I am new to Kace, we have a lot of small offices that do not talk back to our home office and I have to come up a way to make it easier for our field techs. Currently whenever a machine needs to be reimaged they have to bring it back to the home office. Besides putting the image on flash drive what other options do I have?

 

Than you,

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Answered 08/06/2012 by: SMal.tmcc
Red Belt

  • Thanks for the link I followed this link but i am having some trouble getting it to work. because I use wim images with the Native tool Kit. When i ever I boot to the USB drive I am getting bootmngr missing.
  • Not sure how much you know about disecting a kace boot stick but I since you are using wims you can do that pretty easy. The problem is you will get no kace pre or post scripts
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To make a portable imager with no kace support

1: create a bootable kace usb drive with the boot environment. (use a usb device large enough to also hold the wim's)

2: take the boot.wim file from the .\files\sources directory and put that in a directory that also has the file imagex on your computer

3: create a temp dir below that dir.

so put boot.wim and imagex in a dir c:\modifier create c:\modifier\temp

4: open a command windows a go to the folder, enter this command "imagex /mountrw boot.wim 1 c:\modifier\temp"

5: go to .\temp\windows\system32 copy imagex to system32.

6: edit startnet.cmd and delete everything in it and replace with "cmd".(no quotes)

if you want to be able to do diskparts and mbr resets add the needed files to system32

I created a dpart.bat - diskpart /s wipe_partition.conf

I created a wipe_partition.conf

select disk 0
clean
create partition primary
select partition 1
active
assign
exit

If you go to \\ikbox\peinst login as admin or .\admin (use share pw) and look in preinstall, applications, scripts, etc you can harvest the format and mbr commands.

Once you have all the extra's you need the next things is to repackage the wim file.

7: imagex /commit c:\modifier\temp

8: imagex /unmount c:\modifier\temp

replace the boot.wim on the stick create any imaging dir and batch files you want on the drive.  Put your wim(s) on this drive.

Go to machine it will winpe boot for you and open a command window, run your uploaded batches from either the system dir or root of usb drive.

Use imagex commands to deploy the image.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc749447(v=ws.10).aspx

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc507842.aspx

 

Answered 08/06/2012 by: SMal.tmcc
Red Belt

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1

There are a lot of options, but it ultimately depends on your network infrastructure (or lack of), your license type, available machines and your budget. 

If you have (or get) fast enough network connecitivity between the sites, you could push images (or scripted installs) to machines directly from the K2000 or an RSA (a local mini-K2000 used to deploy).  These would all be centrally managed and fairly easy to keep current - pretty much the "golden standard". K1000 Managed Installs and Scripts can be used to handle specialized apps and configs (fairly quickly using replication machines that are local to the site - same idea as RSAs), so using this setup, machine replacement can be largely automated with little "grunt work".

If that's not an option (due to lack of network connectivity), assuming images are feasible you could load them on USB keys and have the techs backup user data (say to a portable USB drive), reimage the machines using the USB keys, load any specialized apps not in the image from the portable USB drive (say for HR or Engineering machines), build the user profile(s) and then restore the user data.  The main issue would be keeping the images on the USB keys up to date and having good procedures for handling specialized apps, and maintaining user configs and data.

Another option (assuming some network connectivity, albeit slow) would be to do what I do - keep some spare machines in your main office in a "spare state" (i.e. loaded with generic stuff that everyone uses) and then finish the build with specialized apps, user profile build(s), printer installs, etc.  These can largely be done in the home office (or across the network, if present) via K1000 Managed Installs and Scripts.  Then the new machine can be taken (or in my case, shipped) to the remote site and the tech can copy user data from the old machine to the new machine (or, assuming even slow network connectivity, this can be done remotely via a remote control app like DameWare or LogMeIn).  If the machine is dead, someone can slave the dead machine's drive into the replacement machine to copy from there.  I've found this to be the most consistent and efficient method of handling remote machines, since I have complete control of the machine setup before it goes out the door.  Then again, I do have network connectivity to my remote sites so I can tweak as necessary.

Regardless of the approach you decide to take, one last thing I'll mention is the usefullness of keeping a spare "guest" machine at each of my remote locations (i.e. office with two or more people).  These are typically old machines that are used by guests to check email/Internet/etc and are also extremely useful when someone's machine goes down for use as a temporary replacement.  I also use these a test machines for various K1000 Managed Installs and Scripts, before deploying to user machines.  Obviously, they still require licenses, but we've used them enough to definitely justify the cost.

Hope there's something you can use there, but I'm sure others will chime in with their suggestions.

John

Answered 08/04/2012 by: jverbosk
Red Belt

  • John thank you for the info - Ca not do RSA cause we have over 100 small office that do not have any connection back to our Home office and would not be able to talk back to my k1000.
    I am leaning toward loading the images to USB keys and have them do it this way if they have to. currently they have spare HDD with images on them that they use or sometimes if they don't they they bring the machine back for reimaging.

    Thank You,
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Image a HDD with a sysprep'd image and do not reboot it tilll they put it in the target machine.

Answered 08/06/2012 by: SMal.tmcc
Red Belt

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