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!

IEEE 802.1X authentication protocol support for WinPE

Microsoft has released hotfixes that now add 802.1x support to both WinPE 2.1 and WinPE 3.0. Here are the links to the hotfixes.

WinPE 2.1: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/975483

WinPE 3.0 (Windows 7 & Server 2008 R2): http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972831

Step by Step Instructions to Inject the update using DISM.

1) Once you have downloaded the update, extract the files to your deployment server. In this example, I created a folder on my E:\ called 802PE.

2) Mount the LiteTouchPE_x86.wim using DISM: DISM /Mount-WIM /WIMFile:E:\DeploymentShare$\Boot\LiteTouchPE_x86.WIM /index:1 /MountDir:E:\Mount


3) Inject the package: DISM /Image:E:\Mount /LogPath:AddPackage.log /Add-Package /PackagePath:E:\802PE\Windows6.1-KB972831-x86.cab

4) Unmount and Commit your changes: DISM /Unmount-WIM /Commit /MountDir:E:\Mount
5) As an additional step you can validate the package was installed successfully: DISM /Image:E:\Mount /Get-Packages (Note: When you add the package in step 3 it should tell you, “The operation completed successfully” if the package injected with no errors.)

Highlight Tip with Trace32.exe

I was working with Scott Culbertson (MCS) today troubleshooting a custom process to install HP hardware based drivers using the SSM.EXE tool. He shared a useful tip when using Trace32.exe. We were parsing through the SMSTS.log looking for validation on some specific conditions set in the task sequence. In this particular case there was an entire Group in State Restore that was being skipped completely. One useful thing you can do with Trace32.exe is Highlight the specific error you’re searching for. This is particularly helpful when searching through lengthy log files looking for a specific error or step in the TS.

Open Trace32.exe and go to Highlight. From there you can enter the string to search for and all lines containing the text will be highlighted.

Simple, but useful tip. 🙂