementations with Windows 7. It also appears to have given us USMT Hard-Link Migration for the masses. In this related article, talking about improvements in Windows Setup, and more specifically about the new web based purchase/download/upgrade process... they mention the following:

Allen Marsh

Allen Marsh

 

SmartDeploy 1.1.1920

Here is a list of some of the changes and enhancements in the SmartDeploy 1.1.1920 release. 1803: Ensured all Deploy Wizard, Advanced Options, System Properties work properly. 1812: Allow for multiple Domain's & OU's in answer files 1813: Fixed crash when selecting an image file for deployment that was being copied to 1819: Added messaging if attempting to capture Virtual Box with guest additions installed 1849: Fixed post image task pointing to a missing file

Allen Marsh

Allen Marsh

 

SmartDeploy 1.1.1910 Platform Pack Information

SmartDeploy stores the device drivers for Windows PE in the platform pack for a given model, where necessary. This is to help easily facilitate creating boot or deployment media that supports the network and mass storage for that device. SmartDeploy versions prior to 1.1.1910: -Dell --Latitude E6410 ---Windows PE 2.1 SmartDeploy 1.1.1910: -Dell --Latitude E6410 ---Windows PE We only add Windows PE drivers if necessary for a given model. This is because many models are covered for both

Allen Marsh

Allen Marsh

 

Editing SmartDeploy.xml on the Fly

The SmartDeploy Media Wizard enables you to quickly build boot media that includes a custom answer file. When you create boot media with an answer file it is stored at the root of your SmartPE media (CD or USB) as SmartDeploy.xml. This answer file has several important items that you may want to modify on the fly including: .WIM file being deployed Platform Pack (.ppk) being selected Windows Deployment Services (WDS) compatible image files are a good companion for a custom answer file

aaron.lines@gmail.com

aaron.lines@gmail.com

 

Which logs are useful for debugging deployment issues?

Here are some handy logs and locations to check out if you run into any deployment issues. You can always view the following logs in: C:\Windows\Debug - Deploy.log is created by SmartDeploy Enterprise and will show you deployment errors that may have occurred with SmartDeploy. - Netseteup.log will show any issues with the deployed machine joining the domain. If you are running windows 7, the windows setup logs are located in C:\Windows\Panther If you are having issues with drivers on your

Devon

Devon

 

Automating WDS Image Deployment

SmartDeploy now fully supports OS image capture for deployment using Microsoft's Windows Deployment Services (WDS). Devon's blog does an excellent job of over-viewing the process to capture a WDS compatible SmatDeploy image file. The process is wizard-driven and truly extends the capability of the product. In a large computer lab settings, it is very desirable for you to be able to automate the deployment wizard using an answer file. For example, some of the large labs I support include up

aaron.lines@gmail.com

aaron.lines@gmail.com

 

Differencing Images: Making the Difference!

One feature that I have started to utilize in SmartDeploy Enterprise is differencing images. This technology is currently available for you to reduce your image development time, decrease the amount of space required for OS image storage, and improve the change management process of 'certifying' OS images in your IT organization. A simple way to think about differencing images is that they represent only the changes (delta) between image ‘A’ and image ‘B.’ Most IT shops have at least a dozen

aaron.lines@gmail.com

aaron.lines@gmail.com

 

Time Saving Tips for SmartDeploy Enterprise

We all need some time saving tips. I want to share a couple of time saving tips that I have developed while working with Smart Deployment Enterprise. The tips alone are not revolutionary, but they are valuable and will help new SDE adopters get even more out of an already valuable imaging suite. Part of being super efficient in image development is to use a virtual reference computer for gathering your base image (see my earlier post and Devon's post on creating a reference VM). I have a

aaron.lines@gmail.com

aaron.lines@gmail.com

 

Step By Step: Capturing Using SmartDeploy Enterprise

So you have installed SmartDeploy Enterpise, and are ready to capture your first WIM? Great! Here is a step-by-step guide on how to capture a virtual machine and turn it into WIM (Windows Imaging Format) using SmartDeploy. 1. Open the Capture Wizard by going to Start– All Programs – SmartDeploy – SmartDeploy Enterprise – Capture Wizard. 2. Select Next on the Welcome to the Capture Wizard page to proceed to the Virtual Hard Disk page. 3. Select Browse and browse to your virtual disk fi

Devon

Devon

 

Step By Step: Creating Offline Deployment Media

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create offline deployment media for SmartDeploy Enterprise. Following these steps will quickly get you a basic offline deployment CD/DVD. 1. Open the Media Wizard by selecting Start – All Programs – SmartDeploy – SmartDeploy Enterprise – Media Wizard. 2. Select Next to proceed to the Select Task page 3. Select Create offline deployment media. This option allows you to create offline deployment media containing all components required to boot and deplo

Devon

Devon

 

Screen Capture: The Windows Snipping Tool

For years people have struggled with the best way to capture and share dialog boxes or other objects they see on their computer screen. The old tried and true method: PrtScn & Alt+PrtScn The PrtScn button by default captures the entire desktop, and using Alt+PrtScn captures only the active window on the desktop. This is a good start to get what you want captured. You can then open the Microsoft Paint application (mspaint) and paste in what you have captured. The trick here is to ma

Allen Marsh

Allen Marsh

 

Windows 7, BitLocker and WinRE: Part 2

In a follow-on to my previous “Windows 7, BitLocker and Recovery” blog, I was wondering what would happen if you installed Windows 7 to an existing partition so that you ended up with a single partition instead of two, and then ran the BitLocker wizard. Or, if you made a 300MB active partition in the beginning of the disk and then told Windows setup to install to the free space. In the “Hardware requirements for BitLocker Drive Encryption” section of the Windows 7 Help and Support, it state

Allen Marsh

Allen Marsh

 

Windows 7, BitLocker and WinRE

Windows 7 has greatly improved and simplified the process of setting up BitLocker and the Windows Recovery Environment. In fact both the separate partition structure required for BitLocker, and the automatic failover to the Windows Recovery Environment are setup by default in Windows 7. With Windows Vista neither of these were setup up by default. With Windows Vista the guidance from Microsoft was to create a 1.5GB system partition for BitLocker, and this is exactly what the BitLocker Drive Prep

Allen Marsh

Allen Marsh

 

Where's your 'Golden Image' today? OS image life cycle Best Practices

For years, IT departments have been searching for a method to maintain a perfected Operating System image which can be quickly and easily deployed to the majority of the computer models supported throughout the organization. This 'golden image' should contain all the necessary OEM drivers for the hardware to work without any secondary steps to manipulate the device manager or otherwise update drivers after the initial image deployment. I have personally experienced high levels of frustration

aaron.lines@gmail.com

aaron.lines@gmail.com

 

OS image life cycle Best Practices: Why use a virtual machine as a reference computer?

In almost ten years of Windows Operation System image deployment experience, I have been chasing an easier way to manage the OS image development process or OS image life cycle. Most of us in the industry have grown tired of the antiquated process of building a reference Operating System image on driver specific hardware only to have the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) appear when the manufacturer changes chipsets or other components on common corporate-class models. Many organizations hav

aaron.lines@gmail.com

aaron.lines@gmail.com

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