What are the job options in BMS

Install Windows 10 automatically with the baramundi Management Suite

The unattended installation with response files, a procedure common since XP for OS deployment, is also suitable for the migration to Windows 10. If an in-place upgrade is not an option, then with heterogeneous hardware it can achieve the best results . *

While Microsoft has been promoting cloning as the preferred wipe-and-load method since Vista, the native installation, known as OS-Install by baramundi, is still justified. baramundi thus supports all operating systems from Vista and Windows Server 2008 R2.

Update installation media

The preparations include, above all, updating the installation media: If all important updates are added to the WIM archive in advance, this accelerates the execution of the setup and leads to systems that can be used immediately and are also secure. The subsequent job step for patch installation then only installs the latest patches.

Microsoft provides the command line tool DISM for this offline servicing, with which WIM archives can be mounted and provided with updates or packages. Conversely, you can also use it to remove components and applications, for example store apps that Microsoft preinstalled on Windows 10 that are not required.

Answer file controls installation

If certain actions are to run automatically during installation, administrators can adjust the response file supplied by baramundi with the Windows SIM ADK tool. It already contains many useful default settings, such as joining a domain, and saves the system administrator from having to unattend.xml to be configured from scratch.

Boot image and Windows ADK

The baramundi Management Suite requires a boot image for the automated deployment that matches the intended operating system. For this you also need the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK).

Once this has been installed, you can use the baramundi Boot Media Wizard to create a WinPE image. It can be found in the baramundi program directory under Tools and requires at least the following information:

  1. Boot medium type, here PE network boot image.
  2. baramundi server
  3. Windows PE settings: Path to ADK and to boot.wim, Storage path, architecture (x86, x64) and boot type (BIOS / UEFI). Since baramundi recognizes the installed ADK, it automatically enters the correct paths.
  4. In the last step, drivers can be added that are not included in the installation media. This means that you can also use the latest network cards or hard disk types under Windows PE.
  5. The generation of the boot image is then started.

Since there is no version of Windows PE that boots on both UEFI and BIOS systems, baramundi recommends using the BIOS compatibility mode if possible. If this is not possible for individual devices, the Boot Media Wizard simply creates suitable WinPE images for both BIOS and UEFI.

Provide the operating system in the bMS

The administrator needs the sources of the desired operating system, for example Windows 10. This must be stored in the bMS so that it can be used for installations. In the menu item Operating systems he creates a new profile with the following information:

  1. Integration method Native
  2. Path to the operating system
  3. A response file for a fully automated Windows installation (a file supplied by baramundi or a customized file)
  4. License key, the integrated license management can also be specified here

The administrator can at any time in the menu item Operating systems Edit all created operating systems and, for example, retrospectively equip them with licenses.

Create job for operating system distribution

The baramundi Management Suite handles all client tasks using so-called jobs. Accordingly, an operating system of the type Job for Windows device to be created. Only a few details are required in the wizard for this: The job step is Install the operating system and specify the OS created previously.

Various other options are available, so the partitioning of the client hard drive can also be controlled. To do this, you select hardware profiles that you previously created when creating the operating system.

Trigger installation

Before the first client requests an installation via network boot, the administrator has to open the baramundi system once for this process under Configuration => Server => PXE support activate. Here he switches on PXE and TFTP and then restarts the baramundi server service.

To trigger the OS installation, the administrator assigns the job just created to one or more clients. He does this by clicking on the button of the same name in the job view

New clients that are not yet registered as target systems in the bMS are automatically assigned to a logical group during PXE boot, which the administrator can specify in the PXE boot settings.

After a security query, the job is then automatically executed for the selected clients.

Depending on the job options selected, the installation job for the current client is deactivated after the setup has been completed and the network boot is switched off in the BIOS.

Conclusion

Even if Windows 10 offers a significantly better in-place upgrade than its predecessor, it cannot be used in many cases. Under these conditions, the unattended installation is still recommended in order to set up customized and stable Windows systems.

However, you have to accept additional effort, especially the migration of the user profiles and the reinstallation of the applications. However, the baramundi Management Suite is able to greatly simplify the reinstallation process.

This includes the creation of the response file, the generation of a WinPE image, the automatic start of the setup and the subsequent central distribution of applications and patches.

* This text is a contribution paid by baramundi software AG.