8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 1, 2014 4:10 PM by cyberdemon

    Partition drive using ImageX to deploy Windows 7




      We are running LDMS 9.5 sp1 and are getting our feet wet with trying to successfully deploy Win7 using a Provisioning Template. We are in hopes to use provisioning as a mass deployment method. We are generally a MDT (LiteTouch) shop and have several .wim files we use to deploy images using MDT/WDS.


      We've come to understand that LD doesn't really support using ImageX to deploy images as they want you to use ImageW. This is fine, however, we really want to use our existing .wim files (syspreped/captured using MDT) to deploy to the masses. We've had some level of success in setting up a template, but keep running into issues with getting the partitions setup and working correctly. I have read that since we're using ImageX, both the system reserved partition and actual OS partition need to be created before the image can be applied. We must be missing some option/action to not get a working OS. Here's a rundown of our first couple steps:


      We first remove any existing partitions:




      Then create the system reserved partition:




      Then create the OS partition using rest of HDD space:




      Then we apply the image using ImageX:


      Deploy Image.JPG


      We noticed the problems after adding in the step to create the system partition, the template fails when the image is applied. In this scenario, we use the following command to apply:   /apply \\mis-landesk\ldlogon\Images\Rev3.3_x32.wim 2 C:     Using diskpart, I can see the on the disk that Volume 1 has no drive letter and is not formatted (raw partition), Volume 2 is labeled as C and is formatted as NTFS


      If we take out the step to create the system partition, the image does get applied and the template will run all the way through to the Reboot step after HII (in post OS install section), but after this reboot, we get a non-system disk error as if there is no OS loaded. In this scenario we use the following command to apply:   /apply \\mis-landesk\ldlogon\Images\Rev3.3_x32.wim 1 C:     When running diskpart this time, the only volume that shows of course is just C.


      Another thing we're confused about is if there are any additional steps that are critical to getting a working, running OS. I have seen posts about using FixWindows.exe and FixUnattend.exe and am wondering if these need to be thrown in somewhere.


      Just to gripe: I can definitely see the usefulness of provisioning and what it all can be used for, but initially getting to the point where the product is use-able is a struggle it seems. We're wishing that LD would have supplied some OOTB examples of the different scenarios of provisioning. IMO, the few templates that are available on the community don't seem to help folks like us that are starting from scratch and trying to make use of this product.


      Attached is our template. As always, any help is appreciated!

        • 1. Re: Partition drive using ImageX to deploy Windows 7
          MrGadget Expert

          I'm not a expert on imagex nor provisioning. I've only used imagex doing a manual PXE Boot..


          First after creating the partitions you have to format them because imagex is file based.

          Second Imagex only captures 1 partition so as far as I know you would have to have 2 imagex images, 1 with the os and 1 with the reserved. Set up the template to install 1 image to its formatted partition then install the 2nd image to its formatted partition.

          Also after imaging you have to run bcdedit to fix the boot sector.

          • 2. Re: Partition drive using ImageX to deploy Windows 7

            Thanks for responding. I understand what you are saying, but were stuck on creating the partitions. Not sure if I'm selecting the correct options when doing so as when you add a partition action in provisioning, it gives you alot of different options. I just need to know the magic combination of options to choose when adding my partition/deployimage actions into the template for both the system and OS partitons and then to deploy the image.


            I also read here (on the last post) that you don't need to capture a seperate .wim for the system reserved partition.

            • 3. Re: Partition drive using ImageX to deploy Windows 7
              MrGadget Expert

              Yes you don't have to capture the reservered partition unless you want a 2 partition drive. Just capture the os.


              I did not make this provisioning template, one of the other guys here did.

              I'm going to try to add the images.

              I didn't get them in the right order but you can see what we have.





              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Partition drive using ImageX to deploy Windows 7

                Success! I have a working OS now. Your screens helped a lot .  I was able to setup things up in a similar fashion (with some variation). The steps I think I really needed were the 'Make Bootable/active' and running bcdboot. Here's a screen of how my template looks now:


                Make Active.JPG


                Although its working, I noticed, that the system reserved partition is not showing up in disk management. Not sure if its needed, but I'm assuming if I did want to add it, then I would have to get a capture of one and add in the extra steps to partition and apply?

                • 5. Re: Partition drive using ImageX to deploy Windows 7
                  MrGadget Expert

                  Glad I could help.


                  The Reserved partition is not needed and yes you would have to capture it and add the extra steps to apply it.

                  Not sure why Microsoft went from XP having 1 partition that was bootable to Windows 7 and having a seperate partition that housed the boot files.

                  • 6. Re: Partition drive using ImageX to deploy Windows 7

                    The system reserved partition doesn't need to be captured.  Use diskpart:


                    select disk 0


                    create partition primary size=100


                    format quick fs=ntfs

                    assign letter=S

                    create partition primary

                    select partition 2

                    format quick fs=ntfs

                    assign letter=W



                    W will be your C: drive containing Windows

                    S will be the system reserved drive (no letter later)


                    imagex /apply your image to W:

                    When you run bcdboot, use it like this:


                    bcdboot W:\windows /s S:



                    /s                Specifies an optional volume letter parameter to designate

                                      the target system partition where boot environment files are

                                      copied.  The default is the system partition identified by

                                      the firmware.




                    Sample: Apply Images on a BIOS-based Computer by Using ImageX

                    • 7. Re: Partition drive using ImageX to deploy Windows 7
                      Frank Wils ITSMMVPGroup

                      The separate partition is used only when using bitlocker. Bitlocker needs a separate partition besides the Windows partition to store things. If you don't use or intend to use bitlocker, a 1 partition setup will work just fine and a lot easier.



                      • 8. Re: Partition drive using ImageX to deploy Windows 7

                        Just a comment. No intention to stir controversy, but....Yes, ImageX is still supported and you can use ImageX in provisioning as well as OSD. I use ImageX all the time and ImageW2.