How to get a machine to boot to Automation and stay there?

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Article ID: 170219

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Updated On:

Products

Ghost Solution Suite

Issue/Introduction

You have created a Ghost Solution Suite preboot environment, such as PXE, and you are attempting to get a computer to boot to Automation.  The automation environment starts, but once the agent comes it, it reboots right away. If your target machine never tries to go into automation that is addressed in other articles. 

Connection Closed. Session Terminated

Cause

Known PC's do not stay in Automation unless they have a job in the console that compels them to do so.

Environment

You have already installed the agent on the target machine, or you have already booted this computer to automation at least once. 

Resolution

When the Agent starts on the target machine it looks to the Ghost Solution Suite server for a job or task to be assigned to it. If it does not find a job or task to do, it will reboot the client trying to get it back into production. This is working as designed. To get a machine to stay in automation it needs to have a job, or it needs to be "new" to the console.

Note that Ghost identifies a PC by the "MAC address", a value which is attached to the Network Adapter. Unless you change the options in Ghost, the identity of a particular computer follows a network adapter, not the name of the PC or its hard drive.

To get a particular machine to boot to automation to do a job the easiest thing to do is just assign a job to the target PC. It will reboot to Automation, perform the job, then reboot back to Production.  Any imaging job that specifies an automation environment will also cause the computer to reboot to automation and stay there long enough for it to do the job. 

If you want a machine to boot to automation and wait there you have 2 options. 

Option 1)  Delete the PC from the Ghost Solution Suite console. Note: This will cause the loss of job history associated with this PC. 

  1. Shut Down the target PC.
  2. Start the Ghost Solution Suite console. 
  3. Look through the Computers panel in the upper left of the console, find the PC that you are trying to boot to Automation. 
  4. Right click the PC, choose Delete. (If you do not shut down the target PC it may reappear in the console in a few seconds after you delete it.)
  5. Reboot the PC to Automation. It should appear in the console shortly after the agent starts on the client in Automation.

Option 2)  Assign a "Wait" job to the target PC.

  1. Start Ghost Solution Suite console
  2. Create a new job, call the job "Wait". 
  3. Add a task to the Wait job, the task is "Wait" (the last task in the list).
  4. Accept the default automation environment, or choose a specific one, click Finish.
  5. Assign the Wait task to a target computer. The target PC should reboot to the Automation environment and stay there. 

A small yellow triangle icon in the Ghost Console indicates the machine is "waiting" in automation for the next command. You can send an imaging job to the machine that is waiting in Automation. If you are running a non-sysprep create disk image task be sure to check "Do not boot to Production if client is already in Automation pre-boot". If you do not check that box the client will boot the PC to Production Windows, then back into Automation. It does this to ensure that it is booted to the automation environment specified in the job. Check that box to allow it to accept whatever automation environment it is currently using no matter what is set in the job. If your Create Disk Image task is selected to use Sysprep the "Do not boot to Production.." checkbox will be unavailable. For Sysprep jobs it must boot to Production first, because Sysprep runs in Production Windows, not in Automation. After Sysprep is executed it will reboot back to Automation and begin creating the image.