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WIM Storage K2000 Version 3.7: Freeing up space on your K2000 if you are using WIMs and Speed up Deployment using network windows shares - UPDATE NOTE: T:\ is now reserved for KACE SDA Scripts - Works if map to a different letter

Here is the trick to save network bandwidth and K2000 diskspace.  Store the Wim's on Windows servers, Wim files are not restricted to K2000 file system.

I had the server crew create storage space on all the sites and I store my Wims at each site.  They created a share on the main storage server at each site named images$ and I have a K2000 domain user that has rights to these shares.  I created a subdirectory called imagestore in each share (required).

I used the KBE manipulator to create custom pxe boot environment that maps the T: drive to main storage space (default). 

When I need to capture a sysprepped image I choose the custom boot to map the server I want it to go to. I discuss making the custom capture KBE’s in this blog:

http://www.itninja.com/blog/view/capturing-wim-s-to-locations-other-than-the-kbox-externally-capturing

When staff deploys an image, they pxe boot to the K2000, the machine gets it deployment orders from the k2000 and starts.  I remap the T drive as a midlevel task prior to the DISM deploy task to the needed storage to access the WIM.

The deployment starts on the K2000 and then it switches over to the storage server to copy the wim portion then switches back to the K2000 for the remainder of it's mid level and post tasks.

All the workload of deploying the image files is placed on the storage servers instead of the K2000.  I have had 120 images deploying from a single K2000 this way and I am still able to capture an image even when they are deploying.

I have had to image over a T1 when the microwave link went down.  Still managed to use the K2000 to do full classrooms by putting the wim file on a local server.

The server crew can easily backup the wims also.


For this blog I am using WinPE5x64 to allow use of DISM vs Imagex

 

First download and install the template files used in the KSWIM – (Kace Streaming WIM Toolkit)

http://www.itninja.com/blog/view/kace-streaming-wim-toolkit-kswim

Duplicate the needed templates for your environment.

Replace the “WIM - Apply wim stream C/D/S(UEFI) partitions (template) with the midlevel tasks you are going to create.  The first midlevel task is to remap the WIM source server and the second+ to use DISM to deploy the WIM file(s) with.

I use AutoIT to create my exe’s for the mid level tasks.

https://www.autoitscript.com/site/autoit/

The remap AutoIT AU3 is

DriveMapDel ("t:")

DriveMapAdd ("t:", "\\server\share", 0, "domain\user", "password")

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The DISM deploy AutoIT AU3 is

If $CmdLine[0] Then

$p0 = $CmdLine[1]

$p1 = $CmdLine[2]

Endif

RunWait('x:\windows\system32\dism.exe /apply-image /imagefile:t:\Imagestore\' & $p0 & '.wim /index:1 /ApplyDir:' & $p1 & ':' , "" , @SW_MINIMIZE)

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The P0 and P1 are variables we will use in the deploy task.

Create the au3 files in auto IT then use the complier that comes with it to create the exe’s with.

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You choose x86 or x64 during the compile process.


Mid level tasks

The first group of tasks are for remappings.  Create and compile an exe for each server you want to pull wims from.  Create a task for each remap.

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This is my remap EDacad2 task:  Upload the complied exe you created in AutoIT and call it.


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The second group of tasks is for image deployments.  Create a task for every wim to deploy (including the UEFI-S partition for UEFI images)


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This is my DISM deploy for acad F15 basic

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Open the duplicated KSWIM deployment template and change the mid tasks and add your mid/post tasks after





Comments

  • Had a question in regards to doing this on a Win7 64bit machine. We are having issues deploying the wim using the dism.exe. Running the .exe that we created either do not run or receive and error in regards to an unknown variable, trying manually you get that the apply-wim is unknown.
    Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Unsure if it is our OS/WinPe versions or if we missed a step somewhere. - Jdavis46 5 years ago
    • you can manually test if your pe is ok. boot the kbe and open a command window from recovery. you can navigate to the exe's you added by going to x:\applications. first do a net use and see where the t: drive is mapped. you should be able to do a remap exe you compiled and then do a net use and see that it is now on the share with the image file. you can manually run the dism.exe to see what happens if the drive is mapped correctly. - SMal.tmcc 5 years ago
      • After doing some more testing yesterday, I think the issue was with the AutoIT exe's. For some reason they were not running correctly or at all. I replaced these with scripts and uploaded them to k2 as PITs, also used imageX instead of dism as dism kept saying that the apply-wim command was not support or known (winPE3 issue?). These fixes allowed us to deploy the wim from the share and we saw a significant improvement in deployment time.
        Currently I am testing this process for mass deployment to see at what point we begin to hit a bottleneck. We are using a fairly standard PC for testing at the moment and will look into purchasing a beefier share option if this is the route we head. If you don't mind, what specs does your storage server have? - Jdavis46 5 years ago
      • pe3 does not have the dism.exe so it is not supported. even with win7 you can pe5 I have noticed a speed increase using pe5's dism over imagex or pe4 dism. We have a 2012 virtual server linked to a san holding the shares at each site. The problem you can run into using a regular PC is they a limit of users that can connect to the share where a sever does not. - SMal.tmcc 5 years ago
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