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How to Manage Boot Images in Configuration Manager

Updated: October 1, 2013

Applies To: System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

Use the procedures in this topic to manage the boot images in your System Center 2012 Configuration Manager environment. These images are used to boot the destination computer when you deploy an operating system.

Use the following sections to manage boot images:

Boot images in Configuration Manager with no service pack use Windows PE based on Windows 7 and are created by using Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK). Starting in Configuration Manager SP1, boot images use Windows PE based on Windows 8 and are created by using the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK). An error occurs when you try to add a boot image that was not created by using the appropriate tools. For example, in Configuration Manager SP1 you will encounter an error if you try to add an image that was created by using Windows AIK. Also, if you deploy a task sequence that uses boot images created by using Windows ADK to a site that continues to run Configuration Manager with no service pack, the task sequence will fail. For more information about boot images in a Configuration Manager hierarchy with sites that run both Configuration Manager SP1 and Configuration Manager with no service pack, see Planning for Operating System Deployment Interoperability

Each version of Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager supports boot images from specific versions of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) or the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK). During site installation, Configuration Manager automatically adds boot images that are based on a Windows PE version from the supported version of Windows AIK or Windows ADK. Depending on the version of Configuration Manager, you might be able to add boot images based on a different Windows PE version from the supported version of Windows AIK or Windows ADK. The following table provides a list of the Configuration Manager versions, the supported version of Windows AIK or Windows ADK, the Windows PE version of the boot image that Configuration Manager adds to the Configuration Manager console during site installation, and the Windows PE versions of boot images that you can add to the Configuration Manager console.

 

Configuration Manager version Windows AIK or Windows ADK Version Windows PE version of the boot image that Configuration Manager adds to the Configuration Manager console during site installation Windows PE versions of boot images that you can add to the Configuration Manager console

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager with no service pack

Windows AIK for Windows 7

Windows PE 3

none

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager with SP1

Windows ADK for Windows 8

Windows PE 4

none

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager with SP1 and cumulative update 2

Windows ADK for Windows 8

Windows PE 4

Windows PE 3.11

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager with SP1 and cumulative update 3

Windows ADK for Windows 8

Windows PE 4

Windows PE 3.11 and Windows PE 5

System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

Windows ADK for Windows 8.1

Windows PE 5

Windows PE 3.11

1 You can only add a boot image to Configuration Manager when it is based on Windows PE 3.1. Install the Windows AIK Supplement for Windows 7 SP1 to upgrade Windows AIK for Windows 7 (based on Windows PE 3) with the Windows AIK Supplement for Windows 7 SP1 (based on Windows PE 3.1). You can download Windows AIK Supplement for Windows 7 SP1 from the Microsoft Download Center.

To add a boot image, you must know the path to where the boot image file (.WIM file) is located. If the WIM file contains multiple boot images, you can select the boot image that you want to add from the WIM file.

Use the following procedure to add a boot image.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then click Boot Images.

  3. On the Home tab, in the Create group, click Add Boot Image to start the Add Boot Image Wizard.

  4. On the Data Source page, specify the following options, and then click Next.

    • In the Path box, specify the path to the boot image WIM file. Click Browse to locate a specific boot image file.

      The specified path must be a valid network path in the UNC format. For example: \\servername\<sharename>\bootimage.wim.

    • Select the required boot image from the Boot Image drop-down list. If the WIM file contains multiple boot images, each image is listed.

  5. On the General page, specify the following options, and then click Next.

    • In the Name box, specify a unique name for the boot image.

    • In the Version box, specify a version number for the boot image.

    • In the Comment box, specify a brief description of how the boot image is used.

  6. Complete the wizard.

The boot image is now listed in the Boot Image node of the Configuration Manager console. However, before you can use the boot image to deploy an operating system you must distribute the boot image to distribution points, distribution point groups, or to collections that are associated with distribution point groups.

noteNote
When you select the Boot Image node in the Configuration Manager console, the Size (KB) column displays the decompressed size for each boot image. However, when Configuration Manager sends a boot image over the network, it sends a compressed copy of the image, which is typically much smaller than the size listed in the Size (KB) column.

To distribute the boot image you must specify where the Configuration Manager client will access the boot image. You can specify single distribution points, distribution point groups, or collections that are associated with distribution point groups. For more information about distributing content in Configuration Manager, see Distribute Content on Distribution Points.

Use the following procedure to specify where the boot image is distributed.

  1. In the Boot Images node, select the boot image objects that you want to deploy.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Deployment group, click Distribute Content to start the Distribute Content Wizard.

  3. On the General page, in the Content box, select the boot image that you want to distribute, and then click Next.

  4. On the Content Destination page, click Add, and then select Collections, Distribution Point, or Distribution Point Group to display a list of the available collections that are associated with distribution point groups, distribution points, and distribution point groups.

  5. Select the collections, distribution points, and distribution point groups where the boot image will be distributed, and then click OK.

  6. Click Next.

  7. Complete the wizard.

You can modify the settings of the boot images that are listed under the Boot Image node. This includes the boot images that you create and the default boot images that are provided by Configuration Manager. These settings are configured by using the Properties page of the boot image object.

Many of the boot image settings are self-explanatory, such as the Name, Version, and Comment settings on the General tab of the Properties page. Use the following procedure to change the properties of a boot image.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Software Library.

  2. In the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then click Boot Images.

  3. Select the boot image that you want to modify.

  4. On the Home tab, in the Properties group, click Properties to open the Properties dialog box for the boot image.

  5. Set any of the following settings to change the behavior of the boot image:

    • On the Images tab, if you have changed the properties of the boot image by using an external tool, click Reload.

    • On the Drivers tab, add the Windows device drivers that are required to boot Windows PE. Consider the following when you add device drivers:

      • As a best practice, add only NIC and Mass Storage Drivers to the boot image unless there are requirements for other drivers to be part of Windows PE.

      • Because Windows PE already comes with many drivers built in, add only NIC and Mass Storage Drivers that are not supplied by Windows PE.

      • Make sure that the drivers that you add to the boot image are Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 drivers, and that they match the architecture of the boot image.

      noteNote
      You must import device drivers into the drivers catalog before you add them to a boot image. For information about how to import device drivers, see the How to Import Windows Device Drivers section in the How to Manage the Driver Catalog in Configuration Manager topic.

    • On the Customization tab, select any of the following settings:

      • Select the Enable Prestart Commands check box to specify a command to run before the task sequence is run. When prestart commands are enabled, you can then specify the command line that is run, whether support files are required to run the command, and the source location of those support files.

        TipTip
        Add cmd /c to the start of the command line to avoid the need to specify the exact location on the media for the prestart command files.

        TipTip
        During task sequence media creation, the task sequence writes the package ID and prestart command-line, including the value for any task sequence variables, to the CreateTSMedia.log log file on the computer that runs the Configuration Manager console. You can review this log file to verify the value for the task sequence variables.

      • Set the Windows PE Background settings to specify whether you want to use the default Windows PE background or a custom background.

      • Select the Enable command support (testing only) check box to open a command prompt by using the F8 key while the boot image is deployed. This is useful for troubleshooting while you are testing your deployment. Using this setting in a production deployment is not advised.

      • For System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 and System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager only:

        Configure the Windows PE scratch space, which is temporary storage (RAM drive) used by Windows PE. For example, when an application is run within Windows PE and needs to write temporary files, Windows PE redirects the files to the scratch space in memory to simulate the presence of a hard disk. By default, Windows PE allocates 32 megabytes (MB) of writeable memory.

    • On the Data Source tab, update any of the following settings:

      • Set the Image path and Image index boxes to change the source file of the boot image.

      • Select the Update distribution points on a schedule check box to create a schedule for when the boot image package is updated.

      • Select the Persist content in client cache check box if you do not want the content of this package to age out of the client cache to make room for other content.

      • Select the Enable binary differential replication check box to specify that only changed files are distributed when the boot image package is updated on the distribution point. This setting minimizes the network traffic between sites, especially when the boot image package is large and the changes are relatively small.

      • Select the Deploy this boot image from the PXE service point check box if the boot image is used in a PXE deployment.

        noteNote
        For more information about PXE deployments, see Planning for PXE-Initiated Operating System Deployments in Configuration Manager.

    • On the Data Access tab, select any of the following settings:

      • Set the Package share settings if you want clients to install the content in this package from the network.

      • Set the Package update settings to specify how you want Configuration Manager to disconnect users from the distribution point. Configuration Manager might be unable to update the boot image when users are connected to the distribution point.

    • On the Distribution Settings tab, select any of the following settings:

      • In the Distribution priority list, specify the priority level that you want Configuration Manager to use when multiple packages are distributed to the same distribution point.

      • Select the Distribute the content for this package to preferred distribution points check box if you want to enable on-demand content distribution to preferred distribution points. When this setting is enabled, the management point distributes the content to all preferred distribution points when a client requests the content for the package and the content is not available on any preferred distribution points.

        noteNote
        For more information about preferred distribution points and on-demand content, see the Planning for Preferred Distribution Points and Fallback section of the Planning for Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.

      • Set the Prestaged distribution point settings to specify how you want the boot image to be distributed to distribution points that are enabled for prestaged content.

        noteNote
        For more information about prestaged content, see the Prestage Content section of the Operations and Maintenance for Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.

    • On the Content Locations tab, select the distribution point or distribution point group and perform any of the following actions:

      • Click Redistribute to distribute the boot image to the selected distribution point or distribution point group again.

      • Click Validate to check the integrity of the boot image package on the selected distribution point or distribution point group.

    • For System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 and System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager only:

      On the Optional Components tab, specify the components that are added to Windows PE for use with Configuration Manager. For more information about available optional components, see the Building a Windows PE Image with Optional Components topic in the Windows 8 documentation library.

    • On the Security tab, select an administrative user and change the operations that they can perform.

  6. After you have configured the properties, click OK.

For System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 and System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager only:

In Configuration Manager with no service pack, while in Windows PE, text displayed by the task sequence is always in the language of Windows PE. To support multiple languages, you must create and deploy multiple boot images.

Starting in Configuration Manager SP1, boot images are language neutral. This allows you to use one boot image that will display the task sequence text in multiple languages, while in Windows PE, if you include the appropriate language support from the Windows PE Optional Components and set the appropriate task sequence variable to indicate which language can be displayed. The language of the operating system that you deploy is independent from the language that is displayed when in Windows PE, regardless of the Configuration Manager version. The language that is displayed to the user is determined as follows:

  • When a user runs the task sequence from an existing operating system, Configuration Manager automatically uses the language configured for the user. When the task sequence automatically runs as the result of a mandatory deployment deadline, Configuration Manager uses the language of the operating system.

  • For operating system deployments that use PXE or media, you can set the language ID value in the SMSTSLanguageFolder variable as part of a prestart command. When the computer boots to Windows PE, messages are displayed in the language that you specified in the variable. If there is an error accessing the language resource file in the specified folder or you do not set the variable, messages are displayed in the Windows PE language.

    noteNote
    When the media is protected with a password, the text that prompts the user for the password is always displayed in the Windows PE language.

Use the following procedure to set the Windows PE language for PXE or media-initiated operating system deployments.

  1. Verify that the appropriate task sequence resource file (tsres.dll) is in the corresponding language folder on site server before you update the boot image. For example, the English resource file is in the following location: <ConfigMgrInstallationFolder>\OSD\bin\x64\00000409\tsres.dll.

  2. As part of your prestart command, set the SMSTSLanguageFolder environment variable to the appropriate language ID. The language ID must be specified by using decimal and not hexadecimal. For example, to set the language ID to English, you would specify a decimal value of 1033 instead of the hexadecimal value of 00000409 used for the folder name.

In addition to adding boot images and specifying where they can be distributed, you can perform the actions on the boot images listed in the Boot Image list. These actions include the following:

 

Action Description

Delete

Removes the image from the Boot Image node and also removes the image from the associated distribution points.

Update Distribution Points

Starts the Update Distribution Points Wizard. This action updates the boot image on the distribution points where it has been distributed. The package version is incremented and the distribution points are updated with only the files that have changed in the package.

Create Prestaged Content File

Starts the Create Prestaged Content File Wizard to prestage the boot image content. For information about how to create a prestaged content file, see the Prestage Content section in the Operations and Maintenance for Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.

Manage Access Accounts

Opens the Manage Access Accounts dialog box where you can add an access account to a boot image, edit the access rights for an account, or remove an access account from a boot image.

For more information about the Package Access Account, see Technical Reference for Accounts Used in Configuration Manager.

Move

Moves the boot image to another folder.

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For additional resources, see Information and Support for Configuration Manager.

Tip: Use this query to find online documentation in the TechNet Library for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. For instructions and examples, see Search the Configuration Manager Documentation Library.
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