I’ve been imaging desktop computers since way before Ghost was a Symantec program. I’ve used Ghost, Altiris, and Zenworks imaging, so I have a fairly good idea of how the entire imaging process plays out.
I’ve recently been thrown into a System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007 deployment, which includes imaging. One thing I think is a serious weakness in the SCCM product is how it handles bare metal imaging, which is a brand new machine that is either blank or has never been on the network.
Steve writes that:
“Provisioning a bare metal machine in SCCM 2007 requires that the machine be managed by SCCM. If the machine is being re-imaged and was already a SCCM client there is no administrator action required. If the machine is a new system, it is required that the administrator manually add the system as managed in SCCM. This is done by using the ‘computer information import’ wizard and supplying the system name, SMBIOS ID and/or the MAC address. Then, once the system is added to SCCM the administrator must target a task sequence (more on these in later entries), which is the deloyment mechanism in SCCM, to the system. Now when the system boots it will find it’s entry in SCCM and can install the targeted task sequences. Systems that are not in the SCCM database will display an error message”
This means new systems need their SMBIOS GUID and/or MAC addresses inventoried and manually imported into SCCM before they can be imaged through SCCM.
Importing the machines into SCCM is easy enough once all the data is collected. In the SCCM console:
1) Goto Computer Management – Operating System Deployment
2) Right click on Computer Association and select Import Computer Information
3) Follow the wizard, entering the name and SMBIOS and/or MAC address
Alternatively, you can import a list of computers from a .csv file. Be aware the .csv file must exist and be in a certain format before running the import wizard:
“The specified file must be created in the comma separated values (CSV) format. Use the following format when entering the computer information with each property value in a separate column: NEWCOMP1,55555555-5555-5555-5555-555555555555,05:06:07:08:09:0A. Raw byte format is not supported. No conversion of raw byte format data will be performed. If the computer information is not entered using this format, the computer import will fail.”
Alternatively, you can try to use the PXEFILTER.VBS script included with the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2008. Chris has provided some suggestions on how to customize this script to your organization. I had a lot of difficulty figuring out where to put the PXEFILTER.vbs file once I customized it. I finally found documentation that you have to have the MDT installed on the WDS and PXE Management point server.