Howto: Fix Zenworks imaging problems with Dell Optiplex 755

If you’re having problems using Zenworks 7.0.1 imaging with Dell Optiplex 755 workstations, you need to apply the Novell ZENworks Desktop Management 7 SP1 Interim Release 3a update per TID 3761823.

You can find links to the updated Zenworks 7 SP1 software in TID 3484245.  You can also download the file and simply replace four PXE files on the Zenworks server with the updated versions: bootcd.iso, initrd, linux, and root.

Novell does provide a workaround, which is described below:

Workaround – Need to add the parameter newid=”0x8086 0x10bd,e1000″.

To know where to put this parameter see:
How To get Linux to recognize new device ID.

If Using PXE, do this:

1. On the server, find this folder: \tftp\cmds\

2. You will need to edit all four cmd files (which are text files) if you want to give yourself the option of the various boot modes. The files are:
z_auto.cmd, z_maint.cmd, z_zpdis.cmd, z_zpen.cmd

3. Assuming the files are in their default state, the 2nd line of each file will be a very long APPEND command. In each file, at the very end of the APPEND command, add a space and then this: newid=”0x8086 0x10bd,e1000″

4. Save the files and then try PXE booting the 755. You might possibly need to stop and start Zen on the server first ( zfdstop, zfdstart).

If you want to use the manual mode of the Zen imaging utility, do this:

1. Turn on the 755, and just as it is starting up, hit F12 (for boot options)

2. Tell it to boot from the On board Network Controller.

3. As it begins to start the network boot process, press and hold (for a very long time) these keys: ctrl-alt-shift

4. If all is well, you will eventually be presented with some menu choices. Choose Maintenance Mode Zenworks Imaging.

5. After quite a while, you will get a bash prompt. Type img and hit enter. You should now be at the imaging menus.

Note that these steps only work if you are using ZDM 7.0.1 IR1 or later, as it already has the necessary driver present, e1000.ko. The newid command simply tells the kernel how to use the driver.

Updating a Zenworks Office 2007 NAL app to Office 2007 SP1

If you already have a working Zenworks for Desktops (ZfD) Office 2007 NAL application, it’s extermely simple to update it to Service Pack 1.

1) Download Office 2007 SP1

2) Extract the Office 2007 SP1 files using the following syntax:

office2007sp1-kb936982-fullfile-en-us.exe /extract:c:\sp1

where c:\sp1 is the directory to extract the files into.

3) Once the extraction process is complete, you should see several files in the c:\sp1 directory. Copy those files to the \Updates directory in your Office 2007 NAL app installation directory.

Any files located in the \Updates directory will automatically be installed when the NAL app executes, so you’ve just successfully updated your existing Office 2007 NAL app to SP1!

You can find additional SP1 deployment guidence on Technet. See KB 936982 for details regarding changes in SP1.

Determining Client Screen Resolution with Zenworks

Chris Graham has written a .vbs script that he uses with Zenworks to deploy applications to clients only if their screen resolution meets certain requirements.

This is very cool because we have some old educational software that will only run if the screen is set to 800 x 600 or lower. We had been running QRes to change the resolution every time the applications were launched, whether the change was needed or not, because we had no way of determining the client’s settings.

QRes is a good program, but we have noticed it does cause Windows XP to hang on occasion. We plan to use Chris’s script to determine if the screen resolution needs to be changed so hopefully we’ll run QRes only when necessary.

Howto: upgrade the zenworks for desktops agent from version 6.5 to 7.0.1




[edited August 10, 2007]

I just posted my method for installing/upgrading the ZfD agent via a Novell login script

[begin original post]

I ran a Zenworks software inventory report against my database today, and was suprised to find two things:

1) I still has a bunch of machines running the old zfd 6.5 agent, even though its supposed to automatically upgrade itself to 7.0.1.

2) I had over 300 machines that had the 7.0.1 agent installed, but were missing the imaging and remote management components.


My first thought was to deploy an app that reinstalled over the top of the existing agents, but the 6.5 agent machines wouldn’t do an in-place upgrade, and the 7.0.1 agents didn’t want to add new components. After it was apparent this was not the way to go, I started scouring the Internet, looking for solutions to problems similar to mine. I didn’t find any complete solutions, but was able to piece this together from about 20 different sites:

The existing agents had to be removed and the computers had to be rebooted before the new agent could be deployed.

I created a distribution rule (figure a) that checked for the file version of nalagent.exe (the NAL agent), zenrem32.exe (the main remote management) and ziswin.exe (the main imaging component). If any of these files were not version 7.0.1 (except zenrem32.exe, more on that later), the uninstaller runs. Why did I do it this way? If any of those three main .exe’s are not the expected version, I want to uninstall and then reinstall the agent.

uninstaller availability rules

figure a

Next I setup the run options (figure b). Remember how I mentioned that very specific GUID in the previous section? Well, you have to specify it in the msiexec command listed in the “path to file” section. You can find the agent GUID in the registry by searching the HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Uninstall key for ‘zenworks’

zfdagent uninstaller distribution
figure b

The full path to file is (all on one line):

MsiExec.exe /X{7878B1D4-B2CB-4EA8-9A0A-7E0575D23B96} /passive REMOVE=ALL /promptrestart

I then set this nal app to force run for my test group, and watched it work it’s magic. Notice the /promptrestart option? Its not necessary, I did it just for testing purposes. If you leave it out, it just restarts the machine when the uninstall finishes.After the machine reboots and I logged back into the network, I verified the Zenworks Desktop Management Agent was removed from add/remove programs, and the c:\program files\novell\zenworks folder had been removed.

Next, I had to figure out why the old zfdagent nal app for 7.0.1 did not install the imaging and remote management components. I decided to scrap my existing nal app and start fresh. In figure c, you can see the installation command I specified.

zfdagent run install options
figure c

Notice I specified the /norestart option – again, if you don’t specify this, the machine will automatically reboot after installation completes.

Next, I set some availability rules (figure d). I basically said if these three files don’t exist OR nalapp.exe or ziswin.exe aren’t version 7.0.1 or zenrem32.exe isn’t version 7.0.01, run the installer.


figure d

I thought that was odd that zenrem32.exe is version, while nalagent.exe and ziswin.exe are version 7.0.1., so I re-extracted the zfdagent.msi from my zfd 7.0.1 .iso. That zenrem32.exe is version as well, so I guess that’s just the way it is.

Lastly, I had to configure my msi options. In my previous zfdagent nal app, I had specified agent settings in the msiexec command line. I decided to take a different route this time, and specify those options in the msi properties tab (figure e)


installer MSI options
figure e

ADDLOCAL = install all zfd components

LOGIN_PASSIVE_MODE = 0 display Novell login screen

LOGIN_PASSIVE_MODE = 1 display Windows login screen

I then set the nal app to force distribute to my test group. It deployed, prompted for a reboot, and after my next login I had all the components of the Zenworks for Desktops agent installed on my Windows XP SP2 machine.