Quick Tips to Troubleshoot Common SmartDeploy Errors

SmartDeploy is easy and straightforward to use. If you’re setting up SmartDeploy and hit a snag, there’s likely a simple fix that will get you up and running in no time. Here are some quick tips for solving some common SmartDeploy errors. You can continue reading, or you can check out our YouTube video that covers the same points below.

SmartDeploy Updates

Confirm that you’re using the latest version of SmartDeploy and that you have the latest versions of the Platform Packs that you’re using—look for an Update Available alert in the top-right corner of the main console window. An update icon is displayed next to any Platform Packs in your library that have an update available. If you’re not sure what version you’re using, go to Tools, and look in the lower-right corner. Remember that when you update to a new version of SmartDeploy, you also need to re-create any boot media that you are using. 

Problems Capturing an Image

First, check for snapshots. If you’re trying to capture your image directly from virtual disk, it’s not going to work if you have snapshots of the VM in place; you'll need to delete those snapshots. If you need to keep those snapshots, perform a warm capture.

Second, the issue may be caused by antivirus software. Antivirus and other security software that’s installed on the Reference VM or running on the SmartDeploy Console host can break the image capture process in unpredictable ways, or sometimes it won't interfere at all. We recommend that you leave off antivirus software from the Reference VM and use the tasks in your answer file to script the installation during deployment. Or, you can use Application Packs to install it. And if possible, temporarily disable it on the SmartDeploy Console host while you perform the capture.

Last, check for pending update configurations or installations. You might find that if you boot your Reference VM, some pending update configurations need to complete or updates are available. This can sometimes cause problems with capturing an image. Boot your VM, check for updates, restart it, shut it down by using the command line, and then try again. 

Problems Creating Media

The rule for antivirus software for image captures also applies to creating SmartDeploy boot media. If you have antivirus or other security software installed on your SmartDeploy host, try temporarily disabling it for the duration of the Media Wizard. 

Another common problem is related to single files larger than 4 GB on the reference VM and creating FAT32-formatted media. SmartDeploy can split your image to fit on your USB drive within the 4-GB size limit of FAT32; however, it cannot split individual files within that image. An application called WinDirStat can help you find any large files that are hiding on your Reference VM so that you can remove them and recapture your image.

Problems during Deployment

Errors during deployment can be tricky to narrow down and often require reviewing logs. But it helps to know which part of the deployment is breaking. Go back to the SmartDeploy boot menu, and click Collect Logs to create a ZIP file with logs that you can use to investigate. Deploy.log will tell you about your deployment, and the other logs in the Windows folder will tell you about sysprep and more. This is usually our first request from you when you contact support.

If you receive a “Please specify an Image” message during deployment, confirm that a valid IP is listed in the bottom-right corner in the SmartDeploy boot environment. Then, go back and double check your credentials and image path in the answer file that you're using. If the answer file requires an update, re-create your boot media.

A common error references Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup. This is almost always a problem with the Windows product key that was specified at capture or in the answer file. Try recapturing your image without specifying the key in the Capture Wizard, and then create a new answer file. It will know that there’s no key in your image and ask you to specify it. It’s easier to change your product key this way if you determine that you’ve got the wrong key or made a typo.

If the image capture succeeded with antivirus software installed on the Reference VM, it’s still a possibility that it might break deployment. If it’s a part of your image and you can’t pass deployment, uninstall it, recapture your image, and then retry deployment.

Finally, avoid in-place Windows upgrades. If you’ve updated your Windows 10 installation on your Reference VM after a major version spring/fall update, you may find that Sysprep is broken. We recommend that you create a new VM when you want to deploy the latest major version of Windows 10.

Problems with Console-Initiated Deployments

If you’re trying to start a network deployment but nothing seems to happen, look at the resource monitor on your SmartDeploy host to see what your outgoing network traffic looks like. If it’s absolutely dead, then you may have to open the ports required by SmartDeploy. You may also need to check that any antivirus software isn't blocking the connections. If so, you'll need to add exceptions for SmartDeploy. 

If your endpoint is gray in the console, that means that they were talking at one point but haven’t been able to communicate since. Check that the ports are open between the console host and the clients and that the client is powered on.

Problems with Networking when Deployment Starts

If you’re not able to reach the network in SmartPE, make sure that you’ve downloaded the Platform Pack for that device, and then re-create your media, selecting the pack to ensure any preinstallation environment drivers are included. Some Platform Packs have drivers for WinPE, which are injected to the boot media during creation. 

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