Updated: Capturing XPe for SCCM Deployment

Yesterday I posted about capturing a XPe of WES image from a device such as a Wyse Thin Client. After a day working with this here is an updated version.

We spoke about the fact from WES 2009 you can use the Sysprep tool to prepare your image for deployment. After working with a customer today on my theory yesterday it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t as easy as first expected. The customer who will remain anonymous for obvious reasons currently deploys their image to Wyse Thin Clients via Altris and is looking at changing to ConfigMgr.

I first decided that seen as the image is already on the device a build and capture from source media was pointless and wasn’t achieving anything seen as the device is already configured to the customers specification. Instead I went ahead and copied the Sysprep binaries from deploy.cab into the root of the C drive, made sure that the local administrator password was blank and off we went.

As the terminals are not part of the domain and the existing PXE boot infrastructure was still in place for Altris then the option here was to create boot media with the following task sequence items:

  1. Prepare Windows for Capture
  2. Capture Operating System Image

I tried this but it failed. The reasons were unclear until a bit of investigation revealed that when WinPE loads the Grub boot ROM is still not loaded the OS to the C drive. This means that we needed to manually set OSDTargetSystemRoot to the drive we found Windows on. This was done using the Set Task Sequence Variable task sequence item, running Sysprep.exe -mini -reseal again and booting into WinPE to start the capture.

Then viola! We have an image uploading to the specified location.

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About Martyn

Martyn is one of the Senior Cloud Architects and DevOps Team Leader at one of the worlds leading Cloud Transformation Specialists Inframon. Martyn is responsible for the architecture of some of the largest Azure deployments in EMEA and is a advisor to a many businesses on their strategies. Martyn is a regular speaker at Microsoft events and community events on Azure and DevOps, giving his insight to a growing number of audiences.

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