Building a Better Debug Task Sequence

Ok, I’ve been hanging out with Adam Gross a bit, and thought I’d steal some of his title magic for this one.

Quick Overview of what this does:

  1. Gathers Variables (Script to create variables similar to MDT) More info: So long MDT, Native CM* for Me
  2. Optional: Grab value of Registry Key Value(s) and place into a TS Variable.  I use this to quickly confirm a registry value instead of having to look it up in RegEdit, I just grab the info and place it into a TS Var, which then…
  3. Dump Variables (to a Log File in the SMSTSLog Folder) More Info: Task Sequence Variables
  4. Copy Logs to Server (After compressing)
    1. I have two steps, very similar script but supplied different variables
      (I need to re-write this so it is the same script but more parametrized.

      1. One that will copy to a common location we have for IPU and Includes additional files / folders for IPU
      2. One that will copy to a Debug location of just the CCM logs
  5. Pause
    1. In Windows if User is logged on
    2. In WinPE

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This Child TS (Module) will only run if you set a Variable in the Parent TS for DebugMode

Examples:
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In a Task Sequence you want to debug, you add a group, one with a set TS Variable step, and set the variable(s)” to:

  1. DebugMode = True: This will run the DebugMode Group in the Module
  2. DebugMode = Pause: This will run the Pause Group in the Module
  3. DebugCopyLogs = Runs the Copy Logs to Share Group

There are different variables because sometimes I want to add this TS Module to a TS and run “Silent”, only grabbing the variables and logs and dumping to the file server.  Sometimes I want it to Pause after it grabs the logs, and sometimes I just want it to Pause.  Because it’s setup this way, you can run the Same module for different debug scenarios.

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For IPU, when I want it to grab logs (Panther, CCM, etc), it has several conditions to know it’s running one of my IPU task sequences:

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Otherwise, it will copy CCM to a different location
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For the Pause Steps, there is a Group which makes sures it’s not running in WinPE, checks if Explorer process is running and that the DebugMode = Pause is set
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Pause Step:  This will close the Task Sequence Progress UI (since it’s annoying) and launch a command prompt, which you can then launch PowerShell or ISE.. or anything really
Requires Service UI (From MDT)

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For WInPE..
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So now if you run the Parent TS, you’ll get your logs & your pause to test scripts, or check logs… etc.

In action: It Paused, I launched CM Trace and opened the Variables Dump File.
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Here I opened the SMSTS.log file to troubleshoot why it wasn’t copying the logs files over to the server… and found it was because I hadn’t updated the script to use the new file server name.
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Ok, now that I fixed that… here is the logs:
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Here I opened PowerShell ISE and am testing a script.  Since I’ve triggered it from the Task Sequence, all of the TS Vars are available in the script, so I can test & debug a script to make sure it’s providing the output I’d expect:
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Hopefully you find this information Helpful, and can use this to help debug / troubleshoot your task sequences.

Download TS & Scripts as part of the 1809 WaaS TS Collection here: WaaS 1809 TS Collection

 

GARYTOWN.COM

3 thoughts on “Building a Better Debug Task Sequence”

  1. Hey man, love your blog! I don't suppose you have a write up on how to best perform Windows 7 to 10 in place upgrades? I am having varied degrees of success in my early testing. With Mcafee drive encryption and a million other hurdles in my way I'd be keen to see how you have tackled this in your environment? Do you have some recommendations or a suitable task sequence as a starting point i could look at?

    • Sorry for delay. I don't have anything written for 7 to 10, I haven't tried that in years. Our 10 to 10 should work for the same process with minor modifications, I know others have taken our TS and customized it to work for 7 to 10.

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