Friday, 19 August 2011

Dell Optiplex 390 fails to apply GPO settings

At work we have been deploying Dell Optiplex 390’s with XP using an MDT task sequence, the build works perfectly however once the machine attempts to apply group policy we have failures, this causes the machine to fail to install allocated msi packages. Obviously not a great situation to be in.
Following some research I have found that the issue appears to occur mostly in situations where a client is using a Gig speed network card and where network connections are teamed. The issue appears to be caused by the network card switching between speeds and full/half duplex to find the mode it can operate at. By adding a registry key we can prevent this checking from happening which will provide a more stable connection during the all important startup process.
This solution has been tested to work in our environment, obviously your mileage may vary and if you choose to make this change you do so at your own risk, playing with the networking settings in Windows may break more than it fixes however in our testing this has been an easy and successful workaround.

The key details are as follows
Key Location : HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters
Key Name : DisableDHCPMediaSense
Key Type : Reg_Dword
Key Value : 00000001

These settings can either be added using a reg entry or a command line as follows
reg add HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters /v DisableDHCPMediaSense /t REG_Dword /d 00000001

In our case we have added a command line near the end of our task sequence which we have filtered using WMI in a way similar to the one we used in a previous post. In this case the WMI filter we used is as follows

Select * from Win32_ComputerSystemProduct WHERE Name LIKE "%Optiplex 390%"

Again we are running this against the root\cimv2 namespace. This query could be repeated in the task sequence options filtering for additional hardware which exhibits this particular issue, thereby allowing you to keep a smaller number of task sequences in your deployment share.

Update : 29-06-2012

We have begun rolling out Samsung N200 laptops, these also exhibit the issue with needing DHCPMediaSense to be set, for ease of use here is the WMI code needed

Select * from Win32_ComputerSystemProduct WHERE Name LIKE "300V3A/300V4A/300V5A/200A4B/200A5B"


Technet User Discussion

Serverfault Question

Dell Laptop freefall sensor driver kills MDT Win XP


We have been building a large number of Dell Latitude E5410 and E5420 laptops using an MDT task sequence to install Win XP. The task sequence does not use a wim file for xp but is effectively the same as running a RIS style setup process.

We downloaded the driver pack which Dell make available for the E5420, in theory this contains all drivers needed in a single cab file, however we encountered an issue in that during setup the installation WMI either got corrupted or failed to install. Since MDT needs to use WMI in order to run this left us with a partly installed XP machine which fails to complete the task sequence. This issue did not present itself when we ran a test build with Windows 7.

As part of our troubleshooting we manually downloaded the drivers individually and added them to MDT, we missed the ST Microelectronics Freefall sensor as it was wrapped up in an installshield exe file but the task sequence completed succesfully. Helpfully Dell included a readme with the exe file which explained that we could run the setup.exe with the /s switch and this would allow a silent install with no reboot when done.

Using this information we imported the setup file into the MDT Deploymentshare as an application then added it near the end of the task sequence. In order to not need an extra task sequence just for the laptops we edited the options for the application installation step and added the filtering options to only apply if true and used a WMI query to test for the model type. The WMI query used is as follows

WMI Namespace : root\cimv2

WQL Query : Select * from Win32_ComputerSystemProduct WHERE Name LIKE "%Latitude E54%"


WMI query
Query entry dialog box

WMI query2
Completed query entry in task sequence options.


Using these settings will allow the installation of Windows to complete leaving you with a fully working WMI installation and all of the drivers to give you a nice clean Device Manager.