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Naming New and Re-Imaged PCs Easily

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Dennis Hestbech

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Posted: 5 May 2004

To name or not to name - more fun with file sets.

When imaging with ZENworks for Desktops, most admins will probably include utils/scripts to name the PC at first boot after Imaging.

However, the Imaging Agent on the PC (ZisWin.exe) will take care of this if the PC had been imaged before, and the PC is registered in eDirectory.

So, one faces a problem with the util or script distinguishing between a brand new PC, imaged for the first time, and a re-imaged PC, that has already been named.

SOLUTION: Simply put (slightly) different images on the PCs, and let this little difference be the distinguishing factor.

Here's how it can be done (with a clever little twist, if you use zcnc.exe for naming):

Different policies govern what image is sent to a PC when IMG requests an image from the Imaging Proxy Server. The Server Package Image Selection Rule is chosen if the PC has no workstation object in the tree, and hence no workstation object in the Image-Safe Data on the hard disk. The Workstation Package Image Selection Rule is used, if the PC is already registered.

  1. If you are using ENGL's lovely little naming tool (, add the file ZCNC.EXE to an already existing Base Image (or Add-On Image, and exclude it from all file sets but one.
  2. Then let your Server Package Image Selection Rule use this file set, but let the Workstation Package Imaging Rule use another file set.
  3. Now, when the PC is imaged, the existence of the file depends on whether the PC is unknown (and needs to be named) or not.
  4. Let your script check for the existence of the file before running it - or, if you use SysPrep: add your favorite ZCNC command to the c:\SysPrep\$oem$\i386\Cmdlines.txt - this works on an already sysprepped image! (Remember to put the command in quotation marks.)

Now, a new PC requests to have the name put in at first boot; a re-imaged PC will skip this, and let the Imaging Agent take care of the naming.

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