Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Create a bootable USB pen for SCCM Windows 7 Build Deployment

If you are ever in a situation where deploying your OS by SCCM's more conventional methods (ie PXE or LAN based deployments) isn't feasable (bandwidth/no connectivity) then you can prepare a USB pen and deploy to machines via a USB boot.

I've found the SCCM built in method of making a USB pen to be quite unreliable so I opt for the manual method.

Just a few heads up first:

  • I'd recommend at least an 8GB drive but in reality your build (if corporate) will eventually exceed this.
  • The pen will be totally wiped clean - all data will be lost.
Step 1:  Preparing the USB pen

  1. Open command prompt
  2. Type diskpart and press enter
  3. Type list disk and press enter
  4. Find your disk in the list
  5. Type select disk * (* being your number)
  6. Type clean and press enter - you should see "DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk."
  7. Type create partition primary and press enter - you should see "DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition."
  8. Type select partition 1 and press enter - you should see "Partition 1 is now the selected partition." 
  9. Type active and press enter - you should see "DiskPart Marked the current partition as active."
  10. Type assign and press enter - you should see "DiskPart successfully assigned a drive letter ..."
  11. Type detail disk and press enter.  For this example we will work with a drive letter "U" for USB
  12. Type exit to leave the Diskpart command and return to a standard prompt
Step 2:  Formatting & Copying

We are still using a drive letter "U:" so we want to type:


Enter a label for the drive - this is how it will show in "Computer"

I copy the files manually - it works - but if you want to do it "properly" use this command:

In command prompt navigate to the location of your build files - this is what would have been extracted from the ISO that was produced in SCCM when you "Created Removable Media" from the OSD task sequence - if you need a guide on this mail me or leave a comment...

Type xcopy \*.* /s/e/f

With our extracted ISO in C:\Win7Build and our pen being U:\ This would look like:

Type xcopy c:\Win7Build\*.* /s/e/f U:\ 

Don't forget you may/will need to adjust the boot order in the BIOS to accommodate booting from USB - you can find a guide here:

Monday, 8 October 2012

Parking Fail

Have a look at a group I like on Facebook - great for shaming those parking fails we all hate!

Java Deployment (x86)

I've spent many hours searching the net for a definitive guide on how to successfully deploy Java across a network and to newly deployed machines.

In this instance I'm trying to add Java to an Operating System Deployment using Microsoft SCCM with two particular settings automated into the deployment.

I want the automatic updates to be disabled as this is constantly screwing up our clinical systems that get delivered to the users desktop as an update of Java resets several settings we have to configure post install.

The other is the Proxy set to "Direct Connection" as again our clinical systems hate any interference from the Proxy settings.

I've decided to repost my steps here in hope that it will help a fellow tecchy one day:

  • Download your choice of Java - I'm using
  • Run the.exe and run to C:\Users\\AppData\LocalLow\Sun\Java\jre1.6.0_31
  • Copy the and jre1.6.0_31 files out of there into a folder of their own.
  • I already have a working WIM image I captured last week and didn't want to go through another capture so using the DISM GUI tool  I mounted my WIM and added a folder structure and the file to: C:\Users\Default\AppData\LocalLow\Sun\Java\Deployment.  Other settings for the file are available here.
  • Within was the following - it's actually one I created by manually altering the settings from the Java control panel and capturing the file from C:\Users\[username]\AppData\LocalLow\Sun\Java\Deployment
#Tue Apr 13 13:59:54 BST 2010
deployment.browser.path=C\:\\Program Files\\Internet Explorer\\iexplore.exe
#Java Deployment jre's
#Tue Apr 13 13:59:54 BST 2010
deployment.javaws.jre.0.path=C\:\\Program Files\\Java\\jre6\\bin\\javaw.exe

  • I committed the changes to the Wim and uploaded it back to our deployment server :::EDIT::: DON'T FORGET TO UPDATE THE DISTRIBUTION POINT!!!
  • Created a package for Java 31
  • Used the command line for the package program: msiexec.exe /i jre1.6.0.31.msi /qn
  • Hey presto - I'm now getting a Java deployment that automatically uses the settings defined in the file I created! BOOM !!!