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manky

Windows 7 Deployment using WDS and MDT

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Hi all.

I have created a WDS server and copied over the Win7RC WIM and boot.wim and installed them in the appropriate places - I can PXE and install Win7RC off the WDS with happens to be 2008 R2.

I've dabbled with the driver provisioning and it works as expected. Thing is, I would like to avoid the whole build, capture, deploy routine and simply use the standard WIM and customize around it (don't know if this is possible)

What I would like to do though is be able to have say a .hta when PXE booting that allows you to enter in the computer name (or pull it from the BIOS like the asset tag) and pass these parameters to the unattend.xml and then to setup.exe. The image to install off the WDS and all disk wiping etc would be in the unattend file and then this would be passed to setup.exe including any settings to answer Windows Welcome. In essence this means that the WIM is straight off the Win7RC and there would be not customization outside of scripts we run post install. It would also allow us to use the dynamic driver provisioning afforded by WDS in R2.

Questions:

1. Is it possible to use MDT in concert with WDS to actually pull the image off the WDS server as opposed to applying the WIM off a network share using imagex?

2. Is there anyway to point image to the WDS to pull the drivers off the WDS server when not using WDS to deploy the image?

Thoughts:

- I'm going to have to modify the standard boot.wim and stop it booting into the WDS client and boot into my custom .hta

- How do I 'inject' the computer name into an xml file?

Edited by manky

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Question 1. Yes, you can add files to MDT to allow you to use your images located on your WDS server. read the help files that comes with MDT, it will tell you how to do this.

Question 2. No, the Driver injection that is done by WDS is a closed system, MDT supports driver injection during you installation sequence, so you can use that instead of WDS for drivers.

It looks like what you want to do would all be feasible with MDT, I do the exact same thing with our server build now, (base WIM un touched except for patch injection) then the sequence runs and installs and the configures the server.

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Thanks for the reply. I'm very interested in how you do your server build.

With MDT it seems the standard way is to add the OS to MDT, create a task sequence and create the Lite Touch boot wim/iso. As you specify what image to use when you the task sequence, when u boot the LT wim it knows the UNC path I guess where to pull the OS from, say \\server\deployment$\OS\Win7Ultimate\win7install.wim

If you copy the sources directory out of the boot.wim found in the sources directory of a Win7 iso, then you can boot WINPE and then run say setup.exe /wds /wdsdiscover /wdsserver:servername /unattend:unattend.xml. This actually pulls the image off the WDS server natively it seems. If we do it this way then it may be possible to use the WDS dynamic driver provisioning, but I would also like to use task sequences.

I guess there is no way to apply a task sequence to this as your not using the builtin MDT deployment facilities as such.

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