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O/S Deployment Thread, Advice Please in Technical; Thanks for all of the replies guys. I think I'm going WDS for now, then next summer I can use ...
  1. #16

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    Thanks for all of the replies guys.
    I think I'm going WDS for now, then next summer I can use MDT or even SCCM if I feel its necessary. For now I just want to get a Windows 7 image with office 2013, VLC, Flash etc... Thankfully we don't have too much curriculum software here. What has put me back time wise is our install\support company have had 'time' issues and now we are getting closer VMware has decided to start crashing putting me further back. The original plan was for me to be doing PC images a month ago. So the pressure is on so to speak!
    Does anyone have any good beginner guides for WDS? I have been watching some WDS guides on YouTube today.

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  3. #18

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    Do you have images for each build in WDS i.e. Art, DT, ICT etc... I could imagine this approach could get quite large in terms of file size, Or a base image say with office and GPO deploying software?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you

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    There are three types of image that you can deploy:

    A "Thin" image. This consists of just the OS, your custom settings and updates. All other software is deployed during the build. Advantages are that it keeps the image small and you have the flexibility of not having every piece of software that you own installed everywhere you install the image. Disadvantage is that you need a pretty good piece of middleware to reliably deploy your software, either during the build process (e.g. MDT, SCCM) or afterwards (e.g. SCCM, KACE, Altiris). GPOs alone might not be able to cut it, a GPO can officially only deploy an MSI and even then it's not always reliable. Some MSIs can be very awkward to deploy silently.

    A "Fat" image. This consists of the OS, your settings, updates and every piece of software that you own. Advantages to this approach is that it's probably more reliable, you can set your options once and forget about it. It may be quicker too, for it's a lot quicker to deploy a fat image with Adobe CC and Office in than it is to deploy a thin one and install the software afterwards. You can put anything that's particularly awkward to deploy in there as well. Disadvantage is that the image can grow very quickly and that it's very inflexible. You have to have a site license for every piece of software in that image (or at least enough licenses to cover it anyway) otherwise you're breaking the law and you're deploying the same image everywhere whether a PC needs the software or not. This is the easiest approach and possibly the best to use with plain WDS to begin with at least.

    A "hybrid" image. This consists of your OS, your settings, updates and some of your software. I use this approach, it offers the best of both worlds. I put anything that's awkward, anything that's big and anything that's literally needed everywhere into the image and use SCCM to deploy the other software depending on whether it's needed or not.

    One thing, with Vista or above, you don't need to have a separate image for each different piece of hardware that you use. As long as when you sysprep your image you use the /generalize switch, your image is completely hardware agnostic and can be deployed to anything that can run Windows.

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    jertsy (24th June 2014)

  6. #20
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    you should be able to make a basic MDT to do what you want in a few days. There is a truck load to it and can spend a lifetime refining it but as a basic tool, shouldn't take long.

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    jertsy (24th June 2014)

  8. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norphy View Post
    There are three types of image that you can deploy:

    A "Thin" image. This consists of just the OS, your custom settings and updates. All other software is deployed during the build. Advantages are that it keeps the image small and you have the flexibility of not having every piece of software that you own installed everywhere you install the image. Disadvantage is that you need a pretty good piece of middleware to reliably deploy your software, either during the build process (e.g. MDT, SCCM) or afterwards (e.g. SCCM, KACE, Altiris). GPOs alone might not be able to cut it, a GPO can officially only deploy an MSI and even then it's not always reliable. Some MSIs can be very awkward to deploy silently.

    A "Fat" image. This consists of the OS, your settings, updates and every piece of software that you own. Advantages to this approach is that it's probably more reliable, you can set your options once and forget about it. It may be quicker too, for it's a lot quicker to deploy a fat image with Adobe CC and Office in than it is to deploy a thin one and install the software afterwards. You can put anything that's particularly awkward to deploy in there as well. Disadvantage is that the image can grow very quickly and that it's very inflexible. You have to have a site license for every piece of software in that image (or at least enough licenses to cover it anyway) otherwise you're breaking the law and you're deploying the same image everywhere whether a PC needs the software or not. This is the easiest approach and possibly the best to use with plain WDS to begin with at least.

    A "hybrid" image. This consists of your OS, your settings, updates and some of your software. I use this approach, it offers the best of both worlds. I put anything that's awkward, anything that's big and anything that's literally needed everywhere into the image and use SCCM to deploy the other software depending on whether it's needed or not.

    One thing, with Vista or above, you don't need to have a separate image for each different piece of hardware that you use. As long as when you sysprep your image you use the /generalize switch, your image is completely hardware agnostic and can be deployed to anything that can run Windows.
    Thanks for the detailed explanation, that really helps.

  9. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by robjduk View Post
    you should be able to make a basic MDT to do what you want in a few days. There is a truck load to it and can spend a lifetime refining it but as a basic tool, shouldn't take long.
    My support company have most experience with WDS, so if I go the MDT route I have no quick support as such, and with 3 and a half weeks left I'm kind of up against it. I could go WDS now, MDT next year and maybe SCCM the year after. I will look at some MDT guides tomorrow.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply robjduk.

  10. #23

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    The sooner you dig into MDT the better. I understand that you're in a time crunch, so do what you have to do, but once you understand the basics of MDT, you'll find that your life has gotten a lot easier. WDS just really augments the deployment options you have via the "work" you put into MDT.

    I prefer the "thin" image approach nowadays. I used to do a hybrid approach, but I've found that creating, capturing and deploying custom .wim's is time consuming and can lead to inconsistent deployments over time. With the "thin" approach, I simply deploy the unmodified Win7SP1 x64 Enterprise .wim and put all of my "work" into the applications node of MDT. If you can figure out the silent install command to each of the applications you intend to have be part of your standard deployment, then you're 80% of the way there. The rest of the "work" is figuring out how to adjust defaults per application during install (using Orca to generate MSTs mostly) and then using batch files, scripts etc to do cleanup, place shortcuts etc.

    Once you've put the work in to figure out how to smoothly deploy an application (Java Runtime Environment, MS Office, Adobe Flash, VLC Media Player and so on...) you won't have to put much thought into keeping your deployments current because the method to install say, Adobe Flash for IE version 13 is usually exactly how you'll do version 14... Get a list of apps working in MDT then create an "App Bundle" to deploy them all with one checkbox during Lite Touch.

    Yes, there's a learning curve, but the payoff is huge.

    Just my two cents.

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    jertsy (25th June 2014)

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    I agree with @TG_MI that the payoff of learning MDT is huge so when you do get a chance - do it!

    I would do the "thin" image approach too if I had time. Currently I use the "hybrid" approach. If I wanted to slap an image on say, 4 machines at once, doing the thin option would take far too long having to wait for each application to install. I use an image loaded with the essential software for every room which deploys out much quicker, then use GPO's to install relevant additional programs depending on where the machine will be used i.e. stick 2 in the maths department and 2 in English. Overall this is quicker for me.

    When trying to silently install software, a great resource is ITninja.com (formly appdeploy.com) a site dedicated to discovering silent install methods.

    Also worth noting that MDT has built in features for customising MS Office installs too which makes life easier

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    jertsy (25th June 2014)

  14. #25

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    Using the 2 books I previously recommended, we have an image that has windows & (customised) MS Office as part of the standard image with applications like, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Air, Shockwave, Java, VLC installed before completion. These applications can then be easily kept up-to-date when new versions are released so you don't have to keep updating the base image. And Windows updates are also applied too via your WSUS server for example.

    Then you can either install additional applications manually, or via GPO deployment/MSI once you have got to grips and learnt this as @TG_MI previously mentioned.
    Last edited by MYK-IT; 25th June 2014 at 10:00 AM.

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    jertsy (25th June 2014)

  16. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by TG_MI View Post
    The sooner you dig into MDT the better. I understand that you're in a time crunch, so do what you have to do, but once you understand the basics of MDT, you'll find that your life has gotten a lot easier. WDS just really augments the deployment options you have via the "work" you put into MDT.

    I prefer the "thin" image approach nowadays. I used to do a hybrid approach, but I've found that creating, capturing and deploying custom .wim's is time consuming and can lead to inconsistent deployments over time. With the "thin" approach, I simply deploy the unmodified Win7SP1 x64 Enterprise .wim and put all of my "work" into the applications node of MDT. If you can figure out the silent install command to each of the applications you intend to have be part of your standard deployment, then you're 80% of the way there. The rest of the "work" is figuring out how to adjust defaults per application during install (using Orca to generate MSTs mostly) and then using batch files, scripts etc to do cleanup, place shortcuts etc.

    Once you've put the work in to figure out how to smoothly deploy an application (Java Runtime Environment, MS Office, Adobe Flash, VLC Media Player and so on...) you won't have to put much thought into keeping your deployments current because the method to install say, Adobe Flash for IE version 13 is usually exactly how you'll do version 14... Get a list of apps working in MDT then create an "App Bundle" to deploy them all with one checkbox during Lite Touch.

    Yes, there's a learning curve, but the payoff is huge.

    Just my two cents.
    Nice advice, thanks.

  17. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by themightymrp View Post
    I agree with @TG_MI that the payoff of learning MDT is huge so when you do get a chance - do it!

    I would do the "thin" image approach too if I had time. Currently I use the "hybrid" approach. If I wanted to slap an image on say, 4 machines at once, doing the thin option would take far too long having to wait for each application to install. I use an image loaded with the essential software for every room which deploys out much quicker, then use GPO's to install relevant additional programs depending on where the machine will be used i.e. stick 2 in the maths department and 2 in English. Overall this is quicker for me.

    When trying to silently install software, a great resource is ITninja.com (formly appdeploy.com) a site dedicated to discovering silent install methods.

    Also worth noting that MDT has built in features for customising MS Office installs too which makes life easier
    I will check out ITNinja.com, no doubt I will need that in the near future. Thanks.

  18. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by MYK-IT View Post
    Using the 2 books I previously recommended, we have an image that has windows & (customised) MS Office as part of the standard image with applications like, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Air, Shockwave, Java, VLC installed before completion. These applications can then be easily kept up-to-date when new versions are released so you don't have to keep updating the base image. And Windows updates are also applied too via your WSUS server for example.

    Then you can either install additional applications manually, or via GPO deployment/MSI once you have got to grips and learnt this as @TG_MI previously mentioned.
    That's kind of what I was thinking, cheers for that MYK-IT.

  19. #29

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    I have it setup so we have a post OS deployment sequence task, it gives you check boxes of the apps you want to install, click which you want and off it goes. It seems to work ok if you run it by itself, if you try and install OS deployment and post OS deployments together it always seems to fail and I haven't had time to look into it, but no hassle just to re-run the litetouch script again

  20. #30
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    I have a post-deployment task sequence here also, which I use for installing bundles of department specific software in certain circumstances. Such as one bundle of applications for all the Science department software, one for Maths etc.

    It's a good way of doing it if you don't want to rely on GPO's to install everything. I did have a few issues initially with doing one of these task sequences when I ran into conflicting credentials problems. I sorted it in the end though



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