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Adding DaRT 8.1 from MDOP 2013 R2 to ConfigMgr 2012 R2

Dec 10 2013

When integrating MDT 2013 with ConfigMgr 2012 R2 (which you should, Capish!), and if you have access to DaRT 8.1 (MDOP 2013 R2), you can remote into WinPE when deploying the machines, great for troubleshooting.  Adding DaRT 8.1 is quite straigh forward, but it really helps if you also enable the MDT monitoring capabilities also for ConfigMgr 2012 R2 OS Deployment. That way you get an easy way to remote into the machines that you are deploying (without having to specify IP address, port and ticket number for DaRT).


Enable Monitoring in Deployment Workbench

To install the web service and database used for monitoring ConfigMgr 2012 R2 you use MDT Deployment Workbench. In this example my site server is named CM01.

  1. On CM01, using the Deployment Workbench, right-click Deployment Shares and select New Deployment Share.
  2. Use the following settings for the New Deployment Share Wizard.

    1. Deployment share path: D:\MDTProduction
    2. Share name: MDTProduction$
    3. Deployment share description: MDT Production
    4. Options: <default settings>
  3. Right-click the new MDT Production Deployment Share and select Properties.
  4. In the Monitoring tab, select the Enable monitoring for this deployment share check box, and then click OK.

    Note: It will take a while for the Deployment Workbench to create the monitoring database and web service. The console even appears to hang, but no worries, just give it some time J

Setup ConfigMgr 2012 R2 to use Monitoring

After enabling the monitoring feature, you need to configure the CustomSettings.ini file in your settings package. In this example my settings package for ConfigMgr 2012 has its package source path on D:\SCCM_Sources\OSD\Settings\Windows 8.1 x64 Settings. In these steps I assume you already created a MDT 2013 Task Sequence, a MDT 2013 package, and a Settings package as part of that process.

  1. On CM01, using File Explorer, navigate to D:\SCCM_Sources\OSD\Settings\Windows 8.1 x64 Settings
  2. Using Notepad, edit the CustomSettings.ini file, and add the following entry in the end:


    Sample CustomSettings.ini file.
  3. Update the Distribution Points for Settings package
  4. Start a deployment, and as soon as the task sequence has run the Gather action you see the machine in the Monitoring node.

Real time monitoring of the ConfigMgr 2012 R2 deployments in the MDT 2013 Deployment Workbench.


Enable WinPE 5.0 remote connection (via DaRT 8.1) in ConfigMgr 2012 R2

One of the greatest benefits of the MDOP 2013 R2 software assurance add-on is DaRT. With DaRT 8.1 you have the remote connection viewer that allows you to remote into WinPE during your ConfigMgr OS Deployments.

  1. Install DaRT 8.1 (MSDaRT81.msi) with the default settings on your Windows Server 2012 R2 site server

    Note: If you still run Windows Server 2012 (non-R2) on your ConfigMgr 2012 R2 Site Server you get an "evil" error message when trying to install DaRT 8.1. But no worries, to install DaRT 8.1 anyway, trick the DaRT 8.1 setup to install by doing an administrative install:  msiexec /a MSDaRT81.msi

  2. Using File Explorer, navigate to the C:\Program Files\Microsoft DaRT\v8.1 folder.
  3. Copy the file to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Deployment Toolkit\Templates\Distribution\Tools\x86
  4. Copy the file to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Deployment Toolkit\Templates\Distribution\Tools\x64
  5. Create a new ConfigMgr Boot image using the MDT wizard; select the DaRT component during creation.

Creating the ConfigMgr 2012 R2 boot image (WinPE 5.0) and selecting the DaRT 8.1 component (listed as DaRT 8).

Configure the task sequence to use the new boot image

If you have existing task sequences, you need to configure them to use the new boot image.

  1. Configure your task sequence to use the new boot image, and start a deployment.
  2. Using Deployment Workbench, when you see the client in the Monitoring node, you can double-click it, and then select DaRT Remote Control to remote into it.

The computer after double-clicking it in the Monitoring node.

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Happy deployment, and thanks for reading!

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