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Posts from the ‘Windows Deployment Services’ Category

Windows Deployment Services

Windows LogoSo I finally had a reason to try out the latest Remote Installation Service from Microsoft which is included with Windows 2003 SP2. It’s Called Windows Deployment Services.

Within an hour I had it up and running ready to capture a default Windows Vista Business install. I had a few troubles getting up and running until I found;

Create a Vista WIM Image Using ImageX and

Deploying A WIM Image With ImageX which really helped fill in the blanks.

Not sure if anyone has really noticed, but there is a crap load of documentation out there about WDS and its uses. SOOO much documentation that I almost didn’t want to bother with it, too much of a hassle! until I realized just how easy it is to setup and start deploying OS’s. After spending multiple hours creating my base image (With Virtual Server 2005 R2) I deployed it to my Toshiba Protégé M200. The entire image size when in the WIM for format was close to 4GB.

The install time on the laptop was a mere 16 minutes. Most of which being the time it takes to download that 4GB image file. but when I was done, there was no more configuring, that was it! done in 16 minutes. I’ll never install an OS with a CD/DVD AGAIN!

Some thoughts to remember! When I created my baseline image with Microsoft Virtual Server, I made sure that I didn’t install the Virtual Machine Additions. The reason being is that the footprint would still be on the image once it was deployed, and it also seemed to BSD on me each time I tried with the addition installed.

I also used the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) , which is available here (Careful now, she’s a 900+MB download!) and the User’s Guide for it is here

I used the default Windows Vista Boot image, and used simple commands like net use to access the shares on my Windows Deployment Services box. I’ll eventually figure out how the unattended works, and post my findings, so stay tuned for that!

All in all it’s a great tool!