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Targeting specific partitions for image deployment

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Hello all, 

Is there any way we can target or exclude specific partitions from being imaged during a SmartDeploy deployment? At our institution, our computers are required to have a certain program installed that is roughly 40gb in size. This results in a rather large image that we send down to each computer through the network, and as a result we isolated the files for this program to it's own dedicated partition (for our purposes the A: drive).

What we want to do is capture just the OS and System Reserve partitions and exclude this other partition. This is would drastically reduce size of the image we are sending through the network and hopefully reduce the time it takes to image a computer. Is there a way to do this? We do not want to wipe the A: partition.

We have already tried only capturing the reference VM disk C: and System Reserve partitions, however whenever we send this image as deployment to the computer, it erases the program partitions contents. After reading the SmartDeploy documentation, we wanted to try the "Wipe and load drives" option on the Answer File, but since we didn't capture the A: it gives us the error that the existing partitions do not match the partition structure of the reference virtual machine. We are hoping there's a way to do this without having to capture the A: drive each time. Thanks in advance for the help. 

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Hello,

The Recreate Drives option will wipe all data and disk structure (partitions and volumes) and recreate whatever was present in your image, so it is not suitable for any attempt to preserve data on the target device.

The Wipe and load drives option will wipe all data only (leaving the disk structure intact), but it will not delete any files that are inside of a protected backup folder (C:\Backup by default).
So while it is not supported to preserve a single partition on Disk 0, you should be able to accomplish the same result by putting the data you wish to preserve into the C:\Backup folder, and using the Wipe and Load drives option. This should work as long as there's adequate space on the drive after accounting for these files.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to support (at) smartdeploy.com

Glenn
SmartDeploy Support

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Thank you, we were able to figure out how to reduce the size of the .wim file and reduce the amount of time spent imaging based on your explanation. We are now running into a different problem. 

With our deployments, we want the Post Image Configuration process to be as close to zero touch as possible. In order to do that, we have set the Administrator account to Auto Login after deployment. However, after capturing the image with SmartDeploy, the registry keys that make this possible are erased, leaving us to have to go to every computer and log into the administrator profile twice in order to start the configuration we need. 

I've tried accomplishing this with a .vbs script found on the thread below. However, whenever the deployment gets to the POSTIMAGE phase, it tells me it cannot find the script, even though it's present on the image and the file path is correct. Is there any other way I can accomplish this?

 

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Hello,

Sounds like you're on the right track with this script - you'll just need to make sure your command line is pointing to the correct drive letter in WindowsPE. The SmartDeploy WindowsPE environment uses the drive letters S:\ and T:\ for the system reserve and OS partitions on the target hard drive, respectively. So the drive letter that will become C:\ (as soon as the device reboots into Windows Setup) would be T:\, and that's the one you'll want to use.

If the script was present on your reference VM prior to capture (e.g. in a C:\Scripts folder), then here is an example command line:

wscript.exe T:\Scripts\Autoadmin.vbs

If you continue to have issues, go ahead and email us at support (at) smartdeploy.com.

Glenn
SmartDeploy Support

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