Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 1: Using MDT to Prepare, Install and Capture customized Windows 7 Images – Part III
IMPORTANT: Updated versions from this series using Windows 7 + Microsoft Office 2010 in automated deployment with MDT 2010 can be found here:
This is going to be the last part (at least for now) for this step-by-step guide for customizing and deploying Windows 7 images with MDT 2010. On the previous posts we’ve learned how to run the firsts configurations on MDT, adding operating system files and creating a task sequence for the reference image (Part I); and also adding Office 2007 to the reference image and making it a silent installation (Part II).
The third post it’s going to be just to deploy the reference and customized image, and then capture it into a .wim file, that we can later deploy using MDT or add it to Windows Deployment Services (WDS).
Deploying Reference Image
Since we already have our boot environments, ISO and WIM files; and that we have the Windows Deployment Services role installed, I’ll start using it: I’m going to add the LTI boot image to WDS that will let me create and capture the reference image.
Note: You can also use the ISO file too boot from a CD or, if it’s a virtual machine, mounting it; but using WDS keep the things a lot easier.
1. Open WDS snap-in > “Boot Images” > “Add Boot Image”.
2. Browse the MDT distribution share, inside the “Boot” folder. And select “LiteTouchePE_x64.wim”. Click “Open”.
3. Finish up the boot image wizard.
4. Now on the computer you are going to use as the reference, boot from the network to receive WDS boot image. And select the LiteTouchePE image you added.
Note: For proper WDS configuration with DHCP and boot images, check this post.
5. Once the boot files are loaded, a new wizard will be prompted. Select your “Keyboard Layout” and click on “Next”.
6. Insert the domain credentials that will be used to access the shared files used by MDT 2010. Use a domain admin account to avoid any inconvenient.
7. Select the task sequence to be executed: “Deploy Windows 7”.
8. Enter a computer name. A random one is created by default.
9. Leave the option “Join a Workgroup”.
IMPORTANT: Do not add it to a domain, otherwise you won’t be able to capture the image you are about to deploy. A machine joined to a domain it’s not a good idea to be captured, because if the sysprep task is removed from the deployment, you will have several issues about the Security Identifiers (SID) within the domain.
10. Since we are not migrating any image, this is a fresh deployment select “Do not restore user data and settings”.
11. Select your location and keyboard layout to be configured on the reference image.
12. Select the “Time Zone”.
13. Select the application you are going to install “Microsoft Office 2007”.
14. You can skip BitLocker configuration if you want to and set “Do not Enable BitLocker for this computer”.
15. Leave selected the option “Capture an image of this reference computer”. And insert the filename “WIN/_REFERENCE.wim”. Click on Next.
16. Here you’ll find a summary of the options selected. Click on “Begin” and the installation process will start.
Creating and formatting partitions
OS installation and final settings
Installing Office 2007 silently
Creating WIM file and send it to the server
Notice that this tasks could take several minutes, depending on your hardware. Try to not interrupt the process. After all this, the WIM file is created and stored in “%distribution%\Captures”.
Adding the Reference Image to MDT 2010
You actually have two options to start using this image:
– Add it to WDS and start deploying it from there. But you don’t get a chance to make any other changes to that image, unless you create a new one.
– Add it to MDT 2010 as a new customized OS. You can add or modify new task sequences to this new machine, for example, adding a new application or enable/disable other features that will be included directly in the deployment.
We are going to take option 2 for now, since the WDS option does not require any other task other than “Add Install Image” from the console.
1. “Deployment Workbench” > “Distribution Share” > “Operating Systems” > “New”.
2. Select “Custom image file” and click on “Next”.
3. Browse for the WIM file that was created and click on “Next”.
4. Leave selected “Setup and Sysprep files are not needed”.
5. Select the directory name: “WIN7_REFERENCE”. And click on “Finish”.
Once you click Finish a process starts working checking the integrity of the file and several other tasks, it could take several minutes to complete. Be patient and the image should appear as a valid operating system.
Creating the Task Sequence
Now that we have the image of the OS, we are going to create the task sequence that will be using that image.
1. “Deployment Workbench” > “Task Sequences” > “New”.
2. Insert “Task Sequence ID”: “Win7_Target”. And name “Deploy Captured Image – Windows 7”.
3. Select “Standard Client Task Name”. Click on “Next”.
4. Select the reference OS just added from the list.
5. Leave selected “Do not specify product key at this time”.
6. Complete the OS settings like it was done before.
7. Specify Administrator’s password and click on “Finish”.
Deploying Reference Image to a Client
We’ve now configured everything that was needed for this reference image, so we can start deploying it to a client. The process will be the same that we used for creating the reference image, the only twist regarding the previous configuration is that we are going to join to the domain this machine.
1. Boot from the network on the client machine. Select again “Lite Touch Windows PE (x64)”.
2. The wizard will prompt again. Select your “Keyboard Layout”.
3. Specify domain credentials to access the network shares.
4. Now we are going to select the task sequence created to deploy the customized image “Deploy Captured Image – Windows 7”.
5. Select the computer name.
6. Join the machine to the domain.
7. On the summary section click on “Begin” to start.
Notice that the option to capture the image was not present because we selected that we are going to add this machine to the domain.
The deployment process begins.
Once it’s done, you’ll see this message. Check “Details” for more information.
Office 2007 installed with all the components.
- If you are not familiarized with this deployment tool, it’s a great chance to start with MDT 2010.
- Automated deployment tools will give you a lot of profit and flexibility once you get the chance to get to know, manage and maintain them. For more info about it, check my other Windows Deployment Services posts.
- Even though this is just a MDT Beta version, did not bring me any stability problems. We expect to get to know more about the functionalities once it gets to a RC version or RTM.
- Check the MDT help included in the installation, you’ll find almost everything you need to know there (most of the sections are the same as in MDT 2008).
Well that’s pretty much it for now about Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 1 and Windows 7.
I hope that you find these posts helpful.