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Creating image - Won't boot to WinPE after "Prepare for Image Capture"

Created: 16 Jan 2013 • Updated: 18 Jan 2013 | 9 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

I'm not sure if this is a simple issue or not, but I figured, I'd throw it out here to see if anyone knew why this is happening.

Recently, I've been trying to create a 32-bit image for our organization.  We're using Deployment Solution 7.1  When doing so, I understand that the required steps are to create the image that's needed, run the "Prepare for Image Capture" Job, then let the machine boot into PE and let the image be created, and then reboot the system again.

Unfortunately, after creating my base image and running the "Prepare for Image Capture" job, 9 times out of 10, my machines have been refusing to boot all the way into PXE.  They start PXE booting and even find the PXE server, but after that, they get the "Altiris preselect automation processing" message and the system proceeds booting from the hard disk.  I know that this usually happens due to the system being a managed machine and deleting the record for the machine will let me into PE.I

If I try to create an image from that, Altiris won't let me redeploy the created image however because it won't let me apply a product key to the image.  I've been going through this process for a few days now and every so often after the "Prepare for Image Capture" step, I'm allowed into PE, but it's the exception and not the rule.

Is there something else that I should be doing in order to get this working?

Comments 9 CommentsJump to latest comment

mclemson's picture

Are you using HTTPS?  DS 7.1 does not support HTTPS in automation.

Do you have a screenshot of PXE responding to your computer after the prepare for image capture task?  Does it say 'No boot filename received.' or is there a PXE error code?  Are you using Initial Deployment to send the imaging task (you mentioned it being managed vs. not managed, which only matters for Initial Deployment)?

If you have multiple site servers, be sure you've configured sites and subnets so that this computer will know exactly where to go.  Make sure this computer's subnet is assigned to a site, and the site to which it is assigned has at least one site server running task service, package service, and deployment task handlers.

Mike Clemson, Senior Systems Engineer, ASC
Intuitive Technology Group -- Symantec Platinum Partner's picture

No HTTPS here.

Unfortunately, the PXE boot is before the OS would start, so no screenshots (they're physical machines).

We're not using Initial Deployment to send the initial task, but Initial Deployment seems to get us into PXE 100% of the time.  So maybe PXE isn't recognizing that the machine would have any jobs to do and is quitting rather than going into PE?  The job that invokes the "Prepare for Image Capture" task still has several tasks to do (including the imaging task). 

The only messages we get are:

Altiris Preselect Automation Processing


We do have multiple site servers, but we've got an IP helper to make sure that we're going to the right server (and the station I'm imaging is on the same subnet as the PXE server).

Any other possible reasons that this could be happening?

Thanks again

mclemson's picture

When Initial Deployment works, is it selecting the same site server?  Or is a different one responding?  I suppose I'm wondering if you've confirmed that the site server in question has ever properly responded and loaded WinPE.

Is your server dedicated as an Altiris site server, or does it have other functions?

Is it properly listed as a PXE server at Settings > All Settings, Settings > Deployment and Migration > Symantec Boot Services (PXE) > PXE Server Configuration?

Mike Clemson, Senior Systems Engineer, ASC
Intuitive Technology Group -- Symantec Platinum Partner's picture

Yes.  That site server has definitely responded and loaded PE (we use it regularly to load our existing 64-bit image), but those stations are all unmanaged.

The server is the primary Notification server, but also hosts PXE.

The server is listed as a PXE server in PXE server at Settings > All Settings, Settings > Deployment and Migration > Symantec Boot Services (PXE) > PXE Server Configuration

mclemson's picture

Can you upload a screenshot of the job you're assigning manually vs. the job they pick from Initial Deployment menu if unmanaged?  I'm curious what's different.

Mike Clemson, Senior Systems Engineer, ASC
Intuitive Technology Group -- Symantec Platinum Partner's picture

Sure.  I've attached screenshots of the jobs and tasks we use.  They are as follows:

A screenshot of the overall job

A screenshot of the task that kicks off the reboot into PE

A screenshot of the task that's meant to image the PC after it's in PE

A screenshot of the task we use when kicking off an unmanaged job.

Thanks once again for all of your help.

job.png prepareforimagecapture.png Createimage.png Unmanaged.png
mclemson's picture

Job looks fine.  I guess the errored out Create Image are because they make it to Windows and try to run it there, where it fails.  I'm baffled as to why your PXE server responds only sometimes.  Do you have other PXE servers on this subnet?

Do you get other errors prior to PXE-M0F, such as 'No boot filename received' or 'Media test failure, check cable'?  Is a DHCP IP shown -- and is it your Notification Server's IP?

You could try 'Recreate Preboot Environment' from the Preboot Configurations page.  Click it once, don't click Save Changes, then update config on your NS and watch Task Manager for BootWiz.exe to run and then complete, then test again.

Mike Clemson, Senior Systems Engineer, ASC
Intuitive Technology Group -- Symantec Platinum Partner

SOLUTION's picture

No other messages, but I think I figured it out based on that.

Most of our unmanaged machines were booting into the 64-bit PE environment by default, so I changed the "Prepare for Image Capture"  job so that it would reboot into the 64-bit PE rather than the 32-bit one and it went right in.

Since this is just a one-time image recording task, it's no big deal if I load 32-bit Windows to a machine that's capable of running 64-bit Windows and then make the image from there.  Once the image is recorded, we can make sure that we only load 32-bit machines as unmanaged and we'll be able to deliver the image as expected.

Thanks again for all of the help.

Sally5432's picture

There was an issue with the 32 bit pre boots in MP1, not sure if that's the version you were on

See my post here & Cory's response

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