How to Capture User Files and Settings Offline (WinPE) or Online (FullOS) using hard-links with ConfigMgr 2012 B2

This post will be another one about capturing user files and settings, but this time with ConfigMgr 2012 B2. I hope everyone still remembers my post about capturing user files and settings in ConfigMgr 2007 (and especially how much work it was). Usually I’m not really into writing ‘step-by-step guides’, but this time I will make an exception. The reason why I’m making this exception is that I want to show how easy it’s done now. It’s becoming really close to just next-next-finish. There are only four packages needed for/ by this step-by-step:

  1. Boot image package
  2. ConfigMgr client package
  3. USMT 4.0 package
  4. Image package

When these packages are present, right-click the Task Sequence node and select Create Task Sequence. After that follow the step-by-step below.

 

On the Create a New Task Sequence page, select Install an existing image package and click Next

CTSW_NewTS

On the Task Sequence Information page, fill in a Task sequence name, Browse for the Boot image and click Next.

CTSW_TSInf

On the Install Windows page, browse for the Image package, uncheck Partition and format the target computer before installing the operating system, (optional) fill in a Product key, (optional) select Always use the same administrator password and click Next.

Note: It’s really important to uncheck Partition and format the target computer before installing the operating system, because otherwise it’s not possible to store the data locally.

CTSW_InstWin

On the Configure Network page, (optional) select Join a domain, Browse for the Domain and Domain OU, Set an Account and click Next.

CTSW_ConfNetw

On the Install ConfigMgr page, Browse for the ConfigMgr client Package, (optional) fill in the Installation Properties and click Next.

CTSW_InstClnt

On the State Migration page, select Capture user settings, Browse for the USMT Package, select Save user settings locally and click Next.

CTSW_StatMigr

On the Install Updates page, click Next.

Note: As these settings are not part of the step-by-step, they are left to default.

CTSW_InclUpd

On the Install Applications page, click Next.

Note: As these settings are not part of the step-by-step, they are left to default.

CTSW_InstAppl

On the Summary page, click Next.

image

On the Progress page, just wait…

CTSW_Prog

On the Confirmation page, click Close.

CTSW_Conf

Now the basic task sequence is ready and it only needs a little bit of ‘tweaking’. This can be done with the Task Sequence Editor. Also notice that the basic task sequence already sets the ‘extra’ task sequence variable OSDStateStorePath.

Select the Capture Files and Settings Group, go to the Options tab and Remove the Conditions (or remove the whole top Group).

Note: This is necessary to make it possible to also capture user files and settings  in WinPE.

image

Select the Capture User Files and Settings Step (optional: change the name), select Copy by using file system access and check Continue if some files cannot be captured and Capture locally by using links instead of copying files. Now go to the Options tab and add the condition of _SMSTSInWinPE equals FALSE.

Note: This is necessary to make this step only run in FullOS.

TSed_CaptFullOS

Add an extra Capture User State Step (optional: change the name), select Copy by using file system access and check Continue if some files cannot be captured, Capture locally by using links instead of copying files and Capture in off-line mode (Windows PE only). Now go to the Options tab and add the condition of _SMSTSInWinPE equals TRUE.

Note: This is necessary to make this step only run in WinPE.

TSed_CaptWinPE

The task sequence is now done and ready to be deployed. The result is a task sequence that will do a hard-link migration in both, WinPE or FullOS.

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18 thoughts on “How to Capture User Files and Settings Offline (WinPE) or Online (FullOS) using hard-links with ConfigMgr 2012 B2

  1. thanks for great post , but I have only one issue when changing the OSDStateStorePath.to be for example C:\Userdatafiles the Offline Mode not Work specially on Restore Files and Settings.
    the second question is how I can keep OSDStateStorePath even after Successfully Migration.

    thanks

  2. Hi Ahmed,
    Why would you change the OSDStateStorePath location? The only reason I can imagine is that you have multiple disk. Besides that, it should work… What are you running into?
    The default task sequence steps will delete the store after a successful migration. The only way to keep it is to copy it yourself (with a task sequence step) to a different location.
    Peter

  3. Hi Peter – Can I clarify a Step if Possible – The Set User State Location – Do you have this set as Task Sequence Variable: OSDStateStorePath Value: %_SMSTSUserStatePath% and Also – Can I run a Capture Windows and Networks Settings Step Before the User State and Files Step

  4. Hello, thank you for the guide and all other articles.
    Just a silly question. What`s the catch of using hard-links in both FullOS and WinPE?

  5. Hi Peter,

    Thank you for the guide – very helpful. I’m testing this on a virtual box, and am happy to report it works successfully when running it from Config Manager.

    However, if I run the task through task wizard in WinPE, it fails with the following error:

    [0x000000] An error occurred processing the command line
    Invalid store path; check the store parameter and/or file system permissions [gle0x0000006]

    I imagine it wouldn’t be a permissions issue, given that we are running from WinPe, so I imagine it has something to do with the command line structure, which was: [0x000000] Command line: C:\_SMSTaskSequence\Packages\BSC00081\amd64\loadstate.exe C:\_SMSTaskSequence\UserState /v:5 /c /l:C:\WINDOWS\CCM\Logs\SMSTSLog\loadstate.log /progress:C:\WINDOWS\CCM\Logs\SMSTSLog\loadstateprogress.log /i:C:\_SMSTaskSequence\Packages\BSC00081\amd64\miguser.xml /i:C:\_SMSTaskSequence\Packages\BSC00081\amd64\migapp.xml

    I can’t understand why though, because it will work from the OS, but not through WinPE. This has left me scratching my head. Any ideas?

  6. HI Peter,

    Wrote that last reply before I had my morning coffee. Completely disregard it.

    The state store doesn’t exist explicitly, no. I am using %_SMSTSUserStatePath% for the OSDStateStorePath.

    Would create a place to put the associated files in (i.e C:\USMT) work?

    It works from the OS, but not from WinPE. I
    I have also tried add steps in the TS to add \hardlink \nocompress options, but they don’t work either.

    Thank you for your help

  7. Hi Lachlan,
    I have to admit that it’s been a while since I’ve done something similar to this post. Based on the error code I can imagine that it would help to set the store location and than use an additional action to create that specific folder.
    Peter

  8. Hi Peter,
    You uncheck the “Partition and format the target computer before installing the operating system” option. So, Will this task sequence eventually format the disk after it captures user files and settings? In the task sequence steps I dont see something like partition and format the disk.

  9. Hi Peter,

    Thanks for the guidelines. I followed all the steps and I can restore the data’s however its getting duplicated to c:\ drive from D:\ drive.

    How to avoid duplicate files and folders from other drive.

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