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How can I copy files from a package


Let's say you want to copy some files from a package to your target computer, should be simple enough right ?


In the following Task Sequence, copying files from packages - access.xml


copying files from packages - access.xml


we reference a package (called copy_files) which contains some blank files and folders




We have two groups in this simple task sequence, the first group copies all files from a package to a directory on your target computer (the computer that you run the task sequence on).


copy all files in a package to somedir.jpg


The first step in the group creates the target folder if it doesn't exist, via a command line


cmd.exe /c md c:\somedir


make somedir.jpg


To check if the folder already exists, you have to look at the options tab of that step


if some dir exists.jpg


The second step actually copies the files by referencing our copy_files package, the clever part here is the .\ infront of our path.


copy all files from package to somedir.jpg


so the command line to do the copying is as follows


xcopy.exe ".\*.*" "c:\somedir" /D /E /C /I /Q /H /R /Y /S




The second group in the task sequence is similar to the first except that it creates somedir2 and it only copies the TXT files from our selected package. (This is deliberate so that you can see what happens next..)



copy all txt files from our package.jpg


Note: In the screenshot of the step above, I am deliberatly NOT including the .\ in front of the path, this is to show you how an advertisements distribution points settings can change the way command lines function.


the xcopy command in the second group is as follows


xcopy.exe "*.txt" "c:\somedir2" /D /E /C /I /Q /H /R /Y /S

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Advertise the Task Sequence


Import the task sequence into configmgr and create the copy_files package using the package included in the post above. don't forget to distribute that package to your distribution points. Once ready, we will then advertise our Task Sequence.


In Task Sequences, select the imported task sequence, right click on it and choose Advertise


advertise ts.jpg


When the New Advertisement Wizard begins, select your All Windows XP collection (or whichever one you are testing with) and click next


new advertisement wizard.jpg


leave schedule as it is, make no changes




For distribution settings, choose access content directly from a distribution point when needed by the running task sequence


access content directly from a distribution point when needed by the running task sequence.jpg


for Interaction, choose show the task sequence progress


show the task sequence progress.jpg


click next through the wizard to finish.

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Duplicate the Task Sequence


Right click on our selected task sequence again, but this time choose Duplicate


you will be informed when the duplication is done, click Ok.


dup done.jpg


Right click on the task sequence, choose properties and change the name to copying files from packages - download


We now have our second Task Sequence and it is identical to the first except for the name (the reason of which will become clear soon).


two task sequences.jpg



Create a New Advertisement


Create a new advertisement for the copying files from packages - download task sequence as we did above except for the distribution settings do as follows:-


Choose the following setting download content locally when needed by running task sequence


download content locally when needed by running task sequence.jpg

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Run the first Advertisement from RAP


Now that we have done all the hard work, let's test it on the client, open up RAP (Run Advertised Programs) and select the first Advertisement which is called copying files from packages - access


running action - copy all txt files from all packages to somedir2 access.jpg


Let the advertisement complete and then check your c:\ for the results


when finished we'll see our two directories created,


two dirs.jpg


the first dir (somedir) should contain all files from the copy_files package, and indeed it does


files from copy_files.jpg


We would naturally expect the second dir (somedir2)to only contain the TXT files from the copy_files package, but to our surprise it contains possibly hundreds of folders all marked with your site code, infact, these folders are every single package on your site server (and thankfully only the TXT files are copied, now do you see why I selected only the TXT files ;))


all packages from site server.jpg

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Run the second advertisement from RAP


Now that we've seen what the access content directly from Distribution Points setting does in relation to file copy, let's run the other advertisement, but before we do, delete the somedir and somedir2 directories




Choose the copying file from packages - download task sequence and run.


copying file from packages - download.jpg


this task sequence will execute much quicker than the first


in progress.jpg


when done, check c:\somedir, it contains all files and folders as we would expect from the package




and finally check c:\somedir2


note how it ONLY contains the text files from our copy_file package, exactly as we expected originally, and this is all down to our Distribution Point settings in our Advertisement !




Interesting huh ? try it for yourself and share your results please




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Really Interesting...... I think it downloads all the content packages from DP based on the Criteria given in the commandline but also it copies all the DP content even if the folder doesnt have .txt files. In this case(with option access content directly ),is there any importance or usage for the package (copy files package) used ?


will this happen to all the advertised TS on the clients if we select access content directly ?




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