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Add Assets to Windows Assessment Services Inventory

Published: February 29, 2012

Updated: October 20, 2013

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2

This topic describes how to add assets such as computers, Windows images, and unattended answer files to the Windows Assessment Services inventory. You can then use the assessment tools for the deployment and the assessment of various computers and Windows images that are in the inventory. Drivers are added to the Windows Deployment Services driver store so that they can be injected into the Windows image during deployment.

In this topic:

You can add bare metal computers (computers that don't have a running operating system) and computers that have a running operating system to the Windows Assessment Services inventory. You can then use the assessment tools to assess these computers. When the test computer has a running operating system, use the Windows Assessment Services script to add it to the inventory. When the test computer doesn't have a running operating system, use the USB flash drive to boot the computer and add it to the inventory. For more information about how to add bare metal computers to inventory, see Prepare to Deploy and Assess a Bare Metal Computer.

You shouldn't include a test computer in multiple Windows Assessment Services server inventories at the same time. When a test computer appears in multiple Windows Assessment Services server inventories, it causes a race condition between the Windows Deployment Services instances on each server. If you must move a test computer from one inventory to another, in the Windows® Assessment Services - Client (Windows ASC), delete the computer asset from the first Windows Assessment Services inventory, and then add it to the inventory on the new Windows Assessment Services server.

  1. On a running test computer, log on to the Windows Assessment Services server. For example, at a command prompt, type:

    Net use \\<servername>\relax /u:localadmin Pass.word
    This account and password are set up during the Windows Assessment Services installation and initialization. This isn't an administrator account.

  2. On the test computer, delete the C:\relax folder, if it exists.

  3. At an elevated command prompt, run CompleteDeployment.cmd. The full path of the command is \\<servername>\relax\scripts\TestMachine\ CompleteDeployment.cmd.

    A description of what the script does appears in the Command Prompt window.

  4. Press Enter to continue. The computer will reboot when it is added to the inventory.

    If the computer name contains an underscore, it might not be reachable through DNS, in compliance with RFC requirements. In that case, the computer won't be added to the inventory. Out-of-box experience (OOBE) allows computer names with an underscore, but Windows Assessment Services inventory doesn't.

  5. Open the Windows ASC from the Start menu. On the Getting Started page, verify that the correct number of computers have been added to your server inventory.

When you add running computers to your inventory, the out-of-box drivers from the computer are collected and stored on the Windows Assessment Services server at %systemdrive%\relax\drivers\%computername%. This happens only when you're adding a computer to the inventory that has a running operating system. It doesn't happen on bare metal computers that you add to the inventory by using the USB Windows PE drive. In the following procedure, you add those drivers to the Windows Deployment Services driver store so that they're available for driver injection during image deployment.

The following steps apply only to Windows Server® 2012. If you're using Windows Server 2008 R2, you must inject the drivers into the image before deployment, because Dynamic Driver Provisioning in Windows Deployment Services isn't supported on Windows Server 2008 R2.

  1. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Windows Deployment Services.

  2. Expand the Servers node, and then expand your server name.

  3. Right-click Drivers, and then click Add Driver Package.

  4. In the Add Driver Package wizard, click Select all driver packages from a folder, and then click Browse.

  5. Browse to the C:\relax\drivers folder, and then click OK.

  6. In the Add Driver Package wizard, click Next.

  7. On the Available Driver Packages page, click Next.

  8. On the Summary page, click Next.

  9. When the drivers are copied to the driver store, click Next.

  10. On the Driver Groups page, click Select an existing driver group, verify that DriverGroup1 is selected, and then click Next.

  11. Click Finish.

You must copy the Windows imaging (.wim) files to the image share before you import them to the inventory database and use them for deployment.

  1. On the Windows Assessment Services server, copy your .wim files to C:\relax\images.

    The image path cannot contain spaces.

  2. These images are in the Windows Assessment Services server image share, but they haven't been imported into the inventory database. To import the images into the inventory database, use one of these methods:

    • On the Getting Started page, click Import images now, and select the images. Click Import, and then click OK.

    • In the Windows ASC, on the Server menu, click Manager inventory, click the Images tab, and then click Add.

  • A default Unattend.xml answer file for each supported architecture is provided at %systemdrive%\relax\scripts\templates. You can use the default answer file, or you can copy the template Unattend.xml and modify it in Windows System Image Manager. For more information about how to modify an answer file, see the Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM) Technical Reference.

  • Copy Unattend.xml answer files to %systemdrive%\relax\unattendfiles. If you provide separate unattended answer files for specific images, give a unique name to each new answer file before you copy it to %systemdrive%\relax\unattendfiles.

  • When you add images to a project in the Windows ASC, specify the path of the answer file that you want to use with that image.

    When deploying an image to an OEM Activation 3.0 (OA 3.0) system, use a custom unattend.xml answer file with a product key that is associated with the image.

  1. On the Server menu, click Manage inventory.

  2. In the Asset Inventory window, click the Images tab, and then use the filter text box to add filter criteria so that you can find the image that you're looking for.

  3. Right-click the column heading, and then click Unattend path to show this field as a column.

  4. Use the vertical scroll bar to find the Unattend path column. By default, the field is blank. Double-click the field and enter the UNC path for the answer file that you want to use with the selected image, such as %systemdrive%\relax\unattendfiles\<my_answer_file>.xml.

See Also