Remko Weijnen's Blog (Remko's Blog)

About Virtualization, VDI, SBC, Application Compatibility and anything else I feel like

Tips for using SysPrep with Altiris

Altiris has built in support for Sysprep when creating or distributing images.

The documentation doesn’t mention some things that are worth knowing so I will try to address them in this post.

Sysprep support can be added to Altiris during the install where it will ask you for the Sysprep install files (deploy.cab) per selected OS.

If you didn’t add Sysprep during install you can copy deploy.cab to one of subfolders in the Sysprep folder. Eg for 32 bit Windows 2003 deploy.cab goes to Sysprep\DotNet\x86:

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As I wrote earlier in this post it’s very important to use the correct Sysprep version as each OS has it’s own version.

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  • Filed under: Altiris
  • Add VMXNET3 driver to Windows PE PXE Image

    After compiling the VMWare VMXNET3 Driver for Linux I needed a driver for the Windows PE Image as well.

    Compared to what I needed to do for Linux this was a breeze!

    First we need the VMWare tools again so I grabbed windows.iso from /vmimages/tools-isomages.

    The driver files are in a cab file, VMXNET3.cab, extract this cab file somewhere and open the Altiris PXE Configuration tool.

    Select the Windows PE Entry and click Edit:image

    Then click Edit Boot Image:
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  • Filed under: Altiris, VMWare
  • First we need to setup a Linux Virtual Machine with a distro of choice (I recommend a 32 bit version). I will be using Ubuntu here and the first step is to download the iso.

    At the time of writing Ubuntu 10.10 was the Latest version so I used that one.

    Create a new Virtual Machine and use the iso as install media, I am using VMWare Workstation and it recognises Ubuntu and performs an “easy install”:

    image

    The install is unattended (when VMWare Tools are installed you need to perform a login) and took only 6 minutes on my laptop!

    Now we need to install gcc (the compiler), open the Ubuntu Software Center:

    image

     

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  • Filed under: Altiris, VMWare
  • STOP: 0x0000005D when booting Windows PE

    I was booting a new VMWare Virtual Machine with Windows PE through Altiris for initial deployment but Windows PE halted with a BSOD:

    image

    0x0000005D means UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR (defined in bugcodes.h) so I expected there was a x86 vs x64 problem.

    The VM was configured for a 32 bit OS:

    image

    The Altiris Job was configured to use Auto Select:

    image

    But instead of the x86 version of Windows PE, Altiris attempts to boot the x64 version and this explains the BSOD: VMWare prevents the CPU from going to x64 mode and thus Windows has no choice but to halt.

    Workaround is to change the Automation pre-boot environment in Altiris to x86:

    image

    Note that it’s no problem to deploy an x64 OS using the x86 version of Windows PE so I don’t see any real problems with this workaround.

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