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New Computers in DS 7.1

Created: 17 Aug 2011 • Updated: 17 Aug 2011 | 14 comments

Hey all

I'm intersted in hearing how people deploy images to new computers that aren't known to DS 7.1. I know there's the Predefined Computers route, but I've not had much luck with that so far. And I'm using DS 7.1 and CMS 7.0 which doesn't seem to have the PXE option to respond to predefined computers.

I've come from a DS 6.9 environment where I used to right-click on a computer group, add the computer name and MAC address of the new computer and then drag and drop an image job to it. I would then switch it on (when WOL wasn't working!), it would PXE boot (set first int he boot order), deploy the image, join the domain with the computer name I specified above and start installing the relevant apps via the NS (in a nutshell!). Apart from configuring the BIOS the computer was not switched on until an image was deployed. It all seemed to work well.

I'm a little stuck as to how to achieve the same sort of process in 7.1.

Any help would be really appreciated.

Thanks is advanced.

Ollie

Comments 14 CommentsJump to latest comment

Sally5432's picture

We are very happy with the initial deployment options in 7.1 - that's what we use.  Techs can choose from multiple jobs.

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olliegee's picture

Hey Sally

I haven't given up on Initial Deployment yet! But how do you handle the hostname? I assume it will give it a 'MININT-xxxxxxx' name. Do you then change it once it's joined to the domain? I'm trying to avoid that. I want to get it built, out of the box, with the correct hostname.

Thanks for you help.

Ollie

Sally5432's picture

While in automation, we use the sample (download needed) token to rename to serial number.  We leave machines named as serial number and join them to domain as last part of intiial deploy job (after adding software).  This works for us as we only have about 1000 clients.

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BugTastic's picture

I haven't used 'Pre-defined' function as yet as I think its a bit of a mess. I dont understand why a new computer object cant be created with the mac address of the new machine. When it boots up then it applies any jobs assinged. At the moment I use a custom sysprep that leaves the hostname blank - thats all the interaction required at the console. It then deploys the image runs a couple of scripts then adds to the domain. I then have a seperate job for installing drives and any software.

olliegee's picture

I know what you mean. I like your solution as it's cleaner than renaming a computer after joining it to the domain, but if you're re-imaging a computer already known to the DS I assume you'll need to enter the hostname again. 

I wrote a vbscript that prompted you for a new hostname if the current name was detected to be in the format 'MININT-xxxxxxx' and scheduled it to run as soon as the machine booted into WinPE, but for some reason it doesn't... 

I think the 'Respond to predefined computers' PXE option in DS/CMS 7.1 will do the trick, but until then I'm on the hunt for a nice (6.9-esq!) way of doing it!

Oh, and a lot of the trouble I'm having with predefined computers is fixed in MR4. Whenever I tried importing a single computer it would say 'no computers to import'. There's a bug where for some reason it ignores the first line of the CSV file! Thought I'd mention it in case it helps anyone.

The hunt continues!

Thanks Joe

Ollie

BugTastic's picture

I have 2 jobs. New build, and rebuild. The rebuild doesn't use sysprep but builds from inventory info. No need to enter hostname or any other interaction. Unfortunately it doesn't restore regional settings (UK) only USA which which is a pain. I can show you screenshots of my jobs if it helps.

olliegee's picture

Thanks for the offer Joe. I may have to look at going down the the two jobs route - one with the computername token in the sysprep file and one without. But there must be a way of doing what I used to do! 

Thanks again.

Ollie

DustinW's picture

Ollie - just use the sample CSV file that comes with DS. Leave the rem'd out lines and use the next. I import single computers regularly without a hitch. (And, yes, I too hate using the CSV file.) Has anyone been able to import a PC with domain info, like you could in DS 6.9? My domain info won't take; it always assigns the domain name as a workgroup name instead.

If you dislike the MININT names on the domain, you could have a Config task at the end of your imaging job that uses the auto-naming function to give it a name like "ITNEWPC1-10", etc. No more meaning to the name than MININT, but at least it's a little more user friendly.

olliegee's picture

I've managed to get the CSV import working, but without the 'respond to predefined computers' PXE option there's no way of imaging them with the name you specify in the import. 

Running a config task to give it another random name isn't really what I'm looking for... We have a very strict naming policy imposed by the IT Security department so joining computers with random hostnames to the domain isn't an option. True, they could be changed afterwards, but (personally) I don't like the idea of doing that and I'd like to keep it clean and hands-off.

Hopefully I'll find a method that will do similar to 6.9.

R Gines's picture

2 points here

1 - The very recently MR for DS 7.1 SP1a (released on 8/15), provides an option for using any token in the Apply System Configuration which means you can now use Serial number for the computer name. It also allows you to use any token.

2 - Our next release for DS, due out in Q1 CY 2012, will add in functionality that isin 6.9 whereby any data you provide in the import file will actually be used in system configuration because it'll be imported into the computer resource and that's where our configuration data for a system comes from. We'll also be adding in a right-click, new computer function in the console that should behave like what you have in 6.9 today.

Sally5432's picture

Rick, thanks for posting this.  Can you point me in the right direction for what else was included in the 8/15 release?  Thanks.

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DanC@BYU's picture

Hi is there a link to the release notes? Were there any PXE enhancements in the MR1 release?

olliegee's picture

Hey Rick

Point 2 is exactly what I'm looking for. It's nice to know it'll be in a future release. Thanks for the information.

Ollie