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Hi

 

I have been working on using WDS to deploy images of W2k3 to my company's servers. I am able to capture the image and boot the client via PXE to connect to the WDS server. All goes well till the point where after the client server reboots after copying setup files from the WDS server. I allow it to boot from the hard drive and it attempts to load the previous OS (Linux) and hangs at that point.

 

After installing and configuring WDS, I copied setupmgr.exe and sysprep.exe, from deploy.cab found in the W2k3R2 SP2 cd, onto c:\sysprep folder, and created a answer file (.inf) on the reference client server. I then sysprepped the same server (mini setup, reseal, reboot). After rebooting to PXE on the reference server, I captured the image and saved it onto the WDS server.

 

I then add the install image to WDS server and attempt to deploy this image to a different server having the same hardware. During the first reboot after copying files, it hangs, as I have mentioned above.

 

Is there anything that I should be doing differently or is this problem a hardware issue? When I try running the Deployment process on the server again, it prompts me that another copy of Windows have been installed and that the files would be saved under windows.old if I proceeded. The partition which I had created previously is present as well. So why is the server not able to boot to this partition and complete the setup? I have tried this several times on different servers (same model) and I get the same problem. Help!

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this sounds to me like wds is deploying ok but that it is NOT removing grub (the linux boot loader)

 

if you mount one of these server hard discs do you see windows installed on it or not ?

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Hi Anyweb

 

indeed, during the boot process, while attempting to boot from the hard disk, 'GRUB' actually appears before it hangs.

By 'mount', do you mean to remove this hard disk and attaching it to another server physically and checking the contents in the disk?

 

So far, the only clue that I have that windows was already implemented on the hard disk is if i re-ran WDS and deployed on the same hard disk, the setup process prompts me that another copy of Windows have been installed and that the files would be saved under windows.old if I proceeded

 

Also, during the deployment process, I actually removed the previous partitions, re-partitioned and formatted the hard disk before copying the setup files into c:\. Why does this not remove any remnants of the previous OS/GRUB from the hard disk? How then, do I remove GRUB? If i do a manual reinstall of W2k3 entirely (not deploying through WDS), I have no such problems. I have already done manual installs for about 10 of the servers, and have another 20 to go. It would be so much quicker to use WDS if I could.

 

this sounds to me like wds is deploying ok but that it is NOT removing grub (the linux boot loader)

 

if you mount one of these server hard discs do you see windows installed on it or not ?

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is there any chance you can remove the servers hard disc and replace it with one that DOESN't have grub on it and then re-run the WDS test, just to see if it works ok

 

if it does then we know that we have to find a way to remove grub via WDS and my guess would be that will need to be done via diskpart

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Hi Any

 

I finally managed to get WDS to work.

Indeed, the boot loader was the problem. After some googling and testing, here are the steps which I had to go through before successfully getting Windows to boot properly after the first reboot during the deployment process:

 

1. boot to PXE on the server which I want to deploy my image to

2. run the deployment process to the point where it reboots after copying/expanding setup files

3. boot to CD drive, with W2k3 cd inside, and run Recovery Console

4. run FIXMBR and then FIXBOOT. Running either one without the other doesn't work.

5. reboot, this time to hard disk.

 

At this point, Windows should boot properly and the setup will run.

 

Thanks for the tip!

 

is there any chance you can remove the servers hard disc and replace it with one that DOESN't have grub on it and then re-run the WDS test, just to see if it works ok

 

if it does then we know that we have to find a way to remove grub via WDS and my guess would be that will need to be done via diskpart

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i'm sure we could get around this problem without the need to use a cd, have you tried diskpart at all ?

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No I didn't. Thing is, how do I run diskpart if I don't boot to the Windows disc and run Recovery Console? Remember that I cannot boot to Windows at all. Once I allow it to boot to hard disk, it tries to boot Grub and hangs.

And if I have to run Recovery Console anyway to run diskpart, running fixmbr and fixboot solves the problem.

 

How would diskpart solve the problem? I did try to delete all the partitions, recreating and formatting them during the Deployment process when it prompts me to select the partition to install Windows. But once it boots to disk, Grub appears.

 

i'm sure we could get around this problem without the need to use a cd, have you tried diskpart at all ?

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