How to create secondary drive locations for storing images when using PXE Automation

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Article ID: 178469

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Question
How do you create a second drive location for storing image files and use this location in PXE automation?

By default, PXE Automation configurations are created with a F: drive mapping to the eXpress share. When a computer PXE boots through WinPE, DOS or Linux PXE Automation, the boot process will map the F: drive and images can be stored or accessed from this location. However, sometimes it is necessary to create a secondary drive location for storing images. How is this accomplished?

Answer

1. Create a network shared directory to store images. This new shared directory should be named something other than "eXpress" which is the default name already used for the Deployment Server shared directory. This shared directory will need to be accessed by the same account being used in PXE configurations to access the eXpress share.

2. a. From the Deployment Server console, choose PXE Configuration from the Tools pull-down menu. Highlight the PXE configuration that you wish to add the new drive mapping to and click the Edit button. (Or create a new PXE configuration and click the New button.) On the Menu Option page, click the button for Edit Boot Image (or Create Boot Image for new configurations) to start the configuration wizard. While new configurations will start the Boot Disk Creator wizard on step #1, editing an existing configuration will start at something like "Step 9 of 12". To start at step #1, click the Edit button at the bottom.

    b. Step through each step until you arrive at the screen for "Network Connection" (which is "Step 5 of 12" for WinPE configurations). Here you will need to enter a User name and Password for an account that has access to both the existing eXpress share and the new shared images directory.

Note: This can be a local account as long as the same local account name and password is defined for both the eXpress share and the new shared images directory.

    c. Click the Next button to move to the "Network Drive Mappings" screen. Here you should see the F: drive mapping for the existing eXpress share. You will need to define another drive mapping (such as a G: drive) that points to the new shared images directory (i.e.; G: \\ServerName\Share). Remember this new drive designation since this is the drive letter that you will need to use in imaging jobs, to point to the location of the image. (i.e.; G:\GX670image.img).

Note: Be sure to leave the existing drive mapping for the eXpress share since this is the location for Deployment Server to also pick up the RDeploy imaging application. Also remember that if you are working with a DOS configuration, naming conventions need to conform to DOS 8.3 standards with no special keyboard characters.

    d. Continue stepping through the wizard until the configuration is rebuilt (or created if new). Once the new configuration is created, click the Finish button to close the wizard and click OK to close the Menu Option window.

    c. Once you are back at the main PXE Configuration Utility window, be sure to click the Save button in the lower right-hand corner so that the new configuration is saved to the PXE server. Once it is saved, the new PXE configuration will be available for use.

3. Edit or create imaging tasks to point the location of the image to the new drive location. For example, the Name field for the location of the image will be something like "G:\GX670image.img".

Note: Immediately under the Name field in the imaging task, there is an option called "Disable image path validation". When storing images on alternative drive locations (NOT the default eXpress location) this option should be enabled.

4. Deploy an imaging job to a test computer and confirm that both a drive to the eXpress share (usually F: drive) as well as the newly defined drive mapping (such as the G: drive) are both mapped during the PXE boot process. If the drive mappings were successful, the imaging process should proceed normally.