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Booting managed computers in Windows automation environment

Deployment Solution

You use Deployment Solution to boot managed computers in automation environment whenever you want to install a different operating system or deploy a new image on the computer. Automation environments are created and activated after you install the operating system (OS) specific Automation Folder plug-in on the client computer. You use the automation folder as an alternative option to boot computer especially when the client computer is disconnected from the Network Boot Service (NBS) server in a network.

An automation folder stores the preboot files of an operating system on the client computer. The client computer uses this functionality to boot in the preboot environment using the preboot OS that is installed locally. The preboot OS for Windows OS is known as WinPE.

This process lets you boot a Windows managed computer in an automation environment.

Before you get started, review the location and size of the Automation Folder that is created on the client computer in the following table:

Table: Default location and size of Windows automation folder

Operating system


Default folder location

Approximate folder size




214 MB




214 MB

Ensure that proper filters are set while installing the Deployment Automation Folder. Ensure that a 64-bit policy gets installed on a 64-bit computer and a 32-bit policy get installed on a 32-bit client computer.

Table: To boot a managed computer in an automation environment




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 Deployment Automation Folder plug-in for Windows on the client computer

Install the Deployment Automation Folder for Windows plug-in on the client computer.

Ensure you install the 64-bit plug-in and the 32-bit plug-in on the appropriate computers. To install the plug-in, you must access the Settings > Agents/Plug-ins > All Agents/Plug-ins menu of the console. Expand the Deployment and Migration node in the left pane and select the Windows folder. Inside the folder, select the Deployment Automation Folder for Windows - Install policy. In the right pane, perform the required actions to apply the policy on the client computer that you want.

See Installing and uninstalling Automation Folder on client computers

Step 3

Configure an automation environment

Create and configure an automation environment through the Create Preboot Configuration dialog box of the console.

By default, the automation environment for Windows is PEInstall, which is listed in the dialog box. If you create custom automation folders through this dialog box, then you must manually copy the automation folders to the computer on which the Notification Server (NS) is installed. Ensure that the automation policy is enabled as performed in step 2 such that NS can replicate the automation folder on the client computer.

Step 4

(optional) Create Initial Deployment tasks or jobs

You can create and assign initial deployment tasks or jobs to the Windows managed computers through the Initial Deployment job menu. The jobs are executed after the computer boots in the automation environment.

See Configuring the initial deployment settings

Step 5

Create a Boot To automation task

Create the Boot To task in the Create New Task dialog box and select the Automation option.

Step 6

Schedule the Boot To task to execute on a client computer

Schedule the Boot To Automation task that you created for the client computers to boot in the automation environment.

See Scheduling a deployment job or task