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The Case of the Disappearing Task Sequences November 13, 2009

Posted by tmintner in MDT 2010, VBscript.
Tags: , , ,

We’ve gotten quite a few emails on this so I figured it was time to put this on the blog. 🙂  The problem that most people run into is that sometimes when they go through the Lite Touch Client Deployment Wizard, the task sequence list is empty.  So what causes the task sequence list to be empty?  The simple answer is if the DeployRoot cannot be found or is incorrect.  The DeployRoot is the location of the DeploymentShare or content of the MDT Media Point. 


Here is the basic process that should help troubleshoot the problem:

· Windows PE boots up and runs litetouch.wsf

· Litetouch.wsf calls ztigather /inifile:bootstrap.ini and the DeployRoot value is read from the bootstrap.ini

· Litetouch.wsf then makes a call to connect to the DeployRoot using the wizard credentials or the credentials in the bootrap.ini

· Litetouch.wsf then calls ztigather and reads the values from the customsettings.ini (note if a full Media Deployment is inserted in the DVD or USB drive the customsettings.ini will be read from that location instead of the DeployRoot)

· If the DeployRoot value has changed In the customsettings.ini, the value is updated and Litetouch.wsf tries to connect to the DeployRoot

· The wizard is started and the tasksequences.xml file is read from the DeployRoot

· If the DeployRoot does not contain a valid tasksequences.xml then a blank Task Sequence wizard is displayed


Steps to troubleshoot:

· Open BDD.Log

· Search for the value DeployRoot and do a Find Next to make sure that all values in the log file for DeployRoot are the same.  If they are not then there is some setting either in CustomSettings.ini, the database, or on local media that is changing the value



1. Kevin - March 26, 2013

I worked around this by adding two lines to my customsettings.ini
These two lines make the choice of which Task Sequence to use, and therefore does NOT display a list of task sequences.
For whatever reason it appears as though my Lite Touch media was looking in the right place for the Deploy folder, but just couldn’t generate that list of Task Sequences.

2. Anand - November 9, 2012

I am experiencing the same problem. I have checked Bootstrap.ini and Customsettings, in both case the Deploy Root is same.
Would you please help.

3. C0debreaker - December 7, 2011

Sorry to resurrect a necro-thread but I have just run into the same issue. I have 4 deployment shares using MDT 2010 on Windows Server 2008 R2 – Dell Laptop XP, Dell Desktop XP, Dell Laptop Win7, and Dell Desktop Win7. Both XP shares still work – both Win7 shares don’t.

On November 23 I successfully imaged my new laptop with Windows 7 Enterprise using WDS and booting from the laptop NIC. I tried doing this on another new laptop on December 5 (having been out of town for a week) and the task list is empty.

I tried resetting permissions on the drive and all subfolders without success. I created a new deployment share without doing any modifications to the control files. I created a new task. None of those produce a populated task sequence.

If I cancel the deployment and use the \deploy\scripts cscript //nologo litetouch.wsf /debug:true the deployment works fine.

Since I was out of the office for a week and I’m the only on-site IT person, nothing was done during that week (unless there were automatic system updates).

Also the bdd.log file is one line so there is no diagnostic information.

I’m at my wits’ end – please help!

4. abhimanyu - May 3, 2011

i am also having the same problem .I cannot see any available task sequences .I am deploying win7 X64 to bare metal machines over WDS.I can see the solution accelerators screen but i cannot see any task sequence to choose .
No logs are being created so please help me with creation of logs also.
What am i supposed to do now?

5. Scott - April 7, 2011

I have a slighly different problem. On some machines the tasks are blank but on others its populated. The machines are both 64 bit and 32 bit . I checked the bdd log and it is pointing to the deployment share .

6. Mike C - March 10, 2011

I was also having an issue with task sequences not appearing. In my case, it turned out to be related to the share name. I named the share ‘MDT_Deploymentshare$’ and it did not work. No errors- but nothing would appear. Renamed the share to ‘Deploymentshare$’ and it worked. Go figure

7. Tabish - December 4, 2010

No Tast Sequences available.
I had the same problem. When I booted from winpe then I was getting the message that no Tast Sequence was avoialable. I searched for a voil and then i found the problem. the problem was in the Deployments Share permission. The user i was trying to connect to the share didn’t have the permission to connect to the share. When i added the user account to the deployment share, every things went normal again.

8. really - October 27, 2010


9. walid_zohair@rayacorp.com - September 18, 2010


10. walid_zohair@rayacorp.com - September 18, 2010

I tried the cscript //nologo with debug. it stops at a point (connect to . ) and then pop up a blank window. original before I break it with f8. it just pop up blank task sequence (wizard.hta) and another blank windows with nothing but teh close bottom (x) and an icon of a script. that is really runing everything. I just installed the update 1 of mdt 2010 and the p2v task !!! maybe because i adde dthe deployment task of windows xp ?

please help!

11. Tim L. - March 23, 2010

I noticed that this is also happening for me too. I’m trying to deploy Win 7 x64. Created the Lite Touch boot image and placed in WDS. Booted up with the Lite Touch x64 boot image and when it was time to display the list of available task sequence it was empty. So I cancelled that window and in the command prompt I ran cscript //nologo litetouch.wsf /debug:true from x:\deploy\scripts and this time the available task sequence is now populated.

Has anyone else seen this? If so can you help in resolving this issue?

tmintner - March 23, 2010

Hi Tim,

Can you post the question and the bdd.log file to the MDT technet forums or just post your bdd.log in the comments.


Matias - February 7, 2013

Tim, did you find a way to solve this issue? I’m experiencing the exact same problem.

12. Alternate - March 22, 2010

Another possible issue is NTFS permissions inside deploy share.
Deploy share was restored from archive.
I had the empty list.
NTFS permisson’s replace is fixed the issue.

13. JC Warren - January 26, 2010

I’d hoped this blog thread would help solve a problem that showed up with our upgrade from MDT 2008 to 2010, but our problem is slightly different than that described above.

After booting to PXE from the client PC via WDS, WinPE challenges for credentials as normal but it now takes about 10 minutes for the Task Sequence menu to display! Once it does, everything works as expected but I’m totally stuck trying to figure out why there’s now this long delay.

I’m fairly new to the MDT world and so am not completely versed in the idiosyncrasies and what all of the multiple scripts do. I did use one of your articles to get the hardware model device driver database working (thanks!), but this one totally has me stumped.

HR - July 23, 2010

Hi Warren

Did you ever manage to resolve this issue ? We just upgraded WDT from 2008 to 2010 and have the same issue. infact for us it take more thn 20 minutes for the TS menu to show up. If you manged to get this resolved , can you please let me know how it was done? Thanks in advance.

JC Warren - August 20, 2010

Geez! I thought I’d posted our solution. My apologies.

We discovered that each section of the CustomSettings.ini file had a reference to the SQLShare on the MDT server. We commented all of those out based on info gathered from other sources. The connection speed reverted to normal.

Hope that helps!

14. No Task Sequences are available in MDT 2010 « Deploy Windows 7 - November 25, 2009

[…] Often the issue involves the DeployRoot value isn’t quite correct. Tim Minter does an excellent job discussing this on his blog: http://deployment.xtremeconsulting.com/2009/11/13/the-case-of-the-disappearing-task-sequences/ […]

15. Mathieu chateau - November 13, 2009

I also had this issue when booting litetouch X86 and looking for x64 task sequence. They are hidden

tmintner - November 15, 2009

That is a great point! That would be another scenario where the task sequences would not be displayed

MikeC - August 14, 2012

I am experiencing the opposite of this, if I choose my x86 option form PXE Deployment Services i have a blank task list, regardless of the physical architecture, where the x64 option displays the task list everytime.

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