We've just started using MDT in production. It can take some fine tuning, but works really well when you've got it set up. What we're deploying now is essentially a "thin" image of Xp (plain install with just updates), and then using the MDT windows update functionality to ensure the system and apps are fully up to date (actually had to do a slight tweak and run both Pre and Post application install updates twice to get it to really install all updates that were applicable...ZTIWindowsUpdate flags a lot of updates as installed when they're not really...
In terms of installing applications, if you can install it properly using a single command then it should work fine on MDT, so you should be set as far as MSIs or well known installers go. In the worst case scenario you could create a standalone AutoIt script that launches and clicks through an installation wizard...
Having MDT hooked up to a database is a must have if you're looking for unattended installations to multiple different computer types. We've simply added a room full of computers using their MAC addresses as their identifier, and assigned them to a role specific to that room. The role picks up the OS, drivers, and applications specific for the room/hardware. Using WDS (a CD/USB would work just as well, but would be more painful), all it then takes is pressing the network boot key on the computer, and we're done with it. 1h 30m later the computer will shutdown and be ready for use the next time someone turns it on. For reference, we're deploying the following software to this particular room off the top of head:
AVG 2011 Business
Adobe Creative Suite CS3 Web Standard
Adobe Reader X
Adobe Flash Player
Microsoft Office 2003 Professional (with 2010 Pro Plus ready to go)
Office 2007/works file conversion packs
Note that Office 2003 and components get updated to SP3 and updates applied as part of the MDT update process.
The only real caveats I've come across so far are the fact that a computer will require deleting and re-prestaging (or moving) in Active Directory as certain Group Policies can break MDT's automation, and the fact that systems in the middle of deployment are vulnerable to people sitting down in front of them and getting access to stuff they shouldn't be or just breaking the process (as people are trying to mitigate throughout this thread). I have managed to get the process working without using Domain Admin Credentials however, which lsessons the security implications somewhat (special accounts have been set up to access the DeploymentShare and join computers to the domain). Might look into writing an app that both locks the workstation and executes some UI in the WinLogon session so our energy efficient teachers don't then turn the computer off... I'm guessing there will still be a brief window between logon and the lock taking effect however.
Don't forget this book: Deployment Fundamentals - Volume 1 Migrating to Windows 7 using MDT 2010 Lite Touch and WDS eBook: Johan Arwidmark, Mikael Nystrom: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store
Originally Posted by sparkeh
I posted about it the other year. At the time it was only available through Amazon.com - but I ordered it and it arrived. I'm currently working through it. My Windows 7 development in school has taken setback after setback (see my blogs) - but this time it is going to happen.
Rather annoyingly they have recently updated the book to include chapters on Windows XP with MDT2010
Another good book is Mastering Windows 7 Deployment by Aidan Finn et al. Johan Arwidmark and Mikael Nystrom contributed to it too.
Like Gareth, I also bought Deployment Fundamentals from Amazon.com on release, but if I had to choose between the two I would pick Mastering Windows 7 Deployment. Personally, I found it explained things better and in more detail, and it covers topics which Deployment Fundamentals doesn't (SCCM, KMS, Office 2010 etc.)
Just ordered the second one now from Computer Manuals. Great success with Windows 7 and MDT2010 today. Very happy with it - the basics all done. Now for research into extending it. KMS and MAK keys next for us.
Originally Posted by Arthur