One thing I found over the years at Microsoft was when setting up a test system that is physical hardware it is best to do a clean install, thus using WDS.
The info below was used as part of the Automation system I developed while at the Microsoft Enterprise Engineering Center. By using WDS with the automation system we were able to simply click on a server in the UI and select Image. This would then kick off the OS Imaging workflow.
- Power Server off (via Raritan Switched PDUs and SNMP)
- Move Network interfaces for server into correct Vlan (via Network Vlan plugin system)
- Set Active Directory Attributes below for WDS
- Set KVM interface Name (via Raritan Command Center APIs)
- Power Server ON (via Raritan Switches PDUs)
- No image to maintain for each model
- No images to patch each month
- System is clean and pure
- Bases (install) images are easy to setup (just need the .WIM from the CD)
- Does not require agents to be installed on everything
- Allows for an easy system audit script to be run at the same time
- Don't have to worry about a "safe OS" being installed on some drive
I am not going to go into detail on how to setup WDS or add boot or install images. This is well documented on MSDN. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj648426.aspx.
I don't recommend using Stand-alone mode if you need a system that needs some resiliency. The AD integrated option works the best!
A few requirements
- WDS is setup with a boot and install image (and you know the names(
- You have a computer object created with the UUID (netbootGuid) property set
- netbootMachineFilePath - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753134(v=WS.10).aspx
- netbootMirrorDataFile - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd871382.aspx
netbootMachineFilePathThis attribute specifies what PXE client should be used when the computer boots. You can use wdsutil /Set-Device /Device:<name> /BootProgram:<path> to set this.
3 common values
- <WDS Server FQDN>\boot\x86\pxeboot.n12 - Tells the PXE client to NOT required F12. If you used the N12 option be sure to run "wdsutil /set-server /resetbootprogram:yes" on the WDS server. If you don't the clients will always be in reboot loop.
- <WDS Server FQDN>\boot\x86\abortpxe.com - Tells the PXE client to abort any PXE boot attempt on that NIC and move to next device in boot order
- <WDS Server FQDN>\boot\x86\pxeboot.com - Tells PXE to request the user to push F12. Will move to next boot device if they don't.
This attribute holds the following items for a ZERO Touch deployment.
- What boot file (WIM) to use - BootImagePath
- Path to unattend XML file (provides path to install WIM) - WdsUnattendFilePath
- If you want the computer joined to the domain - JoinDomain
Example: to use boot image foo, unattend bar and NOT join the domain
Note the trailing ;. See http://www.mikepoulson.com/2013/08/bindlsvc-error-522-from-wds.html for more info.
These items can also be set by running the following WDSUtil commands
- WDSUTIL /Set-Device /Device:<name> /WDSClientUnattend:<path>
- WDSUTIL /Set-Device /Device:<name> /BootImagePath:<path>
- WDSUTIL /Set-Device /Device:<name> /JoinDomain:No