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Troubleshooting Operating System Image Deployment Using USB Devices

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

When trying to deploy Windows via Configuration Manager 2007 operating system deployment with boot media located on a USB drive, you receive an error message.

When trying to deploy Windows via Configuration Manager 2007 boot media located on a USB drive, you receive the following error message:

"Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware. Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your reference manuals for additional information."

This is caused when the BOOT.INI file that is used by Windows to determine the correct boot device is written incorrectly and shows the USB device as the boot device. When the computer is rebooted and the USB device is removed, Windows cannot find the boot device and stops with the error message above. This is because when the BOOT.INI order is determined, Windows detects the USB device and shows it first in the boot order. Since the USB drive cannot be removed until the machine has rebooted into the new operating system, the USB drive cannot be removed prior to the BOOT.INI file creation to ensure the correct order.

This issue can be resolved by causing the Windows preinstallation environment (WinPE) boot process to be done from the hard drive prior to completing the operating system configuration and attempting to reboot to the final operating system. This is done by including a task sequence step to reboot the machine into WinPE. This step will write WinPE from the USB drive to the hard drive and then set that location as the boot location. When the machine reboots, it boots to the hard drive from that point forward. The following steps demonstrate how to enable this step.

noteNote
When you create a task sequence using the New Task Sequence Wizard, it inserts a step named Restart in Windows PE as the first step in the sequence. This step ensures that the task sequence is being started in WinPE. If the target machine is already running Windows and is managed by Configuration Manager 2007, this task will begin running on the machine, load WinPE on the hard drive, and reboot the machine to WinPE. If the target machine is being booted to a USB drive, the boot operating system is already WinPE, and the condition assigned to the step (“_SMSTSInWinPE equals ‘false’ “) causes this step to be skipped and the task sequence continues to be run from the USB device. Adding an additional condition to the step will allow the system to load WinPE from the USB device to the hard drive and reboot to the hard drive.

How to Create the Task Sequence Step Without Using the Task Sequence Wizard

To create the task sequence step without using the Task Sequence Wizard

  1. If you did not create the task sequence via the wizard or you have deleted the Restart in Windows PE step, you can create one by doing the following:

    1. Within your desired task sequence, select the first step in the task sequence and then click Add > General > Restart Computer. This adds the new step after the selected step. Click the Move Up toolbar button to move this step to the top of the list.

    2. Click the Options tab, and then click Add Condition > Task Sequence Variable.

  2. In the Task Sequence Variable dialog, enter _SMSTSInWinPE in the Variable box.

  3. Select equals from the Condition drop down box.

  4. Enter false in the Value box.

  5. Click OK to display the new condition.

  6. Click Apply or OK to save the new step.

To Add the Additional Condition to the Task Sequence Step

To Add the Additional Condition to the Task Sequence Step

  1. Select the Restart in Windows PE step (or the name of the step created in the preceding procedure).

  2. Click the Options tab, and then click Add Condition > Task Sequence Variable.

  3. In the Task Sequence Variable dialog, enter _SMSTSLaunchMode in the Variable box.

  4. Select equals from the Condition drop down box.

  5. Enter UFD in the Value box.

  6. Click OK.

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