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What's New in Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2012 R2

Published: June 24, 2013

Updated: January 6, 2014

Applies To: Windows Server 2012 R2



This document describes the updated Windows Deployment Services (WDS) features in Windows Server® 2012 R2.

For more information about new features for Windows Deployment Services introduced with Windows Server 2012, see What's New for Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2012.

For more information about Windows Deployment Services, see the Windows Deployment Services Overview.

Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is a server role that enables you to remotely deploy Windows operating systems. You can use it to set up new computers by using a network-based installation. This means that you do not have to install each operating system directly from a CD, USB drive or DVD. To use Windows Deployment Services, you should have a working knowledge of common desktop deployment technologies and networking components, including Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Domain Name System (DNS), and Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). It is also helpful to understand the Preboot eXecution Environment (also known as Pre-Execution Environment).

The following table compares the features and functionality included in each version of Windows Deployment Services:

 

Feature Windows Server 2003 Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2008 R2 Windows Server 2012and Windows Server 2012 R2

Operating systems deployed

Legacy mode: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003

Mixed mode: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008

Native mode: Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows 2000

Windows XP

Windows Server 2003

Windows Vista

Windows Server 2008

Windows 7

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows XP

Windows Server 2003

Windows Vista SP1

Windows Server 2008

Windows 7

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2012

Windows 8

Windows 8.1

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows XP

Windows Server 2003

Windows Vista SP1

Windows Server 2008

Windows 7

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2012

Windows 8

Windows 8.1

Windows Server 2012 R2

Image types deployed

Legacy mode: RISETUP and RIPREP

Mixed mode: RISETUP, RIPREP, .wim

Native mode: .wim

For a new installation, only .wim images are supported.

If you upgrade from Windows Server 2003, you can convert any RIPREP images to .wim format after the upgrade. However, RISETUP images are not supported.

.wim

.vhd images of Windows Server 2008 R2 are supported as part of an unattended installation (managed by using the command line only).

noteNote
.vhd images are only used for booting from VHD scenarios, and they are not applied directly to volumes.

.wim and .vhd images are both supported similar to Windows Server 2008 R2.

.vhd images can now be managed via the WDS management snap-in in addition to the command-line.

In addition, .vhdx files (a new file format available in Windows Server 2012) are supported directly and over multicast.

The .vhdx format supports a sparse, dynamic representation of a disk, which produces a relatively small disk image file (compared to directly storing the full contents of the disk). The .vhdx format is supported for VDH boot scenarios in addition to direct application to system volumes (similar to .wim deployments).

Boot environment

Legacy mode: OSChooser

Mixed mode: OSChooser and Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)

Native mode: Windows PE

Windows PE

Windows PE

Windows PE

Administration experience

Legacy mode: Remote Installation Services (RIS) toolset

Mixed mode: RIS toolset to manage RISETUP and RIPREP images. Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in and WDSUTIL to manage .wim images.

Native mode: MMC snap-in and WDSUTIL

MMC snap-in and WDSUTIL

MMC snap-in and WDSUTIL

MMC snap-in and WDSUTIL. Windows PowerShell cmdlets added in Windows Server 2012 R2.

Multicasting

Not supported.

Supported for install images. (The Boot.wim file must be from the DVD for Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista with SP1, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, or Windows Server 2008 R2.)

Supported for install images. (The Boot.wim file must be from the DVD for Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista with SP1, Windows 7, or Windows Server 2008 R2.)

Supported for boot images for computers with EFI (managed by using the command line only).

Provides the ability to automatically disconnect slow clients and divide transmissions into multiple streams based on client speeds (the boot image must be Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2).

Provides support for multicasting in environments that use IPv6 (the boot image must be from Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista with SP1, Windows 7, or Windows Server 2008 R2).

Provides support for TFTP and multicasting over IPv6 and DHCPv6.

Improved multicast deployment by eliminating the need for making a local copy of the install.wim file. You can apply the install.wim file while it is being downloaded without significant impact to the application process.

Applying the install.wim file concurrently with the multicast download decreases overall deployment time, offers higher disk write throughput, and requires less space on the client system.

Reduced default block size fits within an Ethernet MTU and works on customer hardware that does not support IP fragmentation.

Driver provisioning

Not supported.

Not supported.

Provides the ability to deploy driver packages to client computers based on their hardware as part of an installation (the install image must be Windows Vista with SP1, Windows 7, or Windows Server 2008).

Provides the ability to add driver packages to boot images (Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 images only).

Extends filters for driver groups to support manufacturer Model Number and Device Groups. Driver import automatically detects and prevents duplicate driver packages from being added to the driver store.

Extensibility

Supports custom PXE providers.

Supports custom PXE providers.

Supports transmitting data and images by using multicasting on a stand-alone server (Transport Server). However, you must develop a way to boot clients.

Supports custom multicast providers.

Supports custom PXE providers.

Supports transmitting data and images by using multicasting on a stand-alone server (Transport Server).

Includes a PXE provider to boot clients.

Supports custom multicast providers.

Supports custom PXE providers.

Supports transmitting data and images by using multicasting on a stand-alone server (Transport Server). Includes a PXE provider to boot clients.

Supports custom multicast providers.

Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI)

Supports network booting of Itanium-based computers with EFI.

Supports network booting of Itanium-based and x64-based computers with EFI/UEFI.

Supports network booting of x64-based computers with UEFI.

Includes Auto-add functionality.

Includes DHCP referral to direct clients to a specific PXE server.

Provides the ability to deploy boot images by using multicasting.

Support x86 clients (32-bit processors) with Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) to network boot and complete an end-to-end deployment by using WDS.

PowerShell cmdlet scripting

Not supported

Not supported

Not supported

Supported on Windows Server 2012 R2 only

A WDS server running Windows Server 2012 R2 can be managed using the Windows PowerShell cmdlets for WDS. Using Windows PowerShell cmdlets you can add driver packages, add client images, enable and disable boot and install images, and do many other common WDS tasks. For a full reference see Windows PowerShell cmdlets for WDS.

For information about getting started with Windows Deployment Services, see Windows Deployment Services Getting Started Guide for Windows Server 2012.

For information about the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK), see Windows Deployment with the Windows ADK.

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