Howto: Bend over backwards to image a Dell Optiplex 745 using Zenworks

One of my clients uses Zenworks for Desktops 7.1 as their PC imaging platform.

Recently, I was assigned the job of creating a Windows image for their brand new Dell Optiplex 745 PCs. 

 I’ve used Zenworks since version 3, and I’ve always felt their imaging software was one of the suite’s strengths.  But no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the Dell 745 to PXE boot.  I tried every trick I knew, researched every Novell TID, you name it.  But the think just wouldn’t connect.  To make things worse, it had no CD-ROM drive and couldn’t (or just wouldn’t) boot from a USB CD-ROM drive.  No built in floppy drive either, and of course the USB floppy drive wasn’t found.  Booting from a USB flash drive wasn’t working, so I was pretty frustrated.  Something as easy as imaging a PC was getting me down.

Finally I came across zenimaging.info, a site dedicated to Zenworks tip and tricks.  I downloaded one of their customize kernels, uploaded the files to the imaging server, and I was PXE booting with no problems!

[updated 07-20-2007]

Zenworks for Desktops 7 SP1 hot patch 5 fixed this issue without modifying the kernel.  You can download the entire patch  here, or download just the imaging components.

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