Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wyse Device Manager Agent Disabled

In our thin client implementation we have decided on going with Wyse.  We're using the Wyse OS based V10Ls for standard users and then Windows XPe based R90Ls for users that require special setups.  Managing the V10Ls could not be easier: set up an FTP server with one config file and put the thin client in DHCP.  The rest is magic.  However, with the R90Ls we needed a way to customize the factory XPe image and deploy it to the rest of the devices.  We initially looked into using Altiris for imaging, since we were already using it for some of our servers, but soon discovered that it would cost us about $5,000 in licensing to image the rest of our thin clients.

Enter Wyse Device Manager (WDM).  This free thin client management solution from Wyse is great for keeping an inventory of your thin client devices, and can also be used for things like remote control and imaging.  The process of taking an image of a thin client is fairly simple -- customize the current image to your liking, run a built-in prep script on the client (so that the device maintains its "uniqueness") and then take the image using the WDM interface.

As I started creating our XPe images, I noticed something.  After every time we took an image, the WDM Agent service was stopped and disabled on the thin client (called the HAgent service in the Services tool).  No matter what I did, this service would be disabled causing the device to no longer be in communication with the WDM server.  Obviously this defeats the purpose since going forward we would not be able to remotely control or image this thin client.

After doing some digging, I discovered what the issue was: a typo in the built-in prep script.  In prep_4_man.bat in C:\Windows\Setup there was a line that read:
regedit /s /i c:\windows\setup\isetup.reg
But there was no file named isetup.reg in C:\Windows\Setup -- but there WAS a file named setup.reg.
I simply removed the extra "i" from the line, and that triggered the train of scripts that run post-imaging that cause the thin client to establish itself and enable the WDM Agent service.

I'm not sure how many people are building custom XPe images with Wyse thin clients -- but if you're using the latest XPe build from Wyse, this should help!