Wednesday, February 17, 2016

F8 workaround in Windows 10 ADK post Sysprep

If you are on the Windows 10 ADK (either) you may have noticed that pressing F8 for command support, is not consistent. While in PE it works great, but after sysprep runs and you are in the full OS, the ability to use F8 to bring up a command prompt is spotty. My firm put in a premier ticket and was told it will get fixed at the next ADK release, post 1511. We are not big enough for them to immediately fix nor did they agree it was a needed function of OSD. This of course does no good today and prevents me from looking at smsts.log or doing other diagnosing tasks tracking problems down.

So until then, I came up with a simple workaround using ServiceUI.exe from MDT. While we do not have MDT integrated into our ConfigMgr instance, we do have a package with MDT in it to use the useful scripts from it if needed. SImply put, create a 'Run Command' step with this in it against the MDT package.

 Tools\x64\ServiceUI.exe -process:TSProgressUI.exe %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\cmd.exe /k title Task Sequence Stopped, Close to Continue. . .  

The title switch is optional and since we use 1E Nomad we also have to prestage the MDT Scripts package. Note that unlike using command support (F8) this will pause the Task Sequence until you exit the shell, so keep that in mind. You may need to do one before the bad step and after so you can do any comparisons. Additionally for the problem step you will need to mark it continue on error so this cmd step will run right after and you can do some diagnosing. Once figured out just remove this step and disable the continue on error if needed.

Niall Brady's WindowsNoob posting was my initial thought being to modify his vbs to invoke cmd.exe since natively it just pauses the TS expecting you to F8. The above was a simpler route.

-Kevin Fason

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