Planning for Media Operating System Deployments in Configuration Manager
Updated: May 14, 2015
You can use media to capture an operating system image from a reference computer or to deploy an operating system to a destination computer in your System Center 2012 Configuration Manager environment. The media that you create can be a CD, DVD set, or a USB flash drive.
Media is used mostly to deploy operating systems on destination computers that do not have a network connection or that have a low bandwidth connection to your Configuration Manager site. However, deployment media is also used to start an operating system deployment outside of an existing Windows operating system. This second use of deployment media is important for times when there is no operating system on the destination computer, the operating system is in a non-operable state, or the administrative user wants to repartition the hard disk on the destination computer.
Deployment media includes bootable media, stand-alone media, and prestaged media. The content of the deployment media varies, depending on what type of media that you use. For example, stand-alone media contains the task sequence that deploys the operating system while other types of media retrieve task sequences from the management point.
Capture media allows you to capture an operating system image from a reference computer. Capture media contains the boot image that starts the reference computer and the task sequence that captures the operating system image.
For information about how to create capture media, see the How to Create Capture Media section in the How to Deploy Operating Systems by Using Media in Configuration Manager topic.
Bootable media contains only the boot image, optional prestart commands and their required files, and Configuration Manager binaries. When the destination computer starts, it connects to the network and retrieves the task sequence, the operating system image, and any other required content from the network. Because the task sequence is not on the media, you can change the task sequence or content without having to recreate the media.
The packages on bootable media are not encrypted. The administrative user must take the appropriate security measures, such as adding a password to the media, to ensure that the package contents are secured from unauthorized users.
For information about how to create bootable media, see the How to Create Bootable Media section in the How to Deploy Operating Systems by Using Media in Configuration Manager topic.
Prestaged media allows you to prestage bootable media and an operating system image to a hard disk prior to the provisioning process. The prestaged media is a Windows Imaging Format (WIM) file that can be installed on a bare-metal computer by the manufacturer or at an enterprise staging center that is not connected to the Configuration Manager environment.
Prestaged media contains the boot image used to start the destination computer and the operating system image that is applied to the destination computer. The task sequence that deploys the operating system is not included in the media. Prestaged media is applied to the hard drive of a new computer before the computer is sent to the end user. When the computer starts for the first time after the prestaged media has been applied, the computer starts Windows PE and connects to a management point to locate the task sequence that completes the operating system deployment process.
The packages on prestaged media are not encrypted. The administrative user must take the appropriate security measures, such as adding a password to the media, to ensure that the package contents are secured from unauthorized users.
Starting in Configuration Manager SP1, you can also specify applications, packages, and driver packages to include as part of the prestaged media. When you deploy a task sequence that uses prestaged media, the wizard checks the local task sequence cache for valid content first, and if the content cannot be found or has been revised, the wizard downloads the content from the distribution point.
For information about how to create prestaged media, see the How to Create Prestaged Media section in the How to Deploy Operating Systems by Using Media in Configuration Manager topic.
Stand-alone media contains everything that is required to deploy the operating system. This includes the task sequence and any other required content. Because everything that is required to deploy the operating system is stored on the stand-alone media, the disk space required for stand-alone media is significantly larger than the disk space required for other types of media.
The following actions are not supported for stand-alone media:
Automatic application of device drivers from the driver catalog.
Installing software updates.
Installing software before deploying an operating system.
With System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 or earlier: Installing dependencies for applications that are specified as part of the task sequence is not supported. Beginning with System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager this is supported.
Associating users with the destination computer to support user device affinity.
Dynamic package installs via the Install Packages task.
Dynamic application installs via the Install Application task.
For information about how to create stand-alone media, see the How to Create Stand-alone Media section in the How to Deploy Operating Systems by Using Media in Configuration Manager topic.
The central administration site does not have the necessary client configuration policies that are required to enable the software distribution agent during the execution of the task sequence. When you create stand-alone media for a task sequence at the central administration site, and the task sequence includes an Install Package step, the following error might appear in the CreateTsMedia.log file:
“WMI method SMS_TaskSequencePackage.GetClientConfigPolicies failed (0x80041001)”
For stand-alone media that includes an Install Package step, you must create the stand-alone media at a primary site that has the software distribution agent enabled or add a Run Command Line step after the Setup Windows and ConfigMgr step and before the first Install Package step. The Run Command Line step runs a WMIC command to enable the software distribution agent before the first Install package step runs. You can use the following in your Run Command Line task sequence step:
Command Line: WMIC /namespace:\\root\ccm\policy\machine\requestedconfig path ccm_SoftwareDistributionClientConfig CREATE ComponentName="Enable SWDist", Enabled="true", LockSettings="TRUE", PolicySource="local", PolicyVersion="1.0", SiteSettingsKey="1" /NOINTERACTIVE
For more information about creating stand-alone media, see How to Create Stand-alone Media section in the How to Deploy Operating Systems by Using Media in Configuration Manager topic.
When your management point and distribution points are configured to use HTTPS communication, you must create boot media and prestaged media at a primary site, not the central administration site. Also, consider the following to help you determine whether to configure the media as dynamic or site-based:
To configure the media as dynamic media, all primary sites must have the root CA of the site from which you created the media. You can import the root CA to all primary sites in your hierarchy.
When primary sites in your Configuration Manager hierarchy use different root CAs, you must use site-based media at each site.