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Preparing unknown computers to boot with WinPE image

Deployment Solution

After an unknown computer is added to a network, Deployment Solution boots the computer in the preboot environment using a PXE image. You can configure the unknown computer to boot in the preboot environment before you install the Windows operating system (OS) on the computer. The computer boots in the preboot environment with a PXE image.

For Windows, a PXE image is created using the preboot configuration files, WinPE that Deployment Solution supports,the PECTAgent, and the Deployment plug-in for Windows. The Deployment Plug-in is required for the execution of deployment tasks on the client computer.

The following process addresses how you must configure the settings to boot an unknown computer in the WinPE environment. After the computer boots in the preboot environment, the communication with Notification Server is established and the computer is registered as a managed computer.

You must perform the following steps to boot an unknown computer with the WinPE image:

Table: Booting an unknown computer with WinPE image

Step

Action

Description

Step 1

Launch the console

Launch the Symantec Management Console.

You can launch the console either from the Start menu of the Notification Server computer or from any computer of the network. To access the console from a different computer, you must type the following:

http://<IP address of NS>/altiris/console

Step 2

Install Network Boot Service on a site server

You must install the Network Boot Service (NBS) on a site server and also enable the policy before you configure the unknown client computer to boot in the preboot environment.

See Installing Network Boot Service on site server

Step 3

Create a WinPE image

You must create a WinPE image through the Create Preboot Configurations dialog box of the console.

See Creating preboot configuration for Windows

Step 4

Configure NBS settings for unknown computers

You must configure the NBS settings for the unknown client computer from the console.

See Configuring Network Boot Service for unknown computers

For the unknown computer, you configure the NBS General Settings that lets you select the image to boot the client computer with and also configure the boot menu. Besides, you can also configure the NBS Global Setting that lets you filter computers based on MAC address to which the NBS site server must or must not respond.

See About NBS General Settings

See About filtering computers through NBS Global Settings

Step 5

(optional) Set up Initial Deployment job to execute tasks on the client computers

You can set up an Initial Deployment job for the Windows unknown client computer to execute the deployment tasks that you create.

You can perform this step after you create the deployment tasks for the unknown client computer.

The Initial Deployment job menu is displayed on the client computer after the computer boots to the preboot environment. You can select all or specific tasks from the menu and execute them on the client computer.

See Configuring the initial deployment settings

Step 6

Add the unknown computer to the network and wait for the client computer to boot to preboot environment

If you have added predefined computer entries through the console with no hardware identifier values, then the Windows unknown client computers boot in the preboot environment using the PXE image that was configured for predefined computers. You configure the PXE image for a predefined computer through the NBS General Settings dialog box.

After the computer boots to the preboot environment, Deployment Solution provides an option to boot the unknown computer as a predefined computer.

See Performing tasks in preboot environment for Windows computers