Systems Management Question

Update/Edit K-Image

05/04/2015 3584 views
Howdy, folks...

I've (well, a couple of us, really...I'm just stealing the show) recently inherited deployment duties using our K2000, after using a variety of other deployment/imaging tools for the past few years. Like many people in the ever-changing IT environment, I'm somewhat resistant to change but the boss says, "Use it...or else!" so here I am. And here we go...

The Background:
I have an image already created in a VM that I use for a building block for imaging/deployment. It contains Windows 7, all current service pack/updates, and typically deployed software (think, Flash Player, Java, Office, etc). Additional software is added post-deploy, if needed. Once per month, usually after Patch Tuesday, I update the image with shiny and new Windows Updates as well as any software updates (Flash, anyone?) and recapture the image. This works great with my previous deployment/imaging toolkit and a couple of test runs with the K2000 have gone fairly smoothly as well (minus the occasional...er...user-error).

The Question(s):
I've been told that because K-Images are file-based instead of block-based that one could simply update the existing images every Patch Tuesday instead of spending half a day capturing an all new and updated image. Documentation on this appears to be sketchy, so here I am with hat in hand asking for some confirmation. I can see how this is possible for replacing specific files but it seems to me this would be a rather large undertaking for the kinds of changes that Microsoft Updates tend to make.  So, is this actually possible and can someone give me a shove in the direction of some documentation to get me started...?

Muchos Gracias,

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All Answers


While it is true that you can add or update individual files in the K-Image, as you have discovered, it has to be done via the web interface, one file at a time. There's not really a way (at least not that I've found) to bulk update files.

Generally, for Windows updates, I have a Post-Install Task that installs updates as part of the imaging process. Then about once a month, or so, I update my master images to keep the overhead of that task to a minimum. To do that, I have the pre-sysprepped images captured to my K2000, and also have physical HDDs that I can just pop into a PC and run updates on. Then again, I only maintain a small selection of "master" images, and allow my K1000 to do the heavy lifting of application installs.

Answered 05/04/2015 by: BHC-Austin
4th Degree Black Belt

  • Thanks for clarifying. I'd suspected that was going to be the answer. I'll carry on with my monthly updates as always...just with a new deployment tool. So much to learn...and I'm sure you haven't seen the last of me. Thanks again.
Another way to do the same task would be to have a Virtual system image that you work with, that way you can take snapshots of it along the way (pre/post patching) in case there is a bad patch - have observed a few of those that had to be rolled back after testing. It can then be Sysprep'd and booted into a KBE to capture to the K2000 appliance, just be sure there is not any anti-virus or data encryption software in the image as that tends to mess up Sysprep and the only way to tell is look at the UnattendGC log. Once Sysprep is completed boot to the KBE and then upload the image, usually this only takes 40-45 minutes. I would not recommend the options of 'Force continue on error' or 'Include debug output in log' to be enabled as you want to know if the capture fails and including the debug will double or even triple the time it takes to capture the image.

Answered 05/05/2015 by: TheAustinDave
Brown Belt

  • This is pretty much the way things are done. Basic images are built in Vbox and include commonly deployed software (eg. Office, pdf reader, flash, java, updates, etc). These images are updated monthly (on average) after Patch Tuesday. I typically keep the previous image just in case things go pear-shaped (bad update? That never happens...). None of that will change with KACE except that the K2000 will be used instead of our previous deployment solution. Now, the antivirus recommendation is interesting. Currently, ESET Corporate is baked into my images and I haven't had any issues during my tests with the K2000. I'll likely leave it as-is for now, but I'll be watching for problems. We don't use client-side encryption except in specific cases (road-warriors and/or BYOD).
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