albertwt (12th August 2010)
Firstly, Sorry If this has been asked a thousand times and answered a thousand times (Although I can't find the answer it it has, and no, its not 42! )
Here my seneriao, Currently we roll out XP using RIS, but we have a flat XP CD with a choice of Sif files at build time for different styles of finish (Some GPO lock down, some 3rd party), not a sysprepped/riprepped image. By using this method we log on once, and it auto assigns the PC name and places it in the correct OU (Username we logon with at 1st build determines PC name and OU). We then push out software using MSIs over GPO's.
My Question is, how do I get this kind of flat "image" automation with Windows 7 and WDS (whether it be on 2k3/2k8) without taking an image, and without having to type in the PC name manually each time?
I have looked at countless tech articles and blogs, but they all seem to be about creating Images, which is not where I want to head, as I have just abandoned this practise with ghost!
Many Thanks for you answers in advance!
looks like we had the same idea at about the same time, I posted here
MDT task sequence to accomplish prestaging like RIS
Not sure if the Mods want to merge our threads as we are both looking for the same thing for the same employer :-)
See you Monday
Great Minds...etc etc
Would be a good idea if mods could do that.
I've just sniffed out something called a customsettings.ini file (here) and a Bootstrap.ini (not sure what this file does yet). But these seem to do things that the Sif files once did???
I'm on skype if you're about.
Those files are the ones we played with in the office week before last.
Don't appear to do quite what we want.
Not on my work machine so not got skype up and running
I've found references in this file for Computer names and OU selection. Can't retest yet due to Work laptop building a new 2008 server on a MSVPC rather than the SUN VBox, couldn't cope with learning 2 things at once and sun wasn't playing nicely!
Is it really sad that we are effectly still working on a friday night?
Neither Vista or Windows 7 deploy from "flat" file sets like Windows XP did.
The deployment mechanism is very different inasmuch the stuff supplied on the Vista / 7 media is effectively a sysprepped image containing a default installation of the OS, not a generic installation file set like the i386 folder on the XP CD - and to deploy it using WDS, you have to do so in native mode.
WDS in native mode will work exactly like your current setup - it will name and place machines into OUs based on username used to initiate the build process if you want so in many respects, that won't change.
You can use xml answer files to customise the deployment process further once in WDS - either created by hand from a template or by using the Automated Installation Kits available from Microsoft's website - but it's all done through WDS in "Native" mode, not legacy mode as you will have it for Win XP.
The deployment process for 7 is very similar to that for Vista - so if you hunt around the Technet website you will find the documents detailing the changes made to the Vista deployment process over that for XP and this may be a good place to start. Those documents should also tell you what you need to know to continue to deploy XP images once you start shoving out 7 too.
Hope that helps!
mhundley (1st October 2009)
we have tinkered a little with the unattended procedures although we were going down the line of using MDT2010 as all we read led us to believe that was what we needed. We ran into the issue of needing to pre-stage machines for MDT.
MDT appeals to us as we can use it for the driver injection and Task sequences. Also the support for powershell means that when we have worked it all out we can simply give our team a set of scripts which in theory should set everything up for them ready to go.
Do you feel we would be better simply using WDS on its own with a modified wim file?
This is one of those things we are playing with but unfortunately its a case of too much to do and too little time to do it in?
Last edited by mhundley; 1st October 2009 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Typo
I'd say it really depends on what and how you want to achieve it at the end of the day.
I haven't touched MDT 2010 yet so I can't comment if it's a good way for you to go or not - I've downloaded it, but the way our infrastructure is configured means there is little need for me to play with it right now. Much of our hardware uses drivers that are integral to Windows 7 too, so there has been no need to inject any OEM drivers at build time.
We run a mixture of WDS in native mode and System Centre Configuration Manager 2007 R2 and as a result there are a couple of options for deployment of Windows 7 open to us without even factoring in MDT 2010.
We use SCCM 2007 R2 in the process of creating our "reference" image, then capture that back to WDS using the Image capture boot environment.
Deployment to the clients from then on is done via WDS - one of my techs walks up to a machine, PXE boots it, enters user credentials when prompted, and selects the appropriate image to deploy. Then he walks away and WDS does the rest in conjunction with the unattend.xml file assigned to that particular image.
I've perhaps over-simplified it a touch there, but I suspect that is the overall idea you are trying to work out as an end result?
I wouldn't say you've oversimplified it at all, that is pretty much what we have with RIS/XP at the moment. After reading your last post I had a play with just WAIK and managed to get a lot further than I had with the MDT approach.
In various trials I have managed to get the machine to build standalone following the task sequence.
A useful reference I have found is Mitch Tullock's articles on Vista and WDS which can be found here
I just need to get the computer name provisioning and joining to the domain sorted then we will be there.
Thanks for your advice.
After spending a few evenings on this over the last few weeks, I have final managed to get my head around most of the Windows 7 deployment process using MDT 2010. The thing that I'd like to sort out is a simple issue (Or it was with RIS ).
We have a thin image pushed out to a client, its joined the domain, and installed our Office 2007 package. We had to manually name it, and tell it which OU we wanted it to sit in. This is what I want to automate, I've found a way of change the OU field to a dropdown box that I can pre-populate, linked here, (fine as long as nobody changes the OU structure later) , but I still cannot figure out how to auto name the PCs without pre-staging, or getting the Machines to wait in WDS until I've approved and named them, (Might be easiest solution for long term support, but when on a project including 200 PCs this could take a while to setup initially). I could have my colleagues manually enter PC names but that leaves the door open for human error (my own included).
Ideally, I think I need a script that runs during WinPE boot up, ask for a username (like RIS did) then depending on where that username is, Checks for next available name, and creates a managed computer account (With GUID) in this users ou location.
Has anyone already created it? (Or do I need to ask my colleague to do it? I'm rubbish at scripting, I always know what I want it to do, but never have the patience to create it.)
I'm seem to be going around in circle here, but...
...I've now discovered WDS in Server 2008 R2 has a neat way of making drivers available to install.wim during the build process (Only in 2008 R2). So I'm back to using WDS Native as our sole replacement for RIS/WDS Legacy. Only issues I see are schools will have to upgrade their deployment servers to Server 2008 R2 (Now, thats not a bad thing after all!), and I'll have to make a XP.wim ( Now that is a bad thing!).
For thoses of you struggling with Deploying windows 7, or anyone starting out, I found a handy free download from microsoft: Deploying Windows 7 Essential Guidance (Also attached!)
Its proven to be really helpful to me, and I recommend it to anyone going from RIS/WDS legacy deployment to WDS native.
I hope this helps someone save some time!
winf1uk (19th November 2009)
MDT2010 seems to do a lot different things, but due to the requirement of prestaging in AD, it wasn't really suitable for our environment, if we find away around the prestaging part we may look at it again.
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