Monday 14 July 2014

MDT 2013 (ADK): Customizing the CustomSettings.ini file to automate WinPE Deployment Panes

The CustomSettings.ini file is used to automate parts of the WinPE boot phases. When MDT and the ADK are installed, and a Deployment Share is provisioned the CustomSettings.ini file is located at %Drive%\%Deployment Share%\Control. It can be edit by using Notepad or any other simple text editor. The default CustomSettings.ini file is depicted below.

When you boot a target device from your MDT Lite Touch DVD, by default you will be prompted by all of the following screens, the statements that are outlined with automate each of these particular panes. You must enter relevant information for your environment. All of these statements can be added in any order under the [Default] section of the CustomSettings.ini file.
MDT Welcome Screen and Network Credentials
Typically this is the first screen you will see when you first boot a device using the MDT media.
Although this post is mainly to edit the CustomSettings file, the following statements to automate the MDT Welcome Screen and Network Credentials screen must be entered into the Bootstrap.ini file as well as the CustomSettings file, which can also be found at %Drive%\%Deployment Share%\Control. It is recommended to create an Active Directory account just for this as the Bootstrap.ini file is not encrypted.
UserID=Domain\Administrative Account
UserPassword=Corresponding Password
These statements will also hide the following screen, therefore automating the need to enter credentials. Use this sparingly in a production environment.
Task Sequences
Typically you will be prompted to choose which Task Sequence you would like to use for this deployment, in a lot of ways it can be good not to automate. Although if you are imaging a large number of devices with the same OS and configuration it can save time.
When you create a Task Sequence using the MDT interface you give it a Task Sequence ID. The Task Sequence ID is required here to hard code into the CustomSetting.ini file to instruct the boot DVD to select the correct sequence.
Computer Details
JoinDomain=Active Directory Domain Name
DomainAdmin=Domain Admin Account
DomainAdminDomain=Single Label Active Directory Domain Name
DomainAdminPassword= Domain Admin Account Password
Move Data and Settings
User Data (Restore)
Locale and Time
TimeZoneName=GMT Standard Time
If you choose not to have your application installed by the Task Sequence you can also do it with the CustomSettings.ini file, it is done by entering the following statements. You must then enter a statement for each application linked to it's GUID. When any application is imported it is assigned a GUID, if you view the Properties of an application from the Deployment Workbench you will see the GUID. Alternatively you can leave this part unautomated and you can choose which applications are installed as you go.
Application001=Application GUID
Ready (Summary Pages)
Organisation Name and Project Name
These statements must be added under the [Default] section of the CustomSettings file.
_SMSTSPackageName= July 2014