Snap Deploy Tips Not Covered In User Manual
I wanted to share somethings that I have found and fixed through my own testing and troubleshooting that are not found or discussed in the user manual for Snap Deploy 5. I feel that some of these tips will be quite helpful for user new to Snap Deploy. Hopefully this can be pinned here or added to the user manual.
-If you create an image using a computer that was syspreped, according to Acronis support, when you create your image deployment template you must choose "as in the master image" to deploy your image. I initially was choosing use entire disk and had tons of issues with random corrupted MBR.
-I find myself creating new master images from time to time due to installation of Windows updates, driver updates, new applications et cet. I would replace my master image in the repository with my newly created master image and attempt to deploy this new image without making any other changes. I would end up with trouble and errors trying to boot an imaged machine with my new image. I finally discovered that a new deployment template may need created anytime you deploy a new master image. This is because the partition size and location probably changes and is not reflected in a previous template. I think this can be easily overlooked. My testing with this has been successful so far.
-When creating a new master image on a machine: From my experience, it is best to have the machine off of your domain when creating the master image. Additionally, make sure the firewall is completely off while creating the master image and lastly, you must install the Snap Deploy agent on the machine you are taking the image from before you attempt to create the image.
I will keep adding to this post as I find new resolutions. Hopefully this is helpful to someone.
Thanks a lot, Jason! I'll make this topic sticky at the top :)
Dear Community members, you're welcome to share your best practices here!
Automated Self-Deployment via USB
Acronis doesn't have a built-in way, but if you have a WinPE .WIM loaded with Acronis, you can use asdcmd.exe to deploy images automatically. You can use the Create PE Media wizard that Acronis comes with to make this WIM. You'll need the Windows 10 ADK installed for this.
Simply add a command to startnet.cmd that automatically images the drive. Startnet.cmd is run automatically on WinPE boot. You can also add commands to reboot or shutdown the machine afterwards.
Add the following line to startnet.cmd:
"x:\Program Files\Acronis\SnapDeploy\asdcmd.exe" /deploy /filename:d:\[whatever_image.tib] /harddisk:1 /target_harddisk:1
Then simply make a USB thumb drive with the WinPE WIM:
copype amd64 C:\WinPE_amd64
Copy your WIM fileto in C:\WinPE_amd64\media\sources\boot.wim. Rename your WIM to boot.wim if it isn't so named.
MakeWinPEMedia /UFD C:\WinPE_amd64 V:
V: is the thumb drive
Then booting from the drive, it will automatically load up WinPE and run your startnet.cmd which will run your asdcmd.exe imaging command.
Automated Self-Deployment via Network:
Follow the instructions above, but use the asdcmd.exe command with network options:
"x:\Program Files\Acronis\SnapDeploy\asdcmd.exe" /deploy /filename:\\[LAB_SERVER\image.tib] /net_user: [username] /net_password: [password] /license_server:[license_server] /harddisk:1 /target_harddisk:1
Then just upload the PE to Acronis PXE server or whatever PXE server you are using.
Just for reference, here are the commands for use with DISM:
Dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:"C:\WinPE_amd64\media\sources\boot.wim" /index:1 /MountDir:"C:\WinPE_amd64\mount"
To dismount and save:
Dism /Unmount-Image /MountDir:"C:\WinPE_amd64\mount" /commit
Startnet.cmd is located in 'mount/Windows/System32'
Acronis Snap Deploy 5 Update 3 doesn't support using the latest Win ADK. You must use version 1607 if you want Acronis to create the WinPE WIM for you or even if you want to provide your own WIM for Acronis media builder to slipstream. This applies for the non-official builds as well (1755, 1761, 1780, 1808).
If you need absolutely need a newer WinPE (like we do, as there are quite a few new features since 1607), you can create the WinPE WIM using the newest ADK on a separate machine (or preferably in a VM) via copype (use the boot.wim inside the sources folder). Then on your machine with Acronis and Win10 ADK 1607 installed, you can select the boot.wim you generated earlier and it will slipstream all the Acornis binaries and configs into it. We have tested this and it is working with WinPE 1607, 1703, 1709, 1803 and 1809.
Then you can upload that WIM into your Acornis PXE Server or to your custom PXE server (we use WDS).