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As per a reader’s request, here is an updated guide for installing SCDPM 2012 R2.

Install Prerequisites

To start, before we will actually be able to install SCDPM, we have to install a few prerequisites.

  • .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
  • SQL Server

IMPORTANT: This guide assumes that you have already installed SQL Server, and the DPM Support Files, as per the following TechNet article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn581867.aspx.

Install SCDPM

Start by either extracting the DVD contents, or mounting the ISO (the TechNet ISO is currently labelled as mu_system_center_2012_r2_data_protection_manager_x86_and_x64_dvd_2945939.iso). Start by running the Setup.exe.

On the splash screen click the Data Protection manager link.

Install DPM12R2 - 01 - Splash screen

Read and agree to the License Terms, and then click OK.

Install DPM12R2 - 02 - License Terms

Data Protection Manager will prepare to install.

Install DPM12R2 - 03 - Extracting

On the Welcome page, click Next.

Install DPM12R2 - 04 - Welcome

On the Prerequisites Check page, choose what type of database DPM will use; either a stand-alone SQL Server, or a Clustered SQL Server. Also provide the SQL Server name and instance.

Since I am doing this in my lab, I will choose the ‘Use stand-alone SQL Server’ option.

Make your choice and then click Check and Install.

Install DPM12R2 - 05 - Prereq Check

The Prerequisites Check will check the system for any issues preventing installation. If there are issue, you will need to resolve them prior to being able to continue with the installation. Once you are able to continue, click Next.

Install DPM12R2 - 06 - Prereq Check Pass

On the Product Registration page, enter a User Name, Company, and a Product Key, then click Next. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any way to install an evaluation version of the application, although all other System Center products provide this option.

Install DPM12R2 - 07 - Product Registration

On the Installation Settings page, you can specify the location to install DPM. Make any changes required and then click Next.

Install DPM12R2 - 08 - Installation Settings

On the Microsoft Update Opt-In page, choose if you want to include the product in Microsoft Updates, then click Next.

Install DPM12R2 - 09 - MS Update

On the Customer Experience Improvement Program page, you can choose if you want to join the CEIP program or not. Make your choice and then click Next.

Install DPM12R2 - 10 - CEIP

On the Summary of Settings page, review the selections/choices made, and then click Install.

Install DPM12R2 - 11 - Summary

The installation will begin, and will take a while to complete.

Once the installation is complete, click Close.

Install DPM12R2 - 12 - Installation Complete

Once the Data Protection Manager Setup wizard is closed, it will automatically launch Windows Update and check for updates.

Install DPM 15

Now you can launch the Data Protection Manager console.

Install DPM12R2 - 13 - DPM Console

If you ever are unsure of the SQL Server that hosts the DPM database, or the SQL Reporting used, you can look at the “About DPM” dialog.

Install DPM12R2 - 14 - About DPM

And that’s the installation of System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager. If you compare it with my installation guide on System Center 2012 SP1 Data Protection Manager, you will see that there are some differences.

I ran into this scenario recently while at a client’s site, working with SCCM to create a server build task sequence.

Let’s say you have SCCM installed, including a CAS, multiple Primary Sites and Secondary Sites, and many Distribution / Management Points. However, despite having Distribution Points in your environment, you do not have them PXE-enabled. Instead, you are using a standalone Windows Deployment Services (WDS) server to handle/manage the PXE-boot process.

Now, the second part of the scenario. In SCCM, we have MDT installed and integrated. Therefore, we are using not the “normal” Boot Images created by the installation of SCCM, but rather the MDT Boot Image.

So, to sum up: SCCM Distribution Points without PXE enabled, using the MDT Boot Image, and using WDS standalone.

So, here’s the issue. IF you take the MDT Boot Image from SCCM, and upload it into WDS as a Boot Image, you encounter an issue. When you system PXE Boots, everything seems to be OK, and the boot image starts to load. First it will show “Initializing hardware devices…”, then it will show “Windows is starting up…”. Finally, it will show “Preparing network connections…”, and then BAM! Nothing! And the system will restart, just to repeat the same process over again.

If you enable Command Line support in the Boot Image, you can press F8 and be able to check the Log files to see what’s going on. So, if you press F8, and navigate to X:\SMSTSLog\, you will see a .Log file called “SMSTS.log”. Open it in Notepad (by typing “notepad” in the command line, since we don’t have the CMTrace.exe utility available to us). In the Log file, scroll to the bottom, and you should see a entry that says: “Failed to download PXE variable file. Code(0x00000001).”


Now, if you search online for a solution, most posts will mention checking drivers (usually NIC drivers). But in my case my VM was getting an IP Address, therefore it’s not a NIC driver issue.

Well, thanks to some of my co-workers, they pointed me to the following website: http://www.deployvista.com/Blog/JohanArwidmark/tabid/78/EntryID/54/Default.aspx. This article refers to an older version of SCCM, but is still applicable with SCCM 2012. Additionally, for applicability/clarity, the information taken from the above listed article has been re-written/worded, and includes screenshots.

Background Information

When you add the Distribution Point (DP) role to a system managed by SCCM, and enable the “PXE support for client’s” option, SCCM will install (if not already installed as a Role/Feature) the Windows Deployment Services (WDS) server role. This makes is difficult to co-exist with other Boot Images, like the MDT Lite Touch boot image, on independent/standalone WDS servers.

With SCCM, you can generate WinPE Boot Images for Operating System Deployment (OSD). However, the issue is using a standalone WDS system which is not managed by SCCM to provide the PXE boot option on the network, with an SCCM DP server where the OSD content exists (and where the boot image refers to).

SCCM Boot Media Information

When an SCCM generated Boot Media is used, there are additional configuration files contained within the ISO, most importantly the TSMBootStrp.ini and Variables.dat files. These files are present within the SCCM generated boot media, but not actually contained within the .WIM file itself. The issue is further complicated due to the fact that you cannot add an ISO boot media file into WDS, but rather, require a .WIM file.

The solution is to extract the contents of the SCCM generated boot media ISO file, and add the missing configuration files into the Boot Image .WIM file. After these files have been added into the Boot Image, this .WIM file can be added into WDS, and thus made available to PXE boot.

Modifying a WinPE Boot Image (WIM) File to Include SCCM Boot Media Files for Standalone WDS

This section provides step-by-step instructions on how to extract SCCM Boot Media content, and insert/inject it into a Boot Image .WIM file.

Create SCCM Boot Media

Launch the SCCM Console, and navigate to Software Library > Operating Systems > Task Sequences.

Build TS - 01 - Task Sequences

Right-click on the Task Sequences section heading, and choose Create Task Sequence Media.

SCCM Boot Media - 02 - Create Task Sequence Media

On the Select Media Type page, choose Bootable Media, then click Next.

SCCM Boot Media - 03 - Select Media Type

On the Media Management page, choose Dynamic Media, then click Next.

SCCM Boot Media - 04 - Media Management

On the Media Type page, choose CD/DVD Set, provide a location and filename, then click Next.

Note: The path does not need to be a UNC patch, and can be a local drive (i.e. C:\). Also, the Filename provided must end with the “.ISO”.

SCCM Boot Media - 05 - Media Type

On the Security page, select the ‘Enable Unknown Computer Support’ option. You can also choose to password protect the media, but this is not required. Accept all other default selections as-is, then click Next.

SCCM Boot Media - 06 - Security

On the Boot Image page, click Browse and select the appropriate Boot Image, and Distribution Point. Then click Add and select an available Management Point. Once all 3 fields have been entered, click Next.

SCCM Boot Media - 07 - Boot Image

On the Customization page, accept the defaults, and click Next.

SCCM Boot Media - 08 - Customization

On the Summary page, review the selections made, and then click Next.

SCCM Boot Media - 09 - Summary

On the Completion page, click Close.

SCCM Boot Media - 10 - Completion

You should now have an .ISO file at the location you specified during step 5.

Extract SCCM Boot Media ISO Contents

At the location of your ISO file, use a ZIP program (i.e. 7zip), and extract the contents of the .ISO file. This should create a folder, with the same name of your ISO file, containing all the files (i.e. C:\SCCMBootMedia\).

Note: Ensure that you make note of where the ISO extracted folder contents is located, as this will be needed in the next section.


Mount Boot Image WIM File and Inject SCCM Boot Media Files

To be able to complete this step of the process, you must have the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) installed. It is important to note that this tool is not compatible with Windows XP, and therefore must be installed/used on a newer Operating System (i.e. Windows 7/8.x). This document will not detail on how to install the AIK, as this is a straightforward process.

Note: For Windows 8.x, the AIK has been changed/re-named to the “Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK)”.

Important: For simplicity, it is recommended to copy your Boot Image (.WIM) file to the same location that you extracted the SCCM Boot Media (.ISO) to.

Start this part of the process by launching the Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment.

Launch Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment

Within the command prompt, type the following command:

ImageX /MountRW <index#>

Example: ImageX /MountRW C:\BootImage.WIM 1 C:\BootImageMountLocation

This will now allow you to explore (and thus add) the content contained within the Boot Image WIM file, from the Mount Location you specified, via File Explorer.


Navigate to the location that you extracted the SCCM Boot Media ISO file, and copy the \SMS\Data folder into the WIM Mount Location.

Example: C:\SCCMBootMedia\SMS\Data to C:\BootImageMountLocation\SMS\




Return to the Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment command prompt, and type the following command to unmounts the image (WIM) file, and commit the changes applied (i.e. the files copied into the directory).

ImageX /UnMount /Commit

Example: ImageX /UnMount /Commit C:\BootImageMountLocation


Copy the updated Boot Image .WIM file (which should now have an updated timestamp) to the WDS server, launch the Windows Deployment Services console, select the Boot Images folder, and click Action > Add Boot Image.

WDS - Add Boot Image

On the Image File page, click Browse, and navigate to the modified .WIM file that was copied to the server, then click Next.

WDS - Add Boot Image - File Location

On the Image Metadata page, provide an Image Name and Image Description, then click Next.

WDS - Add Boot Image - Image Metadata

On the Summary page, review the information presented, then click Next.

WDS - Add Boot Image - Summary

On the Task Progress page, once the operation has completed, click Finish.

WDS - Add Boot Image - Task Progress

Back in the WDS console, under Boot Images, you will now see your Boot Image listed which will be used for PXE booting.

WDS - Add Boot Image (POST)

Now when you PXE boot your system, and boot into WinPE, your system will be able to communicate with SCCM, and continue the rest of the process (running Task Sequences).


As always, if this post helped you in any way, and you would like to show your appreciation, please rate it and comment on it. Also, feel free to contact me (via the About Me page) with requests for future articles.

In my home lab environment, I have a single host, which is NOT a member of my lab’s domain. This is due to the fact that I am constantly re-building my lab environment, which includes my Active Directory Domain Controllers. Therefore, I don’t want to add my host to the domain, and then potentially loose access to it when rebuilding (although I could still use the Local Administrator account).

With that being said, I want to add my Host to SCVMM (which is running in a VM on the Host itself). Therefore, I need to be able to add a Host that is not a domain member (aka. a Workgroup host). So, I will be following this TechNet article (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-ca/library/gg610642.aspx), which walks through the process. I will add screenshots to make it easier to follow.


You can use the following procedure to add Hyper-V hosts that are in a perimeter network (also known as DMZ, demilitarized zone, and screened subnet) as managed Hyper-V hosts in Virtual Machine Manager. You can only add stand-alone hosts that are in a perimeter network. VMM does not support managing a host cluster in a perimeter network.

NOTE: You can also use this procedure to add a stand-alone Hyper-V host that is in a workgroup and not part of a domain.

Before you can add a host that is on a perimeter network to VMM, you must install an agent locally on the server that you want to add.

To install the VMM agent on the target host

On the VMM product media or network share, right-click Setup.exe, and then click Run as administrator.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 01 - SetupEXE

On the Setup menu, under Optional Installations, click Local Agent.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 02 - Optional Installations (Local Agent)

On the Welcome page, click Next.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 03 - Welcome Screen

Review and accept the software license terms, and then click Next.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 04 - License Terms

On the Destination Folder page, accept the default location or click Change to specify a different location, and then click Next.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 05 - Destination Folder

On the Security File Folder page, do the following:

Select the This host is on a perimeter network check box.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 06 - Security File Folder

In the Security file encryption key box, enter an encryption key, and then enter it again in the Confirm encryption key box.

Security Note: The encryption key is a value that you choose. We recommend that you enter an encryption key that contains a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.

Important: Make note of the encryption key that you use to create the security file. You must enter this same key again when you add the host in the VMM console.


Either accept the default location where the encrypted security file will be stored, or click Change to specify a different location to store the encrypted security file.

Important: Make note of the location where you stored the security file. In the “To ensure that the Security.txt file is available to VMM” procedure, you must transfer the security file to a location that is accessible to the computer on which a VMM console is installed.


To use a certificate to encrypt communications between the VMM management server and the host, select the Use a CA signed certificate for encrypting communications with this host check box. In the Thumbprint of the certificate box, enter the thumbprint of the certificate.

Note: To obtain the thumbprint of a certificate, open the Certificates snap-in, and then select Computer account. In the Certificates snap-in, locate and then double-click the certificate that you want to use. On the Details tab, select the Thumbprint field. In the lower pane, highlight the thumbprint value, and then press Ctrl+C to copy the value to the clipboard.

When you are finished, click Next.


On the Host network name page, specify how the VMM management server will contact the host, and then click Next. You can select either of the following options:

  • Use local computer name
  • Use IP address

If you select Use IP address, click an IP address in the list.

Important: Make note of the computer name or IP address of the host. You must enter this same information again when you add the host in the VMM console.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 07 - Host Network Name

On the Configuration settings page, accept the default port settings, or specify different ports, and then click Next.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 08 - Configuration Settings

Important: We recommend that you do not change the default port 5986 for agent communication. The port settings that you assign for the agent must identically match the port setting that the VMM management server uses. By default, the VMM management server uses port 5986 for agent communication with hosts in a perimeter network, and port 443 for file transfers.

On the Ready to install page, click Install.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 09 - Ready To Install


To ensure that the SecurityFile.txt file is available to VMM

On the target host, navigate to the folder where the security file is stored. By default, the location is C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012\Virtual Machine Manager. The name of the security file is SecurityFile.txt.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 10 - SecurityFile Location

Transfer the security file to a location that is accessible to the computer on which a VMM console is installed. For example, transfer the file to the computer where the VMM console is installed, to an internal file share, or to a USB flash drive.


To add the Hyper-V host in the perimeter network

In the VMM console, open the Fabric workspace.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 11 - Fabric Workspace

In the Fabric pane, click Servers.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 12 - Fabric - Servers

On the Home tab, in the Add group, click Add Resources, and then click Hyper-V Hosts and Clusters.The Add Resource Wizard starts.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 13 - Add Resources - Hyper-V Hosts and Clusters

On the Resource location page, click Windows Server computers in a perimeter network, and then click Next.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 14 - Add Resources Wizard - Resource Location

On the Target resources page, do the following:

In the Computer name box, enter the NetBIOS name or the IP address of the host in the perimeter network.

In the Encryption key box, enter the encryption key that you created when you installed the agent on the target host.

In the Security file path box, enter the path of the SecurityFile.txt file, or click Browse to locate the file.

In the Host group list, click the host group where you want to add the host.For example, click the Seattle\Tier2_SEA host group.

Click Add.The computer is listed under Computer Name in the lower pane.

Repeat this step to add other hosts in the perimeter network. When you are finished, click Next.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 15 - Add Resources Wizard - Target Resources

On the Host settings page, in the Add the following path box, enter the path on the host where you want to store the files for virtual machines that are deployed on hosts, and then click Add. If you leave the box empty, the default path of %SystemDrive%\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V is used. Be aware that it is a best practice not to add default paths that are on the same drive as the operating system files.

Repeat this step if you want to add more than one path. When you are finished, click Next.

Note: You can ignore the Reassociate this host with this Virtual Machine Manager environment check box. This setting does not apply to hosts in a perimeter network.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 16 - Add Resources Wizard - Host Settings

On the Summary page, confirm the settings, and then click Finish.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 17 - Add Resources Wizard - Summary

The Jobs dialog box appears to show the job status. Make sure that the job has a status of Completed, and then close the dialog box.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 18 - Jobs - Completed

To verify that the host was successfully added, in the Fabric pane, expand Servers, expand All Hosts, expand the host group where you added the host, and then click the host. In the Hosts pane, verify that the host status is OK.

SCVMM Workgroup Host - 19 - All Hosts

Tip: To view detailed information about host status, right-click the host in the VMM console, and then click Properties. On the Status tab you can view the health status for different areas such as overall health, host agent health, and Hyper-V role health. If there is an issue, you can click Repair all. VMM will to try to automatically fix the issue.

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