Published: November 09, 2007

This guide is intended to be used with Microsoft® Deployment Solution Accelerator projects. Microsoft Deployment is the next version of Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) 2007. Before beginning the imaging process, identify the high-level steps in the imaging process, as shown in Figure 1. The process includes an Envisioning Phase, the stage of the project when initial thinking and project planning occur. This phase ends with the scope of the project defined. This guide begins with the Planning Phase, and ends with the Stabilizing Phase.

Note   In this document, Windows applies to the Windows Vista®, Windows® XP Professional, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Windows Server® 2008, and Windows Server 2003 operating systems unless otherwise noted.

The steps within the imaging process are grouped by the corresponding Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) phases in the project. Based on the MSF role, Image Engineering feature team members might need to read only portions of this guide. In most instances, team members should read all sections of this guide.

Figure 1. The Microsoft Imaging process

Figure 1. The Microsoft Imaging process
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Prerequisites Prerequisites
Lab Setup Lab Setup
Education and References Education and References


Those who use this system should be familiar with the concepts of unattended installations, including concepts and technologies such as:

  • Unattended setup answer files (Unattend.xml and Unattend.txt).

  • Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM).

  • Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK).

  • Hardware device drivers and hardware-specific applications.

  • Microsoft Visual Basic® Scripting Edition (VBScript).

  • Disk imaging technologies and concepts (System Preparation Tool [Sysprep] and ImageX).

For additional information on these technologies, see the section, “Education and References,” in this guide, which provides links to reference and educational material for these products and technologies.

Lab Setup

Microsoft Deployment copies large volumes of files between the build server and target computers. Because of these high-volume data transfers, and to reduce security risks, Microsoft Deployment teams should establish a lab that is physically separate from the production network. To the extent possible, however, configure the development lab to accurately reflect the production environment, with at least the following items readily available:

  • Lab hardware:

    • Network switches and cabling. 100 megabits per second (Mbps) or faster is recommended to accommodate the high volumes of data.

    • Keyboard Video Mouse (KVM) switches. It can be helpful to have client computers connected to a KVM switch to minimize the space required to host the computers.

    • CD or DVD burner. A system should be available in the lab for creating CD-ROMs or DVD-ROMs.

    • Client computers. Any unique type of computer configuration found in production must be duplicated in the lab so each hardware configuration can be tested.

      Note   The Windows Server 2008 operating system requires Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI)–compliant computers.

    • A build server (a computer running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003) in the domain to host the build files and images. This system can be a client- or server-class computer. Although the system has no specific dependencies on the build computer, the computer should have at least 50 gigabytes (GB) of disk space and backup equipment, such as a tape drive or a storage area network (SAN).

  • Network services:

    • A Windows domain for the computers to join and to host user accounts. This domain could be a Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, or Microsoft Windows 2000 domain.

    • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) services. DHCP provides TCP/IP addresses to client computers.

    • Domain Name System (DNS) services. DNS provides TCP/IP host name resolution to client and server computers.

    • Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS). WINS provides NetBIOS name resolution to client and server computers. This service is optional.

    • Internet access. The lab (or a portion of the lab) should have access to the Internet for downloading software updates.

      Note   Windows protects users against malicious programs by warning users when they try to run a program that they downloaded from the Internet. Users must acknowledge the warning to continue. This warning, however, prevents packages downloaded from the Internet for inclusion in a disk image from running automatically. After verifying that the file is safe, to disable the warning, right-click the file, click Properties, and then click Unblock. Windows does not display this warning when files are downloaded from sites listed in the Trusted Sites security zone, and Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) does not allow program downloads from untrusted sites.

  • Installation media:

    • Windows media (x86 and/or x64 editions) and product keys. Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 are available on volume-licensed media (select CDs).

    • Any additional application media to be included in the images.

    • Any hardware-specific software, such as drivers, CD-ROM burning software, and DVD reading software.

Microsoft Deployment includes a sample scenario that shows how the fictional Woodgrove National Bank applies the deployment process. This sample specifically requires the media that the Microsoft Deployment job aid Client Build Requirements describes.

Education and References

The following educational and reference resources can be helpful when starting an automation project:

  • Windows AIK documentation. Windows AIK includes documentation for customizing and servicing Windows Server 2008, and Windows Vista images. The guidance includes a reference for unattended setup answer files (Unattend.xml), documentation for customizing Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE), and technical information about each deployment tool (Windows SIM, ImageX, Sysprep, and so on).

  • Deploy.chm and Ref.chm in the Deploy.cab file in the Support\Tools folder on the Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP CD-ROM. These help files, “Microsoft Windows Corporate Deployment Tools User’s Guide” and “Microsoft Windows Pre-installation Reference,” describe how to configure Windows Server 2003 for deployment. Deploy.chm describes Sysprep, Diskpart, and Winnt32.exe. Ref.chm describes each setting in Windows Server 2003 Unattend.txt and Sysprep.inf answer files.

  • Microsoft TechNet Script Center. The TechNet Script Center provides one-stop shopping for IT pros wanting to manage their Windows computers using scripting technologies.

  • Microsoft Help and Support. The Microsoft Help and Support Web site contains the fully indexed and searchable Microsoft product knowledge base, updated daily with the latest information on Microsoft products. IT pros can quickly and easily resolve many issues and questions using this site.


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