Imaging a Computer | An All In One Training
This article covers all aspects of imaging a standard Dell machine.
1.1 Accessing the BIOS
This section we will be going over pre-image settings within the Dell UEFI firmware settings. These settings can be accessed by pressing the F12 on computer start up. Then navigating to “BIOS Settings” under “Other Options”.
1.2 Enable UEFI
While all new Dell computers come with UEFI, it’s a good practice to make sure all settings are correct.
Under the “General” section, navigate to “Boot Sequence”. Make sure that UEFI is the selected boot sequence. As seen in figure 1.1
1.3 Enable PXE Boot Stack
Make sure that UEFI Network Stack is enabled. This allows the computer to boot into SCCM off the network. This is backup measure as it takes a long time.
Under “System Configuration” section, navigate to “Integrated NIC”. Enable the UEFI Network Stack, then click on “Apply”, then make sure “Enabled w/PXE” is selected. As seen in figure 1.2
1.4 Enable AHCI
Make sure that SATA Operation is set to AHCI, in most cases if the computer is not in AHCI it will fail to image.
Under “System Configuration” section, navigate to “SATA Operation”. Make sure that AHCI is the selected option. As seen in figure 1.3
1.5 Enable TPM Security 2.0
TMP security is a chip inside the computer that stores encryption keys. We use encryption for our devices, so this setting needs to be enabled.
Under “Security” section, navigate to “TPM Security 2.0”. Check mark “TPM On” and click on Apply, then select the enable button, and Apply again. As seen in figure 1.4
1.6 Enable Secure Boot
Secure Boot helps prevent malicious programs from starting when the computer is turned on, a very useful feature.
Under “Secure Boot” Section, navigate to “Secure Boot Enable”. Check mark “Secure Boot Enable” and Apply the settings
2.1 Pre-SCCM Boot
After checking the BIOS/UEFI settings, you are now ready to start imaging the computer. You’ll need a USB that has a bootable version of SCCM.
2.2 Booting into SCCM
Before turning on the computer insert the bootable USB with SCCM into the computer. When turning on the computer press the F12 key to get into the pre-boot menu.
Under bootable device select the USB drive. This will load SCCM that will allow you to image the computer.
2.3 Policy search
After SCCM loads you’ll need to click on “next”
This is going to search for image policies for the computer.
If it fails to find a policy check the imaging troubleshooting section of this document.
2.4 Selecting A Policy
When it finishes looking for policies it will show a list of available policies.
The policy that CTS uses for all computers is “CTS-Standard Workstation”.
2.5 Policy Settings
You’ll be prompted to change settings after selecting a task.
You’ll want to change the computer name that was determined during the receiving process of the computer.
If the computer is going to be a shared device, under the setting “Shared Device” type in the “True” with a capital ‘T’
Then click next
The next step is hands off. The computer is going to image it’s self and should image with no problems. If the computer fails to image, check the next chapter for troubleshooting references and fixes.
3.1 Troubleshooting 101
If a computer fails to image, you’ll want to check what step it failed on during the imaging sequence.
To find out, do the key combination of “Alt-Tab”. This will bring up the current step it is on, this is also the step that it failed on. This will help with troubleshooting and fixing the problem.
In most cases this means that the image sequence is not able to write to the disk. In most cases it can’t assign a drive letter name.
To solve this issue, reboot into SCCM. After SCCM is loaded press the F8 Key (Fn+F8 on laptops). This will bring up a command prompt window.
In the command prompt, do these steps in order.
2.) list disk*
3.) select disk 0
5.) convert gpt
6.) create part primary
7.) format quick fs=ntfs
8.) assign letter=c**
*The list disk step is to list all the drives in the computer. This is to make sure you’re not formatting the wrong device. In most cases the drive you’ll want to image will be 120gb+. Make sure that disk number is the one you select in step 3.
**If this step fails pick another letter other than ‘c’, it will just be renamed during the imaging process.
After these steps are completed, you’ll be able to image the computer as normal as outlined in the previous chapters.
3.3 No Task Sequence
The only computers that should ever not have a task sequence are going to be computers that have not been used for a long period of time. These tend to be closet computers and old cascades.
The reason for the computer to be unable to pull a task sequence is because it is classified as disabled. When a computer gets classified as disabled it needs to be removed from SCCM to be able to image it.
Windows Device Management is able to delete disabled computers in SCCM. They will need the computer name which can be found by doing the following...
1.) Boot into SCCM. After SCCM is loaded press the F8 Key (Fn+F8 on laptops). This will bring up a command prompt window.
2.) Type "hostname" into the terminal. This will return the computers name.
Sometimes this computer name is not the correct name. If that is the case WDM will guide you through how to get the proper name that is used for deleting the computer in SCCM.