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Preparing predefined computers to boot with WinPE image

Deployment Solution

If you have provisioned computers before they are added to a network, then Deployment Solution identifies such computers as predefined computers. You can configure the predefined computers to boot in the preboot environment before you install the Windows operating system (OS). The computers boot in the preboot environment with a PXE image.

The PXE image for Windows OS is known as WinPE 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.

If you add a predefined computer through the Settings > Deployment > Predefined Computer dialog box of the console, then Deployment Solution boots all unknown computers as potential predefined computer based on a criteria. The criteria is that you have not specified any value for the hardware identifier fields such as MAC address, Serial Number, and UUID, in the dialog box.

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

You must perform the following steps to boot a predefined computer with the WinPE image:

Table: Booting a predefined computer with WinPE image




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 the 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 client computer to boot in the preboot environment.

See Installing Network Boot Service on site server


Add or import predefined computers

You must add or import one or more predefined computers through the Predefined Computers dialog box of the console.

See Adding or importing predefined computers

Step 4

Create a WinPE image

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

See Creating preboot configuration for Windows

Step 5

Configure NBS settings for predefined computer

Configure the NBS settings for the predefined client computer from the console.

See Configuring Network Boot Service for predefined computers

For the predefined computer, you configure the NBS General Settings that lets you select the WinPE 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 6

(optional) Set up the Re-Deployment (Managed Computer) menu in the Initial Deployment Settings dialog box

In the Initial Deployment Settings dialog box, you can configure the Re-Deployment (Managed Computer) menu to execute jobs or tasks on the predefined computer after the computer boot in the preboot environment.

See Configuring the initial deployment settings


Add a predefined computer to the network and wait for the computer to boot in the preboot environment

After a predefined computer is added to the network, the computer boots with the WinPE image that you configured.

If you have not specified any values for the hardware identifier fields, then, after the computer boots to the preboot environment, you have can execute the Initial deployment tasks that you configured for the unknown computer. The hardware identifier fields are, MAC address, Serial number, and UUID that you specify in the Add Predefined Computer dialog box.

See Performing tasks in preboot environment for Windows computers