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adventures with SCCM CB: part 1

July 26, 2016 - ConfigMgr/SCCM, System Center

ok, it’s been a while since I posted here but I thought I needed to write off some frustrations I had/have recently with SCCM 1602 and share it with the world

Part 1: copying files/packages locally during winPE in a TS no longer works

at least that is if the machine/vm has no partitions yet.

hey, this worked (and still does) in SCCM 2012

the issue is that the variable _SMSTSMDATAPATH remains empty in that case and that a run commandline or eg: mdt toolkit package expects that one to be NOT empty.

so what can we do about this?

a rather quick solution would be to modify all referenced content in the TS to use the ‘copy the content in this package to a package share on DP’ and then modify the TS to use ‘access content directly’ instead of the default ‘download content locally when needed’

BUT: call me stubborn, I do NOT like this at all!

attempt 1:

create a diskpart script, put this in a package (distribute)

add a new run commandline early in the TS to run the diskpart script from that package.  define the following condition to his step:

the condition gets picked up, but the diskpart script cannot be executed because the TS wants to download the script (but hey, there is nothing to download to …)

attempt 2:

hey, what about that shiny new step ‘download package content’ ?

this has three options:

so I tried first with X: (no good)

then I tried with x:\windows\temp (no good)

strange thing is that return code of this step was each time 0 …

if you read the TechNet info carefully on this step, you would see that this only works after you have an OS on the disk

and this step would also not work if you have the TS set to ‘access content directly’ either

attempt 3:

use another partition disk step really early in the TS with the same conditions from the above screenshot.

only create a small temporary partition

finally: this works and the content or package you want to execute from WinPE is copied to the temporary partition.

when the TS reaches the regular builtin Partition disk steps it just removes the temp partition

so I am going for this workaround

attempt 4:

which I might try when time allows me to;

use a prestart command to check if there are partitions or not and then create a small temporary partition

my guess is that this should work also but then the prestart command would be executed all the time and now at least the workaround from attempt 3 runs only when I have NO partitions

stay tuned for part 2 peeps!

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