Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part III

January 18, 2011 at 2:54 am | Posted in Deployment, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), Windows 7 | 34 Comments
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Other posts in this series:

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part I

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part II

Now that we’ve reviewed in Post I of this series how we can complete the initial configurations in MDT 2010, added a clean Windows 7 image and the task sequence to deploy it; and in Post II we’ve imported Microsoft Office 2010 into MDT and configure it for a customized, silent and unattended; in this third part of this series we are going to work directly in the capture and deployment process.

We’ll review how to deploy Windows 7 to a machine, achieving in the same deployment the automated installation of Microsoft Office 2010 and right after that, also automated, capturing that operating system. With a new a customized Windows 7 image we will add it to MDT 2010 for later deployments.

The interesting part about having this customized image imported in Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 is that it can be our base image for all of our users. If you have several type of users in your organization, I’m pretty sure you can find some applications all of these types of users share (Microsoft Office is a good example); using MDT you can deploy this base image plus adding in the Task Sequences the automated deployment of the applications for each user.

Deploying and Capturing Reference Image

Since we have already the Task Sequence created for deploying Windows 7 + Microsoft Office 2010, we only need to use the LiteTouch media created in the Deployment Share to run the deployment wizard.

In my case, I’m going to use the WIM file with a Windows Deployment Services (WDS) server already running in my environment; this way I don’t have to use any local media in the client machine, just using a network connection will do.

1. In the WDS console, right click “Boot Images” and select “Add Boot Image”.


2. Select the LiteTouchePE WIM files existing in the Deployment Share directory of our MDT 2010.


3. Complete the WDS wizard.

4. In the client machine, we can boot from network using F12.

5. Select the LiteTouch Pre-installation Environment (PE).


6. Once the boot image is loaded, we can see that the LiteTouch wizard appears. Select “Run the Deployment Wizard to install a new Operating System”.


7. Type in the domain credentials from which you have access to the Deployment Share created by MDT 2010.


8. Select the Task Sequence created. In my case there’s only one “Deploy Windows 7 Clean Image”. Click on “Next”.


9. Enter the computer name and click on “Next”. Since we are capturing it, the name here has no relevance; the sysprep process will wipe all this information.


10. Select “Join a workgroup” and click on “Next”. If you are going to capture this image, DO NOT SELECT “Join a domain”; if this option is selected the capture step is disabled.


11. Since we are not migrating any user data, select “Do not restore user data settings”, click on “Next”.


12. Select the options in “Language and other preferences”.

13. Select the “Time Zone”.

14. Select the option “Capture an image of this reference computer”, and specify the options for the location and name of the WIM file to be created. Click on “Next”.


Remember that the location can be any shared folder available in the network (the credentials inserted earlier must have read/write permissions to this folder).

15. Review the details and click on “Begin”.


With that, the Task Sequence starts running. The first step will format the hard drives for the operating system deployment.

The operating system installation will start next.


And after a new reboot, the Task Sequence completes the work with the operating system installed and with the user logged in; Microsoft Office 2010 64-bit starts the installation completely automated and silent.


The installation takes a few minutes, and if you want to verify the process completed successfully just access the Start Menu before the machine reboots again.


Before the reboot, the sysprep process starts running which will erase all of the specific information from this operating system related to the machine (computer name, Product Key, SID, etc.).


Once the computer is rebooted, the process for creating the WIM file for this operating system starts; and of course sending that file to the destination folder we’ve chosen.


That process can takes several minutes to complete so you just have to be patient.


Importing the Captured Image into MDT 2010

Once the image has been captured, the importation process is simpler:

1. Open the MDT Console, expand the MDT Deployment Share, right-click “Operating Systems” and select “Import Operating System”.


2. Select “Custom image file” and click on “Next”.


3. Specify the path of the captured WIM file and click on “Next”. Also I’m selecting the option “Move the files to the deployment share…” to optimize disk space.


4. Select “Setup and Sysprep files are not needed” and click on “Next”. Since we’ve already prepared this operating system, there’s no need to include these files.


5. Specify the name for the destination folder and click on “Next”. In my case, I’m using “Windows 7 Pro x64 + Office 2010”.


6. In the summary page click on “Next”.

7. And in confirmation click on “Finish”.


With that, the operating system is imported to MDT 2010.


Creating the Task Sequence for Deployment

We now have the customized operating system imported into MDT, now we just need to create the Task Sequence to deploy it. The procedure is even simpler and we should now be familiarized with the environment to complete it without any problem.

1. Right-click “Task Sequences” and select “New Task Sequence”.


2. Complete the Task Sequence data. Remember to use a different “Task sequence ID” than the selected earlier, in my case “WIN7OFFICE2010”.


3. Select “Standard Client Task Sequence” and click on “Next”.

4. Select the operating system we’ve imported “Windows 7 Pro x64 + Office 2010” (I’ve changed the name for a more friendly one). Click on “Next”.


5. You can specify the product key in this step. Click on “Next”.


6. Complete the “OS Settings” and click on “Next”.

7. Specify the Administrator password or you can skip it. The administrator password set (if we did it) in the image we’ve captured maintains even if we executed sysprep. Click on “Next”.


8. Review the “Summary” and again the process should take a few seconds, once its completed click on “Finish”.

Deploying the Reference Image

We have completed all the configuration steps, and the only thing missing is deploying this image to the client.

1. In a client machine, boot from the network and select the LiteTouchPE boot image we’ve added earlier.

2. Run the “Deployment Wizard” in the same way we’ve executed before.


3. Specify credentials. Click on “Next”.

4. Select the task sequence to deploy the reference image, in my case “Deploy Windows 7 x64 + Office 2010”. Click on “Next”.


5. Join the machine to the domain if you prefer to. Click on “Next”.


6. Since we are not migrating profiles, select “Do not restore user data and settings”. Click on “Next”.

7. Select Language and Time Zone. Click on “Next”.

8. Since the image already has Microsoft Office 2010 installed, there’s no need to install it again. Click on “Next”.


9. Click on “Begin” and the installation process will start.


The operating system will complete its installation in a few minutes.


With that we’ve completed the third part of this series, I’m hoping I’ll prepare a few more about automating even more the deployments and add a few more features in the scenario.

I hope you found this useful.

Other posts in this series:

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part I

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part II

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part II

January 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Posted in Deployment, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), Windows 7 | 18 Comments
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Other posts in this series:

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part I

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part III

After completing the first post of this series where we’ve installed and configured MDT 2010 Update 1, added a Windows 7 clean image to the Deployment Share and created the Task Sequence to deploy it; in this second part of “Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010” we are going to work with Microsoft Office 2010 application.

In this post we will add Microsoft Office 2010 as an application in our Deployment Share, and configure the environment to achieve a silent and unattended installation for this suite.

The unattended possibilities for deploying applications in MDT always depend on the application we are using, fortunately Microsoft Office is highly prepared to accomplish this unattended installation, and with the possibility to customize it by easily selecting the features we would like to install in Config.xml answer file.

Adding Microsoft Office 2010 to MDT

Adding applications to Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 requires only running a simple wizard which should not be any problem.


We do need of course the Microsoft Office 2010 binaries, and since we would like to use the unattended possibilities complemented with MDT 2010, we are going to need the installation files we can find in the Office 2010 DVD.

The stand alone installer (for example: en_office_professional_plus_2010_x64_515489.exe) can be used but we cannot edit the properties in MDT console.

Let’s start with the wizard:

1. In the MDT console, expand the Distribution Share we’ve created right-click “Applications” and select “New Application”.


2. Select “Application with source files” and click on “Next”.


3. Complete the information for this new application and click on “Next”.


4. Select the source directory where we can find the “setup.exe” file.


In my case I’m using the DVD which contains the x86 and x64 versions, since we can only add one architecture at a time, you must select one sub folder. And considering we are deploying a 64-bit operating system, I’m going to install the 64-bit Microsoft Office 2010 version.

5. Specify the directory name to be stored, in my case “Microsoft Office 2010 x64”. Click on “Next”.


6. In “Command Line” type “setup.exe” for the installer file to be executed, the “Working directory” can be left with the default option.


7. In “Summary” review the options selected and click on “Next”.


The importation process will start and should not take much longer.

8. Once completed, click on “Finish”.


With the application added we can double click it to access its properties.


As you can see importing a Microsoft Office product includes a tab in the MDT properties called “Office Products” which contains options to simplify the unattended process.


Configuring Office 2010 Unattended Installation

Now that we have the application imported, we can configure a silent, unattended and customized installation of Microsoft Office 2010 within a few steps:

1. In the properties section, select the “Office Products” tab.

2. Select the following options and click on “Apply”:

Office product to install”: The version you are using, in my case Professional Plus “ProPlus”.
Office languages”: Language available, in my case “en-us”.
Product Key”.
Customer Name”.
Display Level”: “None”. With this, in the installation process we won’t see any window running.
Accept EULA”: Enabled.
Always suppress reboot”: Enabled.


All these options are stored in one file: Config.xml; which is used of course as an answer file for the unattended installation for Office 2010. In this file we must also set the features we would like to install, and the type of installation.

For more information, take a look to this link: Config.xml file OptionState ID values for Office 2010.

3. Click on “Edit Config.xml” to view and edit the unattended installation file. You will see something like this:


We are going to edit this adding the features we would like to install. Here’s an example of the Config.xml file I’ll be using in this series, download it in this link.

I’m ignoring the lines with “<!—” since they are used for comments and examples.

<Configuration Product=”ProPlusr”>
<Display Level=”None” CompletionNotice=”No” SuppressModal=”No” AcceptEula=”Yes” />
<COMPANYNAME Value=”Augusto Alvarez” />
<Setting Id=”SETUP_REBOOT” Value=”Never” />
<AddLanguage Id=”match” />
<AddLanguage Id=”en-us” ShellTransform=”Yes” />
<PIDKEY Value=”xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx” />
<OptionState Id=”AccessFiles” State=”absent” Children=”force” />
<OptionState Id=”ExcelFiles” State=”Local” />
<OptionState Id=”GrooveFiles” State=”Absent” Children=”force” />
<OptionState Id=”OneNoteFiles” State=”Local” Children=”force” />
<OptionState Id=”OUTLOOKFiles” State=”Local” />
<OptionState Id=”PPTFiles” State=”Local” />
<OptionState Id=”PubPrimary” State=”Absent” Children=”force” />
<OptionState Id=”WORDFiles” State=”Local” />
<OptionState Id=”XDOCSFiles” State=”Absent” Children=”force” />
<OptionState Id=”SHAREDFiles” State=”Local” />
<OptionState Id=”TOOLSFiles” State=”Local” />
<OptionState Id=”EXCELFiles” State=”Local” />

In this example the following features are being installed: Word, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Office Tools (like Office Picture Manager, HTML source editor, etc.) and Shared Files. All of this is using the “Local” type of installation, which in this scenario is usually a better choice than “Install on first use”.


Adding Office 2010 to the Task Sequence

With the application imported and the unattended file in place, we just need to edit the Task Sequence we’ve created in the first post to use this application.

1. Expand the Distribution Share, “Task Sequences” and double click on the task sequence we’ve created earlier “Deploy Windows 7 Clean Image”.


2. In the last phase of the task sequence, “State Restore”, click on “Install Applications” and select “Install a single application” where you can select Office 2010 using the “Browse…


With that, we have Microsoft Office 2010 64-bit added to MDT 2010 and configured for a customized and unattended installation within our Windows 7 deployment process.

In the next post, we will not only deploy this Windows 7 + Office 2010 but we will also prepare for an automated capture of this image and upload it to our MDT 2010.

Other posts in this series:

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part I

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part III

[Events] Overview of Code Camp 2010 and Materials

September 17, 2010 at 12:35 am | Posted in Events, Hyper-V, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) | 1 Comment
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As I mentioned a few days ago, I had the chance to present for the fourth time in a row in the most important academic event from Microsoft, here in Buenos Aires, Code Camp 2010.

As last year’s event, Code Camp 2010 had over 50 conferences running all day regarding not only IT stuff but also developing, gaming, software architecture, cloud computing, etc.

Here’s a short summary of my presentations: “Hyper-V en Windows Server 2008 R2 e interoperabilidad con Linux” (“Hyper-V R2 and interoperability with Linux”) and “Windows 7 Para todos” (“Windows 7 for Everyone”).

Hyper-V R2 and Linux

I presented this topic with another IT geek Guillermo Sanchez, where we started with an overview about hypervisors architecture, Hyper-V basics and then some interesting demos with Linux virtual machines.

The main idea in this presentation was talk about Hyper-V Integration Services working in Linux virtual machines: Benefits and how to install IS in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and Red Hat. Plus, some bonus features about virtual machines backups and interoperability with other platforms.


The presentation can be downloaded from this link.

Also, Guillermo posted the video on his blog.

Migrating Windows XP to Windows 7

The main idea of this conference was talk about how simple is migrating Windows XP machines to Windows 7 using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010, including also the migration of user profiles maintaining even Internet Explorer history.

We’ve started talking about common scenarios and problems we usually find in the migrating process of operating systems. Using the MDT 2010 console I had the chance to show the simple process for creating the necessary environment to achieve a migration: How to create a deployment share, import an operating system, create a task sequence, automate deployments with CustomSettings.ini and Bootstrap.ini, using MDT database.

And of course a live demo where we refreshed a Windows XP machine with a functional profile (My Documents, My Pictures, IE Favorites, etc) to a Windows 7 machine with the same profile imported.


The presentation can be downloaded from this link (Code Camp official site) or directly from here.

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part I

July 13, 2010 at 2:56 am | Posted in Deployment, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), Windows 7 | 22 Comments
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Other posts in this series:

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part II

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part III

I’ve started (finally!) re-editing a set of posts created a while ago: “Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 1: Using MDT to Prepare, Install and Capture Customized Windows 7 Images”: Part I, Part II and Part III. Within those posts we had the chance to review some step-by-step procedures to create customized images of Windows 7, including Microsoft Office 2007 and achieve an automatic deployment; using always the Beta version of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010.

Now we are going to evaluate some interesting step-by-step procedures for automated deployment of Windows 7 + Microsoft Office 2010 using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010.

The current version of this free deployment tool is Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 with Update 1. This latest update brings some nice improvements:

  • Comprehensive tools and guidance to efficiently manage large-scale deployments of Microsoft Office 2010.
  • A new User-Driven Installation (UDI) deployment method that utilizes System Center Configuration Manager. UDI lets end users initiate and customize an OS deployment on their PCs—via an easy-to-use wizard.
  • Automatically detects the true supported platforms for drivers, reducing deployment issues.

As in the previous set of posts, using the final and latest version of MDT 2010, we will use the Lite Touch Installation (LTI) for the deployment of Windows 7. For the Zero Touch Installation of Windows 7 we can use Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 with System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 SP2.

Note: Only using SCCM 2007 with SP2 is the supported platform for deploying Windows 7; prior this release, the environment is not supported to use Configuration Manager Operating System Deployment (OSD).

What We Are Going To Do?

These posts will represent a step-by-step procedure for the following tasks:

  • · Install and configure Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 – Update 1.
  • · Create a Task Sequence and deploy clean Windows 7 images.
  • · Adding and configuring Microsoft Office 2010 in MDT 2010 for deployment.
  • · Creating and capturing a reference image of Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010.
  • · Automatic deployment of the customized Windows 7 images with Microsoft Office 2010 installed.


Before starting with any procedure we need to review the requirements for the environment. In my case I’ll be using:

  • Active Directory and DNS infrastructure working and operational.
  • DHCP configured with Windows Deployment Services (WDS).
  • Windows Deployment Services (WDS) configured.
  • Windows 7 source files.
  • Microsoft Office 2010 installation files.

Note: This previous post of mine shows how WDS must be configured to work together with DHCP.

As in software and features necessary:

  • Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) 2.0. You can download it from here.
    Note: The download page indicates that the WAIK version is “1”; but don’t worry, the actual version is 2.0.


  • · MSXML 6.0.
  • · PowerShell.
  • · .Net Framework 3.5 SP1. Available for download here.
    Note: Even though .Net Framework 2.5 SP1 is not a requirement for MDT 2010 installation; one of its features, User-Driven Installation (UDI), does requires the latest Microsoft Framework installed.

Here’s a message you will see when you try to run the UDI launcher:


MDT 2010 Installation

As for all the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit versions, the installation is a straight forward procedure: Just download, execute the installer and complete the installation wizard.


Once installed, we can access any of the components from the “Start Menu”.


One of the coolest options we can find in Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 (and in most of Microsoft platforms) is the idea of designing the User Interface as places to find everything you need to know about what to do next.

Getting Started”: All the steps involved to get MDT 2010 functional.


Documentation”: All necessary links to start working with the tool.


Also another important section is “Components” where we can verify that all necessary requirements were installed (plus other optional installations).


Adding a Clean Image to MDT 2010

With the application installed, we can now start working directly with the operating system deployment. The configurations needed in MDT 2010 maintains as the Beta version and the older versions of the Deployment Toolkit.

The process is the following:

1. Create the distribution share.

2. Add operating system files to the distribution share.

3. Create a task sequence for the reference computer.

Creating the Distribution Share

1. In the MDT Console, right click on “Deployment Shares” and select “New Deployment Share”.


2. In the wizard, click on “Browse”.

3. Select a folder where you want to store all the binaries (applications, operating system, etc.) MDT will use. As a recommendation use a separate partition.


4. Click on “Next”.


5. Accept the name of the “Share Name” and click on “Next”.


6. In the next page we can add a short description for the distribution share. Click on “Next”.

7. Ensure that the option “Ask if an image should be captured” is checked and click on “Next”.


8. Another option we can select in this stage is if we are going to let users who are deploying an image can set the local administrator password. In large environment this is normally not recommended since not all users in charge of the deployment should be local administrators of the operating systems.


Click on “Next”.

9. Leave deselected also the option for “Ask user for a product key”. This option will be set in the task sequence of each operating system deployment. Click on “Next”.


10. Review the “Summary” page and click on “Next”.

11. Wait for the process to complete and click on “Finish”.


Once the process completes, we should see this in our MDT 2010 Management Console.


Adding Windows 7 Operating System

Once the deployment share is created, the next step is to add the files from the Windows 7 image. In my case I’ll be using a Windows 7 64bits image.

1. In “Deployment Shares”, expand the deployment share we’ve just created, right click “Operating Systems” and select “Import Operating System”.


2. Since this is a clean image from the Windows 7 media, select “Full set of source files” and click on “Next”.


3. I’m selecting the D:\ directory since I have attached the Windows 7 media in this drive. Click on “Next”.


4. Select the “Destination directory name” and click on “Next”.


5. In the “Summary” page click on “Next”.

6. Once the process is complete, click on “Finish”.


In my case, the images added will look like this in the MDT console.


Creating the Deployment Task Sequence

Now we have the distribution share with a clean image of Windows 7, we can create a task sequence to deploy the operating system.

1. In “Deployment Shares”, expand the deployment share created, right click “Task Sequences” and select “New Task Sequence”.


2. Insert a “Task Sequence ID”, I’m using “WIN7”. And a “Task Sequence name”, in my case “Deploy Windows 7 clean image”. Click on “Next”.


3. Accept the default option in “Template”: “Standard Client Task Sequence”. Click on “Next”.


4. Select the operating system to deploy. Since I have several options, I’ll be using “Windows 7 Professional”. Click on “Next”.


5. The “Product Key” section can be used to not specify a key at this point. Click on “Next”.


6. Complete the information about the registered user and click on “Next”.


7. In my case I’m also selecting the local Administrator password. Click on “Next”.


8. In the “Summary” page click on “Next”.


9. Once the process is complete we can click on “Finish”.


Note there’s an option of “View Script”, which we can use to retrieve an automated script to use for every time we want to create a similar Task Sequence (we only need to change the values used)

Once the Task Sequence is added, we should see something like this:

10. The process is completed once we update the Deployment Share. In the Deployment Share name, right click and select “Update Distribution Share”.


11. Leave selected the option for “Optimize the boot image updating process”. Click on “Next”.


12. Click on “Next” on “Summary”. This process can take a few minutes since it will be creating new files, including the boot images “LiteTouchPE_x86.iso” and “LiteTouchPE_x64” which can be used for the clean operating system deployment.


Within this process the Distribution Share is populated with several files which will be used in the operating system deployment. Even though we didn’t use the option, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit also includes the section for “Out-of-box Drivers”.

The drivers section includes a simple wizard where we can add device drivers into the operating system deployment. Using only the “.inf” files from these drivers, we can add the components directly; but always remember to use the “Update Distribution Share” once those are added; with that the drivers are injected automatically.

In the next post we will add Microsoft Office 2010 to MDT 2010, the Task Sequence involved and configuring this application for a silent install.

Stay tuned!

Other posts in this series:

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part II

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part III

Deploying Windows 7 Using Windows Deployment Services (WDS): Step-by-Step – Part II

April 21, 2010 at 10:58 am | Posted in Windows 7, Windows Deployment Services (WDS) | 127 Comments
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See also: Deploying Windows 7 Using Windows Deployment Services (WDS): Step-by-Step – Part I

After reviewing Post I about installing and configuring Windows Deployment Services, we’ve also review the process of capturing a customized Windows 7 image and upload it to WDS.

To image is already available and we can use it to deploy on workstations from a PXE boot; but to achieve the full unattended process we have to create the unattended files, basically the files where the installation process can request answers about the installation process (product key, user name and password, computer name, etc).

To create these answer files, two of them, we are going to use a tool included in WAIK 2.0: Windows System Image Manager.

1. Preparing WISM for Unattended Deployment

The use of Windows System Image Manager (WISM) is based on loading an operating system image, the application will review the answers involved on the deployment and we can set the answers as we need it.

1.1 Open WSIM console, which you can find on WAIK program menu.


1.2 Right click on select a distribution share, create new distribution share.

This will be the working folder.


1.3 For WISM to work properly with the image, we’ll need to export it from WDS to the distribution share.

To export the image, we can access the WDS console, explore the “Install Images” section, right click on the image and select “Export”.


1.4 Now getting back to the WSIM console. Right click on “Windows Image”, and select a “windows image”, then browse to “Dis share ref_001” and select the image we exported earlier from the WDS console.


1.5 Now WSIM will need to create a catalog file, so select yes at the next window.


1.6 Now it will begin the catalog process, this will take more than a few minutes depending on how big the WIM is.


Now you will see in the windows image panel components, and packages, in my case. In the packages part you can choose to run certain updates, language packs, hotfixes, and versions during the installation process of the OS. We are going to focus only on unattended part of the WDS deploy.


2. Creating the WDSClientUnattend.xml

Here’s an example file of WDSClientUnattend.xml.

Now that we have our reference image loaded into WSIM, I am going to show you how to create the unattended file for the first booting process. I will refer to this file as WDSClientUnattend.xml. We will need to create two .xml files for total automation. There are a few components we need to add for the unattended pre install environment.

Here are the things we are going to add.

  1. Regional – Language settings during setup
  2. Domain credentials
  3. Create partition
  4. Modify partition
  5. Then validating the answer file.

Setting the regional-language

2.1 In the WSIM console look for the “Windows Image” pane, the expand components. Since I am doing this on a 64 bit, will show that first.  Browse to the “windows-international-core-winpe” node. Right click on this and select “Add Setting to Pass 1 windowsPE”.


2.2 Now we’ll see this added to your answer file. Also look in the properties pane right next to the answer file, and notice this is where we’ll make any changes to the settings of each component you add. For this component we’ll add “en-us” to everything except “layeredDriver”.


The “layeredDriver” is optional, and only used for Japanese and Korean keyboards.

2.3 Now we need to expand “windows-international-core-pe”, select “SetupUILanguage”, then in the properties pane add “en-us” to the “UILanguage”.

Domain Credentials

2.4 Browse to “windows-setup\WindowsDeploymentServices” in the components, then right click on “login”, and add this to 1 pass windowsPE. Now expand login in the answer file pane, and select “credentials”. Now put in your domain credentials for the network install.


Create Partition

2.5 Browse to “windows-setup\WindowsDeploymentServices” then right click on “ImageSelection” and add to 1 pass windowsPE. Now select install to in the answer file pane, then in properties set “DiskID” to “1”, and “PartitionID” to “1” also.


Modify Partition

2.6 On the modify partition properties set “active” to “true”, “format” to “NTFS”, “label” to “WINDOWS”, “letter” to “C”, “Order” to “1”, and “PartitionID” to “1”.


Image Selection

2.7 Add “Microsoft-Windows-Setup\WindowsDeploymentServices\ImageSelection” to your answer file. In the properties of “installImage” add the file name of the image we’ve captured, image group where we stored it in WDS, and image name the way you have it setup in the WDS console.


2.8 Next select “InstallTo”, and set “DiskID” to “0”, and “PartitionID” to “1”. This will install the image to disk 0, on partition 1.


Validate the answer file

2.9 To validate the answer file we can access to Tools, and selecting “Validate Answer File”. In our case should not complete without any errors.

If it does, you’ll see in the error description what went wrong.

2.10 Save the file as “WDSClientUnattend.xml” in the “E:\RemoteInstall\WdsClientUnattend” folder created by WDS.


The unattended file WDSClientUnattend must be associated to the WDS Server and not to any particular image. If you are inserting a value in the Image you’ll be deploying, that means every time you are using the PXE boot and contacting the WDS Server, the image selection will be always the same.

So, if we want to choose the image when the installation process starts, we must remove “Microsoft-Windows-Setup\WindowsDeploymentServices\ImageSelection” section from our answer file.

3. Adding the WDSClientUnattend.xml to the WDS server

3.1 Open up the WDS console, and right click on your server and select “Properties”.


3.2 Click on the client tab, and check “Enable unattended installation” then browse for the “WDSClientUnattend.xml” we created in the previous step. Selecting the appropriate architecture.


This will automate the booting process in the deployment process. Now we need to automate the OOBE which is the actual installation of the WIM.

4. Creating the OOBEunattend xml for Installation/OOBE settings

Here’s an example file of OOBEUnattend.xml.

This is the second part which will unattended the actual installation of our reference image, the OOBE part. This file I will be calling OOBEUnattend.xml. I will show you how to:

  • Set the computer name and time zone
  • Skip the EULA, and setup network location
  • Create a login, and set a password

Computer name and time zone

4.1 Open WISM console, then go to file, and open a new answer file. Browse to the Components section and right click on “Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup” and select “Add Setting to Pass 4 specialize


4.2 Here we want to configure the time zone, computer name (add an asterisk * for random name), and any other settings we want to setup in the properties pane.

4.3 Now right click on “Microsoft-Windows-International-Core” and select “Add Setting to Pass 7 oobeSystem


4.4 Now set everything to “en-us” except for “UIlanguageFallback”. Leave that blank.


Setup Network location, and EULA skip

4.5 Find “Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup” in the components, and add “OOBE” to “Add Setting to Pass 7 oobeSystem”. Fill in the settings that you want in the properties.


Login and password

4.6 Browse to, and expand “Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup”, expand “UserAccounts”, “LocalAccounts”, “LocalAccounts” again, then add “password” to “Add Setting to Pass 7 oobeSystem”.


4.7 Click on “LocalAccount” in the answer file, and add the information in its properties.


4.8 Then do the same for the password. Also feel free to play around with the shell setup in the specialize part of the file for a more personal install.

Validate and add to reference deploy image

4.9 Validate the answer file as mentioned before. And save the file to the folder we’ve created for unattended images “E:\RemoteInstall\WdsClientUnattend”.

5. Associating OOBEUnattend.xml to the Install Image

5.1 Open the WDS console and expand “install images”, click on “captures” then right click on the image name “Ref_001”, and select properties.

5.2 At the bottom of the properties window we’ll see “Allow image to install in unattended mode” check that. Now browse for the file created in the step above in “E:\RemoteInstall\WdsClientUnattend”. Apply and select ok.


6. Deploying an unattended custom image with WDS

We have everything in place now for a complete unattended deployment of Windows 7.

6.1 Boot up the computer with F12 for a network boot.


6.2 The computer will find your WDS server and ask you to hit F12, do so quickly or you may miss it. Now select the boot image, “Windows 7 (x64)” in my case.


Windows will load files after booting


Since the deployment will not require any user intervention, the next window appearing should be this one.


Hope you found this information useful.

See also: Deploying Windows 7 Using Windows Deployment Services (WDS): Step-by-Step – Part I

Deploying Windows 7 Using Windows Deployment Services (WDS): Step-by-Step – Part I

April 20, 2010 at 9:51 am | Posted in Windows 7, Windows Deployment Services (WDS) | 129 Comments
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See also: Deploying Windows 7 Using Windows Deployment Services (WDS): Step-by-Step – Part II 

We had a good look about the possibilities about Windows deployment; regarding Windows 7 we’ve completed a guide using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 (MDT 2010 beta) to capture and deploy unattended installations of Windows 7 with Office 2007 (Post I, Post II and Post III). Also we’ve reviewed how to implement unattended installations of Windows Vista using Windows Deployment Services (Post I, Post II and Post III).

But we didn’t take a look about deploying Windows 7 using Windows Deployment Services (WDS). Now we have a good chance to do that, providing a simple step by step procedure.

Why Using WDS?

Deploying operating systems using technologies like Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 or even System Center Configuration Manager are far more scalable that we can offer using WDS. But there’s always the cost/benefit analysis we should take before deciding to use always the most scalable and dynamic technology available.

Having a robust platform for deployment requires, as always, bigger costs for maintain it; and if there’s no trade off which we can see it in the short term, why bother? Example: We are using one operating system image as a baseline for our branch office with around 15 users; and we usually have to deploy one operating system to users per month. Should we need to allocate considerate hardware and efforts to maintain MDT or SCCM? Probably those technologies will be far more expensive than just using a simple one or even manual deployments.

Windows Deployment Services is a simple and straight forward technology to achieve fast and unattended deployments. Just loading a WIM file and the operating system is available over the network.

So, let’s take a look about a simple step-by-step process to achieve unattended deployments of Windows 7 using WDS.

Prerequisites for WDS

  • Active Directory and DNS server in place. The computer running WDS must be a member of an Active Directory.
  • An active DHCP server on the network
  • An NTFS partition on the server with the WDS role to store your OS images.
  • Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK). This is an optional component that we can use to create unattended files.

1. Installing the WDS role on Windows Server 2008

1.1 Installing WDS in Windows Server 2008 is quite simple, just add it as a Server Role from Server Manager.



Besides the core components in WDS, Windows Server 2008 has the multicasting feature for the deployment. Transport Server option gives us that functionality.


1.2 Click on next and then Install.

2. Configure WDS for first use

WDS also has a simple procedure to configure the server, just running a wizard and you’ll be good to go.

2.1 In Administrative tasks open the WDS up in mmc, expand “Servers” then right click on the root name, and “configure server”.


2.2 We’ll need to create a path for the storing of our images. E:\RemoteInstall.


2.3 PXE answer policy, every time a machine boots from the network you can decide if they are going to receive an automatic answer or wait for an administrator decision.


2.4 Uncheck “add images now” select next.

If we have the DHCP server on the same operating system running WDS, we’ll also need to access the WDS server properties and select on the DHCP tab both options: “Do not listen on port 67” and “Configure DHCP option 60 to ‘PXEClient’.

In our case the DHCP role is placed on a different server and those options are not checked.


3. Adding Boot and Default Windows 7 Images

Every environment we are trying to deploy will always need boot images; fortunately we just have to select the boot images included on Windows 7 DVD.

3.1 Right click on “boot images” and select add boot image


3.2 Using a Windows 7 DVD, we can easily find the boot.wim file in “sources” folder.


3.3 Now we can leave the image name to its default or we can change it.

3.4 Confirm settings then continue.

For adding the Windows 7 operating system image is the same procedure to run, but using the “Install Images” folder in WDS console.

3.5 Adding the default Install Image Right click on Install Images in the WDS console and select Add Image.

3.6 Creating a new image group.


3.7 Browse again in “sources” folder and select install.wim.


3.8 Now we are given a choice of all the available versions of the installation media; install.wim contains all the versions available of Windows 7.


We can select just one version to avoid allocating unnecessary space in the hard drive.

Once completed we’ll have available a boot image, plus a default and clean image of Windows 7 to be installed over the network.

4. Capture Boot Image

There’s an important note regarding boot images; to capture a Windows 7 operating system that you’ve already deployed, you’ll need to create a new media set of this boot.wim file.

4.1 Add a new boot image, the same procedure shown above. Open up the WDS console and right click on “boot images” and select “add boot image”.

4.2 Change the name, and description to identify which image is for booting and for capturing; click on “Finish”.

Once the wizard complete, we’ll see the image added to “Boot images”.

4.3 Now select the image name right click, then select “Create Capture Boot Image”.


5. Install, configure, and Sysprep the reference machine

To deploy a customized image of Windows 7 using WDS we must capture it first from an already deployed image.


An operating system by default is not ready to be captured, before doing that we must prepare the image. Sysprep is the tool in charge of removing all the particular components in an installation (computer name, SID, OS product key, etc) and makes this image suitable for capturing.

5.1 We can find sysprep tool in “C:\Windows\system32\sysprep”. Running sysprep.exe will pop a simple GUI, where we can select the options OOBE, Generalize and Reboot after completion.


We can also use the command line: “sysprep /oobe /generalize /reboot”.

Once selected, we’ll see a process running that is going to take a few seconds and the following reboot.


6. Capturing the reference machine

6.1 After sysprep has rebooted our reference machine, boot from PXE network boot, using F12.

The computer will require for an IP address to the DHCP Server which will redirect it to a Boot Server available on the network, in this case WDS. After finding it, it will require a second F12 selection.

It is important to note that if we missed this sequence, we should reboot the machine as soon as possible. If Windows operating system starts, the sysprep clean up performed earlier will be lost and you won’t be available to capture the image.

6.2 Select “Capture (x64)” and press enter



6.3 After this we’ll see the WDS wizard, select next.


6.4 Now select the volume to capture, C:\, and create the image name file.


If we don’t see any volume available to capture, is because the sysprep process did not completed normally and we must run it again.

6.5 Now we will see the screen asking you where to store the WIM file. Select “upload Image to WDS server”, providing the IP address or FQDN. It will also require domain credentials to access the server.


6.6 Select the Image Group you’ve created to store the image. If you don’t have any group created in WDS, you’ll receive the error of no group available.


Now the WDS will create your custom reference image of your client machine.

The process usually takes a while, depending on the operating system characteristics you are capturing.

On the next post we’ll see how to create unattended files with some examples and deploying a this captured Windows 7 image in a full unattended process.

See also: Deploying Windows 7 Using Windows Deployment Services (WDS): Step-by-Step – Part II

Free E-Book: Deploying Windows 7 Essential Guidance

October 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm | Posted in Cool Stuff, Free Stuff | 2 Comments
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Fresh and free new book available from Microsoft Press and Microsoft TechNet! Deploying Windows 7: Essential Guidance.


This book contains ten chapters from Windows 7 Resource Kit, so if you ever read one of these Resource Kits, you would know that the content it is very complete and interesting. Some of the topics discussed in this free book:

  • Planning Deployment
  • Testing Application Compatibility
  • Developing Disk Images
  • Migrating User State Data
  • Deploying Applications
  • Volume Activation
  • Using Windows Deployment Services (WDS)
  • Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT)

I know, I know, I was missing the free e-books offers from Microsoft too.

Here’s a little bonus: Microsoft also published as a free download the Chapter 23 of the Windows 7 Resource Kit, “Supporting Users Using Remote Assistance”.

To review some of my posts about deploying Windows 7, check this category:


Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7: BranchCache

July 26, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Posted in BranchCache, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 | 6 Comments
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The arrival of Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 is just around the corner and I don’t have to tell you that there are a lot of expectations. Common users are concentrating almost all the attention with the client operating system, but I can assure you that having those new platforms, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7, will give a new perspective for all users and IT guys.

One of the highlights that you can watch having this two boys together is BranchCache, focused mainly in optimizing your WAN bandwidth using special cache options.

As the name says it, BranchCache works in scenarios with branch offices where clients interact and request files from the headquarters. A common and current scenario is related when you access an internal website with the servers located in the main office, each branch office client will request the files directly with the headquarters every time a user intends to communicate with the site, significantly affecting the WAN link with the same data transmitted over and over.

BranchCache is a simple idea that caches every content downloaded from the main office using a server or other branch clients, so every time that a second client tries to download the content, the request is directly handled within the branch office optimizing the WAN link and downloading time.

How Does It Work?

There are no complex configurations and you can even use an option that does not include a server. There are two types of BranchCache deployment options: Distributed Cache (no server) and Hosted Cache Mode (Windows Server 2008 R2 server involved as the cache server).

Keep in mind that the environment will only work with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 clients.

Distributed Cache

Windows 7 branch office clients store a copy of the content that is downloaded from the main office, and makes it available to other clients in the branch office every time that they try to retrieve those files.

Hosted Cache

Within this scenario, all the cache content is stored and controlled in a Windows Server 2008 R2 that retrieves all the requests made from branch clients and keeps all the data locally to answer any other requests for the same content.


Microsoft recommends to use this mode on branch offices with over 10 clients.

What About Cache Authorization and Updates?

These are common questions that you may be asking yourself right now:

Q: If the files are stored in a local cache within the branch office (distributed among clients or on a server), that means that all branch users will have access to these files?

A: No. There is an authorization phase that the requestor must complete before receiving the file. In a distributed BranchCache mode, when the client requests the data, the server (main office) authorizes, or not, the cache content to be delivered to the branch office client. In a Hosted Cache mode, the cache server keeps identifiers with the permissions for each cached content, giving access only to authorized clients.

Q: What about if the file changes when it was already cached by clients or a server? The file is distributed out-to-date to branch clients?

A: No. Whenever a change is made on a folder that is distributed with BranchCache, a new identifier (the same used for access authorization) it’s send to branch cache clients (if the mode is set as Distributed Cache); or send it directly to the cache server (if the mode is configured as Hosted Cache).

Configuring BranchCache

In this section I’ll give you small step-by-step BranchCache procedure. There are basically three steps to complete the environment:

1. Configure the headquarters Windows Server 2008 R2 that contains the data that must be cached.

2. Configure the Windows 7 branch clients that will use the cached content.

3. Configure the Windows Server 2008 R2 as Hosted Cache server, if that’s the option you selected for your environment.

The complete reference to achieve this deployment can be found inBranchCache Early Adopter’s Guide.

1. Configuring the File/Web Server

a. Add the feature from Server Manager: BranchCache.


Remember, it’s a feature not a role.

b. If this is going to be a file server, you must add the “File Services” role and the service “BranchCache for remote files”.


c. Configure the Group Policy to enable BranchCache.

Active Directory it is not a requirement for BranchCache, but surely it is recommended for centralized management. You can use an Active Directory or local policy to apply to this server.

The GPO can be located in Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Network > Lanman Server > Hash Publication for BrandCache


The options when you Enable this GPO are self explained: For all shares, files shares tagged and disallow hash publications.


2. Client Configuration

Ok, now you have the server configured to be able to distribute the BranchCache shares. Now it’s time to configure the clients to understand this type of cache. It is easily done with Group Policies, and again, this can be done in a domain environment by linking GPOs or just using Local Group Policies.

a. Access GPOs editing MMC: Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Network > Turn on BranchCache > Enabled.


b. On the same GPO list, you’ll find the rest of the necessary configurations according to the chosen model.

If you are using Distributed Cache, enable “Turn on BranchCache – Distributed Caching Mode”. And the same for hosted cache, “Turn on BranchCache – Hosted Cache mode”.

c. [optional] You can also set other interesting values using this set of GPOs, like latency values or setting a percentage of your disk space dedicated to this cache.

d. Ensure that you have configured the firewall inbound policies to allow BranchCache connections. More info about this on the document mentioned above: BranchCache Early Adopter’s Guide.

3. Configure the Cache Server

For obvious reasons, the communication between the parties involved must be secured and the data available must be guaranteed as updated and correct. That’s why if you are using Hosted Cache Mode, a certificate will be present to achieve a SSL communication and guarantee that data is not modified by an attacker.

It is important to note that the presence of a Certificate Authority (CA) server it is not a requirement, the certificate can be prepared directly from the file/web server and then imported to the Hosted Cache server.

a. First, enable the BranchCache feature from Server Manager.

b. Deploy the certificate inside Certificates (Local Computer) > Personal.


c. Access the certificate properties, the details page will show you the “Thumbprint” field. Copy to the clipboard.

d. Link the certificate to BranchCache with “netsh”:

NETSH HTTP ADD SSLCERT IPPORT= CERTHASH=<thumbprint> APPID={d673f5ee-a714-454d-8de2-492e4c1bd8f8}

More Resources

Here are some other guides and interesting links you can find about this feature.

That’s pretty much in this BranchCache overview and kind of walkthrough.



Experiencing Lenovo W500 with Windows 7 (RC) – Part II

May 7, 2009 at 8:18 pm | Posted in Lenovo W500, Windows 7 | 15 Comments
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No news to you if I tell you that Windows 7 RC has just become available for download to the public (starting May 5th, you can download it from here).

So if you had the chance to read my previous review about Windows 7, you would now that having this operating system installed all this time has been a real good experience to me and my Lenovo ThinkPad W500. This time I want to share with you the experience of installing this release candidate on my laptop.

So, what’s new on the RC?

You are probably wondering what changes have been introduced in this version compared to the previous beta. I won’t lie, nothing much.

Did you hear the rumor that said that the RC was going to introduce a significant change in the UI? Didn’t happen.

Windows Media Player: Media Streaming. You can now stream music or video using the internet. Sharing the media with other friends and using Windows Live ID. That’s actually quite nice and using a smart technology adapting the streaming to your connection.

More icons on Taskbar: You can now place around 30% more icons on taskbar (depending on your resolution).

IE8. You can uninstall IE8 from Windows Features.

Windows XP Mode (Beta) was also introduced as a feature to download for Windows 7 RC. It is an interesting move to achieve the always controversial application compatibility and motivate people to an early adoption to Windows 7. Basically the feature it’s a Windows XP SP3 virtual machine, for Virtual PC of course, that works together with the operating system and application virtualization. You can download the beta from here.

Plus another things like fixing some minor bugs, adding drivers support, more wallpapers and themes.


Ok then, back to our case, I’ve started the installation on my ThinkPad W500.

Installation Process

Of course, nothing changed in the basic process that you’ve seen so far.

But great news for all the W500 users, the video driver does not crash on the last phase of the installation.

For those that also tried previous beta versions of Windows 7, as we discussed in some comments on previous post, noticed that in the last part of the installation process the screen goes black (the operating system didn’t crash, the installation continues but with no display) and there’s nothing you can do  (you cannot start in safe mode because the installation did not complete). The only resolution, complete the installation completely blind.

Well that problem it’s not present in the RC version.

Regarding to the video adapter, let’s check on the other devices.


Here’s where I noticed another good news after the installation was completed. My “Device Manager” looked like this:

I know, nothing promising. But, Windows Update showed me right away the next updates available:

Ok, now we are talking 7. Let’s install them.

There was no need on installing it manually or selecting compatibility mode. After that, my Device Manager looked like this:

Close enough, but we can do better than that. So, I’ve downloaded and installed these drivers:

And yes, the drivers for “PCI Serial Port” and “PCI Simple Communications Controllerdisappeared from “Other Devices”.

On the other hand, the video adapter driver shows ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 with the yellow exclamation mark. Installing ATI™ Mobility FireGL™ V570? No luck.

ATI released video drivers for Windows 7, but for now there’s no availability for FireGL family.


Another good news is that I was able to install Mozilla Firefox without using the compatibility mode, like I shown on the first post.

Other software installed without any problem:

Unfortunately, Google Chrome still needs to be configured manually to actually work: Add to the execution file path the following “–in-process-plugins”.

Using Microsoft Outlook Connector, I’ve noticed an issue with Office 2007. Whenever you minimize the Outlook window, and if the option is set to “Hide When Minimized”, if you open again Outlook from taskbar or tray, you’ll see that the Outlook Connector option disappeared. The same thing happens if you use Xobni, once you minimize it, the option disappeared and the add-on is closed.

Cool Links

Here are some interesting links to read about Windows 7. I’ll add a few more in the next days.


  • Even though there are no big differences between the first official beta (build 7000) and this one (build 7100), still it is my preferred operating system to use, more than Windows Vista or XP.
  • I’ve noticed also a performance improvement from previous builds.
  • Stability it’s another characteristic I’ve noticed using it on the ThinkPad W500. Even though I’ve installed and uninstalled drivers and software, I haven’t seen any program nor operating system crash.
  • Still waiting for a acceptable solution for the video drivers.

Haven’t tried it yet? What are you waiting for?


Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 1: Using MDT to Prepare, Install and Capture customized Windows 7 Images – Part III

February 2, 2009 at 12:42 am | Posted in Deployment, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), Windows 7 | 66 Comments
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IMPORTANT: Updated versions from this series using Windows 7 + Microsoft Office 2010 in automated deployment with MDT 2010 can be found here:

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part I

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part II

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part III


This is going to be the last part (at least for now) for this step-by-step guide for customizing and deploying Windows 7 images with MDT 2010. On the previous posts we’ve learned how to run the firsts configurations on MDT, adding operating system files and creating a task sequence for the reference image (Part I); and also adding Office 2007 to the reference image and making it a silent installation (Part II).

The third post it’s going to be just to deploy the reference and customized image, and then capture it into a .wim file, that we can later deploy using MDT or add it to Windows Deployment Services (WDS).

Deploying Reference Image

Since we already have our boot environments, ISO and WIM files; and that we have the Windows Deployment Services role installed, I’ll start using it: I’m going to add the LTI boot image to WDS that will let me create and capture the reference image.

Note: You can also use the ISO file too boot from a CD or, if it’s a virtual machine, mounting it; but using WDS keep the things a lot easier.

1. Open WDS snap-in > “Boot Images” > “Add Boot Image”.

2. Browse the MDT distribution share, inside the “Boot” folder. And select “LiteTouchePE_x64.wim”. Click “Open”.

3. Finish up the boot image wizard.

4. Now on the computer you are going to use as the reference, boot from the network to receive WDS boot image. And select the LiteTouchePE image you added.

Note: For proper WDS configuration with DHCP and boot images, check this post.

5. Once the boot files are loaded, a new wizard will be prompted. Select your “Keyboard Layout” and click on “Next”.

6. Insert the domain credentials that will be used to access the shared files used by MDT 2010. Use a domain admin account to avoid any inconvenient.

7. Select the task sequence to be executed: “Deploy Windows 7”.

8. Enter a computer name. A random one is created by default.

9. Leave the option “Join a Workgroup”.
IMPORTANT: Do not add it to a domain, otherwise you won’t be able to capture the image you are about to deploy. A machine joined to a domain it’s not a good idea to be captured, because if the sysprep task is removed from the deployment, you will have several issues about the Security Identifiers (SID) within the domain.

10. Since we are not migrating any image, this is a fresh deployment select “Do not restore user data and settings”.

11. Select your location and keyboard layout to be configured on the reference image.

12. Select the “Time Zone”.

13. Select the application you are going to install “Microsoft Office 2007”.

14. You can skip BitLocker configuration if you want to and set “Do not Enable BitLocker for this computer”.

15. Leave selected the option “Capture an image of this reference computer”. And insert the filename “WIN/_REFERENCE.wim”. Click on Next.

16. Here you’ll find a summary of the options selected. Click on “Begin” and the installation process will start.

Creating and formatting partitions

OS installation and final settings

Installing Office 2007 silently

Creating WIM file and send it to the server

Notice that this tasks could take several minutes, depending on your hardware. Try to not interrupt the process. After all this, the WIM file is created and stored in “%distribution%\Captures”.

Adding the Reference Image to MDT 2010

You actually have two options to start using this image:

Add it to WDS and start deploying it from there. But you don’t get a chance to make any other changes to that image, unless you create a new one.
Add it to MDT 2010 as a new customized OS. You can add or modify new task sequences to this new machine, for example, adding a new application or enable/disable other features that will be included directly in the deployment.

We are going to take option 2 for now, since the WDS option does not require any other task other than “Add Install Image” from the console.

1. “Deployment Workbench” > “Distribution Share” > “Operating Systems” > “New”.

2. Select “Custom image file” and click on “Next”.

3. Browse for the WIM file that was created and click on “Next”.

4. Leave selected “Setup and Sysprep files are not needed”.

5. Select the directory name: “WIN7_REFERENCE”. And click on “Finish”.

Once you click Finish a process starts working checking the integrity of the file and several other tasks, it could take several minutes to complete. Be patient and the image should appear as a valid operating system.

Creating the Task Sequence

Now that we have the image of the OS, we are going to create the task sequence that will be using that image.

1. “Deployment Workbench” > “Task Sequences” > “New”.

2. Insert “Task Sequence ID”: “Win7_Target”. And name “Deploy Captured Image – Windows 7”.

3. Select “Standard Client Task Name”. Click on “Next”.

4. Select the reference OS just added from the list.

5. Leave selected “Do not specify product key at this time”.

6. Complete the OS settings like it was done before.

7. Specify Administrator’s password and click on “Finish”.

Deploying Reference Image to a Client

We’ve now configured everything that was needed for this reference image, so we can start deploying it to a client. The process will be the same that we used for creating the reference image, the only twist regarding the previous configuration is that we are going to join to the domain this machine.

1. Boot from the network on the client machine. Select again “Lite Touch Windows PE (x64)”.

2. The wizard will prompt again. Select your “Keyboard Layout”.

3. Specify domain credentials to access the network shares.

4. Now we are going to select the task sequence created to deploy the customized image “Deploy Captured Image – Windows 7”.

5. Select the computer name.

6. Join the machine to the domain.

7. On the summary section click on “Begin” to start.

Notice that the option to capture the image was not present because we selected that we are going to add this machine to the domain.

The deployment process begins.

Once it’s done, you’ll see this message. Check “Details” for more information.

Office 2007 installed with all the components.

  • If you are not familiarized with this deployment tool, it’s a great chance to start with MDT 2010.
  • Automated deployment tools will give you a lot of profit and flexibility once you get the chance to get to know, manage and maintain them. For more info about it, check my other Windows Deployment Services posts.
  • Even though this is just a MDT Beta version, did not bring me any stability problems. We expect to get to know more about the functionalities once it gets to a RC version or RTM.
  • Check the MDT help included in the installation, you’ll find almost everything you need to know there (most of the sections are the same as in MDT 2008).

Well that’s pretty much it for now about Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 1 and Windows 7.

I hope that you find these posts helpful.

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 1: Using MDT to Prepare, Install and Capture customized Windows 7 Images – Part I

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 1: Using MDT to Prepare, Install and Capture customized Windows 7 Images – Part II


IMPORTANT: Updated versions from this series using Windows 7 + Microsoft Office 2010 in automated deployment with MDT 2010 can be found here:

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part I

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part II

Deploying Windows 7 + Office 2010 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 – Part III


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