Currently i am creating some server builds for a place which will be deploying large numbers of servers over the coming months.
One of things that is/was taking up a great deal of time was offline servicing for the base OS, primarily because the SCCM server is currently sitting on a virtual environment with disk that is struggling. With 2016, this isn’t so bad, as due to cumulative updates, there are only a few updates to be installed. With 2012 R2 however, there is a large number of updates – and the process continually fails due to the poor performance of the server.
One of things you can do to speed this process up is to remove unused images from your wim.
Both Server 2012 R2 and 2016 come with 4 images (with an index of 1 to 4) within the install.wim. These generally correlate with:
- Index1 – Server 2012R2/2016 standard core
- Index2 – Server 2012R2/2016 standard desktop experience
- Index3 – Server 2012R2/2016 datacentre core
- Index4 – Server 2012R2/2016 datacentre desktop experience
If you view Logs\OfflineServicingMgr.log during an offline servicing operation, you will notice lines that state things such as:
Applying update with ID xxxxxx on image at index 1
Then the same update will apply to image 2,3 and 4. In this enviornment, we are not deploying server core, so we only need indexes 2 and 4 (standard and datacentre with desktop).
We can view the indexes available within the wim by typing:
dism /get-imageinfo /imagefile:E:\<path to wim>\Install.wim
Then, if you dont need indexes 1 and 3 (as we dont in this scenario)
dism /delete-image /imagefile:E:\<path to wim>\Install.wim /index:1
dism /delete-image /imagefile:E:\<path to wim>\Install.wim /index:3
Now when you use offline servicing, each update will only be compared against 2 images, instead of 4, significantly reducing the processing time/disk usage, especially for 2012 R2 (where there are a large number of updates to apply)
This can also be used for client OS’s, such as Windows 10.
One important note – this will not reduce the size of the WIM. It will simply remove the index and save you time for offline servicing.
If your image is already in SCCM, then you must
- Go to Software Library | Operating systems | Operating system images
- Right click on the appropriate image | properties | Images tab
- Click on “reload”, then notice the dropdown has been reduce from 4 index’s, then hit “ok” to exit.
- Go into your task sequence
- Update the image index as required.