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Preinstallation Design

This section discusses various preinstallation design considerations when building your deployment environment. Windows Vista architecture supports many different customization points during the deployment process. In the following deployment illustration, you can see the various points where you can customize your installation.

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Defining your image early in the deployment process ensures a stable, consistent image. You can thoroughly build and test your installation in a lab environment prior to deployment. This design is the fastest method for deploying Windows because there is minimal time spent on the factory floor.

However, when new updates are released, your image becomes out-of-date. You must decide whether to create a new image or incorporate the updates during the deployment process. Both options will introduce more time and, ultimately, delays in your deployment environment.

With offline servicing support, you can update an existing image without having to recreate a new one. For more information, see Servicing an Image.

If you incorporate updates during the deployment process, you have several options. You can create an installation that will boot into audit mode, which enables you to introduce more customizations prior to delivery. For more information about audit mode, see Customize Windows in Audit Mode.

You can also deploy a custom image using Windows Setup. This method enables you to apply another answer file (Unattend.xml) against your custom image. You define additional customization in the answer file. For more information, see Walkthrough: Deploy an Image by using Windows Setup.

Partition Layout

The following describes partition requirements for Windows Vista, Windows RE, Bitlocker Drive Encryption, and Complete PC System Image Backup.

Windows Vista Partitioning Requirements

For Windows Vista functionalities to work correctly:

  • An Active partition must contain approximately 700 megabytes (MB) of free space during Windows setup.

Windows RE Partitioning Requirements

Windows RE must be installed on a separate partition from the Windows Vista partition. This partition must have the following properties:

  • Formatted as NTFS.
  • At least 700 MB reserved for Windows RE when installed as an expanded image.

A Windows RE partition can optionally be set as type 0x27 (with no drive letter assigned) with the following requirements:

  • Physically located in front of all user partitions.
  • Not the active partition by default.

BitLocker Drive Encryption Partitioning Requirements

The BitLocker Drive Encryption feature requires a separate active partition from the Windows Vista partition. The active partition must have the following properties:

  • Must not be encrypted or be used to store user files.

Complete PC System Image Backup Partitioning Requirements

For Complete PC to function properly:

  • Partitions to be backed up must be at least 1 gigabytes (GB) in size with a minimum of 300 MB of free space at the time of backup creation. The system and the current boot partitions are always backed up.
  • To back up and to restore the Windows RE partition, the partition must not be hidden.
  • If Windows RE is installed on the system partition, that copy of Windows RE cannot be used to launch the restore application. In this case, users should launch the restore application from the media.

Recommended Disk Configurations

The following are recommend disk configurations.

Windows RE-only (on type 0x27)

 

Windows RE

Type 0x27

1 GB

Windows Vista

Type 0x7

(active)

Windows RE-only (on type 0x7)

 

Windows RE

Type 0x7

1.5GB (>700MB free space)

Windows Vista

Type 0x7

(active)

BitLocker-only (on type 0x7)

 

BitLocker

Type 0x7

1.5 GB(>700 MB free space)

(active)

Windows Vista

Type 0x7

(encrypted)

Windows RE and BitLocker (on type 0x7)

 

Windows RE and BitLocker

Type 0x7

1.5 GB (>700 MB free space)

(active)

Windows Vista

Type 0x7

(encrypted)

Windows RE and BitLocker (on separate partitions)

 

Windows RE

1 GB

Type 0x27

BitLocker

Type 0x7

1.5 GB (>700 MB free space)

(active)

Windows Vista

Type 0x7

(encrypted)

noteNote
Other configurations are supported as long as they fulfill the requirements described in the previous section.
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