Business Desktop Deployment for Windows Vista

Published: May 23, 2006 | Updated: January 31, 2007

Many things have changed in Windows Vista that will significantly help ease the deployment processes. These include the new out-of-the-box imaging technologies, the XML-based migration scripts, new tools for image engineering (ImageX and System Image Manager), enhancements to the unattend.xml format, as well as an updated version of the Solution Accelerator for Business Desktop Deployment (BDD), known as BDD 2007, to provide guidance on deployments. As with any advancement in technologies, getting the maximum benefit requires understanding the tools and technologies, some experimentation and absorption time along with best practices on deployment.

Get the BDD 2007

BDD 2007 is the best practice guidance on how to optimally deploy Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system. Get it at

This downloadble set of documentation and utilities will include all the deployment tools you’ll need. To provide guidance and simplify deployments, BDD uses an integrated deployment workbench, built on top of innovative deployment tools such as ImageX, System Image Manager, Windows PE 2.0 and Windows Deployment Services. Find out more about these deployment technologies.

We recommend IT professionals try out the deployment capabilities within a small lab environment—5 to 10 desktops is ideal—and do the following:

  • Download the BDD 2007
  • Explore the deployment tools such as System Image Manager, ImageX, and Windows PE, as well as best-practice guidance on how to deploy.

Understanding the tools and technologies:

  • Use System Image Manager to create sample “unattend” files to customize the image.
  • Use the unattend file to customize a Windows Vista install onto a reference desktop.
  • Use ImageX to capture the reference desktop into a WIM image file.
  • Customize Windows PE by adding out-of-box drivers.
  • Install WDS onto Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server “Longhorn” to try out the remote install capabilities using the image you created.

Using BDD to integrate the tools and perform end-to-end deployments:

  • Create a custom image distribution share by adding a Windows Vista image, an application such as Office, and some drivers.
  • Create a new build and customize the task sequencer to build specific deployment steps/scripts for your environment.
  • Test out a small sample scenario on how you deploy end-to-end within your organization. Aim for integrated testing, using a selection of applications and software distributions, and not just component testing of the new deployment tools.