Latitude E7450 Crashing in PE Environment

My company just recently ordered a number of Latitude E7450 laptops and tasked me with pushing a company image to them.

We already have MDT 2012 running on a 2012 server, that we use to successfully deploy images to all of our other dell computers (including the E7440). However, after loading the drivers for the system into Drivers section of the deployment workbench and updating the deployment share, I am getting a Windows 8 BSOD type error. The PXE boot picks up successfully, and it loads the PE .WIM, but just before it brings up the task selection screen it blue screens (I actually see the PE desktop background for just a second before crash).

As usual it says, "The PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We're just collecting some error info, and then you can restart. (0% complete)". Below it says 'If you'd like to know more, you can search online later for this error: SYSTEM_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (NDIS.SYS)

The problem is that the BSOD dump never gets to 1%, much less completes the data collection, so I have no way to look at any log files to try and figure out what is causing the problem. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I might be able to force it to complete the log dump? Or failing that, an alternate method of making it dump to a secondary remote location so that I can see if it is actually dumping and not moving the progress bar?


Damon M.
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Mdamon808Author Commented:
Just discovered that I have the exact same problem with the Latitude E7250 as well. I guess that makes sense, they are basically the same machine with slightly smaller components...
ndis.sys has to do with networking, so it could be an issue of the LAN driver.
Mdamon808Author Commented:
I can try and see if there are other network drivers available, but I already have the Windows 7 Deployment driver pack.

I'll let you know if I find anything.
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Mdamon808Author Commented:
No good. Downloaded the PE driver pack, imported into the PE boot image in Deployment Services, but it is still failing at the same point.

Anyone have any ideas for getting a log off of this thing? I seem to remember there was a way to copy any logs to a non-local path, but I can't seem to find the command now.
Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
You only want to add driver support to WinPE that is absolutely necessary.  Adding a "driver pack" to WinPE is generally not a good idea, because by the sounds of it WinPE is picking up a driver with the same PnPID, but it's the wrong one.

What I would do is install MDT 2012 on a fresh box, the copy out the WinPE from that install and overwrite your WinPE.  Under the WinPE build section where to add drivers,  make a selection profile and build out the folder structure.  Only add NIC drivers if they are needed to this selection profile.

I used to run MDT 2010: now I run MDT 2013 with the "Total Control" method:  This will require some work on your part, but I can tell you it's very worth it and a lot more predictable then just throwing all the drivers in one pile and hoping for the best.
Mdamon808Author Commented:
I understand that drivers should be controlled and I am not just dumping them into a pile and letting the system sort it out.

But my question is about getting a log off of a crashing system so that I can see exactly what the issue is rather than rebuilding my entire driver setup to worm out one bad driver.

Anyone have any ideas on this?
Mike TLeading EngineerCommented:

<not so fast eenokami please!>

I understand your frustration completely. The new blue-screen sad smiley is really, really not helpful. I have a similar issue to you at work with ESX dying on me doing builds.

I have one question for you. How many drivers do you have in the WinPE stage? Adam is quite right about being selective, but WinPE is that critical phase to get right. You ideally add network drivers for a start. I've seen people add Bluetooth drivers before...

I am building the following hardware at work:
and several desktops.

I tested without adding any drivers at all and everything worked fine, except the old baby laptop, the  5250. That needed the I217LM driver, but the sexy new laptops worked with WinPE's own default drivers.

Note you don't have to rip out all your existing drivers from MDT. You can leave everything as it is except for the WinPE ones.

If I were you I would remove ALL drivers from WinPE folder and just see what happens. You can make a copy of the WIM before and put it back.

I can't think of any way to get to the logs. The issue is a network driver for sure because NDIS.SYS is a network stack driver so I doubt the logs would help much.

One good test is if you enable debugging (F8) open the command window early and type ipconfig. If you get an IP then fine. I seem to recall the 5250 rebooting itself before I got the network driver correct too.



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