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O/S Deployment Thread, Need help with windows 7 deployment in Technical; Hi All I am about the roll out windows 7 to about 600 workstations but i am having trouble deciding ...
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    mattstevenson2005's Avatar
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    Need help with windows 7 deployment

    Hi All

    I am about the roll out windows 7 to about 600 workstations but i am having trouble deciding which is the best way to do it. Currently we use windows xp and i have an image for each model of workstation each image is sysprep'd and are stored as ghost images. When i need to reimage a workstation i just deploy the ghost image and sys prep prompts me to enter a workstation name and the workstation is done. With windows 7 i am having trouble getting sys prep to do the same? also i want to move away from using ghost and move more to a more modern way to deploy workstations, i have WDS, MDT and SCCM but not sure which is the best to use for the job i want to do. I have created a workstation that has windows 7 install with all our custom software pre-installed and i want to capture this as our windows 7 image for deployment but i am having no look getting it to capture correctly. I have read loads on the internet about different ways of deployment but non of it really makes any sense, does anyone on here have any advice to solve my issue.

    Thanks
    Matt

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    SCCM with driver packages and your reference (gold) image made on a virtual machine. A lot of people bundle MDT in as well but I haven't had a burning desire to add anything extra onto my SCCM method as it does everything I need.

    All your domaining etc can either be done as a manual step at the start of the task sequence (for new machines needing PXE boot) or completely automated (if you have the SCCM client installed on your PCs' existing OS beforehand)

    I also fly in the face of a lot of SCCM documentation and build my image manually rather than as an automated sequence. Reason being that I have a lot of open-source and freeware that isn't worth my time and effort packaging into MSIs. With a manual image build I document everything clearly and get the image exactly as I want before capturing. Then I just run the capture ISO and it gets on with it no trouble

    Also if you use a VM to create your gold image snapshot it before the capture process then you can go back and alter it afterwards if necessary. I personally don't like working with a base image after it's been sysprepped so reverting back to a "clean" state is much better imo.
    Last edited by gshaw; 18th April 2012 at 02:18 PM.

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    mattstevenson2005's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply, i have made my reference image on a physical machine - do you have any links to guides on how to get SCCM to do what i need. Also what virtual pc software are you using to create your image in?

    Thanks
    Matt
    Last edited by mattstevenson2005; 18th April 2012 at 02:18 PM.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    I'm doing mine on vSphere at the moment so it's in a central location but you could do it on Hyper-V or Virtualbox as both support snapshots.

    As for your current reference machine it'll work fine but I'd back it up to a USB hard disk with something like Redo Backup first so you've got a copy before capturing it.

    Deploy Windows 7 Enterprise - www.windows-noob.com

    These guides are really good

    The section where I deviate is Build and Capture, I don't uss SCCM for the build process, only capture but that's down to individual preference and the type of software you have on the base image. Also comes down to whether you want a completely thin base image and software installed to it or a more complete base image but less easy to change over the year (not an issue for us)
    Last edited by gshaw; 18th April 2012 at 02:26 PM.

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    mattstevenson2005's Avatar
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    hi mark

    yeah finally binning the old xp environment re-imaging the whole site over the 6 weeks holiday not looking forward to it lol windows 7 is so much better from an OS point of view but its a pain in ar**e to deploy nothing like xp

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    markcuk's Avatar
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    Hi Mat

    Yeah just watch out for the windows library stuff. Will be good on the kit you have though

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattstevenson2005 View Post
    hi mark

    yeah finally binning the old xp environment re-imaging the whole site over the 6 weeks holiday not looking forward to it lol windows 7 is so much better from an OS point of view but its a pain in ar**e to deploy nothing like xp
    I think once you get your head around it you will prefer deployin out W7 to XP....

    I went down the WDS route and have one base image (plus backups) I edit the boot.wim to include network drivers for any new hardware....

    I have a few documents I've written to aid me when I have to create new base images when required......if you want to PM me I can share them...

    Cheers

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