Category Archives: K2000

Distributing Images Remotely using the K2000

Remotely Distributing Images using the K2000 requires an additional device such as the K1000.  This is the K2000’s only real pitfall that I have found.  Since there is no agent for the K2000 the PC’s on your network must be set to PXE boot (boot from the network) as the first boot sequence in the BIOS boot order.  The PC will PXE boot and then boot from the local hard drive.

The Security Implications of always PXE Booting

In my mind this is terrible.  What if I have a laptop and travel.  It will connect to other networks where there might already be a PXE boot server set up to auto deploy a PC image.  I connect my laptop to the network and boot.  BAM – no more OS or data on my laptop.  That is bad.

Worse, what if someone attaches a PXE boot server to my network.  Every PC on my network then boots from it instead of the KACE K2000 and all of my PC’s get overwritten.  – BAM, Brian just got fired.

This is serious.  Symantec Ghost uses the 3COM PXE server and when I turn it on it seems to always respond first even though the K2000 is on.  My fear is justified.

Using the Dell Client Configuration Toolkit to Solve the PXE Problem

What I came up with to work around the PXE problem is to use the Dell Client Configuration Toolkit to set the BIOS boot order.  Install and run the CCTK and import the Bios settings.  Uncheck everything except the bootorder.  Save this as your DiskBoot.exe.  Run the report and it should look like this:

CCTK BIOS CONFIGURATIONS

Created Date and Time : 07/03/2013 16:41

Category Name : Boot Management

Setting Value
bootorder legacytype,+hdd,+nic,+floppy,+usbdev,+cdrom

You want to swap the +hdd and +nic options so the +nic is first.  Then save this as the PXEBoot.exe and run the report.  It should look like this.

CCTK BIOS CONFIGURATIONS

Created Date and Time : 07/03/2013 16:39

Category Name : Boot Management

Setting Value
bootorder legacytype,+embnic,+hdd,+floppy,+usbdev,+cdrom

The exported executables can now be used from the K1000 to turn PXE boot on and off.  In fact, you could put the DiskBoot.exe in your image as a post installation task.  Then you only have to push out the PXEBoot.exe to your target machines.

Distributing Images Remotely using the K2000

Now that you have your PXEBoot.exe and DiskBoot.exe programs from the CCTK you should first set up the Boot Actions.  From the KACE Deployment Center under Systems, select the System Inventory or the Boot Actions tab.  From the inventory you can select specific machines and choose the Set Boot Actions option.  From the Boot Actions menu you can create a new Boot Action and add the label for a group of machines.

Boot Actions

On the First Boot Action select the image you are going to deploy.  Make note that it will be using the Boot Environment shown on the bottom under the defaults.  You can set the default boot environment as I described in my post titled Create a custom WinPE Boot Environment.

For the Next Boot Action select boot from hard drive.

From the K1000 Management Center, select the Scripting options and Scripts tab.  You need to create an new item.  Select online KScript as the script type.  Under Deployment you want to deploy it to the machine or label of machines you intend to image.

K1000 Management Center PXEBoot Script

Select Windows 7 as the supported OS, I decided to deploy this as a user called Imager and not on a specific schedule.

K1000 Management Center PXEBoot Script

I missed it in the picture above, but you need to check the Allow Run While Logged Off option.  This allows the PC to run even when no one is logged on.

Under the On Success add 3 tasks.

K1000 Management Center PXEBoot Script

First, run the PXEBoot.exe from a network share.

RunPXEBoot

Then Reboot the PC

RebootPC

and log the success

Log Success

When you are done you will have a new script in the inventory.

K1000ManagementCenter-Scripting

Next you need to wake up the PC’s that might be asleep.  In the K1000 Management Center, Distribution select the Wake-on-LAN tab.  Add your label or machines and send the Wake-on-Lan packet.

WOL

From the Inventory select View by: your label.

InventoryViewByLabel

Verify that all the machines are connected to the K1000.

ComputerInventorybyLabelBASEImage

I had a machine that wasn’t connected and needed some attention.  Once all the machines are happy go back in Scripting select the Run Now tab and distribute the script “Dell Bios Settings with PXE on Boot” to the label or machines.

RunNow-PXEBoot

The user will get a message dialog if they are logged in.

And then the PC will reboot and deploy the image.

You can push the DiskBoot.exe or better add it to the image as a post installation task, that is what I am doing.