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About Creating the Operating System Deployment Packages

Updated: April 1, 2012

Applies To: System Center Configuration Manager 2007, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2

Several Configuration Manager 2007 packages must be created to support the building of a reference computer and the deployment of an operating system image to a target computer.

Building a reference computer:

  • Operating system installation package

  • Configuration Manager 2007 client installation package

  • Sysprep package

  • Driver packages

  • Other Packages

Deploying an image to a target computer:

  • Configuration Manager 2007 client installation package

  • USMT packages

  • Other Packages

  • Operating system image package

Building a reference computer

These packages support the building of a reference computer.

Operating System Installation Package

The Operating System Installation Package must contain all the files necessary to install the desired Windows operating system on a reference computer. For example, this package might contain all of the reference files found on theWindows XP Professional installation CD (not just the files in the i386 folder) because the installation must be run unattended. You create this package as you would any other Configuration Manager 2007 package. This package does not require a program. The task sequence will reference the source files as needed.

Sysprep Package

Sysprep is a Windows system preparation tool that facilitates image creation, and the preparation of an image for deployment to multiple destination computers. If the operating system version you are running is Windows Vista, Sysprep is already available on the computer and you do not need to specify a package. If the operating system version you are running is Windows XP or earlier, you must specify a package that contains the version of Sysprep and all its support files (no subfolders) appropriate for that operating system version. This package does not require a program. Operating System Deployment uses the Sysprep files contained in the package.

For more information about using Sysprep, see the Sysprep documentation for the version of Sysprep that supports the version of the operating system running on the Reference computer.

Driver Package

If the reference computer requires device drivers that are not included with the operating system, you must create the packages that contain the necessary Windows drivers to support hardware on the reference computer. Typically, a manufacturer supplies an INF file and other supporting files for a device driver, and sometimes an installation script as well. You should refer to the documentation supplied by the manufacturer of the device driver to ensure that you create a package that includes all supporting files.

Operating System Deployment supports two kinds of device drivers:

  • Auto Apply Drivers - Auto Apply Drivers to specify the categories that should be made available during Windows setup

  • Apply Driver Package - to specify a package that has all the drivers that should be deployed.

One way to organization driver packages is to create a single package for each computer make and model that has each device driver stored in its own folder.

For example:

\GX240_Drivers

\NetworkInterfaceDrivers

\Intel1000

\Broadcom

\VideoDrivers

\ATI

\AudioDrivers

\SBPro

ImportantImportant
The path string that the task sequence appends cannot be longer than 4 KB in length for computers running the Windows XP and Windows 2003 operating systems, and 2 KB for computers running the Windows 2000 operating system. You can find the path in the OEMPNPDRIVERS PATH variable in the Sysprep.inf file.

Deploying an image to a target computer

These packages support the operating system image deployed to a target computer.

Configuration Manager 2007 Client Installation Package

Since every operating system deployment installs the Configuration Manager 2007 client, you need to create a Configuration Manager 2007 package to install the Configuration Manager 2007 client. You can use the package definition file included with Configuration Manager 2007 for the Configuration Manager 2007 client Upgrade. This package should have as its source location: <ConfigMgrInstallationPath> \ Client. Assign the package to the appropriate distribution point(s). Do not create a program for this package.

USMT Package

If you are migrating user state from one desktop to another, then you should use USMT as your migration tool.

USMT 3.0 supports the capture of user settings (known as scan state) from computers running the Windows 2000 operating system or later, and the restore of user settings (known as load state) on computers running the Windows XP or Windows Vista operating systems.

USMT 2.61 supports the capture of user settings (known as scan state) from computers running the Windows 9x operating system or later, and the restore of user settings (known as load state) on computers running the Windows 2000 or later operating systems.

You can download USMT from the Microsoft Download Center site.

Use Configuration Manager 2007 to create a package that contains the appropriate version of USMT to run on the computer. Include the contents of the USMT BIN folder (c:\USMT\bin). A package program is not required. Distribute the package to the appropriate distribution point(s). When the task sequence step is run, the task sequence will look for and use the appropriate version of USMT in the package you specify. Include the configuration files (.INF) as part of the USMT package. Refer to the documentation for USMT for configuration information.

Other Packages

These packages can support both the reference computer and the target computer depending on your need. You can install all software applications that you would like to include in the image you are deploying to a collection of one or more destination computers using a task sequence. You must create a Configuration Manager 2007 package that can successfully install the application on the targeted computer, and reference that package using the Install Software task sequence step.

The program you select must meet the following criteria:

  • It must run under the local system account and not the user account.

  • It should not interact with the desktop. The program must run silently or in an unattended mode.

  • It must not initiate a reboot on its own. The program must request a reboot using a 3010 return code. This ensures that the task sequence step will properly handle the reboot.

ImportantImportant
Configuration Manager 2007 software programs that use the Run another program first option to install a dependent program as part of the package are not supported by operating system deployment. If Run another program first is enabled for a program, and the other program has already been run on the target computer, the task sequence step will complete successfully. However, if the other program has not already been run on the target computer, the task sequence step will fail.

Task sequences sometimes reference packages that contain required files and programs to be used or run on a target computer, for example, the Package option for the Run Command Line task sequence step. When you specify files or programs on the Command line field for this task sequence step that are not already present on the target computer, the Package option specifies the Configuration Manager 2007 package that contains the appropriate files. However, this package does not require a program. When the task sequence step is run, the task sequence will look for and use the appropriate files in the package you specify.

You do not need to create a separate package for each file used in this way. In fact, it is recommended that you create one package that contains all the files you might need to use when running a task sequence on a target computer, and then referencing this package when a specific file is required in a task step. The task sequence step will simply look for the appropriate file in whatever package you specify.

See Also

For additional information, see Configuration Manager 2007 Information and Support.
To contact the documentation team, email SMSdocs@microsoft.com.
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