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Planning for Operating System Deployment Interoperability

Updated: November 1, 2012

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

When different Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager sites in a single hierarchy use different service pack versions, some Configuration Manager functionality is not available. Typically, functionality from the newer service pack version of Configuration Manager is not accessible at sites or by clients that run a lower service pack version. For more information, see Interoperability between Different Versions of Configuration Manager.

Consider the following when you upgrade the top-level site in your hierarchy and other sites in your hierarchy run Configuration Manager with no service pack:

  • Client installation package

    • The source for the default client installation package is automatically upgraded to the Configuration Manager SP1 version and all distribution points in the hierarchy are updated with the new client installation package, even on distribution points at sites in the hierarchy that have not yet been upgraded to SP1.

    • Clients that run SP1 cannot be assigned to sites that have not yet been upgraded to SP1. Assignment is blocked at the management point.

  • Boot images

    • When you upgrade the top-level site to Configuration Manager SP1, the default boot images (x86 and x64) are automatically updated to Windows ADK-based boot images, which use Windows PE 4. The files that are associated with the default boot images are updated with the Configuration Manager SP1 version of the files.

    • To prevent task sequences from failing, make sure that the version of the boot image corresponds to the version of the Configuration Manager client installation package that you configure in the task sequence. For example, a Windows AIK-based boot image that uses Windows PE 3 must correspond to the Configuration Manager with no service pack client installation package version. A Windows ADK-based boot image must correspond to the Configuration Manager SP1 client installation package version.

    • Avoid the use of dynamic media when your site hierarchy contains sites with different versions of Configuration Manager. Instead, use site-based media to contact a specific management point until all sites are upgraded to the same version of Configuration Manager.

    • You can import and use Windows AIK-based boot images only in a Configuration Manager site that does not have Service Pack 1 installed.

    • You can import and use Windows ADK-based boot images only in a Configuration Manager site that has Service Pack 1 installed.

While you are actively upgrading sites in your hierarchy from Configuration Manager with no service pack to Configuration Manager SP1, use the following sections to help you with operating system deployments.

When you upgrade a site to Configuration Manager SP1, task sequences that reference the default client installation package will automatically start to deploy the Configuration Manager SP1 client version. Task sequences that reference a custom client installation package will continue to deploy the version of the client that is contained in that custom package (likely the Configuration Manager with no service pack client version), and must be updated to avoid task sequence deployment failures. When you have a task sequence that is configured to use a custom client installation package, you must update the task sequence step to use the Configuration Manager SP1 version of the client installation package or update the custom package to use the Configuration Manager SP1 client installation source.

ImportantImportant
Do not deploy a task sequence that references the Configuration Manager SP1 client installation package to clients in a Configuration Manager with no service pack site. When clients assigned to a Configuration Manager with no service pack site are upgraded to the Configuration Manager SP1 client version, Configuration Manager blocks the assignment to the Configuration Manager with no service pack site. Therefore, the client is longer assigned to any site and will be unmanaged until you manually assign the client to a Configuration Manager SP1 site or reinstall the Configuration Manager with no service pack version of the client on the computer.

At Configuration Manager SP1 sites, deploy a task sequence that references a Windows ADK-based boot image, which you can only create or modify at a Configuration Manager SP1 site. Verify that the Configuration Manager SP1 boot images contain the desired customizations, and then update all distribution points in your Configuration Manager SP1 sites with the new boot images.

When you have upgraded your central administration site to Configuration Manager SP1, you must take the following steps to ensure that operating system deployment task sequences that you deploy to clients assigned to a Configuration Manager with no service pack site (not yet upgraded to Configuration Manager SP1) do not leave those clients in an unmanaged state.

  • Create a task sequence that you will use to deploy to clients only in a Configuration Manager with no service pack site. Likely, you will make a copy of a task sequence that you use to deploy to clients in a Configuration Manager SP1 site and then modify the task sequence so you can deploy it to clients in a Configuration Manager with no service pack site. Then, configure the task sequence to reference a custom client installation package that uses the Configuration Manager with no service pack client installation source. If you do not already have a custom client installation package that references the Configuration Manager with no service pack client installation source then you must manually create one.

  • Configuration Manager SP1 adds a deployment option to make task sequence deployments available to only media and PXE. This option is not recognized by Configuration Manager clients with no service pack. Therefore, those clients will still run any deployments that are configured to use this option as long as they are included in the collection that is targeted by the deployment. Avoid using this deployment option until you have upgraded all clients in your hierarchy to Configuration Manager SP1.

    ImportantImportant
    Failure to understand the implications of this interoperability consideration could result in data loss.

  • Deploy a task sequence that references a Windows AIK-based boot image at Configuration Manager with no service pack sites. You can only create or modify a Windows AIK-based boot image at a Configuration Manager with no service pack site. Verify that the Configuration Manager with no service pack boot images contain the desired customizations, and if required, update all distribution points in your Configuration Manager with no service pack sites with the manually updated boot images.

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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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