Product Documentation

Creating a Common Image for use with Multiple Physical Device Types

Sep 28, 2016

Using the common NIC method, a single vDisk can simultaneously support different motherboards, network cards, video cards and other hardware devices. The result is a vDisk capable of being used by heterogeneous target devices, greatly reducing the number of vDisks an administrator must maintain.

Prerequisites

  • Make sure all target devices that will use the common image have the a consistent HAL -- that is, they must have the same number of logical processors.
    Note: A single processor hyper-threading capable system is considered to have two logical processors when the hyper-threading is enabled in the BIOS.
  • The BIOS structure, which is presented to the OS during the boot process, must be of the same format for all target devices that share a Standard Image. The BIOS Structure contains a list of all the components connected to the motherboard so that the appropriate drivers are loaded to allow the components to function properly.
  • Have either a 3Com Managed PC Boot Agent (MBA) or a PXE-compliant NIC available. This card is the common NIC that is inserted into each target device during the Common Image build process.
  • Install all the latest device drivers on each target device.
  • Device drivers are missing if devices do not respond after you configure the common image. For example, if a target device’s USB mouse and keyboard do not respond after you assign the common image to the target device, it is likely that you have not installed drivers for that target device’s chipset. Go to device manager and check to insure no yellow exclamation mark display on any devices, especially USB Root HUBs and controllers.
  • Determine which target device contains the latest motherboard chipset. This target device is used as the first target device in the common image build process. The latest Intel chipset driver always contains all the drivers for the previous chipset, therefore it is not necessary to install as many drivers when you build the common image.
  • Except on the first target device, disable built-in NICs on all target devices that will use the common image (leave the built-in NIC on the first target device enabled). This prevents confusion about which NIC to use during the common image building process.
  • Install Provisioning Services components.

Building the Common Image

The steps for building a common image are:
  • Configuring the Master Target Device
  • Exporting Specific Data Files
  • Booting the Master Target Device
  • Adding Additional Target Devices to the Common Image
Note: Important! When building the common image, create a vDisk that has enough space to accommodate additional information that is added by the common image build process.

Configuring the Master Target Device

  1. Insert the common NIC into the Master Target Device.
  2. Install the target device software on the Master Target Device. Select both the common NIC and built-in NICs during the installation process.
  3. Create a vDisk, then mount, format, and unmount it. You must create a vDisk that has enough space to accommodate additional information added by the common image build process.
  4. Run the Imaging Wizard on the target device to build the vDisk.
  5. (Recommended) Make a copy of the original vDisk created in Step 3 and save it in the vDisk directory on the Provisioning Server.
  6. On the first target device, copy CIM.exe from C:\Program Files\Citrix\Provisioning Services to a removable storage device, such as a USB flash drive. This utility is used to include disparate target devices in the common image.
  7. Shut down the Master Target Device and remove the common NIC.

Exporting Specific Data Files

  1. Insert the common NIC into a target device that will be added to the common image, then boot the target device from its local hard drive.
    Note: Although the Windows OS must be installed on this target device, the target device software does not have to be installed.
  2. Copy CIM.exe from the removable storage device to this target device.
  3. At a command prompt, navigate to the directory in where CIM.exe is located, then run the following command to extract the information form the target device into the .dat file:
    CIM.exe e targetdeviceName.dat

    where targetdeviceName identifies the first target device that will use the common image. For example, TargetDevice1.dat.

    Copy the .dat file created in Step 3 to the removable storage device.

  4. Shut down the target device and remove the common NIC.
Note: To include additional target devices with disparate hardware in the common image, repeat this procedure for each device, giving each .dat file a unique name.

Booting the Master Target Device

  1. Reinsert the common NIC into the Master Target Device. Insert the NIC into the same slot from which it was removed during the Configuring the Master Target Device procedure. Before booting the Master Target Device, enter the BIOS setup and verify that the common NIC is the NIC used in the boot process.
  2. Using the common NIC, boot the Master Target Device from the vDisk, in Private Image mode.
  3. Copy CIM.exe and the .dat file associated with the first target device from the removable storage device to the Master Target Device.
  4. At a command prompt, navigate to the directory where the CIM.exe and the .dat file are located.
  5. Run the following command to merge the information from the .dat file into the common image:
    CIM.exe m targetdeviceName.dat
  6. Shut down the Master Target Device.

Adding Additional Target Devices to the Common Image

  1. Insert the common NIC into additional target devices that will be included in the Common Image. Insert the NIC into the same slot from which it was removed in the Exporting Specific Data Files procedure.
  2. Using the common NIC, boot the target device off the vDisk in Private Image mode.
  3. Allow Windows time to discover and configure all the device drivers on the target device (this will take some time). If prompted by the “Found New Hardware Wizard” to install new hardware, Cancel out of the wizard and proceed to Step 4.
    Note: If Windows can’t install drivers for the built-in NIC on a target device, and the drivers can not be installed manually, the common NIC and the target device’s built-NIC are very similar to each other and the driver installation program tries to update the driver for both NICs. For example, this happens if the common NIC is an Intel Pro 100/s and the target device’s built-in NIC is an Intel Pro 100+. To resolve this conflict, open System Properties. On the Hardware tab, click the Device Manager button. In the Device Manager list, right-click the built-in NIC and click Update Driver to start the Hardware Update Wizard. Choose Install from a list or specific location and specify the location of the NIC's driver files.
  4. Open Network Connections, right-click the connection for the built-in NIC and click Properties in the menu that appears. (The icon for the built-in NIC is marked with a red X.)
  5. Under This connection uses the following items, select Network Stack and click OK.
  6. From a command prompt, run the following command:
    C:\Program Files\Citrix\Provisioning Server\regmodify.exe
    Note: After completing Steps 4-6, reboot the target device and allow Windows to discover and configure any remaining devices. If prompted by the “Found New Hardware Wizard” to install new hardware, proceed through the Wizard to complete the hardware installation.
  7. Using the original vDisk, repeat Step1 through Step 6 for each of the additional target devices to be included in the Common Image.
  8. Once target devices have been included in the Common Image, on the Console, set the disk access mode for the Common Image vDisk to Standard Image mode, then boot the devices.