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Advanced Format Hard Drives–Automatically Patching WinPE 3.0 With The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 (MDT)

In order to support the new 4k advanced format drives, we need to apply a hotfix to WinPE 3.0. 

First, download the hotfix (KB982018) here.

Once you have downloaded the hotfix and extracted the files, you should have 2 files. (One for each platform)

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In your Deployment Workbench, create a new folder under the “Packages” node called “Windows 7”.

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Import the hotfixes into this folder.

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Add this folder to your Selection Profiles for WinPE. (It is highly recommend that you use a Selection Profile for driver injection for WinPE).  Modify both your x86 and x64 Selection Profiles.

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Ensure your boot images are configured to use the appropriate Selection Profile.

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Update your Deployment Share to incorporate the hotfix into your boot images.

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Enjoy your WinPE 3.0 Advanced Format ready boot images!

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Advanced Format Hard Drives – Information about Microsoft support policy for large sector drives in Windows

Read the original post here.

Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP

Any large sector disks, such as Advanced Format disks, are not supported by Microsoft for installation on systems that are running Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, or Windows XP.

….

Over the next few years, the data storage industry will be transitioning the physical format of hard disk drives from 512-byte sectors to 4,096-byte sectors (also known as 4K sectors). This transition is driven by several factors, including increases in storage density and reliability. This transition causes incompatibility issues with existing software (operating systems and applications).

This article describes the current Microsoft support policy for these new drive types on Windows operating systems. Applications and hardware devices may have reliability and performance issues when they are connected to these new types of drives. Contact your application and hardware vendors about their support policies for these new drive types.

There are three drive types that we will discuss here. Because Microsoft support policy differs for each, verify the drive type that you have installed before you read farther.

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Specific requirements for Microsoft support by operating system version

Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

  • Install the hotfix from the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

    2470478 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2470478/ ) Applications that are built on ESENT and that run on a Windows Vista-based or Windows Server 2008-based computer may not work correctly after the reported physical sector size of the storage device changes

  • Make sure that the drivers and firmware for your storage controller and for your other hardware components are updated. Also, make sure that they support large sector drives.
  • To be delivered set of fixes.


Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

  • Install Service Pack 1 (SP1), or install the update from the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:  

    982018 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/982018/ ) An update that improves the compatibility of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 with Advanced Format Disks is available

  • Make sure that the drivers and firmware for your storage controller and other hardware components are updated. Also, make sure that they support large sector drives.
  • Use the updated Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) for SP1 that will be released as part of the updated pieces of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows 7 SP1 and of the Windows OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK). Or, embed update 982018 into Windows PE.
    To download the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows 7 SP1, visit the following Microsoft website: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=0aee2b4b-494b-4adc-b174-33bc62f02c5d (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=0aee2b4b-494b-4adc-b174-33bc62f02c5d)

Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP
Any large sector disks, such as Advanced Format disks, are not supported by Microsoft for installation on systems that are running Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, or Windows XP.

Application support requirements for large sector drives

In addition to Windows operating system support, administrators and users should make sure that their applications support these large sector drives. Scenarios and issues to be aware of include performance, reliability, backup, and recovery. Support statements for some Microsoft applications and products are listed here:

Known compatibility issues

The following are known compatibility issues that may occur when you use large sector drives:

  • If you are using a logical sector drive of a size other than 512 bytes, Windows system image backup and restore operations may fail with the following error message
    One of the backup files could not be created.
    Details: The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error.
    Error code: 0x8078002A
  • If you create a virtual hard disk (VHD) on a native 4K sector drive by using Disk Management or Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2, the operation fails with an "Incorrect Function" error.
    • In Disk Management, the following error occurs:

      Virtual Disk Manager Incorrect function

    • In Hyper-V, the following error message is generated when the New Virtual Hard Disk Wizard is used:

      The server encountered an error trying to create the virtual hard disk. The system failed to create ‘I:\Disk0.vhd.’ Error Code: Incorrect function.

    • In Hyper-V, the following error message is generated when the New Virtual Machine Wizard is used: 

      The server encountered an error while configuring hard disk on TestVM. The system failed to create ‘I:\TestVM\TestVM.vhd.’ Error Code: Incorrect function.

    Aside

    MDT 2010 and Windows AIK Supplement Revisited

    Michael Niehaus created a new post on WAIK 3.1 after some discussions in the myITforum MDT/OSD email list. 

    Read his original post here.

    In my previous post titled Issue with MDT 2010 Update 1 and Windows AIK for Windows 7 SP1 Supplement, I mentioned some challenges if you wanted to use Windows PE 3.1 and still use Windows RE from a Windows 7 SP1 BOOT.WIM file.  One possibility proposed for dealing with this is to manually modify the Windows AIK version so that MDT knows a new version has been installed.  That sounds easy enough, renaming HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ComponentStudio\6.1.7600.16385 to instead be HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ComponentStudio\6.1.7601.17514.

    I did try this out, and encountered two issues to note:

    • Deployment Workbench doesn’t really like the change.  After changing this key, you’ll get warnings from Deployment Workbench saying that the version of WIMGAPI (6.1.7600.16386) is different than the version of Windows AIK (6.1.7601.17514).  There’s no workaround for this – you would just need to live with the annoyance of the warning, which will be displayed any time Deployment Workbench needs to use Windows AIK components.
    • The Windows AIK team can’t support the change, primarily because it’s not something they have tested to see if there are any other unexpected side effects.

    So while the workaround of editing the registry key may work, we can’t really recommend it.

    For a longer-term solution, we have modified the Deployment Workbench code in MDT 20102 Beta 1 (see http://blogs.technet.com/b/msdeployment/archive/2011/06/01/microsoft-deployment-toolkit-2012-beta-1-now-available.aspx if you missed that announcement) so that it checks the version of the Windows AIK WINPE.WIM file, rather than checking the Windows AIK version in the registry.  As a result, MDT 2012’s behavior is:

    • Windows PE 3.0 WINPE.WIM present in the Windows AIK folder and Windows 7 RTM or Server 2008 R2 RTM source files in the deployment share?  MDT will create a boot image from the Windows 7 RTM BOOT.WIM and it will include Windows RE.
    • Windows PE 3.1 WINPE.WIM present in the Windows AIK folder and Windows 7 SP1 or Server 2008 R2 SP1 source files in the deployment share?  MDT will create a boot image from the Windows 7 SP1 BOOT.WIM and it will include Windows RE.
    • Any other combination?  MDT will create a boot image from the Windows AIK WINPE.WIM file and it won’t contain Windows RE.
    Aside

    Advanced Format Hard Drives – The “Low-Down” (Summary of Resources)

    The new advanced format drives are coming and there has been a lot of confusion on what steps are needed to support them. I’m going to try and present the information available in the simplest way possible. I will also update the resources on the bottom of the post as new information is presented or relayed to me.


    Hope it helps.


    WinPE


    WinPE 3.0: Apply 982018


    WinPE 3.1: Support already present


    Windows


    Windows 7 RTM: Apply 982018


    Windows 7 SP1: Not required, but recommended to apply 982018, it’s a “recommended” update via Windows Update.


    Resources:


    KB982018 Windows PE/Windows 7 hotfix


    KB2510009 Information about Microsoft support policy for large sector drives in Windows (XP is NOT supported)


    The Dell guys have done a really nice job of putting together a bunch of really good information. Be sure to check out this link, they are adding new content as it’s available!  Deploying Dell systems with Advanced Format Hard Drives


    Xtreme Consulting: New Tool: Advanced Format Drives


    Dell TechCenter: Are you ready for Advanced Format (AF) Hard Drives?


    Michael Niehaus: MDT 2012 Beta 1: UEFI Support


    HP – Preparing Advanced Format hard drives for Microsoft Windows installations on HP Business Notebook PCs and Desktop PCs


    Phil Schwan: Quickly Update WinPE 3.0 Boot Images to support AFHD (script)


    Chris Nackers: Automatically Patching WinPE 3.0 with MDT 2010

    Aside

    Windows AIK for Windows 7 SP1 Released

    Michael Niehaus has a great post over his blog discussing the new SP1/WAIK release.

    Read the full post here.

    Some of you probably noticed a new download showed up today:

    The Windows® Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows® 7 SP1
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=696dd665-9f76-4177-a811-39c26d3b3b34

    Be sure to read the “readme” that goes along with this at:

    Windows Automated Installation Kit for Windows 7 Readme
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd349350(WS.10).aspx

    A quick Q&A that I assembled from information in this readme and our own MDT testing:

    Q:  Do I have to use this to deploy Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP1?

    This supplement is optional. If you do not need to modify the SP1 boot.wim and winre.wim files, you can continue to use the Windows 7 RTM tools, including WinPE 3.0, without installing this supplement.  (So MDT and ConfigMgr can deploy WIndows 7 SP1 just fine using Windows PE 3.0.)

    Q:  How do I install this on a machine currently running the Windows 7 RTM version of Window AIK?

    There’s no installer provided with this.  You need to extract the contents of the download and then XCOPY the files over the top of your existing Windows AIK installation.  See the details in the readme.

    Q:  What’s changed in this Windows AIK supplement?
    • The number in the Version registry value is 3.1 to reflect the new Windows PE version.
    • The Windows PE 3.1 base image contains Remote Network Driver Interface Specification (RNDIS) binaries. These binaries are also available for Windows PE 3.0 as a hotfix. For more information, see Knowledge Base Article ID: 979265 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=206678).
    • Windows PE 3.1 includes 802.1x binaries as an optional component. The file name of this package is WinPE-Dot3Svc.cab. This optional component is also available for Windows PE 3.0 as a hotfix. For more information, see Knowledge Base Article ID 972831(http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=206072).
    • The Windows PE 3.1 base image contains fixes that are related to 4k/512e drive support. These fixes are also available for Windows PE 3.0 as a hotfix. For more information, see Knowledge Base Article ID: 982018 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=206679).
    • Windows PE 3.1 includes bug fixes that are related to the Windows PE version that is included with Windows 7 SP1.
    Q:  Does Windows 7 SP1 and Windows PE 3.1 work with MDT 2010 Update 1?

    Yes, this is fully supported.  (There is one small issue involving Windows 7 SP1, Windows PE 3.1, and having Windows RE included in your MDT-generated Lite Touch boot images, but if you don’t mind Windows RE not being there, you don’t need to worry about this.)

    Q:  Does Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 support Windows 7 SP1 and Windows PE 3.1?

    The Configuration Manager team is still testing Windows 7 SP1 and Windows PE 3.1, so this is unsupported until that testing is completed.

    Q:  Does this supplement include the recently-released USMT 4 update for Office 2010 support?

    No, you need to download and apply that one (http://blogs.technet.com/b/mniehaus/archive/2011/02/02/usmt-4-0-support-for-office-2010.aspx) separately.