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Found 8 results

  1. 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 different images they are supporting and maintaining which hogs valuable network space and more importantly takes up unnecessary time in capturing or deploying large image files during development. For example, if I want a Windows 7 image for each of my departments (HR, Finance, and IT) then I need 3 different images right? Yes and no. No, we do not need 3 huge 10GB images containing all the Windows base OS files and customized software for each of our three departments. First, we can capture a standard base image containing our basic applications (anti-virus software, web plug-ins, and Office). Then we can capture separate ‘differencing’ or delta (the changes) images between our base image and our customized software and settings for each of our three departments. Follow along: I captured a base image, aka a standard .WIM file of Windows 7 which ended up being about 5.8GB. Now I want to customize my image file to be specific for IT Professionals. So, I booted my VMware Workstation file of Windows 7 which I had recently captured. Then I installed two programs that all of my IT Professionals need, the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) and VMware Workstation 7. Next, I shut down the virtual machine and run the Capture Wizard again. This time I point to my original .WIM file (from my first capture run of the base image file) and create a new .DWM file with a similar name. Now I have two image files: Win7x86_GI_2-1-10.wim and Win7x86_GI_IT_diff_2-1-10.dwm that are saved in the same folder/directory. This aspect is important because when you deploy a .DWM image file you need to have the master image file residing in the same directory for the image deployment to complete successfully. My new .DWM or differencing file is only 3GB which saves about two-thirds of the space required to store the entire IT Department image. My base image was almost 6GB. If I had created a new traditional WIM, I would have had a new 9GB image for my IT Department. In total, the traditional method would require 15GB, with differencing images it only requires 9GB. This process can be continued to create .DWM files for each variation of your base image. To do this easily, you could have 3 separate virtual machines of the same base Windows 7 OS. Then customize each virtual machine with the different applications and settings for your 3 departments. Typically, I save these virtual machines to revisit at a later date to re-capture after more recent patches and security updates have been released for various applications. From a change management perspective, differencing images allow you to control the image certification process. You can distribute a 'certified' master image that gets a rubber stamp of approval every couple of months. Then encourage IT support staff to focus on developing differencing images while they await the quarterly or semi-annual master image. Overall, I like using differencing images with SmartDeploy Enterprise and I think you will as well. Please see me next post for a detailed screen shot based approach on how to 'difference' image step-by-step and for some .DWM file deployment best practices. Aaron Lines IT Consultant
  2. Ok so here is the situation. I haven't purchased the License yet to this service because I wanted to make sure that it would work, so I took an old computer i7 2nd gen, 12 gb ram, stock intel board. I installed Server 2012R2 (ill refer to this as host from now on) and then installed the Hyper-V role and created another windows server 2012r2 (SmartDeploySrv) image and I also made my reference machines on the host. It has all worked super smooth until now. I was able to make the reference machine and capture their image and download the ppk for the machine and I even configured it with WDS and can PXE boot to the WIN PE. Now I have tried to add the network share booting from the flash drive and also PXE boot. Both times I had a valid IP address in the corner and when I go to add the share I get Error 67. I have the right credentials. I am not in a domain so the creds are local credentials for the SmartDeploySrv. I got it to work with the offline installer and that is fine but I don't want to have to create a new flash drive every time i want to image a different machine, so I know it is not an issue with the machine. Any Ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.
  3. I will be upgrading 30 users in the spring of 2017. The deployment will be to EFI enable PC. From what I understand EFI image capture is not supported by SmartDeploy. I was inform that SmartDeploy can be deploy to a EFI ready pc with a standard Bios image. My question is, Has anyone done this? If you have can your share some information on how this is done? Since there are multiple partitions that will need to be created EFI, MSR, Primary, recovery partitions for EFI enable PC's to work. Do I have to create the EFI needed partitions before hand or stop my deployment and create the partitions and start it again? If this can be automated it would be even better. I am going to keep working on this and will share my findings.
  4. Howdy, When I deploy a Deployment Package (including image) the target host boots into smart deploy but then requests an image to be selected. Isn't this image supposed to be a part of the package? Apologies if I'm missing something simple here.
  5. I am trying to deploy an image to a Lenovo T520. I have the latest client (1.1.5010) and I downloaded the latest .PPK for it (Dated 7/8/15). The deployment process kicks off just fine. The client recognizes the model of the laptop and deploys the image to the machine (using Windows Deployment Services). It gets through the image deployment, and gets through the Windows 7 Setup (x64) screens but when it gets to the very first time the desktop comes alive, the automatic login to the network that kicks off a post_install script fails because NONE of the drivers have been installed for Windows (No Chipset, No Video, No Network, etc....). I use this same process for several other Lenovo models.... S20, S30, W530, W540, W541, W700, W701, M91P, T500, P700.... ALL WORK GREAT. Has anyone imaged this model and had this issue?
  6. Hello, I'm currently trying out SmartDeploy Enterprise trial and I want to know about setting up tasks. I apologize if this question was already answered in another forum. Is there a way to set up post and pre installation tasks without having to go to every computer we image? On our current system, we set up the task sequence and then have individual pre and post OS installation tasks set up. Post install tasks are things like installing MS Office, Java, etc.... I want my technicians to have as little interaction with the PC as possible. Basically all I want them to do is give the computer a name. Can these tasks be set up before the OS deployment is started? Also, can the answer file be editied before hand so the technician doesn't have to fill in the answers on every machine? Thank you
  7. 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 deployed machine, be sure to check out C:\Platform\Dism.txt. This log will show you what occurred during driver injection. Of course, if you run into any issues when using SmartDeploy Enterprise, we'll be glad to help!
  8. 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 upwards of 40 systems of a single hardware type requiring the same platform pack. I will discuss how to integrate an answer file into your SmartPE media to create a fully automated method of deploying a specific SmartDeploy Windows image file to a large number of computers that require the same image with the same platform pack. Below is a screen shot from the Summary page of the Deployment Wizard. This is step 16 on part 7 of Devon's How To Integrate SmartDeploy With WDS blog. Now go ahead an export your answer file using the 'Export' button. Then create a new SmartPE image file using the Media Wizard that incorporates your WDS answer file. This is the screen shot from step 7 of Part 2: How To Integrate SmartDeploy With WDS. Click the 'Browse' button to import your WDS answer file. Then complete the wizard creating your new SmartPE media. Now you will have be able to re-import your new SmartPE media containing the answer file into your WDS to further automate image deployment in a lab environment. Similarly, image deployments that require the same Deployment Wizard answers (including the image file and platform pack) could merit their own SmartPE boot image that contains each unique answer file. I recommend naming the PXE boot image a specific file name to make it obvious it contains an answer file and for which configuration (e.g. image file + platform pack + Lab_Name). You should be able to judge how many SmartPE boot images containing various answer files based on the frequency you use an image file and platform pack for deployment. The more frequent you use an image set, the more likely you will want a boot image that answers the wizard questions for you. Things to keep in mind: You can use the Platform Manager to combine multiple platform packs which could further limit the number of SmartPE boot images required for your scenario. If anything needs to change (path to the image file, platform pack, etc.) then you may want to edit the answer file and create a new SmartPE boot image for that different imaging task. Finally, if you don't specify a platform pack it will automatically integrate one named DEFAULT during the deployment process. By storing platform packs for specific models in the root image directory on your WDS then naming it DEFAULT, you could avoid changing the answer file except in cases of image path differences. Final thoughts. Integration of WDS is a leap forward for SmartDeploy and image deployment professionals. I welcome more time saving tips and walk-throughs to reach further development our community's best practices with SmartDeploy Enterprise. Aaron Lines IT Consultant