• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Erik

  1. The Microsoft User State Migration Tool is, as its name suggests, a tool set that can be used during deployments to migrate user's documents and settings. When combined with SmartDeploy Enterprise you can install Windows 7 over a users Windows XP instance while keeping all of their files and settings. In this guide we will demonstrate how to combine USMT with SmartDeploy Enterprise and complete a Windows XP to Windows 7 migration. For this example we will be doing what is referred to as a Hard-Link migration. A Hard-Link migration is defined as a migration where all user state information is maintained on the target computer while the old operating system is removed and a new operating system is installed. This type of deployment is best suited for a computer refresh scenario as all information is maintained on the users PC. Because all of the information is maintained on the user's computer you will not need to worry about coping the users state to a network resource, thus saving time in the overall deployment. This entry is meant to guide you through an entire deployment, from creating an image, to deploying the image with the users state. Before You Begin Before beginning this guide it is assumed that you have a few prerequisites in place. SmartDeploy Enterprise will need to be installed on your technician machine. You will also need access to USMT version 4.0, these files are available within Microsoft's Windows Automated Install Kit (AIK) which can be downloaded here. Please note that this example is using Windows XP (x86) and Windows 7 (x86). If you're trying to migrate to or from a 64bit version of Windows the steps may differ. If installing Windows 7 (x64) please add the amd64 folder of USMT to the virtual reference machine. If migrating from Windows XP x64 please set the following environment variable in the USMT batch file created below, Set MIG_OFFLINE_PLATFORM_ARCH=64. Creating Virtual Reference Machine In a normal scenario Hard-Link migration operating system deployment is done by installing Windows 7 over Windows XP protecting the disk partitioning. Due to this, you will need to install Windows 7 to one partition to match that of your Windows XP instance. In the case of SmartDeploy you will install Windows 7 to one partition in a virtual machine, then capture the image to a WIM file. The following steps will take you through the process of installing Windows 7 to one partition. Create a New Virtual Machine; this will vary based on the virtualization software used in your environment. Boot the new virtual machine using Windows 7 install media. Once boot, the Install Windows page will appear. Press Shift + F10 to open a Command Prompt. From the Command Prompt enter the following commands followed by pressing the Enter key, then close the Command Prompt. Diskpart Select Disk 0 Clean (Note this will destroy any data on the virtual machine) Create Partition Primary Exit [*]From the Localization page accept the defaults and click Next. [*]Click Install Now. [*]You will receive a message stating Setup is Starting. When the EULA page is displayed select I accept the license terms and click Next. [*]When prompted for installation type click Custom. [*]On the Where do you want to install Windows page, ensure Disk 0 Partition 1 is selected and click Next. [*]Wait for the installation to finish then proceed to the next section. Adding USMT to Virtual Reference Machine Next, You will need to add the USMT components to your virtual reference machine. Download and install Windows AIK on your technician computer. If your virtual reference machine is not already started, please start it now. From your technician computer navigate to c:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\USMT \x86 and copy the contents of this folder to c:\USMT on your virtual reference machine. Add any other applications or settings that are needed for your environment. Shutdown your virtual reference machine. You can now use the Capture Wizard to capture the master image as described in the SmartDeploy Enterprise User’s Guide. Creating Batch File to Run ScanState In this section we will create a batch file to run the ScanState tool of USMT. This will scan the Windows XP install and copy the users state to the specified store. Open Notepad.exe by clicking Start>All Programs>Accessories>Notepad. From Notepad enter the following information one line at a time. Set USMT_WORKING_DIR=c:\temp %SmartDeploy_Media%\z\usmt\x86\ScanState.exe C:\backup /nocompress /Hard-Link /offlinewindir:c:\windows /all /i:%SmartDeploy_Media%\z\usmt\x86\migdocs.xml /i:%SmartDeploy_Media%\z\usmt\x86\migapp.xml /i:%SmartDeploy_Media%\z\usmt\x86\miguser.xml /l:x:\windows\temp\ScanState.log Note that C:\Backup is where the user state will be saved and loaded from once the deployment is complete. It is a local folder on the target machine that will be protected during deployment, using SmartDeploy. For more information on the commands in this section please check the USMT User’s Guide. [*]When finished click File>Save As. Navigate to C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\USMT. Enter USMT.BAT for the file name, change Save as type to All files, click Save. Please Continue on to Part 2
  2. Create SmartPE Boot Media To integrate USMT with SmartPE, begin by using the Media Wizard to create a SmartPE ISO, a customized environment that captures or deploys images to target computers. Start the Media Wizard by clicking Start > All Programs > Prowess > SmartDeploy Enterprise > Media Wizard. On the Welcome to the Media Wizard page, click Next. On the Select Task page, select Build boot media, and then click Next. This option is used to build boot media for booting the target computers to the SmartPE. On the Platform Pack page, click Browse. You can then select a Platform Pack that contains support for booting and deploying the target computers. Select the Platform Pack file that contains the drivers for the target computers by clicking on the file name. In this example, we use a Default Platform Pack. Return to the Platform Pack page of the Media Wizard. Click Next. On the Optional Components page, you can select the additional components you would like to include. For example, you can enable or disable the SmartDeploy Virtual Network Computing (VNC) Server and or the SmartDeploy Cloud Services, designate a custom answer file and add optional files. To completely integrate USMT we will need to add the components to SmartPE, to do so click Browse next to Optional Files. Browse to C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\USMT and click OK. Back at the Optional Components page, verify the optional files path is correct and select Next to continue. SmartDeploy Cloud Services provides functionality to remotely connect to a SmartPE instance and complete an installation. If you are going to use SmartDeploy Cloud Services, type the SmartDeploy Cloud Services account ID into the Account box on the SmartDeploy Cloud Services page, and then click Next. If you do not have an account, simply click Next. SmartDeploy VNC Server uses virtual network computing to remotely connect to and administer the target computer during the deployment process. You must install a VNC client on your computer and then configure the client to connect to the SmartDeploy VNC Server using the target computer’s IP address. If you are going to use the SmartDeploy VNC Server, provide VNC authentication by typing and confirming the password required to connect remote computers running SmartPE on the SmartDeploy VNC Server page, and then click Next. Please continue to part 3
  3. Create SmartPE Boot Media Cont. On the Media Type page, select the media type for the ISO image file. For this example, make sure that CD / DVD disc and CD 74min 650MB are selected to create a bootable disc, and then click Next. On the Save Options page, type the path and name of the ISO image file. For this example, type: E:\SDE\SmartPE.iso and select Next. To create the media and close the wizard, click Finish. Wait while the custom SmartPE ISO image file is created. Click OK. Boot your Target Computer to SmartPE, Run ScanState and Deploy Image Next, you will boot the target computer using the boot media that was previously created. After the machine is booted to SmartPE we will create tasks to run at various phases of the deployment. Once the tasks are created we can complete the deployment by selecting an image and entering all needed information. Boot your target computer to SmartPE. For this example we are using a virtual machine with the SmartPE.iso file attached, please modify accordingly to fit your needs. Select Deploy an image to start Deploy Wizard. On the Welcome to the Deploy Wizard page, click Advanced. From the Advanced Options page, click the Tasks tab. On the tasks tab select Add to add a new task. On the Add / edit a task page you can specify a command and the phase of the deployment in which it should run. This offers the flexibility to complete administrative task such as installing software that is not included in the image being deployed. For this example ensure the Phase is Before image is applied. Change the Command line to %SmartDeploy_Media%\z\USMT\USMT.BAT and select OK. Please continue to part 4
  4. Boot your Target Computer to SmartPE, Run ScanState and Deploy Image Cont. Once again click Add to add a new task. From the Add / edit a task window change Phase to First logon to desktop, enter C:\USMT\LoadState.exe C:\Backup /Hard-Link /nocompress /lac:pass@word1 /lae /c. Click OK to continue. Click OK to continue. From the Welcome to the Deploy Wizard page click Next. On the Select Image page click Browse to locate an image. In this example we will be using a network stored image. If you have a different scenario please select your image accordingly. From the Open window select Network. From the Map Network Drive page enter the path to the network share that contains the image and will be used for the user state files, for example \\Server\Share, then click OK. Enter the credentials needed to access the network share, and then click OK. Please note that Domain\Username may be needed. Browse to and select your image. Click Open to continue. From the Select Image page click Next to advance. Note if you do not have a Platform Pack named Default.ppk located in the same directory as the image you will be prompted to specify the location of a Platform Pack. On the Disk Options page change the selection to Wipe & load drives. This will protect the C:\Backup folder that contains all of the migrated user information. Click Next. Continue to part 5
  5. Boot your Target Computer to SmartPE, Run ScanState and Deploy Image Cont. If you did not specify a product key while capturing the image you will be prompted to enter a Product Key and select Next. If you do not wish to specify a product key simply click Next. Enter the Full name and Organization name to be used with this deployment, select Next. Select a Time zone then select Next to continue. Leave the default Display Settings and select Next. Leave the default Network Settings and select Next. If desired specify a Computer name or enter a Domain to join. For this example leave the defaults and select Next. If you would like to automate this process in the future click Export to save an answer file. For this example review the information and click Next to continue. Click Finish to start the deployment. Once the deployment has begun the pre image task will execute starting the USMT migration. Wait for the deployment to complete, sysprep to run and all settings to be applied. Running LoadState to Complete the Migration Once the image has been deployed to the target machine you will be at the logon screen. You will need to logon to the computer with an account that has administrative privileges for the First logon task to complete successfully. Logon to the computer with administrative credentials. Note that LoadState runs completing the migration. Once LoadState finishes its tasks the migration has been completed. All user files and settings should be restored. The C:\Backup folder can now be deleted. Summary In this example we show you how to complete a computer upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 while migrating user data and settings. This example can be modified to apply to other scenarios such as computer replacement. The User State Migration Tool is a very powerful component that can be used to migrate user specific information. This will greatly reduce the amount of time spent manually copying user data and reapplying settings. However this tool will need to be tested thoroughly to ensure that all of the intended information is correctly migrated from one system to another.
  6. An update to SmartDeploy Enterprise is now available for download! For SmartDeploy Enterprise version 1940 we have release a few new features as well as addressed a few customer bugs. Please see the lists below for further information on both. Features Build Wizard: The Build Wizard is a new application that is installed with SmartDeploy Enterprise to aid in the creation of a virtual reference machine. Build Wizard can create a VM for VMware Workstation and Player, Windows Virtual PC and Oracle Virtual Box and apply custom settings. The Build Wizard is a Silverlight application that requires a new prerequisite check during SmartDeploy Enterprise installation. We now require that the technician computer have both Silverlight and .Net 4.0 installed prior to installing SmartDeploy Enterprise. If these prerequisites are not met the installer will try to automatically install them. Microsoft does not support .Net 4.0 installation to Windows XP SP2 and below, causing us to adopt this requirement as well. If the system you are installing to does not meet any of these requirements you will be prompted to make the proper changes. Overtime you will see more of SmartDeploy Enterprise transition to using a Silverlight code base making these requirements even more important. Ability to deploy Install.wim from a Windows product DVD (Vista and higher): Previously SmartDeploy Enterprise would not create the BCD when installing images that were missing the store. This has been changed to allow for the deployment of the install.wim to speed up testing and deployment of a vanilla image to computers. Please note that when using the Install.wim from a product DVD you will need to access the Advanced options of Deploy Wizard to enable the Administrator account. Updated SmartDeploy Enterprise boot environment (SmartPE): We have updated SmartPE to Windows PE 3.1 and included hotfix KB982018. This update will allow SmartDeploy Enterprise to make better use of advanced format disks. For more information on this update and the impact of advanced format disks please see the knowledge base article. Added ability to capture VMware ESX virtual hard drives offline: SmartVDK (the virtual disk connection utility used by SmartDeploy Enterprise) has been updated to allow the offline capture of VMware ESX virtual hard drives. The virtual hard drive will need to be exported from the VMware ESX server prior to capture. Fixes Updated credential prompts: The credential prompts in SmartPE have been updated to be more straightforward. The prompts went from a 4 line to 2 line entry model. 1930 Credential Prompt 1940 Credential Prompt More informative domain join dialog: We have updated the dialog you see when attempting to join a computer to a domain. The new text boxes contain a title stating to use the FQDN of the domain and distinguished name of the OU. Large Platform Pack causing overflow: Under certain circumstances users would receive an overflow error when attempting to use a large Platform Pack. We have updated the Deploy Wizard to allow for more file entries in the Platform Pack to fix this issue. %SmartDeploy_Media% causing tasks to fail: In version 1930 of SmartDeploy Enterprise a check to ensure the file being called from a pre or post image task exists was implemented. The check was not resolving the %SmartDeploy_Media% variable correctly however, causing a false positive. This has been updated to pre-resolve the variable before enacting the check. Default file name when saving answer file: When exporting an answer file form the Deploy Wizard the name will now be automatically populated with SmartDeploy.xml.
  7. In SmartDeploy version 1920 we have added the feature to list multiple domains and OUs in an answer file. You can then choose from this list during deployment. I am going to take a minute to explain how to set this up with an existing answer file. By default when specifying a domain and exporting the answer file you will get something that looks like this: <network_identification> <computer_name/> <!-- 0 = Domain, 1 = Workgroup --> <membership>0</membership> <domain>SmartDeploy.Local</domain> <domain_options><option></option></domain_options> <organizational_unit>Cn=test,cn=computers,dc=SmartDeploy,dc=local</organizational_unit> <organizational_unit_options><option></option></organizational_unit_options> <workgroup/> </network_identification> If you wish to add another domain or OU to this list you can simply add the next entry in the option node. For example: <network_identification> <computer_name/> <!-- 0 = Domain, 1 = Workgroup --> <membership>0</membership> <domain>SmartDeploy.Local</domain> <domain_options><option>Prowess.Local</option></domain_options> <organizational_unit>cn=test,cn=computers,dc=SmartDeploy,dc=local</organizational_unit> <organizational_unit_options><option>cn=test,cn=computers,dc=Prowess,dc=local</option></organizational_unit_options> <workgroup/> </network_identification> The resulting options in Deploy Wizard will look like the picture below. If you wish to add more options you simply need to add another <option> set. For example: <network_identification> <computer_name/> <!-- 0 = Domain, 1 = Workgroup --> <membership>0</membership> <domain>SmartDeploy.Local</domain> <domain_options><option>Prowess.Local</option><option>Test.Local</option></domain_options> <organizational_unit>cn=test,cn=computers,dc=SmartDeploy,dc=local</organizational_unit> <organizational_unit_options><option>cn=test,cn=computers,dc=Prowess,dc=local</option></organizational_unit_options> <workgroup/> </network_identification>
  8. In SmartDeploy Version 1.1.1980 we have added additional regional setting support to the Language/Culture drop down in the Deploy Wizard, as well as an advanced answer file change for more granular control. Additional Language/Culture Listings: In previous versions of SmartDeploy we only had Language/Culture support for the main language packs and language interface packs offered by Microsoft. This led to some confusion when wanting to use a specific language, say English, with a standard locale, like United Kingdom. In version 1980 you will now see a more comprehensive list of Language/Culture pairings when deploying languages. You can find a full list of Language/Culture pairings here. Custom Language/Culture Support: We have also added a new section to the SmartDeploy answer file that will give you the option to specify a custom set of UI Language, System Locale, User Locale, and Input Locale much like you would see in the unattend.xml that is created from Windows System Image Manager. This obviously requires the use of an answer file during deployment. The additional settings will give users the ability to specify any standard locale code (i.e. en-US, 0409, or English (United States)) for any of the four options above. To use this setting you will need to edit the SmartDeploy.xml answer file that is being used with deployment. Examples below. Standard regional settings in answer file: <regional_settings> <time_zone>(GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US and Canada)</time_zone> <input_locale>English (United States)</input_locale> </regional_settings> Extended regional settings in answer file: <regional_settings> <time_zone>(GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US and Canada)</time_zone> <input_locale> <ui_language>en-US</ui_language> <system_locale>en-US</system_locale> <user_locale>en-US</user_locale> <input_locale>en-US</input_locale> </input_locale> </regional_settings> As you can see you will need to add nested nodes for each of the four regional settings under the default <input_locale> node. This will cause the Deploy Wizard to use what is entered in the answer file rather than a standard region that is defined in the wizard itself.
  9. Hello, You can find information about network booting with SmartDeploy on our White Papers page here. On this page is a guide for integrating SmartDeploy with Windows Deployment Services, which SmartDeploy uses for PXE boot. Hope that helps! Thanks, Erik
  10. Hi Shana, To know what is going on with the domain join I would need to take a look at the C:\Windows\Debug\Netsetup.log from a machine that went through the deployment process and failed to join the domain. You can either reply to this thread with it, or send it over to support and I will take a look. Thanks, Erik
  11. Hi Shana, What is the error that you receive when choosing the boot.wim? Also when in the process does it occur? Also when you mention that it works with fr-FR, does that mean that the locales are updated when booting to the pre-installation environment, or the DISM commands complete? Thanks, Erik
  12. Hi Danny, It looks like you had some correspondence with our support team, but I would like to close the loop on this one. We generally try and be as exact as possible when adding drivers to the Platform Packs, meaning we only add INF's and binaries that are needed, not everything from a downloaded package. This keeps things clean and avoids any conflicts. However if you are in a bind and need to get a pack built quickly, you can leave all the ancillary files that are downloaded with the driver, it will just cause your pack to be larger. Below are a few links to documentation on the process of building a Platform Pack as well. SmartDeploy Users Guide Creating Custom Platform Packs Video Hope that helps, Erik
  13. Hi Shana, The Windows Preinstallation Environment that we utilize is sealed with the QWERTY keyboard layout. This is changeable, however would take some custom work on your end. Create boot media through the Media Wizard Get the Boot.wim out of the Sources folder on the root of the media created in step 1 Mount the Boot.wim with DISM (dism /mount-wim /wimfile:c:\boot.wim /index:1 /mountdir:c:\mount) Use DISM to change the keyboard layout (dism /image:c:\mount /Set-InputLocale:nl-NL) there is a list of InputLocales here Unmount the WIM and commit changes (dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:c:\mount /commit) Add the Boot.wim that was modified back to the Sources folder of the media created in step 1 Thanks, Erik
  14. Hi Shana, To install a driver, application, or run a command after deployment you can use tasks. Tasks exist in two places, the Platform Pack and the Deploy Wizard. The tasks in the Platform Pack are targeted to a specific computer type, while the task created in the Deploy Wizard will be targeted at all computer types. If the driver you are installing is for a specific machine type you may want to use the Platform Pack, if its not you can use the Deploy Wizard task. Creating a task in a Platform Pack: Add your executable to a folder, for instance C:\Setup Open the Platform Pack, expand the Make/Model nodes Right click the OS that you would like to use the installer with and select Add Browse to C:\Setup and select OK You should now see a subnode of the OS that is labled Setup, click this In the right hand pane there is a Tasks section, select Add Change the Phase to Specialized Mini Setup, First boot or First logon Change the Command to [platformfolder]\Setup\Setup.exe /s (where the file name and silent install switch match that of your installer) Save the Platform Pack The process is much the same in the Deploy Wizard, however the installer will need to be in a location that is accessible to the OS during deployment, for instance in the image. To locate the Deploy Wizard task section boot a target device to SmartPE, select Deploy an image, select Advanced and then navigate to the Tasks tab. Thanks, Erik
  15. Hi Steve, Unfortunately Sysprep can only accept one answer file. If you wanted to combined your answer file with the SmartDeploy answer file at deployment time this could be done, however would require a custom script to merge the two XML files, or add the new settings to the SmartDeploy created unattend.xml. Thanks, Erik
  16. The regional settings can be changed through the operating system's control panel. For example in the Windows 7 Control Panel you will see the option for Clock, Language, Region.
  17. Hi Shana, When you say move the data, are you referring to user data and settings, or a complete backup of the OS? If it is user data and settings SmartDeploy would handle this with the integration of the User State Migration Tool from Microsoft. This integration can be implemented in one of two ways; Hardlink Migration: All data/settings are preserved in a migration store on the local HDD of the machine that you are deploying to. Once deployment is complete the data/settings are put back to their normal location. Network Migration: All data/settings are copied to a network location while deployment takes place. Once deployment is complete the data/settings are copied back down to the machine. You can find a whitepaper that further details the integration here. Thanks, Erik
  18. Hi Allen, When creating offline deployment media the Platform Pack is copied to a z folder created on the media. It is also renamed Default.ppk automatically. If you change your answer file to reflect this you should be good to go. In regards to renaming your combined pack, no you do not have to as the Media Wizard will do that automatically when creating offline deployment media. Thanks, Erik
  19. Hi Allen, If your Platform Pack is called Default.ppk and resides in the same folder as the image it should be used automatically, no need to change the XML file to point to the pack. If that all looks good it could be a problem with the WMI query that is being run from the Platform Pack. Each Platform Pack queries the Manufacturer and Model fields of WMI, in some instances the OEM doesn't all ways set these values correctly. If you want to post the Deploy.log from C:\Windows\Debug on a deployed machine we can see if the Pack was used. Thanks, Erik
  20. When entering the product key during deployment the key is passed off to sysprep to process. Assuming that the version of Windows you are deploying matches the version of Windows your key is intended for you shouldn't have a problem. To check the SKU of Windows you can run "slmgr.vbs -dlv" from an administrative command prompt on your virtual reference machine. This command will return all the licensing information from the OS, you will want to ensure the Channel is Volume. If this all looks good our support team could have a look at the Setupact.log from C:\ Windows\Panther to see why sysprep isn't processing your key or you could try installing the product key via a task created from the Deploy Wizard. If you want to create a Task you can follow the steps below. Boot a target device to the SmartDeploy boot environment Select Deploy an image Select Advanced, and then the Tasks tab Select Add to create a new task Change the Command to "cmd.exe /c C:\Windows\System32\slmgr.vbs -ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx" where the x's are your product key Change the Phase to First boot as system or First logon to desktop If you want to automatically activate the machine you can create another task in the same phase to run "cmd.exe /c C:\Windows\System32\slmgr.vbs -ato" Continue your deployment as normal If you would like to automate this process in the future you can Export an answer file on the Summary page of the Deploy Wizard
  21. Hi Paul, It looks like Microsoft made some major changes in SP1. Namely the default boot environment was updated from Windows PE 3.1 to Windows PE 4.0. Unfortunately SCCM will no longer accept boot media that is based on Windows PE 3.1 (like SmartDeploy's). In order for SmartDeploy to work with SCCM 2012 SP1 we will need to update our boot environment to Windows PE 4.0 as well. This is on the road map however is a large undertaking. At this time I currently do not have a time frame for completion. For now SCCM 2012 and below will need to be used if you intend to integrate. Thanks, Erik
  22. Hi Paul, The log is located in %temp%, which is the signed in users temporary directory. If you open a run dialog box and type in %temp% it will open the folder for you. Let me know how the reinstall goes. Thanks, Erik
  23. If you want to see what level the BIOS will be updated too you can check the Platform Pack. Inside the Platform Pack, under the OS node you will see a folder called BIOS. Select the BIOS node and check the right hand pane for the version that is being queried. If the version on the machine is already higher than this it will not be updated. You could also check the Deploy.log that is in C:\ Windows\Debug after a deployment completes to see if the BIOS task was executed.
  24. Hi Paul, If the solutions in the knowledge base didn't work you could always try uninstalling and then reinstalling SmartDeploy. If you continue to have problems can you either post a copy of the Capture.log, or send one over to You will find the log located in %temp%. Thanks, Erik
  25. Great question. SmartDeploy addresses BIOS updates the same way it does device drivers, with Platform Packs. Inside a Platform Pack downloaded from you will find a BIOS folder that has the BIOS executable for the OEM. This is coupled with a preset task that queries the BIOS to get the version, then will run the update if it is needed. The great thing for customers using the packs from is that this just happens, no need to make any modifications on your end. If you would like to add a BIOS to your own custom Platform Pack you can check out the SmartDeploy Enterprise User's Guide or the Creating Custom Platform Pack video here.