We have situations where sometimes we need to use a USB stick for stand alone imaging for our remote sites that are not connected to the network or do not have a local DP.
In SCCM 2007, this was easy, just run through the wizard and that’s it, but we’ve come across an issue with SCCM 2012 whereas if you image is larger than 4096mb you cannot load it onto a USB stick.
We use 64GB USB sticks for our images due to the large amount of driver packages, so this was proving very frustrating. So, after a day of Googling, we finally came up with a solution that we have now tested and does work.
It is an annoyingly long way round and takes a long time to do, but it does work and I’m just hoping that Microsoft fix this in the future.
To do it, you need to use a combination of creating media to ISO, diskpart and xcopy.
Firstly, you need to prepare your USB stick. To do this, insert your memory stick into a Windows 7 or Server 2008 machine and run a CMD prompt. Then do the following in this order:
- Type diskpart and press enter
- Type list disk and press enter
- Identify the disk number of your USB device.
- Type select disk “your USB disk number” example: select disk 2 and press enter
- Type clean (be aware – this will format your USB stick!) and press enter
- Type create partition primary and press enter
- Type format fs=ntfs quick and press enter
- Type assign and press enter
- Type exit and press enter
This completes the preparation of the USB stick.
You then need to create the ISO for the task sequence you are trying to create. To do this, go into your Configuration Manager console, go into Software Library > Task Sequences, right click and select Create Task Sequence Media.
From here, follow the wizard and create the ISO(s) for your selected task sequence.
Once complete, you need to extract the files from the ISO(s) using something like 7-zip and then using xcopy, copy all these files to the USB stick.
The best way to do this is to use a CMD prompt and use the below code (make sure you are in the folder root of the extracted ISO in your CMD prompt):
Note – H: is the drive letter of your USB stick.
Once you have copied all the files over (this could take a long time, mine took 6 hours from 6 ISOs), you should then be able to boot from the USB stick and carry on as usual.
If you have any questions or comments to add, please use our Disqus system below to leave a comment and we will get back to you as soon as we can.