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Choosing an Installation Method

Choosing an Installation Method

You can install Windows Vista on client computers in various ways. The installation method you choose is based on several factors, including:

  • Whether you upgrade from an existing operating system or perform clean installations.
  • How many computers will be in the deployment.
  • Whether you want to allow users to install the operating system themselves, or if you want to perform unattended installations.
  • How much customization is required for your installations.
  • What hardware is available and how the various types differ.
  • Whether you are using Active Directory.

Table 1.8 describes the installation methods available for Windows Vista and some of the considerations for each method.

Table 1.8   Methods and Requirements for Installing Windows Vista


Method and Requirements From CD-ROM Unattended Setup SysPrep Remote Operating System Installation SMS

Upgrade or clean install

Upgrade or clean install

Upgrade or clean install

Clean install only

Clean install only

Upgrade only

Required hardware

CD-ROM drive on each computer

A network startup disk if using a remote distribution share, or a CD-ROM drive and a floppy disk drive

All desktop computers need similar hardware configurations

PXE-enabled desktop computers

A fast connection to the SMS site

Server requirements

Does not require a server

Does not require a server

Does not require a server

Requires Windows 2000 Server with Active Directory

Requires a Windows server with SMS running an SMS site

Considerations for modifying project

No changes can be made

Requires updating Unattend.txt

Requires updating and reimaging the master installation

Requires modifying the answer file

Requires creating an advertising package

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