3.12 Imaging

We highly recommend that you adopt a methodology for creating and delivering Universal Images to your devices. A Universal Image is a single image of the Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 operating systems that can be deployed to multiple hardware devices. After you have established the Universal Images, you can deliver core applications and line-of-business applications as add-on images during the imaging process. This method can be further extended to provide hardware-specific drivers during the imaging process. Tools such as ENGL's Imaging Toolkit for ZENworks can be used to make the process of creating a Universal Image very easy to manage.

3.12.1 General Recommendations

The following general recommendations should be followed for imaging devices with ZENworks:

  • When you have one master image for different hardware (hardware-independent imaging), configure the systems with sysprep auto-answer file configured to install the necessary drivers for all target hardware before taking the image of the system. Non-sysprep images are not hardware independent.

  • Servers that use Advanced Format (AF) or SSD drives for storing images result in better Imaging performance.

  • The BIOS Hard Drive settings (SATA operations) should be in the same mode for both the base and the restored machine.

  • Run the chkdsk /f command on the base machine, and make sure that there are no issues reported before taking an image.

  • Run the zac fsg -d and zac cc commands before taking an image of a managed device.

3.12.2 ZENworks Imaging Recommendations

When using the Linux-based ZENworks imaging solution, you should follow these recommendations:

  • If you are using the Tuxera high-performance driver, you should re-upload the tntfs driver file after each ZCM system update or major upgrade.

  • During an imaging operation, in the distro mode, do not access the partition mount points under the /mnt directory.

  • If an NTFS partition is created using the legacy driver, run the following command to make the partition usable:

    # mkntfs -f /dev/sdXn

    where sdXn is the Device name of the partition as shown by img p.

  • While taking a local image, store the image in a mounted partition.

  • Do not disable the Disk cache setting. This setting is persistent across multiple boots and may affect the Imaging performance adversely.

3.12.3 Third-Party Imaging Recommendations

The third-party imaging capabilities of ZENworks allow you to use the ZENworks bundle assignment system and preboot services components to drive imaging operations performed by the Microsoft ImageX tool or Symantec Ghost. When using third-party imaging, you should follow these recommendations:

  • To support third-party imaging for all types of client architectures (x86_BIOS, x64_BIOS, X64_UEFI), upload both WAIK32/WADK32 and WADK64.

  • Do not upload 32-bit and 64-bit WADK & imagex during the same upload instance.

  • Ensure that WADK32 is uploaded before performing third-party imaging operations on Windows 8 machines.

  • Re-upload the third-party tools when you move to a newer version of ZCM.

  • Ensure that all the third-party PXE clients should able to connect to the Windows or Samba share.

  • Before you perform a third-party imaging check, the status of the imagex.exe or ghost.exe and WAIK or WADK in Preboot Services snapshot. They should be available.

  • Ensure that the uploaded imagex.exe or ghost.exe is compatible with the uploaded WAIK or WADK.

3.12.4 Recommendations for Imaging UEFI Devices

Newer machines use the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) instead of the traditional BIOS mode when booting. These devices can be imaged by ZENworks, but you should be aware of the following recommendations:

  • A BIOS device should be PXE booted in BIOS mode and a UEFI device in UEFI mode. Imaging writes to the ISD as per the boot mode in which a device PXE boots. Cross-boot may lead to corruption of the GPT Partition Table.

  • Configure the IPv4 Network stack to enable it on the UEFI machine before trying a PXE boot operation.

3.12.5 Recommendations for Replication of TFTP Imaging Content

The contents of the TFTP folder can be replicated. This allows you to ensure that all your imaging servers are using a consistent set of boot files. At this time it is not possible to replicate ZENworks images through normal content replication as the image files are not linked as content. We anticipate this will change in a future release of ZENworks. You should follow these recommendations when replicating TFTP and third-party imaging content:

  • Before the TFTP replication, ensure that all Primary and imaging Satellite Servers are on the same ZENworks version.

  • Ensure that the imaging Satellite Servers are not in the excluded list of content replication (if excluded, third-party contents will not replicate).

  • To prevent the TFTP replication failure, ensure that the tftp folder does not contain files or folder names with unsupported special characters.

  • Configure the replication schedule for imaging Satellite Servers while promoting the Satellites.