Deploying windows 7 on a small-medium scale is super easy.
To deploy windows 7, you need to create installation images. At first this was done by the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK). The WAIK provides all the command-line tools to create windows 7 images, but doesn’t really help you much. There’s no fancy GUI or anything. This is where the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) comes in. MDT is a front-end for the WAIK, which makes it (more or less) pretty easy to create great windows 7 images. Transferring those images to your workstations can be done via USB or DVD. To PXE the images to your workstations, you need to use Windows Deployment Services (WDS).
Gather your Tools
First, collect everything you need:
- Deploy 2 new VM’s:
- MDT, or MS Deployment Toolkit, this will make the installation images.
- WDS, or windows deployment services. This will actually transfer the images to your target workstations.
- Download and install Windows Automated Installation Kit on the MDT server.
- Download and install Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Update 1 on the MDT server.
- Install the WDS role on your wds server.
- Copy the Windows 7 x64 media to your MDT server: C:\workingtemp\Win7x64.
- Download the drivers for your workstation. For Dell business class workstations, you only need the “Driver Pack” which is a large CAB file filled with all the drivers you’ll need for that model. It’s a beautiful thing (thanks so much Dell!).
There are so many good blogs out there, that I’m really only going to give some tips and point you in the right directions. Deployment is done in one of three ways:
- LTI or Lite Touch Installation
- UDI or User Driven Installation (SCCM Only)
- ZTI or Zero Touch Installation (SCCM Only)
I’m guessing that you don’t have System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) installed, which restricts you to LTI installations. This basically means that you have to be at the workstation, reboot it to media or PXE, and start the install by hand.
To get started with MDT, download and read this excellent guide from Microsoft (sorry, I could only find the file, and not a link): Deploying Windows 7 with MDT 2010 – Basic scenarios
Some quick notes:
- Comprehensive Windows 7 Deployment Articles: WindowsNetworking.com Deploying Windows 7
- Help with rules:
- Working with WDS
- Capturing a Reference Image
- This is done inside the reference OS, and not from the PXE media, by running \\mdt\deploymentShare$\scripts\liteTouch.vbs and following the on-screen prompts.
- As I continue learning, I will keep semi-unorganized notes on my OSU Chemistry Wiki.
Sorry if this post is weak. This is just what I’ve learned so far.