System Center Configuration Manager 2007 allows you to customize your automated deployment tasks by using Task Sequences. Task Sequences provide the mechanism for performing multiple steps or tasks on a client computer at the command-line level without requiring user intervention. The power of task sequences lies in their flexibility and administrators can use these to configure client settings, distribute software, update drivers, edit user states, and of course automate operating system deployments.
Welcome to the third post about Operating System Deployment using System Center Configuration Manager 2007.
(post courtesy Simone Pace)
After we generated our Windows 7 WIM image (see my post Capture a Windows 7 image form reference computer using Capture Media), we prepared a package to allow USMT (User State Migration Tool) to collect user’s data and settings in the post User State Migration Package creation for Operating System Deployment).
Now we have all the pieces we need to create our Task Sequence that will be executed by the clients we are going to “upgrade” to Windows 7.
Testing lab description screenshots and computer names used in this article refers to a Virtual scenario running on a Hyper-V R2 host:
1. Start the Task Sequence Wizard
Note Whatever you write in the comment field will be seen by users when they seek for details in the upgrade notification. This is useful to inform users about what is going to happen to their computers, for example you could write something like: “This program will install Windows 7 on your computer keeping your document and settings”. You can add or change the comment any time after you created the TS. Click Next.
Note depending on how you captured the WIM image you can have more than one image in it. As I used the SCCM 2007 OSD Capture CD on a PC where Windows 7 was manually installed, it captured not only the partition where Windows was installed (2-2), but also the “bitlocker enablement” 100MB boot partition (1-1), and stored both partitions as images in the WIM file.
To install Windows 7 files, we only need the partition 2-2 from this package.
Tip By opening the Image Package properties, you can browse the images it contains to see which one has the Operating System bits in it.
The OS partition is the image that has information next to the fields "OS version", "Architecture" and the appropriate size :).
Note We are saving user settings on a State Migration point which is a Site System role installed and configured with a network Share.
Note: Per-system unattended program is selected by default.
2. Edit the Task Sequence
We created our Task Sequence starting from a template and going step-by-step through the Wizard. In order to be sure that everything goes as we want, we need to make some adjustment to the newly created TS. Editing is also a good way to adapt your TS to changes in your deployment strategy.
The boot partition is set to be 300Mb in size and to be quick formatted in NTFS. Make sure to check the flag Make this the boot partition. Also note the Variable set to BOOTPART. This variable gives us the option to reference this partition when we will indicate where to install OS system files later in the TS.
3. Go to the Apply Operating System node and reference the destination partition we set in the previous step by selecting Logical drive letter stored in a variable from the drop down list and type in the name: SYSPART
Note: At the “Setup Windows and ConfigMgr” task, the OSD Task Sequence will figure what type of Boot Manager is needed (XP/2003 vs. Vista/2008/Win7) based on what OS was deployed during the "Apply Operating System" task, and then install it on the appropriate partition. Whichever partition/volume is marked as “Make this the boot partition” in the “Format and Partition Disk” task, is determined to be the partition where the Boot Manager and boot files will be installed.
· Change the windows registration and licensing settings as desired.
· We are now ready to advertise our TS and start upgrading computers.