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Windows Deployment Services Server Components

Updated: May 8, 2008

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

The Windows Deployment Services server service (WDSServer) is the main server-side service of this deployment solution. It provides basic functions such as memory management, thread pooling, and network interface binding to support its hosted subcomponents, known as providers. The providers provide the true functionality associated with the service. Although technically the WDSServer service can start without these providers, the server would be entirely useless or severely limited in functionality without them. Therefore, these providers are marked as "critical" — meaning that if the provider does not load and initialize successfully, the WDSServer service should log an error and not start. There are six providers that are included with the Deployment Server installation (note that the Transport Server installation includes only Wdspxe.dll, wdstftp.dll, wdsmc.dll, and wdscp.dll). These providers are listed and described in the following table.


Provider Description


The PXE server, which is the module used for Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE) booting. Note that the PXE server itself also has its own set of providers, called PXE providers. For more information, see PXE Server Components.


The Windows Deployment Services PXE provider, which is used as part of the management operations for Auto-Add device functionality. Binlsvc.dll registers itself with the WDSServer service and requests a remote procedure call (RPC) endpoint. It is also a PXE provider that is loaded by Wdspxe.dll (see the following diagram).


The Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) server. TFTP is the protocol used to download the boot image, and to boot files such as Pxeboot.com, Wdsnbp.com, Bootmgr.exe, and Default.bcd.


The image store component, which is the module used by the Windows Deployment Services client when communicating with the server. The server registers an RPC endpoint for communication between client and server.


The multicast server.


The multicast content provider. Note that it is not loaded directly into WDSServer; instead, it is loaded by Wdsmc.dll.

The following diagram shows the interaction among these components for the Deployment Server role service.


The following diagram shows the interaction among these components for the Transport Server role service.


When the server is configured, a file share with the default folder name RemoteInstall and the default share name REMINST is created to contain install images, boot images, PXE boot files, and the Windows Deployment Services management tools. The RemoteInstall folder contains some or all of the following subfolders:

  • Admin. Contains management tools specific to Remote Installation Services (RIS) functionality. This folder is present only if you upgrade from Windows Server 2003.

  • Boot. Contains the boot images and the associated PXE boot files.

  • Images. Contains the install images.

  • Mgmt. Contains the Auto-Add devices database.

  • OSChooser. Contains the RIS menu screens and associated PXE boot files. This folder is present only if you upgrade from Windows Server 2003.

  • Setup. Contains RISETUP and RIPREP images. This folder is present only if you upgrade from Windows Server 2003.

  • Templates. Contains an image unattend template for images from an earlier version of Windows, to support computer naming and domain join scenarios.

  • Tmp. Contains temporary files used by Windows Deployment Services, including the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) stores.

  • WdsClientUnattend. Contains the unattend installation files (Unattend.xml) files used by the Windows Deployment Services client.

The Auto-Add database (named Binlsvcdb.mdb) can be found in the RemoteInstall\MGMT folder. The database is created by Windows Deployment Services the first time the Auto-Add policy is enabled. You enable the policy on the PXE Response Settings tab of the server's properties, by selecting the For unknown clients, notify administrator and respond after approval check box. The database that is used for this is the Extensible Storage Engine (ESE) database. This is the same database that is used by AD DS, Windows Internet Name Service (WINS), and Exchange. The database consists of a single table, which is shown here.


Field name Description


An automatically generated number that uniquely identifies the request. This value is also specified in the command line to approve or reject the device.


The MAC address of the client.


The computer GUID of the client.


Windows Deployment Services adds a record when it receives the DHCP request from a client, and Active is set to FALSE. When Wdsnbp.com is downloaded by the client, this field is set to TRUE. This way, you see only one pending request from server.


0 = Pending

1 = Approved

2 = Rejected


The time stamp that indicates when the status was last changed.


The name of the user who changed the status.


The client architecture.


The referral server.


The boot program that the client should use.


The suggested organizational unit (OU) for where the computer account will be created.


The owner of the computer account.


The relative path to default boot image.


The relative path to the Windows Deployment Services client unattend file.


The name of the computer that was added (not a calculated value, but the actual computer name that was used).

All requests are uniquely represented in the database by the RequestID value. If a device was previously added to the database, Windows Deployment Services will search the table for the MACAddress, and the corresponding record will be used. The same status is used for the device. Therefore, there should never be a case in which a unique device has more than one record in the database.

All of the values for ReferralServer, BootProgramPath, MachineOU, Owner, Boot, Image Path, and WDSUnattendFilePath come from the defaults for the Auto-Add policy that are defined on the Windows Deployment Services server. You can override these values when the device is approved. For information about changing these values, see How to Manage Client Computers (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=115265).

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