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How do i reimage a physical computer using my VMWare infrastructure

Posted on 2010-08-17
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Hi,
   I have set a infrastructure on my Virtual machines using VMWare. One is the Server 2k8 R2(RAVI-DC) containg WDS(for PXE booting), DHCP, MDT 2010, DNS, AD to deploy OS's to client machines. other two are Win7 and Xp machine.
     Now i have a new Dell Latitude laptop which i want to reimage and deploy WIN7x64. My question is that what settings do i do on the Server(RAVI-DC), so that this can be made possible? I want to deploy the customized WIN7x64 wim file to the Dell laptop along with some apps.
    Please let me know is this is possible and if you need some more details.

Regards
Ravi
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Question by:raviexchange
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Expert Comment

by:Spar-Q
ID: 33453335
I suspect it should be possible if you do a normal sysprep, and then move it over. When you sysprep with windows vista and above, it rescans the system for whatever devices it should install drivers for.

Just run sysprep /oobe /generalize /shutdown. Add an unattend.xml file if you need to, but make sure that persist drivers is disabled.
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Author Comment

by:raviexchange
ID: 33453621
I believe sysprep is used when we want to capture an image (correct me if i am wrong). In this case i want to know how can i deploy an image from my VMWare server on a machine to another physical laptop. This customized image is already present on my WDS+MDT 2010 server.
     I was interested in knowing how do i make the laptop to take DHCP ip from my virtual Server (that is on a different machine). So that it boots using the 'Lite Touch x64.wim' that we generate from MDT 2010.

Regards
Ravi
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by:kakster
ID: 33453716
i'm not sure if i understand your question correctly. But you need to boot from the network, and you have to make sure that the correct sata-driver is in the image otherwise you cannot format the pc.
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Author Comment

by:raviexchange
ID: 33453773
thanks Kakster,
            Yes i have to boot from the network. However, I am not able to connect the laptop to the virtual server that i have on my laptop. The laptop that i want to reimage is not able to take a temporary IP from my DHCP Server. Could you please through some light on how do i make that connection? Drivers i believe can be included in the out-of-box-drivers node on deployment workbench.

Regards
Ravi
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33454570
Have you completely configured your WDS on the server? Added a boot image and your customized wim? Take a look at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771670(WS.10).aspx for completing setup of WDS - then so long as DHCP is configured and available and your workstation is capable of PXE boot, you should be able to deploy your image.

You will need to import the boot and install image from the Sources folder on your Windows 7 CD, then if you want a customized image you create it on your laptop, then import back into WDS for deployment on other machines.

Good Luck
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by:kakster
ID: 33454733
i use configmgr. and there you are able to create task sequence media, i think it's the same you have to do in MDT2010. i haven't tryed it though
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33454978
You will need MDT 2010 Update 1 for Windows 7 support. Get it at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=3bd8561f-77ac-4400-a0c1-fe871c461a89&displaylang=en&tm

Older configmgr (2007, or base 2010) won't do the trick for Windows 7 x64

Good Luck
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Author Comment

by:raviexchange
ID: 33455050
thanks a ton Bgoering for that,
         My challenge is that my client laptop is not able to connect to the WDS MDT DHCP virtual Server to be able to acquire an IP and then boot through PXE booting. Do i need to do some settings on the server for the laptop to access the boot files? all configurations related to WDS and MDT are fine. Do i need to change the network adaptor of the VMWare server or some other setting??
    Please suggest...

Regards
Ravi
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33455256
if you have imported and enabled the boot file from \Sources on either a Windows 2008 R2 or a Windows 7 install CD, you should be able to boot from it. I suspect your network adapter for any x64 OS is by default E1000, that should be fine. You might change to VMXNET3 at some point for better performance. Check the following:

Configuration of DHCP Server - in your scope make sure you are issuing IP address consistent with what your IP address of server is. For example don't set scope for 192.168.100.0/24, and address your Server on 192.168.7.25. With the default mask of 255.255.255.0 even if laptop pulls IP address it won't be able to see the server.

On your switch make sure same VLAN is assigned both to ESX server vmnic for the vSwitch as for the laptop you are trying to configure. Test - plug another workstation/laptop into the port and let it boot up, when it pulls DHCP address can you ping your WDS server?

Let me know
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Author Comment

by:raviexchange
ID: 33462445
Hi Bgoering,
      That was informative. Thnx. However, challenge in my case is that my client is not able to get an IP from DHCP itself. It throws an error saying " PXE-E51: No DHCP or proxyDHCP offers were received". I tried changing my Network Adaptor to all the other options availble on my VMWare workstation server. But to no gain.
  My host machine on which i have my vmware server is able to ping my server. However, when i connect my client system with the host machine, it doesn't contact the DHCP server. Any idea what can be the issue?

Regards
Ravi
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33463079
Do you have your networking configured as bridged for your server? If it is host only or nat your new notebook will not be able to see it because it will be on a different network.
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Author Comment

by:raviexchange
ID: 33463325
Yes i tried configuring using Bridged also. But it didnt work. Do i need to install another Network card to my host PC (or to the VMWare server)? I read this in one of the blogs.

-Ravi
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Accepted Solution

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bgoering earned 125 total points
ID: 33464033
You shouldn't need another network card. So long as all of your virtual machines (Win2k8, Win7, XP) are all assigned to the same network it will work between the VMs. But now you want to deploy to another physical machine on your network. In order to do that your deployment server vm must be bridged to the physical network. It must also have an IP address on that network, and the DHCP server must have a scope to that subnet.

Caution, if you already have a DHCP server on your physical network, you should turn off the DHCP server on your Win2k8 VM. The key is to have your deployment server addressed on the same subnet where you are trying to deploy to your laptop. Pretty much any DHCP server serving that network will work.

Hope this helps
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Author Closing Comment

by:raviexchange
ID: 33465535
Thnx a ton bgoering..
    Will try doing the suggested.. thnx fa all the support all of you..

regards
Ravi
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