OK - crash course in OSD it is then...
Re #1 - Installing the agent (and a specific one at that)
Yes, you can. Specifically, look in the SYSPREP-file for the "WSCFG32" commandline. WSCFG32 is the executable to install the LANDesk agent. If you do an "Advanced Edit" of your OSD script, it will open the LANDesk-script itself as well as your SYSPREP-file (which we'd inject into the image).
Now, "just" running WSCFG32 will always install the default agent configuration. So you can change your intended agent configuration to be the default.
Alternatively, you can point to a specific agent configuration by using the "/c=NAME" parameter. For instance, let's imagine I have a Configuration called "Bobs Bar and Grill", then the command-line would look something like this:
WSCFG32.EXE /F /C="Bobs Bar and Grill.ini"
Now you MAY or may NOT need to use ".ini" at the end. I seem to remember that you do (I apologize, it's been a while since I played this and it's too early in the morning for me to think straight) - so find out on a test-system. This will allow you to use a specific agent configuration in a specific script.
Re #2 - Re-using computer names
Yes, this is possible and - in fact - one of the most common options. The THING about this is that the client in question MUST have been in the LANDesk database beforehand.
When you configure a "Deploy Image" script, what you need to make sure is that in the "SYSPREP OPTIONS -> NAMING CONVENTIONS" tree, you enable (it is enabled by default) the option "FIRST ATTEMPT TO GET AND USE EXISTING COMPUTER NAMES FROM THE INVENTORY DATABASE".
What this does is it tries to identify a PC via it's MAC-address (which is why it needs to exist in the DB in the first place) and then does a token-replacement in the PE stage (if you look into your LANDesk sysprep-file, you'll see a few references surrounded with % in them - these are the "tokens" we replace at runtime).
Re #3 - Management Console
There is a CUSTJOB window running on the Core, which shows what command-line is being run at this point in time. You will ONLY see this on the Core. If you want to connect through RDP to the Core, you MUST do it with a "/console" session, else you'll not see it.
Otherwise, there's of course the log-file you can use.
There isn't (at the moment) a graphical or "remote control"-y type thing to make you see what's going on, but ideas for something like this have been kicked about.
Re #4 - Automating things
There's two ways, which pretty much go down the same route.
4.1 - VBOOT
If the client is in Windows (and on), you can just schedule the job against the client - it will download the WinPE image and reboot itself into WinPE, and run the job much like a "normal" software distribution task.
4.2 - PXE Pre-targeting.
If the client is NOT on, you can STILL schedule the job "as normal" against the client. The job will fail (of course) but it doesn't end there.
When the client boots up next time (this REQUIRES you to have network-boot as a first boot device by the way) and briefly talks to the PXE-Proxy, the PXE-Proxy checks with the Core and finds out "Hey - dude - you missed a job!" and boots him into a PXE managed boot automatically.
Once it's ready, it then runs the script automatically.
Re #5 - Post Script Stuff
Well - you can put a lot of things into the Sysprep.
Alternatively, you COULD use LANDesk policies ;).
There's various ways of getting things done here - I would suggest checking with your LANDesk partner, as things may vary depending on what the rules and conditions are in your particular environment.
Hope this answers your questions.
LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead.
Thanks for the reply. Great information.
Just following up on one issue. If I have new computers coming into the business. How do I 'prestage them' into LANDesk, schedule a job to it, and then all i need to do is PXEBoot it and it knows what to do? I'm running 8.8. Im looking fo rthe csv import utility but can't find it.
In addition to what Leon said - you can also find a lot of information on this in "Appendix B" of your LANDesk User Guide (included on the CD) - that's the "LDMSUsers.pdf"
LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead