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Imaging Toolkit 9 is coming soon! This is the first in a short series of preview blogs.

One of our key objectives for Imaging Toolkit 9 was to add deployment support for UEFI hardware using a single base image. In true ENGL style we also wanted to make the deployment process easy and seamless so that you don't need to know whether the machine being deployed is a UEFI machine or a BIOS machine.

You can deploy 64bit versions of Windows 7 SP1, 8, 8.1 and Server 2012, 2012 R2 to UEFI hardware using the same base OS image you would deploy to BIOS hardware. So as per normal ENGL best practice, you only have to update and maintain one base image for each version of Windows in the same way you do today.

The pre-requisites for UEFI deployment are:

  • ZCM 11.3.0 or later
  • SCCM 2012 R2

Deployment is supported using both ZENworks Linux/ZMG and ENGL WinPE/WIM based imaging and the Imaging Toolkit deployment process will automatically configure the GPT partition layout to support Windows running on UEFI hardware.

When using ZENworks Linux/ZMG based imaging a new option to create a UEFI boot image is available in the Build Console Deployment Wizard.

This only needs to be done once per version of Windows you are deploying, and once created will be automatically restored to UEFI hardware as part of the deployment process.

Note: ENGL WinPE/WIM based imaging does not require the UEFI boot image because we can create and configure the boot partition directly from WinPE.

In addition to supporting UEFI deployment we also had a requirement for the base image creation process to be supported on both UEFI and BIOS hardware. When you run the Build Console Deployment Wizard and select Base image preparation there is a new option to Install on UEFI hardware for the Windows unattended installation process:

Note: A base image created on BIOS hardware can be deployed to both BIOS and UEFI machines. A base image created on UEFI hardware can only be deployed to UEFI machines.

The final piece of the UEFI support was to enable creation of UEFI capable USB or DVD boot media using Ziminst. Many of our customers are using USB memory or disk devices for deployment where PXE boot is not available or network bandwidth is limited. We have updated Ziminst in Imaging Toolkit 9 so that the USB or DVD media created has both UEFI and BIOS hardware support built in. We can therefore deploy any machine from USB or DVD media without having to know whether the machine is UEFI or BIOS and without requiring different boot media for each hardware type.

For more information on Imaging Toolkit 9 please follow us on social media or keep an eye on the Imaging Toolkit product page.

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As many of you will know there have been a series of patches released for ZENworks 11 Configuration Management SP3 (ZCM 11.3.0) and subsequently a large amount of confusion, not least for us! In order for us to figure out what our customers need we had to sit down and draw a picture, so I thought it would be good to share.

The key points from an ENGL perspective are:

  • You need to apply the ZCM 11.3.0 Patch 866736 patch for Imaging Toolkit 8.0.2 support.
  • Windows 8.1 will be supported with Imaging Toolkit 9.0 and you need to apply the ZCM 11.3.0 WIN 8.1 Patch 866736 patch.
  • The "a" releases are the result of adding the 841566 patches to either ZCM 11.3.0 or "ZCM 11.3 - Windows 8.1 Update"

We hope the the release of "FTF Rollup Update" i.e. FRU1 will simplify the situation for everyone an get us back to a common baseline.

If you have any queries regarding ZCM 11.3 support with Imaging Toolkit please contact our support team.

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During the last 42-months ENGL has been working on technology to harvest the power generated from the millions of PC's that are imaged daily. What is imaging? Imaging is the ability to take a once powerful desktop or laptop and restore a visually beautiful but processor intensive operating system that is likely to require thousands of updates during its life and months of extensive user training to find the tile-masked desktop so that the poor user can eventually launch Excel.

During deployment, image restore can take a little bit of time as all those bits, bytes, WORDS, DWORDS, integers, unsigned long's, __int64's and other complex terms used to describe a collection of data, are pushed out from a server to the lucky target devices.

As the data is sent through your network, a first, second and third-harmonic is hidden within a IPW (Image Polarisation Wave) but with multiple RBES (Rather Big Empty Spaces). ENGL recognised that the number of RBES combined with the altitude of the office building provides a magic number that when reversed, OR'd, AND'd, NOR'd then finally stripped of unwanted data, provides a perfect transportation platform for compressed audio.

Figure 1: Original design created during a visit to Hooters in Salt Lake City.

The Audio Streaming Pack for ENGL Imaging Toolkit allows streaming of audio music sound files within ZENworks image (.zmg) and Windows imaging (.wim) files. The incredible compression algorithm (ICA) allows 15-seconds of music to be transferred for every 3-GB image restored. Based on an average 3-minute song it will only need 100-restores of Windows 8 to stream the entire song! Additional add-on enhancement OEM gadgets more commonly known as S.P.E.A.K.E.R's will made available to play any music during imaging. Alternatively built in PC speakers can play a series of beeps and hi-pitch white noise that may or may not closely resemble the original music.

Figure 2: Library photo of an oscilloscope first seen in an early episode of The Bionic Man.

The ENGL Audio Streaming Pack does not include any copyright music except for "Humpty Dumpty" and 652 other chart-toping demonstration songs. Decryption of the transported music files is not included nor is the guaranteed transportation of the file which may arrive at any time more than likely in the future. ENGL is not responsible for any legal action that may come from using such a product in your work production environment. If you don&'t feel this is a good idea then please only provide positive feedback to our staff as they can be easily upset.

ENGL is also responsible for some extremely cool Windows management and deployment tools that are more worthy of your time.

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Support statement

Check out Imaging Toolkit compatibility page for an overview of what we do and do not currently support with ZENworks 11.3.x

ZCM 11.3.0 with Imaging Toolkit 8.0.2:

ENGL Imaging Toolkit 8.0.2 supports ZCM 11.3.0 with Novell FTF Patch 866736 ( https://www.novell.com/support/kb/doc.php?id=7014857 )

To configure a project to use ZENworks 11.3.0 you will need to do the following.

Update agent package

To get an updated agent you will need to apply the FTF file to your 11.3.0 server then recreate the custom agent packages (assuming you have upgraded to 11.3.0 already). Once you have updated agent packages these can be imported into the file library.

To get the 11.3.0 ZENworks version listed in Build Console you will need to open Build Console then select help - check for updates.
Once the check for updates has completed successfully Build Console will support ZCM11.3.0.

Update existing project

If you have an existing project you want to use with ZCM 11.3.0 you will need to open the project in Build Console then select the "Expert View".

  • Select Desktop Management Solution - Version
    • Select ZENworks 11 Configuration Management SP3 (11.3.0) from the Version drop down list
  • Select ZENworks - Configuration
    • Select the appropriate "ZENworks 11 Adaptive agent (11.3.0)" from the ZENworks Agent Version drop down list

Known issues with Imaging toolkit 8.0.2 and ZCM 11.3.0

The ZCM 11.3.0 agent requires .Net 4.0 in order to install successfully. If you have not built .Net 4.0 into your base image then you will need to add it in during phase1 of the deployment process.
Additionally, one of the Imaging Toolkit DLLs is not removed post build.

This TID https://www.engl.co.uk/kb/tid-2014002.htm details the workarounds for these issues.
Once the project has been updated successfully you can then save the project.

Recreate image files

Once the project has been updated you need to run Deployment Wizard to recreate your novcomp and ztoolkit images. The updated image files should then be copied to the appropriate project folder on your ZENworks imaging server.

Troubleshooting Build issues.

If you see issues when deploying the 11.3.0 agent in a build please review the c:\ztoolkit\ztoolkit.log file.
We expect the agent versions listed in phase1 (post agent install) to look like:


[04-Apr-14 15:17:55] [Zmainrun-Phase1] Installing ZENworks Agent... 
[04-Apr-14 15:17:55] [Zmainrun-Phase1] CmdLine [C:\Ztoolkit\Agent\PreAgentPkg_AgentComplete.exe -x -q] 
[04-Apr-14 15:17:55] [Zmainrun-Phase1] [Debug] Running [C:\Ztoolkit\Agent\PreAgentPkg_AgentComplete.exe -x -q]
[04-Apr-14 15:18:28] [Zmainrun-Phase1] [Debug] returned 0
[04-Apr-14 15:18:28] [Zmainrun-Phase1] [Debug] Waiting for ZENworks Agent install to complete... 
[04-Apr-14 15:22:09] [Zmainrun-Phase1] [Debug] ZENworks Agent installation completed
[04-Apr-14 15:22:09] [Zmainrun-Phase1] [Debug] Getting ZENworks Agent version... 
[04-Apr-14 15:22:09] [Zmainrun-Phase1] [Debug] C:\Program Files (x86)\Novell\ZENworks\version.txt 
[04-Apr-14 15:22:09] [Zmainrun-Phase1] [Debug] Version.txt: 11.3.0.35304
[04-Apr-14 15:22:09] [Zmainrun-Phase1] [Debug] C:\Program Files (x86)\Novell\ZENworks\bin\zmd.dll
[04-Apr-14 15:22:09] [Zmainrun-Phase1] [Debug] File version: 11.3.0.36021 
[04-Apr-14 15:22:09] [Zmainrun-Phase1] [Debug] Product version: 11.3.0.36021 
[04-Apr-14 15:22:09] [Zmainrun-Phase1] [Debug] Agent Version: 11.3.x

The file and product version needs to show 11.3.0.36021 (or newer) for the updated FTF file to have been applied.
If this version is set to 11.3.0.35302 then this is the release version of the 11.3.0 agent and we expect to see issues with the deployment process.
If this is the case you need to apply Novell FTF Patch 866736 ( https://www.novell.com/support/kb/doc.php?id=7014857 )

If you have any problems upgrading your project to ZCM 11.3.0 please contact the ENGL support team.

 

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I am pleased to announce the immediate availability of ENGL Driver Manager 4.0.1.

This release includes some major functionality which customers have been requesting. Highlights of this release are System Center 2012 R2 support, driver searching /deployment for Windows 8.1 / Server 2012 R2, ability to search and download drivers for multiple machine models, and example WMI Task Sequence query is now shown for each machine model.

For further information visit the Driver Manager home page.