Enable Multicast Deployments with MDT 2010/WDS on Same Computer

Recently we had the challenge of imaging 40 + PCs simultaneously while limiting network bandwidth/utilization. MDT 2010 must be installed on a Windows Server 2008 box running Windows Deployment Services.

Great description on Multicasting from Windows-Noob.com

The key advantage of multicast is of course allowing multiple computers to receive a communication simultaneously. The sender (the WDS server) sends the information to be communicated only once. Each client must then listen to the entire communication from begin to end to receive it. Since all clients are specifically listening to one network address simultaneously, the benefit is twofold: enhanced deployment speed since the network is less congested with multiple clients performing the same task; and decreased network saturation since every client is listening to the single stream

To enable the multicast deployments with MDT 2010 installed on the same computer as WDS follow these steps:

1. Install Windows Server 2008 or later operating system

2. Install WDS Server Role

3. Install WAIK 2.0

4. Install MDT 2010

5. Start the Workbench

6. Right-click on the deployment share and choose Properties. On the General Tab select the box “Enable Multicast for this deployment share (requires Windows Server 2008 Windows Deployment Services).

7. Update your deployment share.

When completed, the Deployment Workbench creates an Auto-Cast WDS Multicast transmission from the deployment share. *Note* to validate the mutlicast transfer is working you can review the LTIApply_WDSMcast.log in C:\MiniNT\SMSOSD\OSDLogs or C:\Windows\Temp\DeploymentLogs

There are other deployment scenarios, you might want to consider.

Configuring Multicast Deployments when imaging from Windows Deployment Services. http://www.windows-noob.com/forums/index.php?/topic/452-how-can-i-multicast-an-image-in-windows-deployment-services-windows-server-2008/

Enabling Multicast Deployments for Operating System Deployment. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc161854.aspx

Versions of MDT and BDD that are no longer available for download and are no longer supported by Microsoft

These versions of MDT and BDD are no longer available for download and are no longer supported by Microsoft:

  • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008, March 2008 release
  • Microsoft Deployment, November 2007 release
  • Business Desktop Deployment 2007 Update 2, March 2008 release
  • Business Desktop Deployment 2007 Patch 1, May 2007 release
  • Business Desktop Deployment 2007, January 2007 release
  • Business Desktop Deployment 2.5, August 2005 release

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 Update 1 are still supported by Microsoft.

To get the latest version, please go here.

Windows Recovery Environment Planning – Part 1

One of the most exciting features of Windows 7 is the Windows Recovery Environment. The Windows RE is an extensible recovery platform based on Windows Presintallation Environment. Windows RE provides two main functionalities.

1. Automatic diagnosis and repair of boot problems using the Startup Repair tool.

2. A centralized platform for advanced recovery tools.

Big Picture Roll-out

Let’s take a step back a minute before we go any further. When considering a PC recovery solution as part of your business and technology strategy, I recommend incorporating a user data policy. In the corporate environment it is a very good idea to enforce a user data policy that dictates where user data should be stored. The goal of the user data policy is to prevent users from saving valuable data on the local machine. If the user keeps sole copy of data on the local disk, they take the risk of losing data. It’s recommended that any critical data should be backed up regularly, frequency based on criticality and business needs. It is the employee’s responsibility to comply with your corporate user data policy, which the business should mandate and enforce accordingly.

Below details an outline I used when developing my Windows RE recovery solution with MDT 2010 & SCCM 2007 SP2

Design/POC for PC Recovery Solution

Scenarios:

1. OS Partition corrupted, missing boot files/drivers, not bootable, Bitlocker enabled.

2. Hard disk went bad – need networked or USB/HDD to backup data.

User Data Policy, Stored Locations, Recovery Methods

1. Agree/Set Data protection standard and user expectations

a. If user keeps sole copy of data on local disk, they take the risk of losing data.

b. Any critical data should have a backup copy on network drive, SharePoint, etc. and backed up regularly (frequency based on criticality and business needs)

c. User may choose to backup to USB disk if high-speed intranet access is not feasible (Biz travel, etc.). BitLocker go go should be considered.

2. Design/Implement PC Recovery method based on determined standard

a. WinRE for boot error, OS corrupted, user data intact.

i. Backup entire OS partition would almost double disk space requirement. May not be feasible, costly.

ii. Deploy a new Win7 on top of bad existing Win7 with USMT hardlink migration could be a good solution – save time, recovery data on disk, may miss user installed ad hoc apps but not critical.

b. Hard disk failure – need to send disk to recovery vendor if sole copy of data is on the disk. Won’t need this if data is copy/backed up on USB or network. User gets new OS disk or new PC.

OS/Apps Recovery

1. WinRE recovery for 2a

2. Ship loaded disk or replacement PC for 2b

That’s it for now. More on developing your own Windows RE solution for Windows 7 in future posts!

MDT 2010 USB Media for XP to Win7 REFRESH (fully automated)

To start an MDT 2010 LiteTouch Deployment REFRESH from USB Key follow these steps.

In this example my deployment server is DEVMDT2010. The deployment share is DeployWin7$.

1. In MDT 2010 create a Selection Profile under Advanced Configuration called USBRefresh. Assign the proper Applications, OS, Drivers, Packages, Task Sequence, etc.

2. Create New Media called USBRefresh under Advanced Configuration.

3. On DEVMDT2010, configure the Bootstrap.ini and Customsettings.ini files on the deployment share so the deployment is completely automated.

Bootstrap.ini

[Settings]
Priority=Default

[Default]
SkippBddWelcome=YES
TaskSequenceID=DeployBuild001

UserDomain=MDTLAB
UserID=servicesmdt
UserPassword=P@ssw0rd

CustomSettings.ini

[Settings]
Priority=Default, DeploymentType, ByDesktopType, ByLaptopType
Properties=MyCustomProperty

[ByDesktopType]
Subsection=Desktop-%IsDesktop%

[ByLaptopType]
Subsection=Laptop-%IsLaptop%

[Desktop-True]
ComputerName=DT%SerialNumber%

[Laptop-True]
ComputerName=LT%SerialNumber%
BDEInstall=TPM
BDERecoveryKey=AD
BDEKeyLocation=C:
BDEWaitForEncryption=False
BDEInstallSuppress=NO

[Default]
_SMSTSORGNAME =MDTLAB
OSInstall=Y
DeploymentType=REFRESH
UserDataLocation=AUTO
SKipDeploymentType=YES
SkipAdminPassword=YES
SkipProductKey=YES
SKipComputerName=YES
SkipDomainMembership=YES
SkipUserData=YES
UserDataLocation=AUTO
SkipLocaleSelection=YES
SkipTaskSequence=YES
SkipTimeZone=YES
SkipApplications=YES
SkipBitLocker=YES
SkipBDDWelcome=YES
SKipComputerBackup=YES
ComputerBackupLocation=NONE
SkipCapture=YES
SkipFinalSummary=YES
SkipSummary=YES
TimeZone=004
TimeZoneName=Pacific Standard Time
FinishAction=REBOOT
TaskSequenceID=DeployBuild001

JoinDomain=MDTLAB
DomainAdmin=servicesmdt
DomainAdminPassword=P@ssw0rd
MACHINEOBJECTOU=OU=COMPUTERS, DC=MDTLAB, DC=COM

4. Update Media Content on USBRefresh and copy the Content folder to a USB key.

5. Create a new shortcut on the root of the USB key called LiteTouch Refresh. Point the target location to:  D:\Content\Deploy\Scripts\LiteTouch.vbs

6. Insert the USB key into a Windows XP Client and copy the LiteTouch Refresh script to the desktop. Double-click on it and deploy Windows 7 via REFRESH.

Access to a redirected folder or home drive disconnects regularly on a computer running Windows 7

This is my first post back after a few months. I have been heads down with Windows 7 migrations. To date we have deployed over 1,100 seats of Windows 7 and FINALLY had a moment to come up for some air.

Back in December I blogged about setting up a folder redirection policy for Win7 clients. Interesting enough, we hit an issue when deploying Windows 7 using a folder redirection policy. From speaking to a number of people the issue we are seeing is where the My Documents folder shows offline even though the client machine (desktops and laptops) is connected to the network. There were a number of things we tried (rejoining the PC to the domain, undocking the laptops, disabling wireless, etc.), but none of these were permanent fixes.

One of the things you can do is investigate the OfflineFiles Operational logs (Eventvwr–>Application and services–>Logs–>Microsoft–>Offline Files–>Operational Logs.Check to make sure the OfflienFiles is enabled. If you right-click on the Operation logs under OfflineFiles, Properties, you should be able to check to see if they’re enabled. If not, enable them, reboot the machine and keep it running for 30 minutes. If you don’t find anything there, you might want to try this hotfix.

981872  Access to a redirected folder or a home drive disconnects regularly on a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;981872