9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 16, 2014 11:33 AM by 1EarEngineer

    Provisioning Capture of a Dell venue 11 with Windows 8.1


      Hi all,


      Running into a funky issue.  I have a 9.6 Core up and running (fresh install on Server 2012).  I used the nice new "Capture Template" available.  This is quite handy, but I'm running into an issue.


      By default, the Dell Venue ships with 6 Partitions (that's right, 6).  After pre-populating a record in the new Core with the MAC address (serial number did not seem to work as the unique ID), and ensuring that the UEFI Network Stack was enabled on the Venue (in the BIOS/UEFI menus, still getting a grasp on what to call them now), I was able to boot to PXE on the Venue and the Prov Capture began (yay!)


      The issue is, this Venue is running the Atom processor and the Dock only has a 10/100 NIC.  I'm using Imagew v2 and the capture was going to take about 2.5 hours to complete so I all but gave up, until I realized it wasn't only capturing the used data on each partition.  It was attempting capture of all 50GB of the Windows partition (only about 15GB are used on the partition).  I looked at the command lines of my capture scripts under 9.5 SP2 and they look the same, minus the /UY which just tells the imaging program to continue with no prompts.


      Has anyone run into this?  I'd love to capture a hardware-specific reference image of one of these but it would be almost useless if it will take 2.5 hours to capture and potentially another 2.5 to re-deploy (haven't got that far yet).


      Is anyone deploying Win 8.1 and have any insight?  Or more specifically doing tablet devices with multiple partitions?  This particular venue is UEFI only (no legacy boot ROMs) if that helps.  Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Provisioning Capture of a Dell venue 11 with Windows 8.1

          Did you try to reduce the partition size of the Windows partition?  There must be something about the partition or the data on it that is forcing ImageW2 to capture the entire thing.


          Image size aside, would purchasing a USB GbNIC improve the imaging time much?

          • 2. Re: Provisioning Capture of a Dell venue 11 with Windows 8.1

            Nope, haven't played around with the partitions at all.  I really wanted a reference image out of the box, but when I saw Imagew trying to capture 55,000 MiBs I knew something was up.


            Having a USB Gig NIC might help, but I thought I read something on Dell's site that not all USB NICs will work with that hardware and they were coming out with a specific dongle for this purpose.  Also, it's hard to schedule multiple bare metal machines for Provisioning if they are sharing the same USB dongle (have to precreate the records with a unique ID and I didn't have luck using Serial Number).  Capturing the image would work fine in this manner though so might be worth a try.  Just wish I knew why it was trying to capture the whole drive.

            • 3. Re: Provisioning Capture of a Dell venue 11 with Windows 8.1

              From reading through Terabyte Unlimited's manual for Image for Windows a few things stand out:

              Warning to Windows 8 Users

              You must disable the Windows 8 Fast startup option or you risk corruption of your partitions and data when the partitions are used outside of Windows 8 (e.g. you boot into Image for Linux after shutdown and save an image to a data drive).


              Disable TRIM – Reduces the amount of caching required for the source drive on systems with TRIM enabled by disabling TRIM during the backup operation. When TRIM is enabled the original contents of deleted sectors must be cached, whereas a normal delete doesn’t overwrite the sectors and instead just updates the directory entry.


              Backup Unused Sectors – By default, if the file system(s) you are backing up are one of the recognized types (i.e. FAT, FAT32, NTFS, Ext2/3/4, ReiserFS, or HSF+), Image for Windows will back up only used sectors. If you select this option, Image for Windows will include all used and unused sectors in the backup. This option has no effect on partitions that do not contain a recognized file system; such partitions will always be backed up in full, regardless of this setting.


              I don't know whether any of this applies to you, but it's worth checking out.  There is also an extensive list of switches that can be used which start somewhere about page 130 in the manual.  A couple that seem interesting to me are:

              /comp:n {0,1,2,7,10,11,12,13,14,15} - compression

              /mf - Multiple File Set mode (separate file for each partition)

              /nt - Disable TRIM

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              • 4. Re: Provisioning Capture of a Dell venue 11 with Windows 8.1

                Thanks for all that research, appreciate it.  I went through the manual briefly before posting this and the switches in play look normal.  I may however look at those additional switches and see if they help at all.

                • 5. Re: Provisioning Capture of a Dell venue 11 with Windows 8.1
                  1EarEngineer Specialist

                  Hello from another DV11 User (We are running the 7130 models).


                  We actually do our image building in VM's, capture and then deploy the image down to the Venue. As the others have said, in order for LD to not capture the entire drive, you will need to simply shrink the volume and then you should be good to go.


                  Good news though, Gigabit docks are coming soon! Can't talk about it on the forums, but willing to share offline, but some hang in there, a gigabit dock should be coming in the month or two.


                  We currently have the DV11 fully deployed in legacy mode and am working with LD support to work on the quirks when deploying with UEFI.


                  Definitely wouldn't mind touching base offline and getting together to share "war stories" if you would like. These things have got to be the pickiest and issue filled device i have ever worked with.

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Provisioning Capture of a Dell venue 11 with Windows 8.1

                    You hit it on the head with your last note.  Pickiest and issue filled device is about right.    Thing is, the 5130 device was chosen due to the pricepoint, but the downside is that it has NO LEGACY ROM!!  This has hamstrung us so much, but whatcha gonna do.  It can't be set to Legacy mode.


                    I typically do my image builds in VM as well.  Due to the timeframe and scope of this project, I elected to due a hardware-dependent build based off the factory image.  I don't intend to keep doing this as I'd hoped it would be faster but it's turned out to cause more issues because of the capture etc.


                    Regarding the capture of the entire partition, I haven't had to do anything special before prior to capture for ImageW to only capture the used bits.  I'm trying to figure out what's "special" about this device (and it's lovely 6 partitions) that is causing the bits to appear as used even though they aren't.


                    I appreciate the offer to contact offline and may have to take you up on that Gru. 

                    • 7. Re: Provisioning Capture of a Dell venue 11 with Windows 8.1
                      1EarEngineer Specialist

                      Absolutely, and I just have to ask.. is it possible to swap and go to the 7130 line? The 5130 is soooo limited. You won't get dual monitor support along with a host of other issues. Not sure if you've seen the article, but Dell has a motherload of things on these Venue 11's.

                      • 8. Re: Provisioning Capture of a Dell venue 11 with Windows 8.1

                        It wasn't really my call unfortunately.  The purpose of this pilot project is to provide the first student 1:1 device supported by our school system.  There's an eBackpack initiative that required the device to cost a certain amount, hence the 5130.  Trust me, we have several 7130's and I would much prefer the additional options they bring.  These are the 5130 Atom proc devices with 2GB RAM.  They will get the job done, but as you said, they are limiting.

                        • 9. Re: Provisioning Capture of a Dell venue 11 with Windows 8.1
                          1EarEngineer Specialist

                          Totally understand, and if i can help out in any way, more than happy to Though I am surprised you have 6 partitions listed, didn't run into that on the 7130