ConfigMgr 2007: Unable to boot from USB Flash Drive Task Sequence Media

ConfigMgr 2007: Unable to boot from USB Flash Drive Task Sequence Media

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Here's another great tip from Frank Rojas, one of our top Support Engineers out in Charlotte, North Carolina.  If you planning on doing a  little work with bootable flash drive media you'll want to read this first:

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Issue: After creating a bootable Task Sequence Media on a USB Flash Drive, the USB Flash Drive does not work and will not boot up on a PC. You may also see the following error messages when trying to boot from the USB Flash Drive:

Error message:
---------------Windows Boot Manager----------------
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.

File: \Boot\BCD
Status: 0xc0000225
Info: An error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data

Cause: A PC not booting from a bootable USB Flash Drive created by the SCCM 2007 Admin console via the Task Sequence Media Wizard can be caused by several different problems:

1. The USB Flash Drive was not be formatted and set to Active in Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008

2. The PC does not support booting from a USB device, or the BIOS of the PC needs to be updated to support USB Flash Drive booting.

3. Booting from a USB Flash Drive is not turned on in the BIOS of the PC, or the Boot Order in the BIOS is not set properly to allow the USB Flash drive to be booted from

4. The USB Flash Drive does not support being made bootable.

5. Certain make/model USB Flash Drives may not work as a boot device on certain make/model PCs, even though they work on other make/model PCs, and even though the particular make/model PC may boot with other make/model USB Flash Drives.

Resolution: Depending on the cause, each resolution is listed below:

1. The USB Flash drive was not be formatted and set to Active in Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008.  The bootable USB Flash Drive Task Sequence Media does not need to be created on the SCCM 2007 server and can be created on any PC that is running the SCCM 2007 Admin console. 

In order for the USB Flash Drive to work as a bootable Task Sequence Media, the drive has to be formatted FAT32 and made Active (which makes it bootable) in either Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008. The only way to do this is by using DISKPART. Right clicking on the drive under Computer and choosing Format is not enough to make it work.

Formatting the drive and making it Active in Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, even when using DISKPART, will NOT work.

To properly create a bootable USB Flash Drive Task Sequence Media follow these steps:

A. If the SCCM 2007 Admin console is being run from and the USB Flash Drive is being created on a Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 PC, the SCCM 2007 Admin console and the Task Sequence Media Wizard will automatically setup the USB Flash Drive correctly, including formatting it and making it Active and bootable. No additional actions need to be taken outside of the SCCM 2007 Admin console.

B. If the SCCM 2007 Admin console is being run from and the USB Flash Drive is being created on a Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 PC, the drive must first be setup properly on a Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 PC using DISKPART. In order to properly setup the USB Flash Drive, follow the bellow steps:

1) Attach the USB Flash Drive to a Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 PC
2) Open a command window and run 'Diskpart
3) At the DISKPART> prompt, type 'List disk'
4) Determine which disk number corresponds to the USB flash drive (make sure you correctly make this determination!), then at the DISKPART> prompt, type 'Select disk <x>' where <x> is the disk number that the USB flash drive corresponds to
5) At the DISKPART> prompt, type 'Clean'

WARNING!: This will wipe all the contents from the drive you selected in step 4 so make sure that the correct drive is selected and that there is nothing on the drive that is needed.

6) At the DISKPART> prompt, type 'List Partition'.  If there are no partitions, move on to step 7. If there is a partition, at the DISKPART> prompt, type 'Select Partition 1' then type 'Clean'
7) At the DISKPART> prompt, type 'Create Partition Primary'. If you receive an error at this stage regarding not being able to create a partition, the USB Flash Drive is not capable of being made bootable and will not work as an SCCM 2007 bootable Task Sequence Media. Please restart the process using a different USB Flash Drive.
8) At the DISKPART> prompt, type 'Select Partition 1'
9) At the DISKPART> prompt, type 'Format FS=FAT32 QUICK'
10) At the DISKPART> prompt, type 'Active'
11) At the DISKPART> prompt, type 'Assign'
12) At the DISKPART> prompt, type 'Exit'

This will exist the DISKPART application. The USB Flash Drive is now properly set up, is bootable, and can now be used on a SCCM 2007 Admin console running on a Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 PC to be made into a bootable Task Sequence Media.

2. The PC does not support booting from a USB device, or the BIOS of the PC needs to be updated to support USB Flash Drive booting.  Certain make/model PCs,in particular older model PCs, do not support booting from USB devices. Check with your hardware vendor to see if the PC supports booting from a USB device and/or if they offer a BIOS update the will allow the PC to boot from a USB device.

3. Booting from a USB flash drive is not turned on in the BIOS of the PC, or the Boot Order in the BIOS is not set properly to allow the USB Flash drive to be booted from. Check the BIOS of the PC and make sure that the settings are set to allow booting from a USB device. In addition, the Boot Order may need to be modified to allow the PC to be booted from a USB device. As an alternative to changing the Boot Order in
the BIOS, most PCs allow you hit a key when booting that will allow you to temporarily choose a boot device. If available, use this option to boot from the USB device.

4. USB Flash Drive does not support being made bootable.  Some USB Flash Drives, in particular older models devices or models under 1GB, may not allow partitions to be created on them and will see the whole USB Flash Drive as a "Volume" (see step 7 above). These USB Flash Drives are not compatible with SCCM 2007 OSD since they cannot be properly set up and made bootable.

5. Certain make/model USB Flash Drives may not work as a boot device on certain make/model PCs.  Certain combination make/model USB Flash Drives may not work as bootable devices on certain make/model PCs, even though those same USB Flash Drives may work on different make/model PCs as bootable devices. In particular, this may be true for older model USB Flash Drives and/or older model PCs. The only solution is to try a different make/model USB Flash Drive on the PC and see if it works.

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Thanks Frank!

J.C. Hornbeck | Manageability Knowledge Engineer

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  • Here&#39;s another great tip from the Manageability blog, If you planning on doing a little work with

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