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This article contains information about creating deployment media which is used to create and deploy golden images. The article also contains information about using the in-box PXE server, which is included with SiteDeploy®, to network boot the deployment media.
Deployment media is similar to the rescue media found in Site Manager. The deployment media is used to boot computers for golden image creation and deployment. Deploy media can be created and managed on the 'Deploy Media' page of SiteDeploy®.
There are two types of deployment media that can be created:
Deployment Media – This includes all versions of Windows PE*. This will create an ISO file that can be downloaded from SiteDeploy®, and optionally, mounted on a USB drive.
PXE Network Boot Components – This includes all Windows PE versions* and all the files necessary to support PXE booting clients using the in-box PXE server, a third-party TFTP server, or Windows Deployment Services (WDS).
*Note: All versions of Windows PE supported by Site Manager, WinPE 3.1 x64/x86, and WinPE 10 x64/x86. These versions of Windows PE ensure that the deployment media can be booted on a wide variety of systems, including legacy systems.
Select 'Build' next to the type of deployment media to begin building. The progress of the deployment media building will be shown on the 'Deployment Media' tab in SiteDeploy®:
Progress can also be viewed using the ‘Activity’ widget on the dashboard of the Site Manager:
Once the deployment media has been created, it can be viewed in the ‘Builds’ table. Deployment ISOs can be downloaded to the computer that is accessing the Site Manager console using the ‘Download’ button and PXE components can be found at the default path of C:\ProgramData\Macrium\SiteManager\RescueMedia\PXE.
The default location for the deployment media creation can be changed using the 'Working Directory' option on the 'Rescue Media' page of the Site Manager settings.
Using the in-box PXE server
PXE booting is made up of two components, a TFTP server that provides the boot files, and the DHCP server which enables endpoints to discover the bootable options stored on the TFTP server.
Once the PXE network boot components have been created, the option to enable the in-box TFTP server will be displayed:
TFTP Server - When the 'TFTP Server' option is enabled, the PXE boot files will be made available on port 69 of the Site Manager server. The environment's DHCP server can then be configured to server these PXE files to booting endpoints.
Proxy-DHCP - When the 'Proxy-DHCP' option is selected, the Site Manager server will respond to DHCP queries from endpoints with PXE information. The assigning of IP addresses is then handled by the DHCP server. This option should only be used if the PXE boot options have not been configured on the DHCP server. This option is perfect for times when PXE options cannot be configured on the DHCP server, for example when a SOHO router is acting as the DHCP server and may not allow PXE options to be configured.
Adapter - This option enables you to select which network adapter is used to respond to DHCP queries. When 'Auto' is selected, SiteDeploy® will reply on all adapters.
Once the DHCP options have been configured on the DHCP server, or the proxy-DHCP option has been enabled, endpoints can boot using the deployment media, which is stored on the Site Manager server, over the network.
Rescue USB Builder
Deploy media can be loaded onto USB flash drives to create deploy USB sticks. Drivers can be copied onto rescue USB media after it has been created as the root of the USB is included in the driver load process.
The ‘Rescue USB Builder’ can be downloaded at the bottom of the ‘Deploy Media’ tab.
The Rescue USB Builder has a command line interface and supports the following commands:
Prints help and copyright information.
Lists USB devices suitable for use as a deployment USB stick.
Creates the rescue USB stick. Takes the path to the iso file (-i) and a device number (-d) as mandatory arguments. -f and -q are optional arguments to suppress the confirmation prompt and progress output, respectively.
Alternatively, the Rescue USB Builder can be launched with a GUI.
Managing Drivers in the Deploy Media
To create and deploy the golden image the deploy media will need to contain the necessary drivers to access the local storage device on the target computer and the correct driver for the Network Interface Card (NIC) to access the golden image store.
Windows PE contains inbox drivers meaning that most hardware will be supported in Windows PE by default. Furthermore, the deployment media will include the drivers in the Site Manager’s driver database, meaning that drivers from the agents connected to the Site Manager will also be included. However, if hardware devices are not working correctly while booted using the deploy media, it may indicate that a required driver is not available.
The 'Driver Harvester' enables drivers to be harvested from a Windows operating system, this can be especially useful when deploying to multiple endpoints with the same hardware and one or more of the endpoints contains a Windows operating system. The 'Driver Harvester’ tool can be downloaded from the ‘Deployment Media’ page of SiteDeploy® and run on the target endpoint. Devices that are supported in Windows PE by default will be shown as ‘No Drivers Required – Supported in PE’ in the ‘Status’ column. The driver files, for devices that are not supported in Windows PE, can be saved to a folder using the 'Save To Folder' button:
These drivers can then be moved to the ‘Drivers’ folder of the rescue media working directory as shown below:
Where to place your custom drivers
Place your drivers in the subfolder according to the version of Windows PE you require.
|SubFolder Version||PE Ver||Arch||Example path|
- After placing drivers in these folders, you need to rebuild deployment media in order to include the drivers.
- You can create any folder organization eg. /dell/ underneath the appropriate SubFolder to organize drivers
- PE3 is based on Windows 7 kernel in which case Windows 7 compatible drivers should be used with this version of Windows PE; accordingly, PE10 uses Windows 10 kernel and should use appropriate drivers
If the target computer does not have an operating system to run the Driver Harvester, drivers can be downloaded from the system manufacturer directly and moved to this folder.