20 January 2016

Configuring Dell BIOS Before the Image is Laid Down

Posted By: Mick Pletcher - 4:19 PM

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In 2014, I published this blog entry that configured the BIOS during a build process. It used the Dell Command | Configure utility. At the time, I was in a squeeze to get the new build created along with getting all new GPOs and upgrading to a new document management system at the same time. 

I now have had some time to dig in and finally solved through Henk Hoogendoorn's blog on how to set the BIOS settings pre-image. To use this in MDT/SCCM before the image is laid down, you will need to do the following:
  1. Download the Dell Command | Configure from here.
  2. Install the package on your machine.
  3. Go to the %PROGRAMFILES%\Dell\Command Configure\X86 directory. Use the X86_64 if it is a 64-bit WinPE.
  4. Copy the contents of the folder, including the HAPI subfolder to a network share
  5. Go into the task sequence and add a Group named Configure BIOS
  6. I then created a subgroup named Install CCTK to install and run the CCTK during the build process
  7. Under Install CCTK, create a Run Command Line to map a drive letter to the network location that contains the CCTK files you copied over earlier. You will need a specific drive letter to address in the next step. I used the letter t:. The command line I used was net use t: \\Production Applications\Dell\CCTK  /USER:<DOMAIN>\<Username> Password
  8. Create a second Run Command Line that will copy over all of the files from the network share to the X: drive. I named it Install CCTK. The command line I used is:  xcopy.exe "t:\*.*" "x:\CCTK\" /E /C /I /H /R /Y /V
  9. Create a third Run Command Line that will Enable the HAPI. The entry I used was: x:\CCTK\HAPI\hapint -i -k C-C-T-K -p X:\CCTK\HAPI\.
It is now ready to execute the individual CCTK.exe commands to set BIOS settings. You will create an individual command line task entry for each setting you want to change in the BIOS. One example I set is to disable the chassis intrusion. This is what the command line looks like: x:\CCTK\CCTK.exe --chasintrusion=disable. The next thing you need to do for each entry is to add 119 and 240 to the success codes. My success code for each BIOS setting looks like this: 0 119 240 3010. Here is a screenshot of what my task sequence for setting the BIOS looks like. As you can see, I have a subgroup for Install CCTK, All Systems, Desktop, Laptop, and Enable Bitlocker. There are specific BIOS settings for desktops and laptops. I include a task sequence variable IsDesktop equals TRUE for the Desktop folder and IsLaptop equal TRUE for the Laptop group. The enable Bitlocker is also limited by a series of Task sequence variables I use.


The difference in time of setting these settings pre-image and setting them post-image is like night and day. On a 9010, it sets all BIOS settings within 15 seconds, whereas it took more than a minute post-image. 


About Mick Pletcher

My blog is here to help solve issues I have encountered and solved, publish scripts I have written, and educate others in understanding areas that are not well covered

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