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Introducing the windows-noob.com FrontEnd HTA ver 1.0



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Introduction:

After a lot of development and testing and countless changes it's time to release version 1.0 of the windows-noob.com FrontEnd HTA. This HTA can be used by Network administrators/techs to quickly make choices about Deployment Type (Backup, Reinstall, New Computer) for their migrations from Windows XP to Windows 7.

 

Update: This HTA has been updated with a new version here. Please review it's features.

The HTA comes with pre-written scripts that do the hard work for you and set variables based on choices made by the end user. These variables are in turn used by the backend Task Sequence to do the actual heavy lifting. If you stick to the default Task Sequence included here, then when you start it you'll see a password prompt

passsword.jpg

enter Password123 to continue, if you get it wrong it will abort the task Sequence so be careful smile.gif.

Once you've entered the password correctly the HTA itself will display, currently it's adjustable in size, you can edit the DeployMenu.hta to maximise it by editing the following lines,

<HTA:APPLICATION ID="objTest" APPLICATIONNAME="Frontend HTA" SCROLL="yes" SINGLEINSTANCE="yes">
<!HTA:APPLICATION ID="objTest" APPLICATIONNAME="Frontend HTA" SCROLL="No" SINGLEINSTANCE="YES" BORDER="none" CAPTION="no" WINDOWSTATE=MAXIMIZE SINGLEINSTANCE="yes">



frontendhta.jpg

The Backup option allows you to Backup the data in several different ways (option to run CHKDSK before backup, full WIM backup both locally and network, Offline Scanstate in WinPE which is then backed up to a network Share) and also allows you to Create a computer association between source and destination computer while in WinPE if you want to do traditional SMP based state backup (note however for SMP based scenarios that the scanstate must be performed separately while in the full Windows OS using a separate Task Sequence).]

Note: If the computer is has a computername matching MININT- then you will be prompted to enter a computername before backup continues.

backup.jpg

The Reinstall option allows users to Quickly backup data (using offline mode in WinPE and hardlinking) and install Windows 7 Enterprise on existing hardware. They can also optionally specify a user which will then become the Local Administrator of that computer.

Note: If the computer is has a computername matching MININT- then you will be prompted to enter a computername before Reinstall continues.

reinstall.jpg

The New Computer option allows you to choose regional and language options offline via drop down menus (4 languages offered, can be expanded upon easily). In addition, you can select to restore User data (or not), you can also select which OLD_computername profile to restore, or choose SMP if you want to use this New Computer as the Destination computer once a computer association has been previously made and the State captured.

new computer new installation.jpg

Requirements:

The HTA has the following prerequisites:-

* MDT 2010 update 1 integrated with ConfigMgr
* Maik Kosters Web Services 7.2 installed - quick quide here
* SCCM 2007 SP2 R2 or later
* Implement Offline scanstate in WinPE as shown here
* Install Language packs Offline using SCCM 2007 sp2


Features

The windows-noob.com HTA has the following features:-

The windows-noob.com FrontEnd HTA ver 1.0 is primarily used for Deploying (or migrating to) Windows 7, and it offers the following features,

  • Backup
  • Reinstall
  • New Computer

The three Operating System Deployment scenarios, Backup, Reinstall (refresh) and New Installation (bare metal/new computer) offer their own options, detailed below:-

Backup features
Chkdsk
full wim backup (local)
full wim backup (network)
Offline scanstate in WinPE (network)

Reinstall features
Chkdsk
full wim backup (local)
full wim backup (network)
Offline scanstate in WinPE (local using hardlinking)
Username becomes Local Administrator

New Computer Features
Regional settings (drop down choice)
Language Settings (drop down choice)
Username
Computername
Restore Users data (drop down choice, none, SMP or Offline via Network)


Additional Features

In addition to the above, you have the ability to:



Exit from the HTA
Open a command prompt
Create a Computer Association (see below)

computer association.jpg

Show information about a client, including IP Address, MAC address, GUID, etc (see below), Reboot or Shutdown.

show info.jpg

so that's the introduction now here's how to implement it in your lab..

Update:- If you want to use Multi Language or Multi Keyboard Layouts then please see this update

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Download the HTA

 

Download the HTA files from here

 

wnb.zip

 

Extract the files from the ZIP and copy Copy the WNB folder to your MDT 2010 Toolkit files Scripts directory, this folder contains the guts of our HTA with scripts and images in sub directories.

 

i.e:

 

scripts/wnb

 

mdt files.jpg

 

 

Download the Customsettings.ini

 

Download the Customsettings.ini file here (if the file is renamed by your browser to CustomSettings.ini.txt then please rename to Customsettings.ini)

 

CustomSettings.ini

 

Copy the Customsettings.ini file to your MDT 2010 Toolkit files package (ie: copy it to the root of that package), of course you could just place this file in your MDT 2010 Settings package but then everytime you change it you'll have to update two packages, this way it's quicker, only one package to update.

 

Open the Customsettings.ini file and edit it so that the webservices URL's point to the server address where you have setup your Web Services (currently they are pointing at my SCCM server which is hosting the Maik Koster 7.2 web services). Our customsettings.ini file is vital, if you make errors in this then your web services won't work and therefore the HTA won't work.

 

customsettings dot ini.jpg

 

Once you have both the CustomSettings.ini and WNB files and folders in place in your MDT 2010 Update 1 Toolkit Package, udpate the package to your Distribution Points.

 

Download the Task Sequence

 

The HTA by itself is no good without a back-end Task Sequence to make sense of all the variables we are setting, so we need a task sequence to do our work.

 

Download the Task Sequence from here windows-noob.com Frontend HTA v1.0.xml

 

Import the Task Sequence into ConfigMgr and fix all the Package references, currently the Task Sequence references the following packages (which you will have no problem resolving if you have met the requirements listed above).

 

<reference package="WNB000B0" /> = MDT 2010 Update 1 Files

<reference package="WNB000B1" /> = MDT 2010 Update 1 Settings

<reference package="WNB0003A" /> = USMT 4x86 *for offline scanstate in WinPE*

<reference package="WNB00059" /> = RunScanstate

<reference package="WNB0003F" /> = Windows 7 Enterprise 32 bit

<reference package="WNB00063" /> = Unattend.xml file

<reference package="WNB000AF" /> = Swedish Language Pack

<reference package="WNB000B3" /> = Norwegian Language Pack

<reference package="WNB000B5" /> = Finnish Language Pack

<reference package="WNB000B4" /> = Danish Language Pack

<reference package="WNB0004C" /> = Configuration Manager Client Package

<reference package="WNB000AB" /> = Set Network location hotfix

<reference package="WNB00041" /> = USMT 4 package

<reference package="WNB0008D" /> = HTA FrontEnd boot image

 

 

Download the Unattend.xml file

 

The regional settings and language settings need a back end Unattend.xml file, here's the one I use

 

OSD_variables_added.xml

 

Once you've got all the bits, dont forget to edit your customsettings.ini file to point to your webservices URL's. Update your DP's and start testing the HTA, feedback appreciated !

 

Below is a screenshot of the New Computer selection with some values selected, note the cool Data Restore options ;)

 

new computer values.jpg

 

Download the Workaround files

 

create a new RunScanstate package from these files, they are referenced in the Task Sequence and needed for offline scanstate and loadstate, if you had previously got the Offline Scanstate in WinPE working then you'll only need the two additional new batch files in this ZIP, namely

 


     
  • runLoadstate.bat
  • runscanstate-offline_no_hardlinking.bat

 

workaround.zip

 

 

cheers

niall

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Known Issues

 

There are some known issues listed below, I will update here when they are resolved asap, please understand though that my time is limited so if i don't get around to fixing an issue please provide any solution you use, also if you find any problems please post them here:-

 

* Computer Association says 'unsuccessful' when in fact it is successful *check configmgr console to verify*

* The chosen restore profile code is missing from the task sequence, bug found (resolved, if you downloaded the Workaround or Task sequence before April 8th, 2011 then please download them again)

* If the Hard disk is blank (RAW) then the HTA will not display some images or even operate properly, workaround, use diskpart to partition the hdd first, then try again

* Leaving the Computername or TargetUser blank in New Computer crashes the Javascript, workaround, enter valid values ;)

* Choosing No Restore option in New Computer is ignored and it attempts to restore a profile called NULL and therefore fails as no profile of that name exists, fixed by modifying the Backup Restore State Options as per the screenshot below

 

uddir exists.jpg

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Pure awesomeness

 

one challenge - running CHKDSK

 

would like the option of not running CHKDSK /r (or F) if the drive doesnt have errors

 

also - when running and fixing errors (or running with /f) the TS fails because the CHKDSK task errors out based on not being able to copy the log file (to the event logs)

 

Any thoughts ???

 

Excellent information

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This is an awesome tool. I wish I could use it for MDT 2010. We don't have SCCM and probably wont in the future. DO you have one that is for MDT only?

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I don't but I don't see why you can't convert this for MDT only, i'm sure it's doable, have you tried ?

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Thanks Niall!

 

Unfortunatly, I've got a few questions. I'm an HTA newb (started looking at them today) so please forgive me if they are a bit novice. Especially since I usually bite off more than I can chew...

 

So far, I've preinstalled all of the prerequisites (expect language packs) and tested most of them. I've downloaded the files you have posted on your post and put them in all the correct places. Even though I've done all of this, I am still missing a couple of things. I searched forums for the answers and found a couple, but still have some.

 

1. Even though it may call for it, my boss has hinted to me a few times that he doesn't want Language Packs being distributed. Therefore, I was going to see if it was possible to remove those steps. Should that be okay?

 

2. To make it easier to identify, I decided to edit the "windows-noob.com Frontend HTA v1.0.xml" with Notepad++ before Importing it. This way, I could just sub in the names of the packages that I needed. However, I wasn't 100% sure which packages the following were:

 

- MDT 2010 Update 1 Files - The package pointing to both x86 & x64 folders - right?

- MDT 2010 Update 1 Settings - How is that different from the MDT package? Don't remember creating one of those during pre-requisites

- RunScanState - Just a package pointing to the folder with the *now* 3 batch files in it (I guess what's in the workaround.zip)

- Unattend.xml file - I decided to just rename yours and create package. Does it need to be pointed to a Win7 factory WIM & for the package do I simply create one pointing to the folder with that XML file in it w/o adding a program?

- Set Network location hotfix - My best guess on what this is is "KB2509007 - New Advanced Client Hotfix" which was auto created

- HTA FrontEnd boot image - Searched everywhere. Would assume that it's a package pointing to folder with wnb.zip extracted.

 

I know that seems like a question for each line of your post, but it seems like I missed a page of instructions or something. If you have the time to help me, then I'd appreciate it. You've no doubt done plenty to help me in the past.

 

Thanks!

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Thanks Niall!

 

 

 

1. Even though it may call for it, my boss has hinted to me a few times that he doesn't want Language Packs being distributed. Therefore, I was going to see if it was possible to remove those steps. Should that be okay?

 

yup no problem

 

2. To make it easier to identify, I decided to edit the "windows-noob.com Frontend HTA v1.0.xml" with Notepad++ before Importing it. This way, I could just sub in the names of the packages that I needed. However, I wasn't 100% sure which packages the following were:

 

- MDT 2010 Update 1 Files - The package pointing to both x86 & x64 folders - right?

- MDT 2010 Update 1 Settings - How is that different from the MDT package? Don't remember creating one of those during pre-requisites

- RunScanState - Just a package pointing to the folder with the *now* 3 batch files in it (I guess what's in the workaround.zip)

- Unattend.xml file - I decided to just rename yours and create package. Does it need to be pointed to a Win7 factory WIM & for the package do I simply create one pointing to the folder with that XML file in it w/o adding a program?

- Set Network location hotfix - My best guess on what this is is "KB2509007 - New Advanced Client Hotfix" which was auto created

- HTA FrontEnd boot image - Searched everywhere. Would assume that it's a package pointing to folder with wnb.zip extracted.

 

the MDT 2010 update 1 files (and settings packages) are created once you create a MDT task sequence and go through the wizard, to do this right click on task sequences, choose create microsoft deployment task sequence, go through the wizard, it creates both needed packages during the wizard

 

obviously you must have intergrated mdt 2010 update 1 with configmgr before trying that step.

as regards runscanstate, yup you've got it, use wsim to create your own or use mine as long as it matches the architecture of your win7 image,

 

the network location hotfix is just a step to install a patch in windows 7, see here, to save time you can leave it out also

I know that seems like a question for each line of your post, but it seems like I missed a page of instructions or something. If you have the time to help me, then I'd appreciate it. You've no doubt done plenty to help me in the past.

 

Thanks!

 

no worries !

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Hi Anyweb,

 

is it possible to use HTA with SCCM 2007 R3 without having MDT, we have just SCCM no MDT server and we want to use LDAP authentication before running OSD.

is it doable ?

 

Regards

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you could probably script your way around it but why bother, MDT offers you scripts and additional functionality that benefits any SCCM installation,

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Hi,

can you please share any example or article you have on how to script it ?

As i already told you we dont have MDT in our environment. i want to achive this only using SCCM.

 

Please help

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there's no easy way to do it, why don't you just integrate MDT with SCCM ? what is stopping you from doing so ?

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I have 38 locations where i have installed DP.

On primaray site i have 5 servers for SCCM infrastructure.

 

The thing which is stopping me is to add more hardware for MDT which i dont hav. as far as i know i need to add 1 extra machine on every location where i have PXE enabled and where i need this functionality. AM i right ?

 

Regards

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no new hardware needed, just download mdt 2010 update 1 and integrate it with SCCM and enjoy the benefits of MDT integrated into sccm, you'll have to create your MDT Toolkit and MDT Settings packages, but that is beyond the scope of this post (which is about the windows-noob.com FrontEnd HTA ver 1.0), if you need help with integrating mdt and creating the packages, then create a new post

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Hi,

This looks like a great tool. And my coworker and I definitely appreciate your guys site, we've been using it a lot for our Windows 7 deployment. We are trying to do a no touch deployment from Windows XP to Win7 64, however, due to paranoia we are required to take a backup image of every users machine before we migrate them to Win7. So I'm wondering if you have documented anywhere how to perform a network backup through WinPE in a SCCM Task sequence. It looks like you can do it through this HTA, but we would prefer not to have to use the HTA since we already know what we will be doing with each PC.

 

Any help would be much appreciated.

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well download the task sequence associated with this hta and look at the backup steps, it does cater for backing up to a network share using ztibackup, you should be able to copy those steps out and into your own task sequence but you may have to set the variables somehow (either in the task sequence or computer variables or collection variables)

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well download the task sequence associated with this hta and look at the backup steps, it does cater for backing up to a network share using ztibackup, you should be able to copy those steps out and into your own task sequence but you may have to set the variables somehow (either in the task sequence or computer variables or collection variables)

Thanks, I did try that, sorry I forgot to mention it. I've also tried this http://scug.dk/blogs...-from-a-ts.aspx in its own task sequence both task sequences start up in WinPE then immediately restart. So I don't get any error message at all.

 

 

If my backup location is a network location do I need to provide the task sequence with a username and password to login?

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if you look at the task sequence i've supplied there is a network connect step, and that must occur (it maps to a drive letter) before you can store anything on the network, below is the XML from the step in the task sequence itself, just import the TS into configmgr and you can see the step yourself

 

-<step name="Connect to Network Folder" description="This step is needed otherwise we cannot display any stored States in the Bare Metal/New Computer scenario" successCodeList="0" runIn="WinPEandFullOS" type="SMS_TaskSequence_ConnectNetworkFolderAction">

<action>smsnetuse.exe %SMSConnectNetworkFolderPath%</action>

-<defaultVarList>

<variable property="DriveLetter" name="SMSConnectNetworkFolderDriveLetter">

Z:</variable>

<variable property="Password" name="SMSConnectNetworkFolderPassword">

</variable>

<variable property="Path" name="SMSConnectNetworkFolderPath">

\\sccm\USMTStores

</variable>

<variable property="Username" name="SMSConnectNetworkFolderAccount">

server2008\sccmnaa

</variable>

</defaultVarList>

</step>

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Actually, turns out its not a problem with any task sequence, we are having much worse issues. Our SCCM is not working, our network access account is locking and SCCM cannot access our SQL server that hosts the SMS database.

 

Just found out as i was typing this response, from our DBA that the SMS service on the database terminated and wont successfully restart. :(

 

 

Thank you for your response though.

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Thank you for a Great tool, I've mostly got everything configured and running but I have a couple of questions though -

 

Issues:

  • I'm confused why when making the association on a new computer it would require the destination computer to be entered? Shouldn't this be the Source computer? I'm thinking that this is a new computer (data destination) and I want to pull the data from the old computer (data source). Is my thinking flawed?
  • Under New Installation the UserDataLocation and UDShare steps are disabled. Are those not required? If they are, what Value is needed for the UserDataLocation?
  • I was browsing through the DeployMenu.js file and noticed on line 302 that the sUsmtStorePath value is set to "\\\\sccm\\USMTStores"; Do I need to put my USMT data store server\path here?

Notes:

  • My windows 7 deployment was failing after applying the OS because the TS to apply drivers was disabled by default so it wasn't getting a network connection.

 

Questions:

  • I have 300 computers to upgrade in the next couple of months so my main objective is to get OSD to run a scanstate on the old PC while in XP (NOT WinPE). Is that possible?

 

Everyone at work chuckles when I pull up "Windows-Noob.com" in my browser but I have gotten a few others to start using your site as they notice that it is often returning top hits in a google search. I know I'm busy and I don't run a fully functioning support blog so I can only imagine that you are swamped. I appreciate any assistance you can provide.

 

Jeremy

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Thank you for a Great tool, I've mostly got everything configured and running but I have a couple of questions though -

 

 

 

Issues:

 

 

 

I'm confused why when making the association on a new computer it would require the destination computer to be entered? Shouldn't this be the Source computer? I'm thinking that this is a new computer (data destination) and I want to pull the data from the old computer (data source). Is my thinking flawed?</li>

 

Under New Installation the UserDataLocation and UDShare steps are disabled. Are those not required? If they are, what Value is needed for the UserDataLocation?</li>

 

I was browsing through the DeployMenu.js file and noticed on line 302 that the sUsmtStorePath value is set to "\\sccm\USMTStores"; Do I need to put my USMT data store serverpath here?</li>

 

 

 

Notes:

 

 

 

My windows 7 deployment was failing after applying the OS because the TS to apply drivers was disabled by default so it wasn't getting a network connection.</li>

 

 

 

Questions:

 

 

 

I have 300 computers to upgrade in the next couple of months so my main objective is to get OSD to run a scanstate on the old PC while in XP (NOT WinPE). Is that possible?</li>

 

 

 

Everyone at work chuckles when I pull up "Windows-Noob.com" in my browser but I have gotten a few others to start using your site as they notice that it is often returning top hits in a google search. I know I'm busy and I don't run a fully functioning support blog so I can only imagine that you are swamped. I appreciate any assistance you can provide.

 

 

 

Jeremy

 

 

 

 

hi Jeremy,

 

I'm happy that you are trying this tool, it's really useful ! I do have an updated version of it which I havent released yet it does fix some bugs in the original tool, but to your questions...

 

 

 

I'm confused why when making the association on a new computer it would require the destination computer to be entered? Shouldn't this be the Source computer? I'm thinking that this is a new computer (data destination) and I want to pull the data from the old computer (data source). Is my thinking flawed?

 

 

 

 

 

when you create an association, <u>you need to specify the destination</u> as THAT computer will be the new computer, you need to have added that computer record to Configmgr before this stage (import computer association...), understand that my tool is merely allowing you to create the association between source (the computer you've just booted into WinPE) and the Destination (new computer, previously added by you to configmgr's database).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under <strong class="bbc">New Installation the <strong class="bbc">UserDataLocation and <strong class="bbc">UDShare steps are disabled. Are those not required? If they are, what Value is needed for the UserDataLocation?

 

</li>

 

 

 

all the backup (and restore) options within the task sequence are handled in different sections of the task sequence based on variables, take a look at the backupold section and later on, the restore user state, so these options you mention are set elsewhere when needed.

 

 

 

I was browsing through the <strong class="bbc">DeployMenu.js file and noticed on line 302 that the <strong class="bbc">sUsmtStorePath value is set to <strong class="bbc">"\\sccm\USMTStores"; Do I need to put my USMT data store serverpath here?

 

this path is used to store our Offline data on the Network (it assumes you are doing a scanstate in WinPE and then copying this stored state to the network share..) we use this as another option to the SMP (state migration Point)

 

 

 

I have 300 computers to upgrade in the next couple of months so my main objective is to get OSD to run a scanstate on the old PC while in XP (NOT WinPE). Is that possible?

 

 

 

sure it's possible, no problems there you can create a separate task sequence to peform scanstate on these computers and use the SMP method (state migration point) in conjunction with Computer Association

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone at work chuckles when I pull up "Windows-Noob.com" in my browser but I have gotten a few others to start using your site as they notice that it is often returning top hits in a google search.

 

 

 

yes I know the domain name throws people off and they like to make fun of it, however i'm pretty sure the same people will be browsing this site (and perhaps signing up) sooner or later, as it's got unique content displayed in a very helpful way :)

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Can we user this hta for MDT 2010 (we do not have sccm)

 

I think you could use pieces of it but I do not think it will plug into MDT.

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