Use task sequences to automatically perform tasks in your System Center 2012 Configuration Manager environment. These tasks can deploy an operating system image to a destination computer, build and capture an operating system image from a set of operating system installation files, and capture and restore user state information.
Use the following sections to manage task sequences:
- Where Task Sequences
are Located in the Configuration Manager Console
- How to
Create Task Sequences
- How to
Edit a Task Sequence
- How to
Distribute the Content that is Referenced by a Task
- How to Deploy a Task
- How to Export
and Import Task Sequences
- How to
Create Task Sequence Variables for Computers and
- Additional Actions to Manage Task
For information about how to plan your task sequence strategy, see Planning a Task Sequences Strategy in Configuration Manager.
|When you create or edit a deployment task sequence that ends in WinPE, make sure that the last step in the task sequence restarts the destination computer to the full operating system of the destination computer so that the task sequence exits correctly. If the destination computer is not restarted in this scenario, the client cannot be managed by Configuration Manager.|
Where Task Sequences are Located in the Configuration Manager Console
Task sequences are located in the Software Library workspace, from the Operating Systems node. Under the Operating Systems node are several nodes that contain the objects that you use to deploy operating systems. One of these is the Task Sequence node that contains all the task sequences that you can use to deploy operating systems. You can create a flat list of task sequence or you can create subfolders to manage or group task sequences. The Task Sequence node, including any subfolders that you create, is replicated throughout the Configuration Manager hierarchy.
How to Create Task Sequences
Create task sequences by using the Create Task Sequence Wizard. This wizard can create the following types of task sequences:
|Task sequence type||More information|
Task sequences that install an existing image package
When you create this type of task sequence, the Create Task Sequence Wizard adds steps to the task sequence and then groups those steps into groups.
Task sequences that build and capture an operating system image
This type of task sequence is referred to as a build and capture task sequence. The build and capture task sequence is run on a reference computer where the task sequence creates an operating system image that is based on a set of operating system source files.
The operating system image can then be deployed by a deployment task sequence that includes the Apply Operating System Image step.
Custom task sequences that perform actions that are specific to your environment
When you create this type of task sequence, the Create Task Sequence Wizard does not add any steps to the task sequence. You must add steps to the task sequence after it is created.
Use the following procedures to create the different types of task sequences.
To create a task sequence that installs an existing image package
To create a task sequence that builds and captures an operating system image
To create a custom task sequence
How to Edit a Task Sequence
You can modify a task sequence by adding or removing task sequence steps, adding or removing task sequence groups, or by changing the order of the steps. Use the following procedure to modify an existing task sequence.
|When you edit a task sequence that was created by using the Create Task Sequence Wizard, the name of the step can be the action of the step or the type of the step. For example, you might see a step that has the name “Partition disk 0”, which is the action for a step of type Format and Partition Disk. All task sequence steps are documented by their type, not necessarily by the name of the step that is displayed in the Editor.|
To edit a task sequence
How to Distribute the Content that is Referenced by a Task Sequence
Before clients run a task sequence that references content, you must distribute that content to distribution points. At any time, you can select the task sequence and distribute its content to build a new list of reference packages for distribution. The content that is distributed is the content that is currently referenced by the task sequence and does not automatically include any changes made to the task sequence.
Use the following procedure to distribute the content that is referenced by a task sequence.
To distribute referenced content to distribution points
Starting in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, you can prestage the content in a task sequence. Configuration Manager creates a compressed, prestaged content file that contains the files, associated dependencies, and associated metadata for the content that you select. Then, you can then manually import the content at a site server, secondary site, or distribution point. For more information about how to prestage content files, see the Prestage Content section in the Operations and Maintenance for Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.
How to Deploy a Task Sequence
Use the following procedure to deploy a task sequence to the computers in a collection.
|The status messages for the task sequence deployment are displayed in the Message window on a primary site, but they are not displayed on a central administration site.|
To deploy a task sequence
How to Export and Import Task Sequences
You can export and import task sequences with or without their related objects, such as such an operating system image, a boot image, a client agent package, a driver package, and applications that have dependencies.
Consider the following when you export and import task sequences.
- Passwords that are stored in the task
sequence are not exported. If you export and import a task sequence
that contains passwords, you must edit the imported task sequence
and specify any passwords again. Ensure that you specify passwords
Join Domain or Workgroup, map network drive, and Run
Command Line actions.
- As a best practice, when you have multiple
primary sites, import task sequences at the central administration
Use the following procedures to export and import a task sequence.
To export task sequences
To import task sequences
How to Create Task Sequence Variables for Computers and Collections
You can define custom task sequence variables for computers and collections. Variables that are defined for a computer are referred to as per-computer task sequence variables. Variables defined for a collection are referred to as per-collection task sequence variables. If there is a conflict, per-computer variables take precedence over per-collection variables. This means that task sequence variables that are assigned to a specific computer automatically have a higher priority than variables that are assigned to the collection that contains the computer.
For example, if collection ABC has a variable assigned to it and computer XYZ, which is a member of collection ABC, has a variable with the same name assigned to it, the variable that is assigned to computer XYZ has higher priority than that of the variable that is assigned to collection ABC.
You can hide per-computer and per-collection variables so that they are not visible in logs or in the Configuration Manager console. If you no longer want these variables to be hidden, you must delete them and redefine them without selecting the option to hide them.
You can manage per-computer variables at a primary site or at a central administration site. Configuration Manager does not support more than 1,000 assigned variables for a computer.
|When you use per-collection variables for task sequences,
consider the following:
Use the following procedures to create task sequence variables for a computer or collection.
To create task sequence variables for a computer
To create task sequence variables for a collection
Additional Actions to Manage Task Sequences
You can manage task sequences by using additional actions when you select the task sequence by using the following procedure.
To select a task sequence to manage
Use the following table for more information about some of the additional actions to manage task sequences.
Makes a copy of the selected task sequence. You might find this action useful when you want to create a new task sequence that is based on an existing task sequence.
When you make a copy of a task sequence in a folder, the copy is listed in that folder until you refresh the task sequence node. After the refresh, the copy appears in the root folder.
Disables the task sequence so that it cannot run on computers. Disabled task sequences can be deployed to computers, but computers do not run the task sequence until it is enabled.
Enables the task sequence so that it can be run. You do not need to redeploy a deployed task sequence after it is enabled.
Create Prestaged Content File
For System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager only:
Starts the Create Prestaged Content File Wizard to prestage the task sequence content. For information about how to create a prestaged content file, see the Prestage Content section in the Operations and Maintenance for Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.
Moves the selected task sequence to another folder.
Opens the Properties dialog box for the selected task sequence. Use this dialog box to change the behavior of the task sequence object. However, you cannot change the steps of the task sequence by using this dialog box.