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mikerowsopht

2 xml file locations - why ?

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Hi All,

I'm new to all this, we have moved away from SMS & RIS and I am currently looking at replacing SMS with WDS. I have setup a test wds server, built a pc with our apps, sysprep'd it and captured it, uploaded to wds server and I can successfully deploy the captured os to new pc's.

Unfortunately it is not all automated and I need a point in the right direction in relation to my xml files if anyone could help ?

There seems to be 2 locations as to where you can put the xml file.

1 location is on the properties tab of the server itself under " the client tab "

another location is on the image itself.

Can someone tell me why there are two locations for an unattended file. I am assuming the one on the server properties under the client tab supersedes the image one and should contain info like input locate and where to install the os , partition etc.. - I'm really not sure here.

When I deploy my image I am asked the below questions which I should be able to automate with an xml file ?

Can anyone tell me the cut off point below as to where I create 1 xml file for the server for all image installs and where I start creating the 2nd one specific to the image ?

below question I am asked when deploying - how can I automate this and where do I put the xml file as there are 2 locations for unnattended.xml files.

===================

Set Up Windows

Country or Region - Ireland

Time & Currency - English ( Ireland )

Keyboard Layout - Irish

Next

Type a user name - Admon

Type a computer name - want to be asked this

Next

Type a password

retype your password

password hint

Next

Read the License Terms

Have to select checkbox - I agree to terms & Conditions

Next

Help Protect your computer & improve windows automatically

use recommended settings

Next

Review your time & date settings

Select your current location

Work

Windows is finalizing your settings

Thanks PPL

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The two "locations" are for the two different WIMS. But the Install.wim and the Boot.wim use different XML. The XML you attach to the boot.wim are for Setup passes, the install.wim uses the oobeSystem, Specialize, etc. Look up the term WDSClientUnattend, this is for the install.wim. Here is a start:

TechNet

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The two "locations" are for the two different WIMS. But the Install.wim and the Boot.wim use different XML. The XML you attach to the boot.wim are for Setup passes, the install.wim uses the oobeSystem, Specialize, etc. Look up the term WDSClientUnattend, this is for the install.wim. Here is a start:

TechNet

Thank u very much kind sir, I was looking for a similiar topic on technet regarding two xml files and could not find it, only single xml files with no examples. thank u v much, will have a deep read of this over the next few days and see if I can get around it.

thnx

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With the link you have provided me with I have got everything working bar 2 things, thanks very much for your help !

2 things are this.

First screen I see during bootup is the UI language & keyboard layout even though it's specified in my xml file as en-ie

If I switch it back to the default en-us it doesn't pop up during bootup

If i switch it back to en-ie it does pop up. I cannot seem to download a language pack ( en-ie ) to insert into the wim file for windows 7

perhaps the xml file needs this en-ie folder to set the language?

It doesn't matter anyway as I have set it back to en-us and it doesn't pop up, once the captured image gets deployed it comes down as en-ie as that is how I captured it so that part doesn't matter to me I suppose.

The last thing I find very irritating is when the pc is finished being deployed I log in and the "Set Network Location" dialog box pops up and I select the "Work" option.

It says windows cannot set the network location and I hit close. I believe from a bit of research that this is a bug in windows 7.

Even though I have specified the answer to this in the xml file it doesn't apply it and the box pops up.

Do you know by any chance of a bit of code to insert into the image xml file that will bypass this?

or can I disable it altogether in the registry before capturing the image of the pc so it doesn't happen to future deployments?

preferably an xml option but I don't mind.

Last thing is pending devices, I got this to work, approved the pc for deployment and named the pc.

It popped up in the OU and was created, everything worked great.

If I pxe boot the client that was just imaged it fails to install the image, if I turn off adminitrator approval in WDS it works.

So i have delted the pc object in AD and waited 30 mins, re-dployed and it still doesn't work.

Is there some restriction on deploying pc's that you can only deploy it once or why would this happen ?

Something must be created in AD apart from the pc object or similiar

thnx again

Mikerowsopht

Edited by mikerowsopht

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There are a couple bugs to note here. One is with Server 2008 and the other with Windows 7.

The Windows 7 bug is that if you choose a Network Location other than Public and then run sysprep, the image will become damaged. I'm not sure why it wouldn't let you choose the Work option, but as a precaution, I set Network Location to Public on everything I work on, even my work and home PCs.

So try specifying Public to see if that is any different. Also validate your answer file in WSIM, it is possible that Setup doesn't understand what option you have chosen. The valid options are:

Home

Work

Other <-- Other = Public

The bug in Server 2008 is with WDS not clearing out the client database properly. Someone else posted a thread about this..

When I use WDS, I never use the options to add computers into an object, and just let the server approve everything. Although the reasons for this is that my imaging servers have/were/are (I'm not sure what their exact status is nowadays) are on separate networks that do not contain any standard client machines, so all clients that attempt a PXE boot are doing so to get imaged. I haven't had the opportunity yet to setup and operate a WDS Server from within a corporate domain... It is interesting to me, especially MDT 2010 but I'm not licensed to use it :(

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There are a couple bugs to note here. One is with Server 2008 and the other with Windows 7.

The Windows 7 bug is that if you choose a Network Location other than Public and then run sysprep, the image will become damaged. I'm not sure why it wouldn't let you choose the Work option, but as a precaution, I set Network Location to Public on everything I work on, even my work and home PCs.

So try specifying Public to see if that is any different. Also validate your answer file in WSIM, it is possible that Setup doesn't understand what option you have chosen. The valid options are:

Home

Work

Other <-- Other = Public

The bug in Server 2008 is with WDS not clearing out the client database properly. Someone else posted a thread about this..

When I use WDS, I never use the options to add computers into an object, and just let the server approve everything. Although the reasons for this is that my imaging servers have/were/are (I'm not sure what their exact status is nowadays) are on separate networks that do not contain any standard client machines, so all clients that attempt a PXE boot are doing so to get imaged. I haven't had the opportunity yet to setup and operate a WDS Server from within a corporate domain... It is interesting to me, especially MDT 2010 but I'm not licensed to use it :(

Hi Tripredacus,

thnx for the info again, I have purged the WDS database and can now re-deploy the same image to the same pc over and over again ( for testing purposes ) with the link you have provided me.

When I get back to work in a few days I will test out the Public option for "set network location"

The server I am using for WDS is a windows 2003 server but that has the same bug for purging the database in WDS , we plan on setting up a new win 2008 server once I am happy with all the testing. I believe win2008 has extra options in the wds console such as packages and drivers.

I still haven't got around to using MDT2010 but will be downloading it soon to see what it can do for me. Currently I am just using WAIK which is all I need right now.

I didn't realise you needed a license for MDT2010, thought you could just download it from microsoft and install it and use it ??

mdt2010 download is here : MDT2010

thnx again, I appreciate your help & guidance

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I didn't realise you needed a license for MDT2010, thought you could just download it from microsoft and install it and use it ??

mdt2010 download is here : MDT2010

I was in the OEM Channel at the time of posting. On a little vacation right now.... but OEMs can't use MDT for deployment, it is licensed only for the Enterprise. :whistle:

You still use the WAIK and MDT at the same time I believe.

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No worries, I work in an Enterprise environment anywaz....

Everything is working now so thnx for the help.

1 thing that is bugging me though is the size of my image.wim which is constantly increasing in size which I only realised recently.

For example I built a pc with with windows 7 and all the company's apps, captured the image and uploaded it to wds and have used it constantly on the same pc ( vm ) for the last few weeks. I backed up the orignal captured image and confirm that it is 2.6GB once captured.

I have deployed this image roughly 20 - 30 times and the on the wds server in the console the image.wim is now 18GB !!!!!!!

This is insane ! If I deployed this image to over 100 pc's over 6 months the image could be massive. Any ideas why it does this ?

I have never exported the image or mounted it or edited it with imagex or any third party tool.

When I created the xml file with waik origianlly it was done with a copy of the image.wim not the one on the server that I use to deploy.

I have deployed a couple more pc's and watched the size of the image.wim and it hasn't increased any more so it seems to be random.

Any Ideas ? Nothing on Technet and only 1 link on google but that guy was editing his wim file and I am not.

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It should not grow in size during deployment at all. It only grows if something is added to it. This is probably a bug but oh well. Anytime you add something or even remove something from a WIM, the image file index gets updated but the actual unused files do not get removed. They only do during an export. I do not know why your image would grow during deployment.

The only thing I can think of is you are confusing the Image Index with the WIM. The base WIM can have multiple images inside of it.

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It should not grow in size during deployment at all. It only grows if something is added to it. This is probably a bug but oh well. Anytime you add something or even remove something from a WIM, the image file index gets updated but the actual unused files do not get removed. They only do during an export. I do not know why your image would grow during deployment.

The only thing I can think of is you are confusing the Image Index with the WIM. The base WIM can have multiple images inside of it.

it's an odd one alright. I have multiple separate images, no base images. I have checked the size of the image itself in remoteinstall folder under images.

If I right click and go to the properties of the wim file it is only 2.6 gb

if I switch back to the WDS console under image group and look at the images in the deployment section it reads 18GB !!!

Odd considering it's the same file. As long as the real file doesn't grow hopefully it shouldn't cause me any problems.

I just don't want to end up 6 months down the line with a image size of 40GB and growing

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I have not tried to deploy Windows 7 images with a 2003 server. It may be a reporting issue. I did do Vista with 2003, but the XML inside the WIMs changed when 7 came out, might be related.

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I have not tried to deploy Windows 7 images with a 2003 server. It may be a reporting issue. I did do Vista with 2003, but the XML inside the WIMs changed when 7 came out, might be related.

No worries, thnx again for your help, think everything is going well now, I have started a different post in relation to Windows XP & pending devices here :

My link

XP won't show on pending devices whereas vista and 7 do. XP doesn't however.

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