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How to Perform a Scripted OS installation Using Altiris Deployment Solution 7.1

Created: 27 Sep 2011 • Updated: 27 Sep 2011 | 8 comments
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yogeshsadhu's picture
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Deployment solution which has various deployment features like deploying and managing servers, desktops, and notebooks from a centralized location in your environment. The solution also offers OS deployment, configuration, PC personality migration, and software deployment across hardware platforms and OS types.

In this article I will try to cover a simple way of performing a Scripted OS installation for Windows OS.

To create a task for scripted OS install go to Jobs and tasks and from tasks menu select ‘Install OS Install’ and follow the below mentioned steps.

·         Provide the name for the Scripted OS task :

·         Provide the authentication of your NS server

·         Add the OS package using Add from task page

There are two ways to import the OS source package in to DS server , One is form the Scripted OS install task page itself , you can see a Add button under System files , when you click this you will get following UI in which you can specify the OS package details and using  Add files button browse to the OS source files and import the OS packages ;

Remember this , if the OS is Windows XP or Windows 2003, for 32 bit architecture you have to upload the ‘I386’ complete folder and in case of 64 bit architecture you have select ‘AMD64’ and ‘I386’ both.

Where as in case of Vista , Windows 7 and Windows 2008 server you have to select and upload ‘sources’ folder ;

·         Add OS package Using  Resource import tool

The second way of uploading the OS packages is by using the resource import tool which can be found at : <NSServer>\Deployment\Task Handler\Tools , execute ResourceImportTool.exe , and select the tab ‘OS file import’ , provide the OS folder (as mentioned above ,e.g I386, sources) and say import. This is the fastest way of importing OS packages in to the DS server.

User can verify if the OS files are copied correctly at the location :  <NSserver>\ Deployment\Task Handler\SOI ;  User can also verify the folder size of the OS package , as it requires the complete package folder for the installation , and if the size is not matching then it’s better to upload the files again , This is just for extra check , otherwise there is not issue in import as of now.

If you have imported the packages using ResourceImportTool  , it will be available In the ‘OS source’ list in the Scripted OS install task page.

·         Add product key

User needs to provide the product key (License key) for the corresponding OS package This is a compulsory filed and scripted OS install task cannot be save without this data.

A product key also can be managed from the NS console : Settings -> All Settings -> OS Licenses   

·         Enable Install Driver

Enable the option to install drivers from Driver database during OS installation , This is one of the new feature provided by DS 7.1 , to make sure all required drivers for the OS installation for any hardware is ready with the drivers and target machine will be up and running with all devices running , even if the driver for the devices and not present in the OS packages

There are several Hardware vendors and they introduce new devices very often , and the required drivers for the device is not available in the OS , then its users job to install the drivers to use the device ,but in a case if some critical drivers (MSD or NIC) are missing then user will see a BLUE dump on the screen on the client machine. Using the ‘Install Drivers’ option, which in the backend uses the DeployAnywhere feature to find out missing driver for the client machine for the selected OS type and compare this with the driver database , and if it finds the matching driver , then while installation Scripted OS install task makes sure the driver is been installed and device is up and running ;

Here the user has to make sure he/she has added the required driver in to the driver database ; the following article may be useful in managing the drivers required by DeployAnywhere feature ,

·         Use Inventory data

Using inventory data option mainly useful if the client machine is already managed by the NS and user may want to use the inventory data of the client machine available in the NS server which installation , this is mainly Client host name and other settings.

·         Join a domain

A client machine on which you are installing the OS can be specified to join the domain , the domain and user details are needs to be provided .

·         Use default configuration settings

By selecting this option Scripted OS install will apply the default settings while OS install.

An inventory Answer file and a default configuration answer files can be seen at : <NSServer>\NSCap\bin\Win32\X86\Deployment\SOI\AnswerFile

·         Provide custom configuration file (Custom answer file)

By using this option user can provide the user Answer file , this is commonly used option as user can specify lot many settings , configuration depending upon their environment. If you need to customize the answer file or add drivers I recommend to install and use the Windows AIK

·         Advanced option

Advanced option provides user to provides few more options like selecting disk number and drive number , selecting regional settings and screen resolutions settings ;

Make user for applying language setting the OS packages has the selected language support.

·         Different ways of executing Scripted OS install task

1.       For managed clients

A single client job can be created which can included following tasks in sequence

-Reboot to Automation / Reboot to PXE

-Erase disk

-Partition disk

-Scripted Os Install Task

2.       For  unmanaged clients

-Boot using PXE

-Erase disk

-Partition disk

-Scripted Os Install Task

3.       Using a custom answer file

-Specify all the details about partition and other settings

-Boot to Automation or PXE

-Execute Scripted OS install task

This is a client job to perform a scripted OS install for the windows 2003

When  a Scripted OS install is executed successful  the altiris agent will get installed and gets connected to the NS server.

Comments 8 CommentsJump to latest comment

Mohammad Bamya's picture

This is a great article, however the answer file (Unattend_Inventory_Wind7.xml) which is in-use for deploying windows 7, still need modifications as it doesn't contain default language and keyboard once the windows installation starts.

The other part the admin needs to handle is how the sub agents will be pushed and how to install the required applications after imaging.

Mohammad Bamya

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MacBrinky's picture

Thanks, that will help a lot during first steps.

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Rick D's picture

Is there any additional information on how partition a drive for Windows 7?  I've tried this a couple of times and it appears to fail on "Install Windows OS" task.  I successfully got it to work with Windows XP.

Also is there any way to get more information returned than just "Failed" to help me troubleshoot this?


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sfaucher's picture

We do this using a custom configuration file (answer file created using Windows System Image Manager, a part of WAIK). The particular part you want is in the windowsPE stage, Microsoft-Windows-Setup>DiskConfiguration. Insert a new disk, add a create partition section to create a primary partition and a modify partition section to format it to NTFS, label it, set it as drive C, etc. Screenshot showing the modify properties attached.


Shawn Faucher | Senior Technology Analyst

Armstrong Teasdale LLP

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Solkre's picture

If you're installing x64, you need to make sure your pre-boot (PXE) is the 64bit version as well.  You can't install x64 under the x86 boot image.

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yogeshsadhu's picture

For any failure you can check log files at sever side , i.e at C:\programdata\Symantec\SMP\Logs ;n also at the client machine when it is in WinPE if you see a failure , log file will be created for each Deployment task. You can check log file at X:\program files\altiris\deployment\log folder

Yogesh Sadhu.

If you feel your issue has been addressed,please use the "Mark as Solution" link for the relevant thread.

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BugTastic's picture

Hi, can you address the comments made by Mohammad Bamya please as I dont feel these are covered anywhere with regard to deplying a scripted install of Win7

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