Quick tips to troubleshoot common SmartDeploy errors

SmartDeploy is an easy and very straightforward process. If you’re setting up SmartDeploy and hit a snag, there’s likely a simple fix that will get you up and running in no time. Here are some quick tips on solving some common SmartDeploy errors. You can continue reading, or you can check out our YouTube video that covers the same points below. 

SmartDeploy Updates

First, you should always check to see if you’re on the latest version of SmartDeploy and that you have the latest versions of the Platform Packs you’re using. You can look for an “Update Available” alert in the top-right corner of the main console window to check if there's a update. There will also be an update icon next to any Platform Packs in your library that have an update available. If you’re not sure what version you’re using, just go to Tools and look in the lower right corner. While we’re at it, remember that when you update to a new version of SmartDeploy you ALSO need to re-create any boot media you are using. 

Problems Capturing an Image

First, you'll want to check for snapshots. If you’re trying to capture your image direct from virtual disk; it’s not going to work if you have snapshots of the VM in place. You'll need to delete/marge those snapshots. If you need to keep these snapshots, then you’ll want to perform a warm capture

Second; is anti-virus software. Anti-Virus and other security software can break the image capture process in unpredictable ways, and sometimes it won't interfere at all. This goes for any that’s installed on the Reference VM, or running on the SmartDeploy Console host. Because of this. our recommendation is to leave it off of the reference virtual machine, and use the Tasks in your Answer File to script the installation during deployment, or use our Application Packs feature to install it. And if possible, temporarily disable it on the SmartDeploy Console host while you perform the capture.

Lastly; check for pending update configurations, or installations. You might find that if you boot your Reference VM there’s some pending update configurations that need to complete, or there are updates available. This can sometimes cause problems with capturing an image. Boot your VM, check for updates, and give it a restart and then shutdown using the command-line, and then try again. 

Problems Creating Media

The rule for anti-virus software for image captures, applies to creating SmartDeploy boot media. If you have anti-virus or other security software installed on your SmartDeploy host, try temporarily disabling it for the duration of the Media Wizard. 

Another common problem is related to single file(s) over 4GB in size on the reference VM, and creating FAT32-formatted media. SmartDeploy can split your image to fit on your USB drive within the 4GB size limit of FAT32, however it cannot split individual files within that image. An application called WinDirStat can help you find any large files that are hiding on your reference VM, so that you can remove them and re-capture your image.

Problems During Deployment

Errors during deployment can be tricky to narrow down, and often require reviewing logs. But it helps to know which part of the deployment is breaking. You can go back to the SmartDeploy boot menu and click Collect Logs to create a zip file with logs you can use to investigate. Deploy.log will tell you about your deployment, and the other logs in the Windows folder will tell you about sysprep, and other things. This is usually our first request from you when you contact support.

If you receive a “Please specify an Image” message during deployment, First check to make sure you have a valid IP listed in the bottom-right corner in the SmartDeploy boot environment. Then go back and double check your credentials and image path in the answer file you're using. If the Answer File requires an update, you'll need to re-create your boot media. 

A common error references Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup. This is almost always a problem with the Windows product key that was specified at capture, or in the answer file. Try re-capturing your image without specifying the key in the Capture Wizard, and then create a new Answer File. It will know there’s no key in your image, and ask you to specify it. It’s easier to change your product key this way if you find out you’ve got the wrong key, or made a typo.

While the image capture succeeded with anti-virus installed on the reference VM, but it’s still a possibility that it breaks deployment. If it’s a part of your image and you can’t pass deployment, uninstall it and re-capture your image and re-try deployment. 

Finally; avoid in-place Windows upgrades. If you’ve updated your Windows 10 installation on your Reference VM following a major version spring/fall update, you may find that Sysprep is broken. Our official recommendation is to create a new virtual machine when you want to deploy the latest major version of Windows 10.

Problems with Console-Initiated Deployments
If you’re attempting to start a network deployment but nothing ever seems to happen, take a look at the resource monitor on your SmartDeploy host to see what your outgoing network traffic looks like. If it’s absolutely dead then you may have to open the ports required by SmartDeploy. You may also need to check that any anti-virus software isn't blocking the connections. If so, you will need to add exceptions for SmartDeploy. 

If your endpoint is "greyed out" in the console then that means that they were talking at one point, but haven’t been able to communicate since. Check that the ports are open between the console host and the clients, and that the client is powered on.

Problems with networking when Deployment starts

If you find that you’re not able to reach the network in SmartPE, make sure that you’ve downloaded the Platform Pack for that device, and re-create your media, selecting the pack in the process to ensure any pre-installation environment drivers are included. Some Platform Packs have drivers for WinPE, which are injected to the boot media during creation. 

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  • 04-Sep-2019