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Installing Windows OS on client computers

Deployment Solution

Deployment Solution lets you install a Windows operating system (OS) on an unknown, a predefined, or a managed computer in an enterprise network. Windows OS installation lets you remotely install the Windows OS on any desktop, laptop, or on a server that is independent of the computer's hardware configuration. Besides, you can create a Windows OS package with the required source files, and decide what source files are included in that package.

This process addresses how you must boot a client computer in the preboot environment by using a WinPE image. After the client computer boots in the preboot environment, the communication with Notification Server is established. You must then create a Windows OS installation package and then install the Windows OS by using the installation package.

You must perform the following steps to install Windows OS on a client computer:

Table: Installing Windows OS on a client computer

Step

Action

Description

Step 1

Launch the Symantec Management 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 and enable the Network Boot Service on a site server

Install the Network Boot Service (NBS) on a site server before you perform any other configurations. NBS is a component of Deployment Solution that you install and run as a service on a site server. NBS, once installed on a site server, handles all the communication with the Symantec Management Platform for Deployment Solution.

See Installing Network Boot Service on site server

Step 3

Create Windows preboot environment

Create and configure a Windows preboot environment using a PXE image. The PXE image is used to boot the client computer in a network in the preboot environment or the pre-OS state. A PXE image is saved on the site server on which NBS is configured. Therefore, ensure that NBS is running on the site server before you create the PXE image.

See Preparing unknown computers to boot with WinPE image

See Preparing predefined computers to boot with WinPE image

See Booting managed Windows computer with WinPE image

Step 4

Configure NBS based on the type of client computer that is to boot in preboot environment

Configure Network Boot Service (NBS) for the type of client computer that you want to boot in the preboot environment.

The NBS settings are configured through Settings > Deployment > NBS General Settings menu of the console.

See Configuring Network Boot Service for unknown computers

See Configuring Network Boot Service for predefined computers

See Configuring Network Boot Service for managed computers

Step 5

Add or import OS files for OS installation package

Add or import OS package to manage the Windows OS source files. You can configure the import parameters for your package.

To add OS package for Windows OS installation, from the Symantec Management Console, click Settings > Deployment > OS Files > Add files.

To import the OS files to a Windows OS installation package, you can also use the Deployment Solution Resource Import Tool. This tool is located in the <install_directory>/Altiris/Deployment/Tools folder of the Notification Server computer.

You can add or import OS files to a Windows OS installation package before executing the Install Windows OS task. Alternatively, you can specify the files to be added or imported to the installation package at run-time while executing the Install Windows OS task.

See Adding or importing OS files

Step 6

(optional) Add a Windows OS license to install Windows OS on the client computer

Add the Windows OS license for the corresponding OS through the Symantec Management Console so that you can track the OS licenses later.

You can add Windows OS license before executing the Install Windows OS task. Alternatively, you can specify the Windows OS license for the corresponding OS at run-time while executing the Install Windows OS task.

See Adding OS licenses

Step 7

(optional) Erase disk of client computer

Perform the Erase Disk task to erase the disks on the client computer. This action ensures that any preexisting data and partitions are removed from the computer. When you reallocate hardware, you can use this task to ensure that none of the old data can be retrieved.

You can execute this step only when you want to wipe the client computer's disk clean of any preexisting data or disk partitions.

See Erasing a Disk

Step 8

Create disk partition on client computer

Execute the Partition Disk task to create partitions on the client computer's hard drive before you install the Windows OS.

To install Windows OS on UEFI/EFI computers, the computer must have partitions created with GPT partition table type. The GPT partition is required because the Partition disk task of Deployment Solution is not applicable for the UEFI computers.

See Creating disk partitions

Step 9

Install a Windows OS on the client computer

Execute the Install Windows OS task to install the Windows OS on the client computer after the computer boots in the preboot environment. By default, after the Windows OS is installed, the client computer boots to the production environment.

You can install Windows OS on UEFI/EFI computers using the default answer file or a custom answer file.

See Installing a Windows OS using Deployment Solution

Step 10

Perform Quick Run or schedule the Install Windows OS task

After a task is created, you can choose to either perform Quick Run or schedule the Install Windows OS task to run immediately or at a time that you want to execute on the client computer. You can specify the computer that the task runs on.

Alternatively, you can choose to add the tasks in steps 7, 8, and 9 to the Initial Deployment Job. You can also create a job that contains the tasks and add the job to the Initial Deployment Job menu .

See Scheduling a deployment job or task

Step 11

Verify that the computer boots in the production environment

After you execute the Install Windows OS task on the computer, verify that the Windows OS is installed and the computer is in production environment. By default, the computer boots to the production environment after the task executes.

To verify, from the Symantec Management Console, click Manage menu > Computers > select the computer name from the list of available computers. The details of the selected computer appear in the General pane. Verify the operating system that is installed on the computer. You can also view the status of the Install Windows OS task in the Jobs/Tasks list.