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WDS stands for Windows Deployment Services and it is how Administrators push images throughout an organization. Follow these steps to deploy WDS (Windows Deployment Services => Windows Role) with MDT (Microsoft Deployment Tool => Standalone Installer). This assumes you have AD, DNS, and DHCP already setup in your environment. Download the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 and WAIK for Windows 7 prior to starting this process.

NOTE: You will see that when it comes to imaging, MDT does 80%+ of the work and WDS does the rest.

To Resolve:

  1. Install the WDS role and reboot. Then install MDT and WAIK and reboot again. NOTE: WAIK will require .NET 2.0 to be installed. Add the feature through Server Manager if it is not installed.

  2. Open up “Deployment Workbench” and right click Deployment Shares => New Share => Follow the wizard to set what you want up => Finish.

  3. Go to Deployment Shares => Operating Systems => Import Operating System. You will need to point to a .wim file. What I did was transferred over an ISO and then installed 7zip to extract the ISO. I then pointed to the extractedFoldersourcesinstall.wim file.

  4. Go to Out of Box Drivers => add the drivers to the deployment. See here if you need help getting drivers for your computer. NOTE: I haven’t tried that since I have been hoarding an 8GB driver folder for years. You can download a CAB driver bundle on the system’s support/driver page on Dell’s site for Dell computers.

  5. Next you would add applications. For simplicity, I didn’t want to at this point in time. The idea is to get a fresh Windows deployment and then build on that. You just need the media and you need to know what the parameter [switch] to do a quiet install.

  6. Next you add a Task Sequence. Right click Task Sequence => New. Name is something unique like “W7x64Pro” or “Default”. Click Next => Standard Client Task Sequence => Put your Organizations name in the Owner => Put in the password for the default administrator account.

  7. You should now see the Task Sequence in the list. Right click it => Properties => Task Sequence Tab => State Restore => Windows Update. Uncheck the “disable this step” in the options tab. Scroll down two more and do the same thing.

    • If you don’t plan to use WDS (such as for using a thumb drive deployment) : Go back up to the MDT Deployment Share node and right click your share name. Go to Properties => Windows PE tab => General tab => Select “Generate a LiteTouch bootable ISO image” => OK.
  8. Go back up to the MDT Deployment Share node and click the option to “Update Deployment Share”. This might take a while. This creates your WIM and ISO files based on the configuration from above.

  9. Now import the WIM to WDS. Open up “Windows Deployment Services” (different from Deployment Workbench) and drill down to your server and then Boot Images. Here, Right click => Add => Point to: \\severname\deplymentshare$\bootLiteTouchPE_x64.wim.

From here we have two options:

  1. Boot a computer using PXE boot, it will find the WDS Server and present you with a screen with the only option to “Capture Computer”. Click Next and it will ask for credentials. I’m sure I messed this step up but what I did was create a local admin account on my WDS Server called “test” and so when it got to this screen I used:

    username: test  
    password: myPasswordForTest  
    Domain: .
    • It will then bring you to a wizard of options, I just chose the defaults and it deployed W7 Ultimate.
  2. The Preferred Option: Capture a reference computer and then sys prep it and deploy that:

    • Create a Windows VM in VirtualBox/HyperV or whatever you use. Do Windows updates and create a snapshot of it. Shut it down.

    • PXE boot this VM by setting Network first in the boot settings and pressing F12 on startup. Follow MDT to create a capture of it.

    • On the WDS Sever, open up “Deployment Workbench” and go to Operating Systems => Import Operating System => Change to “custom wim” => Select from \\ServerName\DeploymentShare$\Captures

    • Redo step 10 above with the captured computers WIM instead of the Litetouch one we created earlier.

    • NOTE: In my lab I have done through step 10 and then created an empty W7 VM with no OS and PXE booting and got the OS installed. That is it! I am still working on following the preferred option and also want to see how to automate the entire thing from once you PXE launch the target computer. So this is just a general rough step 1.


“MDT 2012 Guide”