Apr
22

Enabling multi-image support when using prestaging in ConfigMgr 2007 R3

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ConfigMgr 2007 R3 includes the functionality to prestage both the WinPE boot image and OS install image on hard disk. This enables you to instruct your computer hardware provider to prestage these files on the disk when it ships, making your OS installation process both much faster (because image is already on disk). And there is no need for PXE or CD/DVD boot, because the boot image is loaded from the disk. This is a greatly anticipated feature and the lack of this feature before created a lot of custom solutions to be made.

But in some circumstances it would be great to have the ability to use only the prestaged WinPE and not be forced to use the prestaged OS Install Image. By setting the much undocumented new OSD task sequence variable OSDUseAlreadyDeployedImage to False before the Apply Operating System action enables this behavior and forces the action to use the network stored OS Install Image or any other OS Install Image than the prestaged. See screenshot below.

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This comes in handy if your image is changed and you don’t want to pay extra for the computer hardware provider to update computers already staged, or if your OS installation task sequence contains multiple images. In my case I wanted to create a custom OS refresh scenario by prestaging only WinPE Boot Image on disk, but that’s another story.

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