A warning for those using the Novell Image Explorer

I know this won’t apply to many people reading posts here but for those who do this could save your hours of frustration!

If you’re following the ZCM Imaging Megapost and creating driver packs with Image Explorer as per the instructions here there’s a glaring bug you need to watch out for :

  • you’ve created a ZMG file with some add-on content e.g. drivers, let’s call it DRIVERS.ZMG
  • you decide that you want to make some major changes to the package so you create a new file in Image Explorer and import your new content
  • you click File > Save As and click on the existing DRIVERS.ZMG file with the aim of overwriting it
  • Image Explorer asks if you want to Overwrite the existing file and you say Yes

You’d think this would be fairly simple and work OK… you’d be wrong!

I found the bug while testing a custom imaging process that kept failing with random behaviours that didn’t match the scripts I was working on. In desperation I opened up a file browser window in the middle of the sysprep process to check what was actually on the hard drive and was amazed to find (very) old versions of the scripts running instead of the new ones I believed had been saved using the process above! At least finding out the source of the problem stopped me from wanting to punch a hole in the case of the PC I was working on…

Seems like Image Explorer doesn’t actually complete the save process despite showing up as if it has. The workaround is to always delete the old .ZMG file before saving a new version with the same name. Basically never do this…

zmg_explorer

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3 Responses to A warning for those using the Novell Image Explorer

  1. Pingback: ZCM 11 imaging megapost – part 2 (drivers) | gshaw0

  2. dragon788 says:

    My own workaround for this is to create images named OS-Addon-Template-Type-Arch.zmg. So for a Win7 Drivers addon for 64 bit, it would be Win7-Addon-Template-Driver-x64.zmg. The contents of this template image is all the parts that don’t vary between models, for our Dells that’s the DPinst.exe (32 or 64 bit depending on arch), the DPinst.xml file, and the base C:\Drivers (in partition 2 as we keep the 100MB boot partition). Then to add in a new model, I simply extract the CAB file, take the x64 or x86 drivers folder and copy the audio/chipset/etc folders into the C:\Drivers I’ve built in the template, and then I do a Save As to whatever model I am adding drivers for. I have noticed the same bug you mentioned, saving it to the same name rarely turns out well, it does work on occasion, but I find deleting the old model and creating a new off the template is definitely the way to go.

    For the Zenworks agent, Win7-Addon-ZenworksAdaptiveAgent-x64.zmg. The Addon is there because our base image gets named Win7-Base-Type-Date.zmg and having Addon in there keeps the names in a nicer order.

    • gshaw0 says:

      Sounds very similar to what we do with ours, along with a further add on image for scripts that runs at the end of sysprep

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