ConfigMgr OSD – Strange Task Sequence Failures Solved

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We had reports from a customer this week about strange issues with their Configuration Manager OSD Task Sequences failing.

The OSD seemed to work on most machines but a new batch of refurbished laptops would PXE boot but then would fail after the task sequence had been selected with a generic Microsoft error (you know the type!).

We had been told that their on site guys had gone through a number of logs and checked the management point and distribution point servers and everything seemed to be working absolutely fine. The same make and model of machine (outside of the refurb batch) was tested and they loaded their OSD image without issue.

So, why would these refurbished laptops not run the ConfigMgr OSD Task Sequence?

Network card drivers, Mass Storage Drivers? Failed hardware?

No – the time and date!

When we arrived to check out the situation we ran through exactly the same process and yes after the task sequence was selected it would throw an error and reboot the machine. As the machine rebooted, we noticed that the BIOS was way out of date and being one of those very annoying people that insist on all machines having the latest BIOS, we pressed F2 on the reboot and entered the BIOS to check versions etc. As soon as we entered the BIOS, there it was – 2 years behind the current date and 6 hours out too!

So, we put that right on the first machine and updated the BIOS to the latest available version, then ran the task sequence again and there you go – all working!

We got their first line techs to check all the other laptops and they were all the same, all 2 years behind the current date and on an original BIOS version.

So, this was an expensive lesson in the very basics of IT support – ALWAYS check the most stupid of basic before admitting defeat – like the date and time being correct in your BIOS!

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