August 1 2011

SCCM unattended OSD with bootable USB drive

Here’s a neat trick to created an unattended USB boot disk for deploying SCCM OSD task sequences. The machine that you are going to use for this process needs to have the SCCM console loaded on it. The machine also needs to be a Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 or higher Operating System, this process will not work on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003. Also log onto the machine with an account that has administrative privileges.

  1. Attach the USB Flash Drive to a Windows Vista, 7 or Server 2008 machine (won’t work with XP or 2003)
  2. 2. Open an administrative command prompt window (cmd.exe) and start DISKPART
  3. At the DISKPART> prompt type ‘List disk’
  4. Determine which disk number corresponds to the USB flash drive
  5. At the DISKPART> prompt, type ‘Select disk x’ where x is the disk number that the USB flash drive corresponds to
  6. At the DISKPART> prompt, type ‘Clean’
  7. At the DISKPART> prompt, type ‘List Partition’. If there is a partition, at the DISKPART> prompt, type ‘Select Partition 1’ then type ‘Clean’ or even try ‘Clean all’ if the partitions won’t go away
  8. At the DISKPART> prompt, type ‘Create Partition Primary’. If you receive an error at this stage regarding not being able to create a partition, the USB Flash Drive is not capable of being made bootable and will not work as an SCCM 2007 bootable Task Sequence Media. Please restart the process using a different USB Flash Drive.
  9. At the DISKPART> prompt, type ‘Select Partition 1’
  10. At the DISKPART> prompt, type ‘Format FS=FAT32 QUICK’
  11. At the DISKPART> prompt, type ‘Active’
  12. At the DISKPART> prompt, type ‘Assign’
  13. At the DISKPART> prompt, type ‘Exit’
  14. From the SCCM console, right-click on the Task Sequence and select Create Task Sequence Media. Follow the prompts to create a USB boot disk.
  15. Once created, on the USB drive, navigate to SMSDataTSMBOOTSTRAP.INI
  16. Open TSMBOOTSTRAP.INI and change line Unattended=false to Unattended=true
  17. Save the changes to TSMBOOTSTRAP.INI

You can now boot your machine onto the USB drive (BIOS support required of course) and as long as you have a mandatory advertisement for a OS task sequence and the required computer association in SCCM, you should be fine! Generally much faster the PXE or CD / DVD booting!

If you need to make a few and know that USB is disk 1, you could use a diskpart script (diskpart.txt in this case) something like this (check before you use it!):

Select disk 1
Create Partition Primary
Select Partition 1

And then just run diskpart /s diskpart.txt

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