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Windows Deployment Services for Windows Server 2008 R2

Updated: January 6, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Deployment Services is a server role that was included with Windows Server 2008 and now includes various updates for Windows Server 2008 R2. The information in this section is specific to the Windows Server 2008 R2 release and does not apply to the initial release of Windows Server 2008.

To get started with Windows Deployment Services, you should read the Windows Deployment Services Role Step-by-Step Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=84628). This guide will walk you through configuring your server, adding images, and installing an operating system. It also includes instructions for more advanced tasks like creating multicast transmissions, creating custom images, and performing an unattended installation. If you have Windows Server 2008 R2, you can also see the following, which walk you through implementing the new functionality included in this newer version.

Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2008 R2 contains the following improvements to the version for Windows Server 2003. For a complete list of the differences in each version of this technology, see Windows Deployment Services: What's New.

  • Driver provisioning. For more information, see Managing and Deploying Driver Packages.

    • Provides the ability to add and configure driver packages on the server, and then deploy them to client computers during installations based on their hardware. This is only supported when deploying install images for Windows Vista with Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2.

    • Provides the ability to add drivers to boot images. This is only available for boot images from the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 installation DVDs.

  • Multicasting. Provides the ability to transmit install images using multicasting. This includes the ability to automatically disconnect slow clients and the ability to transfer images using multiple streams of varying speeds. To locate these settings, right-click the server in the MMC snap-in, click Properties, and click the Multicast tab.

  • VHD support. Provides support for deploying virtual hard disk (.vhd) images for Windows Server 2008 R2 images as part of an unattended installation. This is only supported from the command line and is intended for advanced users who already have .vhd images. For more information, see Deploying Virtual Hard Disk Images.

  • Extensibility. Provides support for transmitting data and images by using multicasting on a stand-alone server (Transport Server). This version contains a PXE provider, which allows you to boot clients. (Transport Server is a stand-alone server that does not require Active Directory Domain Services, DHCP, or DNS).

  • IPv6. Provides support for multicasting in environments that use IPv6.

  • Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) support. Provides support for network booting x64-based computers with EFI, including support for the Auto-Add policy and the ability to deploy boot images using multicasting.

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