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kai4785

HTTP Request from WinPE

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In order to do an Unattended Win2k8R2 install via the network from a Linux server, I boot into WinPE with an added batch script to mount the network share where the unpackaged DVD iso is, and run 'setup.exe /Unattend:file.xml' from the network share directory.

I would like to be able to track the progress of the install. With Linux, I have a 'pre' and 'post' install section where I can add custom scripts, and in both cases, the program 'wget' is available, so I just use it. I can envision two possible solutions, but I don't know how to implement either of them.

1) Use WinPE to run a script that will simply make a request to a specified URL. I will probably send the mac address of the machine as the unique identifier through a GET variable to make things simpler. The equivalent of

wget http://pxe/update.php?mac=12-34-56-78-90-12

2) Enable Remote Logging somehow. If WinPE can use Syslog (which I doubt) I'd love it.

Right now what I'm doing is watching DHCP requests, and counting them as they show up. I'm absolutely sure there's a much better way.

Edited by kai4785

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First, you can actually use the standard Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010, even when using Linux as the deployment server. The only thing is that it's easiest to administer the SMB share via a windows workstation. MDT has builtin realtime serverside monitoring of the deployment, even from WinPE, and even when running the solution from a Linux server.

Second, windows pe talks web services natively so if you create a web service on your linux machine, winpe can talk to that one.

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...

Second, windows pe talks web services natively so if you create a web service on your linux machine, winpe can talk to that one.

ok, now I'm curious, where is the documentation on that one? :huh:

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1) there should be entry points in the setup phases of windows into which you can hook with custom scripts (read the WAIK docs for that) There should be a chapter about Windows Setup stages. also, there should be a wget build for windows too, or at least a similar tool.

2.) there are Syslog agents for Windows, I guess you could find one that runs on WinPE

http://www.correlog.com/purchase/download-windows-agent-form.html

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Perhaps the option to run custom scripts at different stages of the install would be my best option. Do you have any scripts that you know work on a Windows Server 2008 that I could test in WinPE? I would prefer to avoid anything highly custom (like installing wget, or any other non-Microsoft software) and limit myself to the tools available via WAIK.

@arwidmark

MDT is over kill for my needs. I don't need a management infrastructure. I'm releasing the servers I build into the "wild" so to speak. Once they are installed, I never see them again. A simple OS install will fit my needs. Meaning, I would prefer to use a thumb tack when appropriate, instead of running around with a Nail gun for all my picture hanging needs :)

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All I can do is give you some links:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc748957%28WS.10%29.aspx

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766103%28WS.10%29.aspx

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744535%28WS.10%29.aspx

BTW: All of this is in the CHMs coming with the WAIK.

I guess thats most of the points where you can hook into the installation system, or at least the points where you are intended to do so.

We haven't yet started deploying Windows 7 or the likes here, XP SP3 is still going strong.

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Great, I have a use for both of them.

Is there a better way to list what components can be run in what Pass? For example, the current component list is alphabetical by component name. Is there a way to list each pass, and valid components for that pass?

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