Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Handy tips and tricks for ConfigMgr deployment

For multiple years I am busy now with (client) deployment, delivering applications, configuring policies, and a lot of troubleshooting. This with many products, on both fysical and virtual systems. For example:
  • System Center tools: Configuration Manager (SMS, SCCM), Operations Manager (MOM, SCOM), Essentials, Updates Publisher (SCUP), Server Updates Services (WSUS)
  • Deployment tools: Ghost Server, Deployment Services (WDS), Deployment Toolkit (MDT) Configuration Manager (SMS, SCCM), Altiris Server, Wyse Device Manager (WDM)
  • Knowledge of: Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), VMware View (VDI), RES PowerFuse, RES Wisdom, Group Policy Objects (GPO), Group Policy Preferences (GPP)
When doing (client) deployment in ConfigMgr 2007, you can have a lot of challenges. A few of this challenges I will describe in this blog. When having questions on a specific deployment issue, write a comment on this blog.

Here they are (most of them i've seen during the last few months):
  1. When deploying a device multiple times during a "capture and deploy" Task Sequence, and a error message is displayed, delete the obsolete object in the specific collection, and add the new object again. Most of times there will be two objects with the same name. (where one will be obsolete)
  2. When deploying a device multiple times, and startover again within 15 minutes, there will be a error message displayed. This is default WDS (Windows Deployment Services) behaviour, and can be solved with restarting the WDS service.
  3. When creating a new Windows image from source files, put the auto-apply drivers or apply driver package step before the "Apply Operating System" step. Otherwise specific drivers (SATA disks for example) will not be functional when booting from disk.
  4. When distributing a Windows image (WIM file), put the auto-apply drivers or driver package step after the "Apply Operating System" step. Otherwise an error will follow, and Task Sequence fails.
  5. When using multiple driver packages for one single Windows image, put a WMI query on it. With the query SELECT * FROM Win32_ComputerSystem WHERE Model LIKE "%<MODEL>%" you can decide which driver package belongs to which system.
  6. When drivers or driver packages are not installed during deployment, add an extra line in sysprep.inf which contains "UpdateInstalledDrivers=Yes" to make it work again (Windows XP solution).
  7. When putting Software Updates in the Task Sequence, and the system is not yet domain member, add the next lines to the "Setup windows and ConfigMgr" step (SMSSLP=SERVERNAME.FQDN.COM SMSMP=SERVERNAME.FQDN.COM)
  8. When Software Updates are not installed during the Task Sequence, change the advertisement at Download Settings > Slow network boundary from "Do not install updates" to "Download software updates from distribution point and install".
  9. When build and capture Windows 7 in ConfigMgr, don't add a product key in the Task Sequence (Apply OS step). Otherwise it fails with error 8004005 and exit code 31. This because the product key and product will not match then!
  10. When access to a remote share (distribution point) is not working, then additional rights are needed. The server which is your Primary site server is the one which needs to go to the source folder. This account needs to have at least Read rights to the network share, and read NTFS rights to the files/folders on that share.
  11. When a "PXE-E32: TFTP open timeout" error message is displayed during PXE network boot, import the device manually in ConfigMgr, or activate "Unknown computer support" feature.
  12. When "Program Files cannot be located on a Distribution point" error message is displayed during loading the boot image, select "When no local distribution point is available, use a remote distribution point" in the advertisement.
Again, these are a few most common error messages and best practices during Task Sequence deployment in ConfigMgr. When having questions on a specific deployment issue, write a comment on this blog.

That's all for now, more tips and tricks later?!