So I was struggling with this issue for quite awhile. During our BDD process (I gotta start calling it MD for Microsoft Deployment, but that's a hard habit to break.) everything was roses until the machine image dropped down as a .wim starting running the mini-setup after being sysprepped. I kept getting the error "An unexpected error has occurred while changing your computer's network identification. Would you like to proceed for now and try joining the domain later?" Of course, you enter yes and it completes and then adding manually works every time. So why can't it do this automatically? Well it turns our the old MachineOU="Computers" was stuck in my sysprep.inf. Not by me, mind you, by BDD. I had removed this line, but it appeared in the default customsetting.ini file (aka the Rules tab under the deployment point) and BDD was adding this line as well as a few others during the build process. Removing it from the sysprep.inf and from customsettings.ini finally did the trick and the machine was added just fine. The shift-F10 trick I posted about before really helped in figuring this out as I was able to "preview" in sysprep.inf file right before mini-setup ran. On to the next issue.....
Friday, April 25, 2008
After messing with an error during our sysprep/mini-setup routine, I found an obscure reference on the net about hitting Shift-F10 to bring up a command window during mini-setup so that you can troubleshoot what's going on. I'll be damned...it works. This little trick helped us better understand what was going on and gave us the ability to try different settings in the sysprep.inf until we got one that worked.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
So we use UltraVNC on all our desktops for remote support. Being well intentioned IT folk, we want to force encryption...well just because. So it turns out this is a pain in the rear to package. Basically, the latest version of UltraVNC 1.02 requires a system variable be set if you want to use a key file named anything other then rc4.key. So after a few hours of fighting this...here is my procedure to package UltraVNC with Prism Deploy, our packaging tool:
- Perform a standard UltraVNC install.
- Add the system variable msrc4pluginkey and set it equal to the path of the custom key file (i.e. c:\program files\ultravnc\mykey.key) I did this for both user and system variables because in user mode it seems to use the user variable.
- Copy mykey.key to c:\program files\ultravnc
- Copy msrc3plugin4_noreg.dsm to c:\program files\ultravnc
- Setup mslogin 2 and the default password
- Install hook driver
- Install service
- Start service
- Install service helper
Well anyhow, that's what worked for me.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
For those of you looking to remotely support users on over the web, this is a handy open source tool that gets the job done. I'm not talking about the familiar VNC where the client needs to be preloaded either. This tool is a mini-executable that downloads an extremely thin client with very little effort that connects back to you, running as a VNC server. When the session is done, the client removes itself so there is no permanent footprint left. So far, I've only seen this as a Windows tool. The main website for Ultravnc SC is here. I have a post on our main webpage at work called PC Support. We direct users to it to pull down the client. After the client loads, they simply double click on the name of the person on my staff that they want to remotely control their machine. It's all driven by an ini file setup. You feed that file and a few others in a zip file to a web app at Ultravnc's site and it returns a compiled, custom version for you to use. I was a little leary about the whole "let us create the .exe for you" part, but I can say I've had no issues in the last 3 years that we have been using it. Definitely good stuff and in my Top Ten favorite Open Source apps.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
This little gem can be found in MD under your deployment point settings. Just click on the Properties of your distribution point and go to the Rules Tab. At the bottom you'll see a link for bootstrap.ini. Here's mine (well almost I changed the username and password.):
What is it used for? Well, somehow WinPE grabs this file and uses it for authentication to the MD server when it boots up. Without this, WinPE runs but can't get at any of the MD stuff on the distribution share. It's probably used somewhere else in the build process, but so far that's all I know about it.