Product Documentation

Preparing a Master Target Device for Imaging

Sep 20, 2016

A Master Target Device refers to a target device from which a hard disk image is built and stored on a vDisk. Provisioning Services then streams the contents of the vDisk created from the Master Target Device to other target devices.

Preparing the Master Target Device's Hard Disk

The Master Target Device is typically different from subsequent target devices because it initially contains a hard disk. This is the hard disk that will be imaged to the vDisk. If necessary, after imaging, the hard disk can be removed from the Master Target Device.

In order to support a single vDisk, that is shared by multiple target devices, those devices must have certain similarities to ensure that the operating system has all required drivers. The three key components that must be consistent include the:
  • Motherboard
  • Network card, which must support PXE
  • Video card

Tip

Some platforms (physical or virtual) require a consistent hardware configuration for boot media. For example, if target devices leverage BDM, the master target (prior to vDisk creation) should match the BDM configuration because end target devices use that configuration when booting.

However, the Provisioning Services Common Image Utility allows a single vDisk to simultaneously support different motherboards, network cards, video cards, and other hardware devices.

If target devices will be sharing a vDisk, the Master Target Device serves as a ‘template’ for all subsequent diskless target devices as they are added to the network. It is crucial that the hard disk of Master Target Device be prepared properly and all software is installed on it in the proper order:

Follow the instructions below after installing and configuring the Provisioning Server and creating target devices.

Software must be installed on the Master Target Device in the order that follows:

  1. Windows Operating System
  2. Device Drivers
  3. Service Packs Updates
  4. Target Device Software

Applications can be installed before or after the target device software is installed. If target devices will be members of a domain, and will share a vDisk, additional configuration steps must be completed (refer to Managing Domain Computer Accounts, before proceeding with the installation).

Important

Dual boot vDisk images are not supported.

Configuring a Master Target Device's BIOS

The following steps describe how to configure the target devices system’s BIOS and the BIOS extension provided by the network adapter, to boot from the network. Different systems have different BIOS setup interfaces – if necessary, consult the documentation that came with your system for further information on configuring these options.
  1. If the target device BIOS has not yet been configured, re-boot the target device and enter the system’s BIOS setup. (To get to BIOS setup, press the F1, F2, F10 or Delete key during the boot process. The key varies by manufacturer).
  2. Set the network adapter to On with PXE.
    Note: Depending on the system vendor, this setting may appear differently.
  3. Configure the target device to boot from LAN or Network first. Optionally, select the Universal Network Driver Interface; UNDI first, if using a NIC with Managed Boot Agent (MBA) support.
    Note: On some older systems, if the BIOS setup program included an option that permitted you to enable or disable disk-boot sector write protection, ensure that the option is disabled before continuing.
  4. Save changes, then exit the BIOS setup program.
  5. Boot the target device from it’s hard drive over the network to attach the vDisk to the target device.

Configuring Network Adapter BIOS

This procedure is only necessary for older systems.
  1. Re-boot the Master Target Device.
  2. Configure the network adapter’s BIOS extension through setup.

    During the system boot, the network adapter’s BIOS extension will present an initialization message similar to the following: Initializing Intel ® Boot Agent Version 3.0.03 PXE 2.0 Build 078 (WfM 2.0) RPL v2.43

    Enter the network adapter’s BIOS extension. (Consult the network adapter’s documentation.) The key combination for entering the network adapter’s BIOS extension varies by manufacturer. For example, to enter the Intel Boot Agent setup screen, type Ctrl+S.

    A screen similar to the following appears:


    Setup Menu
  3. Change the boot order to Network first, then local drives.
  4. Save any changes, and exit the setup program. In the Intel Boot Agent, typing F4 saves the changes.
Alternatively, a device can be configured to provide IP and boot information (boot file) to target devices using the Manage Boot Devices utility.

Installing Master Target Device Software

Note: It is recommended that you read the Release Notes document before installing target-device software. Before installing the product software on a Master Target Device, turn off any BIOS-based-virus protection features. To include anti-virus software on the vDisk image, be sure to turn the anti-virus software back on prior to running the Imaging Wizard.

Provisioning Services target device software must be installed on a Master Target Device prior to building a vDisk image. Install and configure Microsoft NIC teaming driver, introduced in Windows Server 2012, or OEM NIC teaming software prior to installing Target Device software.

Provisioning Services target device software components include:
  • Provisioning Services Virtual Disk, which is the virtual media used to store the disk components of the operating system and applications.
  • Provisioning Services Network Stack, which is a proprietary filter driver that is loaded over the NIC driver, allowing communications between the target devices and the Provisioning Server.
  • Provisioning Services SCSI Miniport Virtual Adapter, which is the driver that allows the vDisk to be mounted to the operating system on the target device.
  • Provisioning Services Imaging Wizard, use to create the vDisk file and image the Master Target Device.
  • Virtual Disk Status Tray Utility, to provide general vDisk status and statistical information. This utility includes a help system.
  • Target Device Optimizer Utility, used to change target device setting to improve performance.

Provisioning Services target device software is available for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows operating systems.

Note: When installing Provisioning Services target device software on NT6.x systems within a multi-NIC environment, all available NICs can be used. Therefore bindcfg.exe is no longer required and no longer installed with target device software (Windows Vista, Windows 2008, Windows 7, Windows 2008 R2, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012). However, if Provisioning Services detects NT5.x systems (Windows XP or Windows 2003), bindcfg.exe continues to install with the target device product software and appears during the target device installation process. With NT5.x Windows XP or Windows 2003 systems, if the inactive NIC fails to bind to Provisioning Services, start bindcfg.exe from the Provisioning Services installation directory (default is: C:\Program Files\Citrix\Provisioning Services).

Installing Provisioning Services Target Device Software on a Windows Device

  1. Boot the Master Target Device from the local hard disk.
  2. Verify that all applications on the device are closed.
  3. Double-click on the appropriate installer. The product installation window appears.
  4. On the Welcome dialog that displays, click Next, scroll down to the end, then accept the terms of the license agreement.
  5. Click Next to continue, the Customer Information dialog appears.
  6. Type your user name and organization name in the appropriate text boxes.
  7. Select the appropriate install user option. The option you select depends on if this application will be shared by users on this computer, or if only the user associated with this computer should have access to it.
  8. Click Next, the Destination Folder dialog appears.
  9. Click Next to install the target device to the default folder (C:\Program Files\Citrix\Provisioning Services). Optionally, click Change, then either enter the folder name or navigate to the appropriate folder, and then click Next, then click Install. The installation status information displays in the dialog.
    Note: The installation process may take several minutes. While the installation process is running, you can click Cancel to cancel the installation and roll-back any system modifications. Close any Windows Logo messages that appear.
  10. The 'Installation Wizard Completed' message displays in the dialog when the components and options have successfully been installed. Close the wizard window. If both .NET 3.0 SP1 or newer is installed and Windows Automount is enabled, the Imaging Wizard will start automatically by default (for details, refer to Image Wizard).
    Note: If a Windows reboot request message displays before the imaging process completes, ignore the request until imaging completes successfully.
  11. Reboot the device after successfully installing product software and building the vDisk image.