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SCCM - PXE Boot/Mandatory Advertisement/Task Sequence.

Posted on 2010-11-17
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
So here's the scenario:

I'm doing a bulk install of Windows 7 on 2000+ PC's.  I've configured a task sequence and assigned a mandatory advertisement to a 'build' collection.

All the desktops are HP, so I've enabled PXE as the first boot option.  I pre-stage the computers into the 'build' collection and switch the machines on.

Everything works as expected and on start-up, the machines start imaging.

The problem is this:
After the task sequence completes and the machines reboot, it starts the image build process again.  There are no errors in the advertisement status.

Can anyone help me stop this from happening?

Help would be greatly appreciated!!
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Question by:jamie77777
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Expert Comment

by:Kezzi
ID: 34158815
what are your advertisment schedule properties?  
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Expert Comment

by:JonLambert
ID: 34158963
I would ensure that your advertisement properties are set to "Never re-run".

This can be occuring if your Task Sequence advertisement is set to "re-run if failed previous attempt", and the task sequence is failing on one of the last steps (so the OS build looks complete).

OR

You have more than one Advertisement for the Windows deployment, when a computer builds, the only package/program it knows it has completed is the Windows deployment one it just ran.  So if there was a second advert for OS deployment advertsied, it would start that one straight after (I've got myself in that loop a couple of times!)
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Author Comment

by:jamie77777
ID: 34159212
Thanks for the suggestions Jon.  I can definately confirm that there is only one advertisement for the task sequence on the site.

Jon/Kezzi:  See screenshot of advertisement properties.

Any other idea's?  I'm to the point where I'm considering scripting the BIOS to change boot order at the end of the TS.  I'm sure this shouldn't be happening though! Advertisement Schedule Properties
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JonLambert earned 2000 total points
ID: 34160119
After the client is PXE booted, it should 'mark' the SCCM resource record for the client as having executed a PXE boot, and will not execute another PXE boot until the existing PXE advet is cleared off the SCCM resource.

You mention that it restarts and starts re-imaging, which to me says it's nothing to do with PXE, but is re-executing the one advert.

I would check the status messages (either by report or status message queries) for a workstation to see if you can work out from them what/why it is re-imaging.
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Author Comment

by:jamie77777
ID: 34160761
Hi Jon,

First of all, thanks.  You sparked a review of my thinking and it's sorted.

I tried to keep it simple for my EE question, but the truth was I missed out some important parts.  Should also note this is a clients site, and all information/testing was relayed...

To give them the ability to image 'new' machines, I've configured a pre-execution hook in another boot image and assigned it to 'unknown computers'.  The pre-execution hooks populates the SCCM 'build' collection on the fly enabling unknown machines to build a selection of task sequences assigned to the 'build' collection.  After doing that, it was decided to use one dynamic task sequence and make it mandatory for roll out, setting PXE as first boot.  When a machine is 'pre-staged' (i.e. Computer Association set up), it's not a problem... See below my explanation.

So, I got the wrong end of the stick when I posted the question and there was no way you could've answered it, but you kind of did :)  Nice work.



The following is the process (behaviour) of a computer that is 're-imaging'.

Computer is unknown to SCCM (or known through Active Directory, but has no client information).
PXE boot is automatic
PXE boot starts as 'unknown computer' loading 'unknown computer boot image'.
GUI asks for 'Computer Name' using pre-execution hook
Pre-execution hook creates SCCM record containing client information (MAC Address etc.) and adds to 'build' collection
Boot image reads the 'standard build' advertisement as mandatory and copies 'known computer boot image' to client
Sets PXE boot flag to complete (for the current 'unknown computer')
Computer reboots and loads 'Known computer boot image' <-- not using PXE
Computer builds standard image
Computer now exists in SCCM and is member of 'build collection'
(PXE Boot image is not set as complete, as the 'correct' record of the computer hasn't technically booted using PXE)
Computer reboots and starts PXE boot, loading 'known computer boot image' as is now member of 'build collection'
Computer 're-images', setting PXE flag as complete
... and doesn't re-image again.


So in conclusion:
While the 'standard build' advertisement is mandatory, computers that are set to PXE boot automatically will re-image unless the computer is 'pre-staged'.
The computer doesn't have to pre-staged if the 'standard build' advertisement isn't mandatory (and selected during GUI process) and will image only once - which will be the case after rollout.

Thanks!
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