Windows Deployment Services (WDS): Unattended Installation Files Examples

After completing three posts about unattended deployment of full operating systems with WDS (Part I, Part II and Part III), I had pending this post about the examples of the unattended files. So here they are. Note: All of the data about the components and values used on these two XML files, are explained on Part III about WDS Deployment. WDSClientUnattend Download example here. (Change file extension from .doc to .xml to start using it or you can still open it as a Word file). Part of WDSClientUnattend.xml AutoAttend Download example here. (Change file extension from .doc to .xml to start using it or you can still open it as a Word file). Part of AutoAttend.xml Hope that you find it useful! Cheers! Installing and Configuring WDS (Windows Deployment Services): Full Images Deployment (Part I) Installing and Configuring WDS (Windows Deployment Services): Full Images Deployment (Part II) Installing and Configuring WDS (Windows Deployment Services): Full Images Deployment (Part III)

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Installing and Configuring WDS (Windows Deployment Services): Full Images Deployment (Part III)

At this point we’ve already installed and properly configured Windows Deployment Server on Windows 2003/Windows 2008 (Part I); and we created a full image (programs and features installed) on our Windows Vista and uploaded it to the server (Part II); the only thing missing is creating the answer files that will be used on the images to achieve the full unattended installation of our operating system. For those using Windows Server 2003 SP1, we reviewed that among the requirements for WDS installation there was installing Windows Automated Installation Kit. This kit also gives us an important tool for the unattended files creation, the Windows System Image Manager. So, it’s recommended for any other platform used on WDS to download this kit and install the System Image Manager. This tool it’s not a requirement for creating the unattended files. Installing WAIK Preparing the Files Using System Image Manager System Image Manager provides us the way to, using the .wim (or .clg) file for an installation, select the components that are necessary within the answer files. This way we can be sure that the answer options selected are used on the right place at the right time: Open System Image Manager for Start Menu. Click on File and click on Select Windows Image. Select the .wim file that we previously created or just use the file from the installation media (install.wim). You can also select the catalog files (.clg): these are the […]

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Installing and Configuring WDS (Windows Deployment Services): Full Images Deployment (Part II)

Ok then, after completing the first configurations made on the Part I of this guide we can perform a clean but attended network installation of Windows Vista. There are two main steps to take and complete a full image and unattended deployment: 1. Creating the base image to deploy: OS, programs and other special configurations + uploading it to the WDS server. 2. Making an unattended file to be used with that image. Creating the Base Image Note: On this series of posts we are only considering to deploy Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 images. The files used on WDS Native mode as unattended files are only valid to those operating systems, if you want to make unattended deployment with Windows XP or 2003 OS; you will need to use RIS or WDS Legacy Mode. The first step it’s pretty simple, it consists on installing the operating system with all the features, programs and configurations that you want. But there are some considerations first: After you complete the image, there’s a process where you release all the specific data involving the computer where it’s installed, like the Security Identifier (SID), computer name, etc. Here are some of the things that the image won’t keep after the release process: · Computer name· Owner and Company name· SID· Domain or workgroup membership· TCP/IP Settings· Regional and keyboard settings· Specific hardware drivers. This refers to specific computer hardware, like video or audio […]

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Installing and Configuring WDS (Windows Deployment Services): Full Images Deployment (Part I)

I’ve prepared a complete guide to configure a WDS Server on Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003 to deploy complete operating systems images, this is the first part. In this post I’ll be setting the WDS requirements, installation, first configurations and images needed. Introduction Deploying operating systems it’s always a hard thing to do. Annoying, uncomfortable, but necessary for every environment. Why? Because every desktop computer on every organization has their own life cycle (even servers, a longer one, but cycle at last). Even if your organization doesn’t have many desktops and even if those desktops don’t seem to need an image refresh in several months; the dynamics of today’s technology makes your base operating systems to change: Updates available, service packs, a new version of your organization’s software, newer operating systems, etc. And don’t forget the consequences of any user’s intervention: overloading the hard drive, personal software installation, etc; transforming always into a need to a fresh new installation. No need to keep enumerating things that normally happens; you probably know all of them. Common Base Image Life Cycle The bottom line is that a good and automated system to deploy your full operating systems images will significantly (and I do mean significantly) improve your daily tasks: Making an awkward job of following the installations steps for maybe 2 or 3 hours and transforming it to 30mins of a complete unattended provisioning. Here’s where Windows Deployment Services comes […]

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