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O/S Deployment Thread, Up and Coming Windows 7 OS deployment advise in Technical; Morning All, At my school we are in the planning stages of rolling out Windows 7 across the entire site, ...
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    Danny_t65's Avatar
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    Up and Coming Windows 7 OS deployment advise

    Morning All,

    At my school we are in the planning stages of rolling out Windows 7 across the entire site, we have approx 450 desktops and around 250 laptops. I have a year deadline to have the project completed, including user training. I have looked at several types of deployment, Ghost, SCCM, Dell Kace etc.

    Dell Kace looks to have been dismissed due to the cost, we currently use ghost but we have SCCM set up and configured so are very tempted by this option. I would love to hear how other schools are deploying Windows 7 and any experiences good or bad.

    Kind Regards

    Danny

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    Free built in Windows Deployment Services. The Win2k8 R2 version lets you easily add extra drivers too, I normally image a new machine, then add any missing drivers to it and image again

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    Second vote for WDS too.

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    Boredguy's Avatar
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    We are using MDT2010 to create the OS deployment tasks (since we're using a mixture of OS platforms), and a litetouch image accessed via WDS. This happily installs Windows 7 onto both our workstations and laptops with minimal intervention required.

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    Paid_Peanuts's Avatar
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    My vote goes to SCCM, we will be using this to deploy Windows 7 to 1050 machines over summer.
    We have all the drivers installed so they get injected at time of build. All our hardware has been tested and works 100% with drivers injected correctly.
    it is zero-touch deployment.

    Vote also goes to SCCM for the option of having multiple distribution points - therefore i can have many distribution points and push to 100+ clients without any noticible slowdown in imaging.

    From start to finish on unicast Win 7 20GB image using SCCM takes 36 mins.

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    RobBaxter's Avatar
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    I use Windows Server 2008 R2 technology ONLY. The GPO system with 2008 R2 is extreamly powerful. Because WDS use the new virtual hard drive system it is SO much easier to use.

    For example, if you ever need to say "Update an Install Image" to say "Come with the new office, rather than update it via GPO which may have time and system load constraints". You can mount the install image in hyper-V. You can boot the image, install the new OS, sysprep it, and your image is now updated. You can install that old software this way that just refuses to install nicely also, however...

    in the GPO you have the ability to essentialy "RSync" if your familar, with a network location, that with the registry modifyer settings within GP you can deploy more or less anything at all! You can even create local caches of things... say configuration files OR VM OS DIsk images.

    I really seriously can't recommend WDS enough!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobBaxter View Post
    I use Windows Server 2008 R2 technology ONLY. The GPO system with 2008 R2 is extreamly powerful. Because WDS use the new virtual hard drive system it is SO much easier to use.

    For example, if you ever need to say "Update an Install Image" to say "Come with the new office, rather than update it via GPO which may have time and system load constraints". You can mount the install image in hyper-V. You can boot the image, install the new OS, sysprep it, and your image is now updated. You can install that old software this way that just refuses to install nicely also, however...

    in the GPO you have the ability to essentialy "RSync" if your familar, with a network location, that with the registry modifyer settings within GP you can deploy more or less anything at all! You can even create local caches of things... say configuration files OR VM OS DIsk images.

    I really seriously can't recommend WDS enough!
    Hi Rob,

    how easy is it to image new machines that havent been connected to the domain, is there any problems with this?

    Cheers

    Danny

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    RobBaxter's Avatar
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    @Danny_t65, my setup here will image anything physicaly connected to the network, without a password and in about 4 steps... F12, Enter, Click my Image, Done!

    Everything else is automated and unknown PCs are put in the "New Installs" GPO in my AD. Really it is fast and simple , if setting it up took me a good few days to get perfect!

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    Danny_t65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobBaxter View Post
    @Danny_t65, my setup here will image anything physicaly connected to the network, without a password and in about 4 steps... F12, Enter, Click my Image, Done!

    Everything else is automated and unknown PCs are put in the "New Installs" GPO in my AD. Really it is fast and simple , if setting it up took me a good few days to get perfect!
    Excellent thanks Rob this sounds just the ticket i will look into this further. Thanks for your help

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    If your SCCM is already setup and running then my vote definately, goes towards SCCM!
    I would recommend (if not already done so) to get it into Native Mode as this will reduce duplicate instances of machines when they get rebuilt

    You can target Task Sequences to specific collections (Mine mirror my OU's)
    I have 2 types of Deployments - Manual and Forced

    Forced PXE is great for re-imaging whole suites - simply power the PCs on and away you go
    Manual (F12) is used for the more day-to-day rebuilds

    I also have SCCM setup to be my WSUS server as well as software distrubution, and lately for Forefront Endpoint definitions

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    SCCM FTW!

    It takes a little setting up but you've already done that and it is pennies under a subscription agreement for schools. I would definitely ditch Ghost because it's just extra licensing that you don't need.

    I also agree with @Gatt... make the effort to use native mode because it does allow it to work better.

    Plus with SCCM, you can link into the rest of System Center quite nicely.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Unless you are licensed for something like spec ops (which is great) then go with SCCM. It's not much on top of the SLA. Well worth it imo and its very powerful.

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    If you already have SCCM, use it. You can integrate it with MDT 2010.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Another vote for SCCM, does the job beautifully on XP so 7 should be even easier

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