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Is it possible to apply a specific computer name before deploying with DS 7.1?

Created: 13 Apr 2012 | 15 comments
NHH's picture

Hi

Our DS have recently been upgraded from DS 6.9 to 7.1. In the old version I was able to “modify configuration”, type in a computer name and then start the deploy job. Right now I have 2 deploy jobs: Windows XP x86 and Windows 7 x64. In my answer files (sysprep.ini and unattend.xml) ComputerName is set to an asterisk (*) so a random computer name is generated. That means I need to rename the computer every time. How do I manage this in 7.1?

Kind regards,

Nick Holm

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jpellet2's picture

Nick, are the machines that you're imaging new machines or are they existing machines? Are you usinc PXE and if so is it winPE? Finally, if the machines are new, are you looking for a completely automated system or will someone be in the area when the new machine(s) are being imaged?

I have a couple of ideas and an example of what we do but getting some answers from you might help me tailor my answer a bit.

NHH's picture

Hi there

Thank you for your reply.

Currently I'm only able to install on existing machines. DS aren't configurated to handle new ones. Yes I'm using PXE and WinPE. Some installations will be on remote locations.

Kind regards,

Nick Holm

jpellet2's picture

Well, that's good....at least its WinPE and PXE! What we have done, because of the current limitations of being able to add new computers without a MAC address, and due to storage issues, is to break the Deploy Image task apart and create a job manually. Basically we have a job that, when a machine PXE boots because it isn't known to the console we run a vbscript that asks for and captures the name of the computer and then grabs the unattend file and replaces the computer name token inside of it and temporarliy places this on the RAM drive (X:). We then deploy the image using ghost, install the deployAnywhere drivers and just before the machine reboots to production we copy the modified unattend file back to the correct location on the production volume. Once rebooted and the machine runs through mini-setup the computer name will be correct and you're off and running!

This actually works quite well for us so far.

Zac H's picture

If you use tokens, doesn't 7.1 do all that unattended copying natively?

bsorgdrager's picture

jPellet2, I am looking at doing EXACTLY what you are doing but I cannot figure out what's involved by just your comments above. Could you provide examples of the scripts you used? For one I cannot figure out where you pulled the unattend.xml file from before replacing the computername token. Saving that temporarily to the X: drive is pretty straight forward. I also very interested in the script that prompts for your computer name.

jpellet2's picture

It does however its all built-in to the same job. In order to launch the custom script we found that we needed to break the built-in Deploy Image job apart and manually re-create the tasks and thus the job so that we could include the naming. We also don't store the images on the NS so we had to do this anyway to use Ghost to call the image from a different storage point.

NHH's picture

Hi again

Thank you for your input.

I am disappointed that DS 7.1 doesn't include a naming option in the Deploy image task. I think your solution is a bit too advanced but can you show me screenshots of your deploy job?

Kind regards,

Nick Holm

Zac H's picture

Are these computers just being reimaged, meaning the name is already known to the NS?  If so, there is an option in the Deploy Image task to use inventory data in the sysprep file to keep the name.

If these are new computers, and is being kicked off manually, you could always use a quick vbscript after the initial deployment screen to prompt for a computer name.

NHH's picture

Hi Zac

Some are new and some are known to the NS:

New machines are added though "Pre-DefinedComputers" process. Here we type in Name, MAC Address and Serial Number. The machine is then added to a image deploy job but during the installation it's beeing renamed because ComputerName is set to an asterisk (*) in the answer files. This I would like to overrule with some sort of a task.

When a known machine is getting re-installed it sometimes needs to be renamed and here I would also like to set the computername before deploying.

Since we have many machines on our network not part of NS (special instrument machines and others) I don't think Initial Deployment is such a good idea.

Kind regards,

Nick Holm

BugTastic's picture

What I do is leave computername blank in a custom sysprep file. That way on reboot you are prompted for the computername. enter it. Hit the enter key and it continues on its way.

Joe.

nessaja's picture

HI

I using a vb script to change the computername.
One of the first tasks after Deploying an OS (scripted INstallation) is the "change Computername".

This is the best solution for me. The problem with "minint" exist only with new (unkown) systems.
So I can work with this trick until deployment 7.5 will be released ;)

regards

BugTastic's picture

why? whats new in deployement 7.5.

At the moment, If I have a machine thats hard disk go faulty and replace it. Its a pain to get this build. I know how to do it but there shoul be a simple process for this. 7.5 better be good.....Or ithink too many people will start to gravitate towards SCCM...just my opinion.

p.s. still running ver 7.0

Joe

nessaja's picture

Hi joe,
the functionality of DS 7.5 should be nearly the same like 6.9.
You can rename computers before deploy them, like DS 6.9.
The most of the missing features from DS 6.9 should be implemented in DS 7.5. For now, it isn't officially released (comes up in september / october).
We have to wait.
 

NBU_NEWBIE's picture

hi nessaja

Could you please share the renaming script? I am trying to achieve the same in DS6.9 SP5 setup.

Thanks

MK

nessaja's picture

Hi, this is a normal VB script. I use it in WinXP and Win7 environments.

AttachmentSize
Change_Compname_Win7.7z 718 bytes