Ben Hunter

Architect - Microsoft Enterprise Services - Redmond

Top Ten - Most Common BDD 2007 issues

Top Ten - Most Common BDD 2007 issues

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I see the same issues coming up over and over again with BDD 2007. So, I decided it was time for my own Top Ten List!

Number 1. - Partitioning within the Unattend.xml

BDD likes (no needs) to look after partitioning itself! Do not do this via Unattend.xml. The most common symptom of this is the Task Sequence not restarting after the operating system has been installed.

Number 2. - XP disk partitioning

Affectionately know as the UBERBUG, this little baby causes some machines to blue screen when an XP image is applied to a machine that has been partitioned with Windows PE 2.0. For more information see my previous blog.

Number 3. - Trying to deploy images with WDS

This is a common misunderstanding about the relationship between BDD and WDS. Let me assure the relationship is not a close one, BDD is just using WDS! Simply put uses WDS as a mechanism to boot the Lite Touch WIM which connects to the BDD deployment point. Once this has happened it has nothing more to WDS, nothing! So my advice here is DO NOT try to load an image captured with BDD into WDS.

Number 4. - Failure to join the domain

Oh the joys of documentation, one little error and everyone has strife. The BDD configuration reference states that "MachineObjectOU=NewYork" , it's wrong! Instead it should say something like this "MachineObjectOU=OU=NewYork,DC=DammTypos,DC=com". So if for some reason your machine fails to join the domain then make sure you have specified the correct OU in the correct manner.

Number 5. - Drivers

Where do I start with this one? This could be a number of blogs on its own, maybe I could use this as a teaser to make you keep coming back and finding more useful information on my blog(did I say that out loud?). I will write a blog(s) on drivers soon.

Number 6. - Creating custom WIM image without using /flags

So you already have a Vista machine built up and you have decided that you want to manually image it . So you capture an image and try to import it into BDD but it won't work. Well the real lesson is you should have used BDD to create and capture the image then you wouldn't of had this problem in the first place. But if you really have no choice then remember to specify the correct flags for the Version of Vista you a capturing. Here is and example command line:

       imagex /flags “Enterprise” /capture c: d:\image.wim "Custom Image"

And if you want to add a flag to an image you have already capture try this command line:

       imagex /flags [flags value] /info mywim.wim [image index] [new name] [new description]

Number 7. - SQL connectivity

Having trouble connecting to your SQL database well take heed of these four simple rules, and your life will be simpler :

        1. Make sure your BDD account has access to the database

        2. Ensure that the "surface area" of SQL is opened up enough to allow connections

        3. Use named pipes - it makes life easier as you cannot use integrated security with TCP/IP sockets

        4. If you have an instance then be sure to specify it when connecting to the DB

Number 8. - Memory requirements for Vista PE

Do random things happen when you try to build some machines? Do you have 256Mb of memory? Well the problem you have is that Windows PE 2.0 can boot with only 256MB of memory but it cannot run. This means that when it tries to do stuff it freezes randomly, NICE! So when building machines make sure you have at least 512Mb of memory and everything will be rosy.

Number 9. - Not removing the MININT folder

Are you testing your build and nothing you do seems to have any effect. Usually this is caused by the fact that BDD is storing information from a previous build in the MININT folder. So commit this to command to memory, your gonna need it:

        rd c:\minint /q/s

And while your at it you may as well remember this one:

        rd c:\_SMSTaskSequence /q /s

Number 10. - Adding Windows PE to console

Are you trying to add your customized version of Windows PE to the console, yeah the one that you spent hours getting just right! Well its not going to work, the Windows PE source files need to be taken straight off the volume source CD. BDD will then combine this with the OS source files and create a version customized just for BDD.

There may be other common issues I have missed but I thought it is worth while getting these out there. Anyway one day I will create a Top Ten Returns list and I will need something to put in it!

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  • The bottom progress bar on the LiteTouch "Installation Prograss" window never actually does anything.  Am I missing something?  It is a minor annoyance but for the "pretty" factor.  I was wondering if there was something I needed to do to get my background installs to display thier progress properly.

  • Hi Dustin,

    In general this is for the "pretty" factor. However you can control this as the ztidiskpart script does.