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Windows Deployment Services (WDS) on WS2012E


Jason
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I've been running WDS that way anyways. At least in 2012. 

 

As for the restore disk.... are you familar with the Windows AIK?  If you are, mount the boot.wim and then boot_x86.wim, copy the "GUID" folder that is in the root of the restore disk to the mounted WIM, and then commit/save the boot images.   Just be warned, you'll have to update that GUID folder every time there is an update to the recovery software. (which is why it's not in the boot image, in the first place. It is nice to know that MSFT did listen to me on that...)

 

Thanks Drashna!  Exactly what I needed.  When you say copy the "GUID" folders from the root of the restore disk into the mounted WIM, do you mean just copy the xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx... folder and all of the contents within to the root of the WIM?  Or do you copy only the contents from within xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx\x64\*.* for example directly into the root of the WIM?

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Bitter with MSFT over something they did that was stupid, annoying or poorly thought out? Never.... :P

 

But have you noticed how v1 has three different recovery disks? RTM, PP1 and PP3? It's backwards compatible, but not exactly forward compatible. And ideally, you'd want the "correct" one for your system or else it can cause additional issues.  Also... instead of pushing an update server side, to update the ISO on the share... they removed the ISO completely from the PP1 install disk... so you had to have the ISO/disk image that comes with WHS, or you had to go out and download it from MS Download, but there was never a link or a KB article to tell you this.

 

So creating an updated "key" was a PITA... And had to be manually updated.  WHS2011 and up, when there is an update, it's pushed server side, and just updates that "GUID" folder, as all the actual recovery software is located there. And there is a wizard in the dashboard to create USB keys! So .... maybe a little bitter. :P

 

 

 

@Jason: yeah, it's a bunch of letters and number seperated by dashs. It's formated as a "GUID".  Theoretically, you only need either x86 or x64 software, but ... it's small enough to not matter.  But it looks for the "GUID" folder in the root of *any* drive, so you need the entire folder structure in the WIM. (so you should have "Users" "Program Files", "Windows", "GUID", in the mounted boot image directory when you are "done").

And I can verify that this definitely works.

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@Jason: yeah, it's a bunch of letters and number seperated by dashs. It's formated as a "GUID".  Theoretically, you only need either x86 or x64 software, but ... it's small enough to not matter.  But it looks for the "GUID" folder in the root of *any* drive, so you need the entire folder structure in the WIM. (so you should have "Users" "Program Files", "Windows", "GUID", in the mounted boot image directory when you are "done").

And I can verify that this definitely works.

 

Thanks Drashna - simply incredible!  Much appreciated.  Just tested from my HTPC over my LAN from my WS2012e box and it worked wonderfully.  No more USB thumb drive needed. Love it!

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Glad to have helped. One of those things that makes WDS even more awesome.  Oh... EaseUS has a few "WinPE" based utilities which can be loaded as boot images on WDS (namely, Partition Master, and Data Recovery). They're not exactly cheap, but you can see how that would be awesome in WDS. :)

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  • 1 month later...

Since reinstalling my WS2012E server OS, I've tried to migrate my G:remoteinstall folder over to the new OS install. Seems to work ok as long as I manually start the WDS service.

Question: do you all include WDS in your server backups? IIRC on a new WDS role install, WDS is automatically added to the server backup scheme. Whereas if I add a previous /remoteinstall folder to WDS, WDS isn't forced into the server backup.

Which is normal behavior? Should I be including WDS data in my server backup (system state) or not?

Edited by Jason
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I wouldn't as those can be easily reproduced.  You might want to think about copying those images off to removable media for storage but to back them up all them time, seems like a waste.

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I'm not using WDS but, if I was, these files would be something I would have replicated in 2 or 3 places and they would be part of my RoboCopy batch file routines. That way, they would only get copied again if they changed.

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Oddly enough, it appears Server Backup is forcing them into the backup routine. It's not optional. Can't deselect them. Fortunately I use WDS quite a bit and find it to be one of most useful features on my home server.

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