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How can I make troubleshooting failed deployments easier


How can I make troubleshooting failed deployments easier using a customised boot image

Why do we want to do this ?

We've all seen OSD fail for some reason or another, wouldn't it be nice to have a set of tools included in your boot.wim file to help you make the job of troubleshooting easier, yes it would.
In this example, we will use some 3rd party shareware to allow us to add new abilities to our boot image using easy to type commands which you (or the Technician) can tell the user to type in on an F8 console.

The commands are:

assistme - remotely list the IP address and disable the firewall, enable winvnc so that a user can view/control a WinPE session to troubleshoot it
maillog - compresses and then mails the SMSTS logs to an email address we specify
viewlog - open SMSTS.log with Trace32.exe

Ok sounds good, how do we do it ?

Get the goodies

We will utilise some free/shareware applications to assist us in the process, namely:-

* trace32.exe (part of Configuration Manager 2007 toolkit)
* UltraVNC download the win32 bins Full
* rar.exe use rar 3.93.exe for Windows
* blat use version 2.6.2 full

Download the apps above and extract them somewhere safe.

Create the Extrafiles structure

Create a directory on a computer and call it Extrafiles, with a structure of subdirectories as follows:


Now follow these steps:

1. Copy the extracted ultravnc files to C:\ExtraFiles\Windows\System32\vnc
2. run uvnc_settings.exe in c:\ExtraFiles\Windows\System32\vnc to set your desired password and any additional settings, copy the ultravnc.ini it creates to your ExtraFiles\Windows\System32\Vnc if it's not already there as it stores the password and port settings.
3. Copy the extracted blat files (blat.exe, blat.lib, blat.dll) to C:\ExtraFiles\Windows\System32\mailer
4. copy rar.exe to C:\ExtraFiles\Windows\System32\mailer
5. copy Trace32.exe to C:\ExtraFiles\Windows\System32

download the following scripts




The vnc.reg file mentioned in assistme.cmd is simply what you see in the code below

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Make sure to copy the three scripts above to C:\ExtraFiles\Windows\System32 and don't forget to configure the Mail settings and email addresses used in maillog.cmd

Ok once done, create your new boot image in Configmgr using the Extrafiles method described here

Testing the new functionality

Add the new boot image to your task sequence (right click on the task sequence, choose properties, advanced and select your new boot image and then test the new functionality by pressing F8 and typing one of the three new commands




hope this helps !

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if you are using a 64bit boot image (and you should only use that when build and capturing a 64bit os, you can DEPLOY both 32bit and 64bit os's with an x86 or 32 bit boot image) then you need the correct architecture programs, egg: if 64bit boot image, use Trace64.exe

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