12 Replies Latest reply on Apr 11, 2008 8:23 AM by CarstenW

    WinPE Boot CD for OSD?

    Apprentice

       

      Is it possible to create a boot CD to replicate the PXE enviornment? I have some machines that are not PXE capable that I would like to use with OSD without having to install an agent on them first.

       

       

      Thanks.

       

       

        • 1. Re: WinPE Boot CD for OSD?
          Leon SupportEmployee

          With Provisioning you can easily create boot media for USB, CD and ISO types. For OSD I know somes are doing that but you need to follow some steps.

          • 2. Re: WinPE Boot CD for OSD?
            phoffmann SupportEmployee

            You don't NEED to install an agent first to use OSD - you can PXE boot any client (and we'll send in a mini-scan) and OSD it from a PXE Boot-menu without ever having had a LANDesk agent installed prior to this.

             

            As for a CD - as Leon hinted, you CAN do it, but it's a very considerable amount of work, and no small amount of pseudo-hacking involved, since OSD is so far not designed to be run from CD. You can use Provisioning for that (again - as Leon pointed out) if you do want to go with a CD.

             

            But again, I don't see why a PXE Boot menu won't do the trick (since that doesn't require any kind of agent - it just helps having a client in inventory already).

             

            Paul Hoffmann

            LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead.

            • 3. Re: WinPE Boot CD for OSD?
              ahe Expert

               

              Hello Paul,

               

               

              sorry, but there exist some machines without PXE functionality. They can't start with PXE!

               

               

              Another point is that not every site in bigger companies has a own PXE server, so they use installation DVD's for their standard client installations...

              We use a Win98/DOS based DVD to install our clients on site with no PXE (and actual no LANDesk). All other use PXE (WinPE or own Linux PXE boot).

               

               

              We would prefer a WinPE installation DVD too (it's much more faster than DOS).

               

               

              Can I create a standalone provisioning DVD for client installation (no connect to core possible...)? We ask LANDesk some weeks ago and they say: NO, it's not possible...!

               

               

               

              Regards

              Axel

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

              • 4. Re: WinPE Boot CD for OSD?
                Apprentice
                phoffmann wrote:

                You don't NEED to install an agent first to use OSD - you can PXE boot any client (and we'll send in a mini-scan) and OSD it from a PXE Boot-menu without ever having had a LANDesk agent installed prior to this.

                 

                As for a CD - as Leon hinted, you CAN do it, but it's a very considerable amount of work, and no small amount of pseudo-hacking involved, since OSD is so far not designed to be run from CD. You can use Provisioning for that (again - as Leon pointed out) if you do want to go with a CD.

                 

                But again, I don't see why a PXE Boot menu won't do the trick (since that doesn't require any kind of agent - it just helps having a client in inventory already).Thanks Paul, but as I mentioned, this is for machines that are not PXE capable.

                I have a large number of GX270's that I would like to use to replace some even older machines (higher ed. We recycle a lot )

                • 5. Re: WinPE Boot CD for OSD?
                  phoffmann SupportEmployee

                  Provisioning requires contact to the Core (at least through the proxy) - so no, this won't work.

                   

                  There's a chance you could dirty-hack something together, but this would be (a) a very ugly hack and (b) utterly unsupported, so I'm not going to really go down much that route.

                   

                  Essentially, pretty much the best part of LANDesk OSD and Provisioning expects you to have networking - contact to a PXE Proxy, contact to the Core - whereas it sounds like you need to go back to very much "non-networking" environments.

                   

                  Clients that don't have PXE ... I can only think of older servers really that don't have it (Server NIC's didn't used to have boot PROM's) - but anything made in the last couple of years has got some PXE capability. Even if it doesn't, all it takes is for you to shove (temporarily) a PCI-NIC into the system, and you have PXE. Depending on how many systems you're talking about, this may be CONSIDERABLY easier than trying to cobble together an OSD-"standalone" CD.

                   

                  That's possible to do, but will require a very considerable amount of work (and pretty much the only things "LANDesk" in it would be the image - the rest would be an automated script by you to perform stuff in a set order).

                   

                  So, to recap...

                   

                  ... provisioning "standalone" ... the more I think about it, the more of a "no go" this is. You NEED some kind of network connectivity here (but you can use bootable media - that doesn't require PXE). You just need to be able to talk to your Core.

                   

                  ... OSD "standalone" - more doable, but would involve quite a bit of dirty hacking, and here I'd strongly advise you to talk to your ESP for options. This is consulting work, and far beyond the lines of normal support (so LANDesk support cannot help you here).

                   

                  "Real" standalone - you'll need to do your own thing, pretty much - as no "LANDesk" parts get involved (except for restoring an image maybe - and that's easy enough to do)..

                   

                  P.S.: Having a PXE "server" is not a big deal - the PXE Proxy is an easy install and hardly requires any significant resources at all - that's why you can install it on perfectly normal XP machines.

                   

                  Hope this helps clarify the situation.

                   

                  Paul Hoffmann

                  LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead.

                  • 6. Re: WinPE Boot CD for OSD?
                    Apprentice
                    phoffmann wrote:

                    Provisioning requires contact to the Core (at least through the proxy) - so no, this won't work.

                     

                    There's a chance you could dirty-hack something together, but this would be (a) a very ugly hack and (b) utterly unsupported, so I'm not going to really go down much that route.

                     

                    Essentially, pretty much the best part of LANDesk OSD and Provisioning expects you to have networking - contact to a PXE Proxy, contact to the Core - whereas it sounds like you need to go back to very much "non-networking" environments.

                    I have networking available and can access the core. Just need a way for older machines to boot.

                    Clients that don't have PXE ... I can only think of older servers really that don't have it (Server NIC's didn't used to have boot PROM's) - but anything made in the last couple of years has got some PXE capability. Even if it doesn't, all it takes is for you to shove (temporarily) a PCI-NIC into the system, and you have PXE. Depending on how many systems you're talking about, this may be CONSIDERABLY easier than trying to cobble together an OSD-"standalone" CD.

                     

                    GX270's can't PXE boot and they're only 3 years old. Adding a PCI NIC will not make PXE available AFAIK. The BIOS would need to permit PXE if I'm not mistaken.

                     

                     

                    I did call LANDesk support and they did say it was unsupported but it's been done and that I should ask on the community site. So here I am.

                     

                     

                    I'm just asking if there's any existing instructions somewhere. I don't expect anyone to reinvent the wheel for me or do I want to do it myself. I was just looking for a quick solution to get this batch (50+) of machines deployed. I plan on moving to provisioning when our core is upgraded to 8.8 next month, by then, these machines will be done one way or another.

                     

                     

                    Thanks.

                    • 7. Re: WinPE Boot CD for OSD?
                      phoffmann SupportEmployee

                      Ah I see - thanks for the clarifications.

                       

                      So yeah - if the BIOS neuters any PXE attempt, that would do it - need the BIOS to actually try booting off a NIC, no question there. If the GX 270's can't do that, you're a bit stuffed in that regard.

                       

                      So ...

                       

                      ... well - if you DO have networking, Provisioning may be the way out for you after all :). Since you can create bootable media (we still will need a PXE Proxy on the subnet(s) - it does more than "just PXE") with that, that should actually suit you very well.

                       

                      The other (archaic) method is to use boot-floppies. OSD allows you to create boot-floppies with specific NIC-drivers (which you need to select) which will then boot into the PXE boot menu.

                       

                      Problems here are:

                      - You need a 3.5" floppy (or several).

                      - You need a DOS-driver for the NIC you have. Those may not exist.

                      - I'm not sure how Dell is with memory management of DOS - somewhat understandably enough BIOS'es don't care much for DOS these days, and this can lead to wonderful problems when trying to load NIC drivers and such - as you need at least 500 - 520 Kb of conventional memory free in order to load/run IMAGE.EXE.

                       

                      But yeah - certainly for now, I'd suggest you look at Provisioning, and creating a bootable media from that. That way you boot from CD, and since you do have networking, the rest should be a (comparable) doddle. No need to hack anything together :).

                       

                      Paul Hoffmann

                      LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: WinPE Boot CD for OSD?
                        Apprentice

                         

                        All of our Dell GX270's can PXE boot.  But you have to enable it in the BIOS and it is rather confusing.

                         

                         

                        Here's the steps to try:  (My GX270 has BIOS version A04)

                         

                         

                        Reboot and Hit F2 to enter Setup (or F12 and then select System Setup).

                         

                         

                        Scroll down to "Integrated Devices (LegacySelect Options) and press <Enter>

                         

                         

                        Scroll down to "Network Interface Controller" and press the Forward Arrow (don't press Enter) eack click of the Forward Arrow will change between the various options.

                         

                         

                        Off -> On -> On w/ PXE -> On w/ RPL

                         

                         

                        Set it to "On w/ PXE"

                         

                         

                        Press ESC

                         

                         

                        Press ESC

                         

                         

                        Save Changes and Exit

                         

                         

                        Press F12 during POST and you should have the option to boot to the "Integrated NIC".

                         

                         

                        It should now PXE boot.

                         

                         

                        Good luck.

                         

                         

                        Gary

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         

                        • 9. Re: WinPE Boot CD for OSD?
                          Apprentice

                           

                          GaryJohnson wrote:

                          All of our Dell GX270's can PXE boot.  But you have to enable it in the BIOS and it is rather confusing.

                           

                          Here's the steps to try:  (My GX270 has BIOS version A04)

                           

                           

                           

                           

                          Dude, I owe you a very large, frosty beer! 

                           

                           

                          I must have totally missed that (I did briefly look).

                           

                           

                           

                           

                           

                          Thank You!

                           

                           

                          • 10. Re: WinPE Boot CD for OSD?
                            Rookie

                             

                            I can certainly understand the design of the product is not intended for Non-network use. However, other more "esoteric" products like Ghost/Server allow offline image capture and deployment.  Granted, they can be time-consuming but they are straight forward and take seconds to initiate- no frankenstiening necessary.  One would think this elegant system would be able to at least match what has already been done.

                             

                             

                            Pardon me if this seems like a rant- its not.  I am simply frustrated because I have a new "WAN" site coming up, about 50 machines that will need imaging, and it just seems nuts that I need to wait for all the lines to be dropped, LANs to be configured.... you get the point. I would love to get to work ASAP and wait for the rest of the infrastructure to come on-line instead of them waiting on me to standardize these things.  I dont want to buy Ghost or anything else.

                             

                             

                            • 11. Re: WinPE Boot CD for OSD?
                              phoffmann SupportEmployee

                              That's OK - doesn't look like a rant to me - a very reasonable request is all :).

                               

                              Part of the "reason" for this is the historical development, the "roots" so to speak. Remember that most imaging tools (PowerQuest / Ghost / and so on) come from a background of "single station" imaging, back in the IT dark ages where we had coax network cables (which were essentially unreliable - oh the memories of "twiddle they terminator") - so have a history of needing to work without network stuff.

                               

                              LANDesk's approach is somewhat diametrically opposite to this - as it's a network based tool, and reliant on the Core to tell it "what to do" - it gets complicated in customizing things into a way that they can work without the Core (since we're relying on the Core to be able to chose from the plethora of normal jobs to run).

                               

                              If this is a recurring need, then please - do log an enhancement request with your regional LANDesk support centre - stating your need and business case. When we give these enhancement-stories, context is everything. Just asking for "Want to be able to run OSD without a network" (so to speak) is a very different story to "Because each month a new site with 50+ workstations needs to be rolled out, while those sites have no WAN access" (for instance).

                               

                              I don't know the details of your particular business need for this - or how frequent they are - but the point I was trying to make is that the better documented the context is, the better we can evaluate the actual need for this to be implemented/added in the future.

                               

                              Hope this helps you :).

                               

                              Paul Hoffmann

                              EMEA Technical Lead.

                              • 12. Re: WinPE Boot CD for OSD?
                                Apprentice

                                In the meantime, you can work around this way:

                                 

                                Note: you will need MS WINPE 2005

                                 

                                i) create a WinPE 2005 environment following the MS documentation:  "Windows Preinstallation Environment User's Guide" - chapter "Creating a Customizable Windows PE Image" - section "Creating a Windows PE Image" ... it's just a few clicks

                                 

                                Now we follow the MS doc: "Windows Preinstallation Environment User's Guide" - chapter "Booting Windows PE from a RAM Disk" - section "To create a bootable Windows PE RAM disk CD"

                                DON'T do step 1, as we use the LDMS .iso (well .img, but who cares) file here!

                                 

                                (ii) (this comprises step 2 and 3 of the MS doc) copy peboot.img from a LDMS PXE proxy (find it under c:\Programme\LANDesk\PXE\System\images) or use from the core server ldvpe1.img, which is the same to a working directory, e.g. C:\work

                                 

                                (iii) substitue Microsoft's step 6 by copying the winnt.sif from the PXE-Proxy (path: C:\Programme\LANDesk\PXE\System\images\x86pc\undi\winpe) to C:\work (not to C:\work\i386)

                                 

                                (iv) Follow along the MS doc step 7 (find oscdimg in c:\build_x86\ if you followed the standard MS trail as said in )

                                 

                                You will get a bootable CD with the LDMS WINPE environment, which means, after booting a NIC will be searched and without commands from a coreserver nothing will happen. You can easily modify this by customizing the STARTNET.CMD in peboot.img / ldvpe1.img - but make it in a copy, please! I am not keen on getting Paul (verbally) hitting me, for making a customer destroy his production env. and calling for support

                                If you use a DVD instead of a CD, you'll be able to put a Windows image on it alongside peboot.img / ldvpe1.img. Just put the image in C:\work before doing (iv).

                                 

                                You could also read cool stuff at droppedpackets.org on how to put e.g. remote control into this WinPE boot environment, which is espacially funny, if you haven't got networking anyway

                                 

                                bis denn dann

                                Carsten