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Windows 8 Imaging Support under DS 6.9

Created: 11 Dec 2012 • Updated: 04 Jan 2013 | 7 comments
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I was just wondering if anyone on these forums had any insight into whether or not Symantec had any plans to support Imaging windows 8 under DS 6.9? I need to have a serious think about whether I need to plan for a move to 7.1 or in fact move away from Altiris altogether.

Thanks in advance for any replies.


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BBC's picture

Hi Laurence,

It really depends on what you mean with imaging, but generally speaking, it can be done. I do that already, but also have to say that I do NOT use Sysprep images and that for the very good reason that you can see tons of issues when deploying Sysprep images with Win7 or Win8. If you run a silent install of the OS you do not see such issues - at least I have never !

And yes, I use 6.9 SP4 as production environment. Very much similar to Windows 7 deployment...


LShackleton's picture

Yeah my intention is to use sysprepped images - rather than create problems for me it solves a lot. "Flat" images would break my current driver injection system for one thing and that's not an option. This post is about when it's on Symantec's roadmap - they should have been preparing from the very first windows 8 beta release and it's been RTM for a very long time now.

If I wasn't using sysprepped images and driver injection on the fly I could just use the imaging system I hacked together about 12 years ago based on PQDI and floppy disks (still pulling images from the network - and later converted to use USB!). It would actually be quicker than using PXE boot anyway.

I appreciate your taking the time to answer though.

SharkSmart's picture

We can really only speculate as Symantec are notorious for not responding to this sort of thing in the forums.  Speculating is fun though so heres my thoughts 8-)

Windows 8 was released for general availability on the 26th of October 2012.  Symantec usually state ITMS will support new operating systems within 90 days.  So in theory we should see something that supports WIndows 8 by the 24th of January.

As I recall, Windows 8 support was supposed to appear in ITMS 7.5 (including the long promised DS7.5 that actually comes close to DS6.9 in features) - which seems to have been delayed by any unknown amount of time due to quality issues.  I've been told that they are now looking at Windows 8 support in ITMS 7.1 because of these delays.

Will that support include DS7.1 imaging of Windows 8?  Probably but using some sort of work-around using WinPE2.1.

Will DS6.9 get full WinPE4 and Windows 8 support?

Don't hold your breath.

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dsmith1954's picture

Symantec has been trying to kill off DS 6.9 since acquiring Altiris. When they finally do that, we'll be leaving Symantec for another product.

On my soapbox about web apps:

IMHO, web-based apps flat out suck.

  1. Error checking is not usually a strong point of web apps, so when you try to do something and there is an error, the browser just stares back at you with no indication of what's wrong.
  2. Web apps usually program to the flaws in either the browser, Flash or Silverlight, so they generally break every time Flash or Silverlight is patched, or whenever there is a patch or upgrade to the browser.
  3. Because of the point above about security patches, vendors usually recommend removing security patches to fix their problem. Seriously? Open the company network to vulnerabilities just so their app will run? I don't think so.
  4. Web apps are usually tied to a specific browser, or version of a browser, specific version of Flash, and/or specific version of Silverlight. Once you get enough web apps going in a company, you can be up a creek without a paddle real quick because you could have different apps that require different versions of browsers, and we all know how that works. App virtualization can solve that, but to me, that's just a patch for bad programming.
  5. Don't get me started on Java. Java sucks more than normal web apps. Any app that's based upon Java gets thumbs down in my book. Some Java programmers develop their apps for specific versions of Java, so you have the same issue as in #2-4 above. We have apps that require unsupported versions of Java, and every patch/upgrade to Java break those apps.
  6. Sloooooow. Most web apps are extremely slow. All processing for the application (compiliation of the code) is done on the PC and this can be extremely slow. Compiled applications are usually much faster.
  7. Some web apps, such as Symantec Enterprise Protection, use both IIS and Apache to run the app. You never know where to go to do your troubleshooting - IIS or Apache. Most IIS settings are easy to configure. Apache settings are in multiple .config files scattered over several different folders. It can be a nightmare trying to troubleshoot problems on something like that.
  8. SEP is one of those apps that requires a specific version of Java. When we upgraded our SEP console to the latest version, it required an upgrade to Java, so it just naturally broke other apps.

If vendors could ever get web apps to function as well as Win32 apps, then I might be sold. But so far, none that I've ever run across come close.

Off my soapbox...

You might try upgrading your DS to SP5 MR1. You might have better success. The only problem we have with our Windows 7 deployments is that the PCs don't always join the domain. We add a simple Config task right after the image deployment to take care of that. Remote control is a pain because someone always has to be logged on to the Windows 7 PC, but that is the way Audit wants it anyway so it isn't that big an issue.

Sally5432's picture

The 7.1 web app is slower than the 6.x console - but I always patch IE/ silverlight / flash / java and have never had problems with the Symantec web app.  It's not so slow it's unusable, it's waiting a few seconds between a click sometimes where there was no wait in 6.x.  I always felt the 6.x console install was not as straight forward as it could've been - and I don't miss having to walk our level 1 techs through it.

Remote control in 7.1 is solid - with good reporting of who connected to what which is a requirement for us.  We didn't have that in 6.x.  Also the techs can't change the remote control setting to prompt users which was an easy checkbox in 6.x.

I don't miss the console - but I would probably feel differently if I managed thousands of PCs instead of ~600.

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Andrew Bosch's picture

Windows 8 imaging support is coming to DS 6.9, I do know that.  As far as specific release dates, I do not know.

Sr. Principal SQA Engineer