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Windows PE Drivers

Posted on 2013-06-30
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hi - I am having trouble where a wim will hang (appear to just timeout) - and the image will fail.
im now to sccm 2012  sccm at all. - Im questioning whether this is a driver NIC problem. Or a BIOS issue. I cant see any problems with LAN switching etc. What I am wondering is does windows pe need to have ITS OWN WINDOWS PE driver injected into the wim? or can it use the standard dell drivers - is it windows pe spacific. ?

When I go to the Command prompt F8 I can ping the sccm server, however I can see that the pings are dropped (intermittently). This whole environment server side is on VMware. Servers are VMs.

My main questions is do i need to have spacific Windows PE drivers? The problem is inconsistent some pcs are getting the image ok. - I cant see any network traffic that would effect when it fails. For example backup or broadcast. thanks
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Question by:philb19
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
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Did you add the drivers to the boot image AND the install image? When you f8 and can ping the sccm server that means the network drivers that are loaded are fine.

Does the minint folder get created on the problem client?  There are several log files that can help you. At what stage is if failing?

Hopefully you're using MDT as well as using lite-touch you can test things faster than using SCCM
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by:philb19
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Sorry dont know what this is :

MDT as well as using lite-touch

Its failing at various stages loading wim image - last one got to 19% then stopped.

minint folder on client - dont know will check - any spacific log?
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
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MDT = Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
SCCM uses a Zero-Touch meaning that everything is automated
Lite-Touch means that not everything is automated.
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by:Mike T
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Hi

It sounds like networking issues, i.e. not WIM or WinPE related. If you can ping whilst in F8, if the driver was missing you'd obviously get nothing. You *might* need to update the driver if it's buggy.

If you're using VMware ESX then you need Intel Pro drivers.

See here for clarification.

FYI: It's best to limit the number of drivers you add to WinPE to 6. Any more and the WIM gets bigger and slower to load. If you like watching the white progress bar crawl along, add lots of drivers!

With just it will load in about 12 seconds tops. You only need network drivers and really obscure mass storage drivers. Having built about 30 models of hardware now I've only ever needed network. Occasionally there are special cases like a mouse for KVM but they are the exception.

As for drivers in the image, the same applies - only load the bare minimum. For VMware ESX there are only a handful, which you can extract from VMware tools but are not required - just a nice to have (I think).

Mike
PS: You need to look at c:\windows\ccm\logs\smsts.log to find where the builds break.
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by:philb19
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Great thanks for input - Ill switch to looking at LAN - sccm 2012 on 2012 server. VM on esx 5.1

physical switch 2960. 1gb - ill check cpu and memory. Anything particular to look for - Its very full - most if not all ports are active
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by:philb19
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dont think its edge switchs - will check though. How do i check for broadcast traffic?
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by:Mike T
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You can use netmon or wireshark to watch traffic, but I'm not the best to ask about networking packets I'm afraid!
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by:philb19
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Thanks all fro great help.

However if the image fails to load how can I look at this log path. It isnt installed - or is this on the sccm server?

Mike
PS: You need to look at c:\windows\ccm\logs\smsts.log to find where the builds break.
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by:Mike T
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Yes please. If the build breaks the log will be in c:\windows\ccm\smsts\logs on the local machine. Once it finishes, cleanly or otherwise it's moved to ccm and smsts DIR get deleted.

Note you might find this log gets truncated if you have lots and lots of steps in the task-sequence because the default size is only 5MB. To improve logging to actually see everything and not have it vanish you can increase the log size when you install the client.

For example, to change the SMSTS.log file size to 5MB, set the log level to the most verbose level, and increase the amount of rolled over/historical logs to 3, the following would be added to the "Installation properties" text box of the "Setup Windows and ConfigMgr" task:
CCMLOGMAXSIZE=5242880 CCMLOGLEVEL=0 CCMLOGMAXHISTORY=3

I know this is above what you asked but trust me, it's a pain having only 70% of a log. This fixes it.

Mike
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by:philb19
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Sorry Im a bit confused still when you say local machine you mean the PC that is getting imaged? - If the OS/image install fails how will it have a c:\windows folder to store logs? - or do you mean the log file is on the sccm server? - sorry im not able to look at server.

what does this mean - Once it finishes, cleanly or otherwise it's moved to ccm and smsts DIR get deleted - you mean moved from client pc to sccm server? - and to where on server please?

the image of PC just sits at say 19% and goes no further hence the wim OS image does not get installed
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Mike T earned 500 total points
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Yes the machine you are imaging, aka target machine.

If the install fails, either the disk will be blank (unlikely#), part of the OS is there or the whole OS will be present but un-bootable. The directories will be there I  the latter two.  Don't worry about the server. All trouble-shooting is on the target machine.

Get cmtrace from the site server (just go to \SMSSETUP\TOOLS\ on your installation media) and use it open any .log file from SCCM if you haven't already.

When booted into WinPE run it from X:\sms\bin\x64. Keep it handy at other times. You will be needing it a lot!

With regards smsts.log, what I meant was that SCCM likes to move it around depending on where in the task-sequence it is. During any task-sequence it lives in a ccm\smsts subfolder. At completion of the last step, it moves the file and removes the subfolder.
By cleanly I mean sometimes (rarely) it might end prematurely BUT still does this clean-up step. Everything happens on the target machine.

Finally when you say 19% you mean the "Apply Operating System Image" step??
If so, that might actually be the disk. I've just had a light-bulb moment...

What is the hardware you are deploying to?
Do all HP 7800 work, but new HP 8300s fail (for example) or is it more random than that?
Finally, when a machine is not working is it really slow to build, then fails?

If so, it's likely to be an issue with new hardware only because new machines have Advanced Format disks. There's a patch and OEM tool to use: e.g http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/enterprise-client/w/wiki/2228.deploying-dell-systems-with-advanced-format-hard-drives.aspx

Mike
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by:philb19
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hi they are dell PC's - its been ok for last week - may have been network
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by:Mike T
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OK. Glad you got it sorted. Sometimes it's just general network congestion I guess.
Thanks for the points.

Mike
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