ConfigMgr Task Sequence Retry

There were several useful features added with Configuration Manager 2012 SP2 and Configuration Manager 2012 R2 SP1. However one particular feaure I’d like to mention is:

Task Sequence Retry

Task Sequence steps for ‘Install Application’ and ‘Install Updates’ have had a new option added which can be found on the ‘Options’ tab of the step; the new option is called:

Retry this step if computer unexpectedly restarts

As the option suggests, if the computer experiences an unexpected restart that isn’t correctly handled by the task sequence, the task sequence will retry and continue where it left off. For any ConfigMgr administrator that have deployed badly packaged applications or been involved in software update deployments you will have experienced unexpected restarts.

When a task sequence does unexpectedly restart without this option, the task sequence doesn’t fail or complete. The status in ConfigMgr is set to ‘In Progress’ and the computer exits the task sequence and boots back into windows. When this happens re-deploying the task sequence to the client doesn’t work so well due to the fact that as far as ConfigMgr is concerned, this task sequence is still in progress.

Using this option enables the task sequence to handle unexpected restarts and continue executing the task sequence.

Note: This step does work for one unexpected restart. However, if the task sequence unexpectedly restarts multiple times like during a large software update, the task sequence will likely exit without completing.

You should use regularly updated captured images to reduce the number of updates deployed to a task sequence.

I experienced an unexpected restart during a build and capture of Windows 10 with the ‘install Updates’ task sequence step and the latest Windows 10 updates deployed to the referenced image. The task sequence exited without completing during the install udpates step and therefore did not capture the image. After enabling the Retry option the task sequence completed successfully and uploaded the captured image.

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