Predefined Computers do not boot to the correct PXE menu option even though a 'Reboot To PXE' task specifies the boot menu to be used.
The predefined computer will boot to the default 'Next Device' menu option or to the PXE menu under Initial Deployment unless the customer manually presses 'F8' on the keyboard and selects the correct menu option.
The most common issues are:
1) Predefined CSV file does not have required prerequisite information. This applies to any installation
2) The system being imported is not assigned to a Task Server. Note: This doesn't apply to DS 7.1 SP1 (build 1895) or later. Predefined computers are now correctly assigned a task server in automation.
3) If the SBS server(s) manages more than one subnet, it must be made aware that a managed computer will be booting to it.
All three issues are discussed below in the Solution section.
Depending on your NS Configuration, there are up to three things required for Predefined computers to work:
There are 3 requirements for a system to boot successfully using Predefined Computers:
•The system must be imported with the correct information via CSV. No other method is currently supported.
•The system must be assigned to the appropriate Task Server.
•The SBS(PXE) services must be notified that a "Managed Computer" will be booting to PXE so it can prepare accordingly.
Requirement 1: The correct information must be included in the CSV
To successfully import a pre-defined computer, please supply the following information:
- MAC Address- E.g 18-A9-05-61-78-3E
Note: The MAC Address value must be entered into the CSV file in uppercase
– E.g 31303735-3230-5532-5839-343930333534
Note: It is possible that the first portion of the UUID 31303735-3230-5532 that is found in Windows and the PECTAgent log may be different than the value displayed by the NIC/BIOS. The value displayed by the NIC/BIOS may be as follows: 30313537-5532-3230.
Both values are correct. However, the value specified in the CSV file must be in the order specified by Windows/PECTAgent log. Because the difference in the two values is consistent, simply modify the pattern displayed by the NIC/BIOS to match the Windows/PECTAgent log method.
- Serial Number – E.g 2UX9490354
- Valid IP Address - E.g 192.168.4.2 (can be the same for all computers listed in the CSV file)
- Subnet Mask - E.g 255.255.255.0
Symantec is aware that obtaining the data above (especially the UUID) can be difficult.
Note: Please search the KB for 'pectagent MAC' for documentation on how to import computers with MAC address only. All three values no longer need to be supplied.
Requirement 2: The System must be assigned to the appropriate Task Server
By default, a new system is defined to the Notification Server for Task Services until basic inventory is received and the client checks in to request a Task Server. However, predefined computers have never done this and thus have no task server defined.
Assigning a predefined computer to the appropriate Task Server requires that the two steps below be followed:
• Step 1: An IP address and Subnet mask must be assigned to the Predefined Computer in the CSV file (see Requirement 1 above). The IP Address does not have to be unique for each predefined computer. However, it does have to be in a valid subnet assigned to the task server to which you expect the client to connect. The same IP can be used for all imported computers as well, since it will be updated with the correct information as soon as the client checks-in.
For instance, you might manage three subnets within a Site: 10.10.10.0, 10.10.21.0, and 10.10.35.0. Any address within that range will be sufficient. We recommend an address in the same range as your SBS server is located. If the SBS server is not in the same site, then any address will do as long as it is within the appropriate site definition.
• Step 2: Custom SQL must be added to the DB and/or modified, to ensure the Task Server assignment actually takes place once the system is imported:NOTE: Always backup your NS database prior to applying SQL changes
1. Run the SQL files that are attached to this KB against your Altiris_CMDB database.PreDefined_Workaround.sql
2. Modify the stored procedure "sp_Inv_AeX_AC_TCPIP_dl" and append the following to the end of the stored procedure:
-- Workaround to assign pre-defined computers to their task server --
Please contact Symantec Technical Support for assistance with this step should it not be clear as to how to apply the changes.
Requirement 3: the PXE Server service must be made aware that a managed computer will be booting to it
In short, once you've imported the computer to the console, the SBS server has to be made aware that a new system is now managed, and what to do with it. The NS does this by subnet designation. Obviously, if you don't have an IP address (Requirement #2 above), we don't know what SBS server you will be reporting to, and thus we'll send the information to the NS only. In a very very small test environment (1 subnet, no site servers), this is sufficient.
For everyone else, you must do as recommended in TECH133468. Here is why.
By default, the PXE Server service is only sent information relative to the subnet it lies within. In the scenario above (Requirement 2), we discuss the possibility of a Task Server and SBS server managing more than one subnet. If this is the case, and your SBS server is in subnet 10.10.21.0, then information relative only to computers in that subnet will be sent to the SBS server. All other computers will be treated as unmanaged computers by the PXE Server service and either ignored or boot to initial deployment, not quite what we desire here, and very similar to the problem description above.
TECH133468 discusses how to modify the SQL to tell the DB to send to the PXE server all systems in the site, or organization, rather than just that subnet, to get around this issue.
Normally, we recommend using the 1st query in the list, to send Site information only, rather than the entire organization. The problem with doing the 2nd option of sending all data is that the SBS server keeps a table in RAM of all known systems, and on PXE boot, must query that table to find the right "data". We've seen, on occasion, the table take too long to search and the system that is PXE booting say, essentially "too slow!" and boot to production. Keeping the list small as reasonably possible is preferred.
Deployment Solution 7.1 up to and including MR4
Deployment Solution 7.1 SP1 (build 1895) and later DO NOT have an issue with Requirement 2 list below in the solution section. Also, please note that it is not possible to create predefined computers with Mac Addresses only.