Windows 7 : Zero Touch Installations - Deploying Windows 7 (part 2) - Edit the Deployment Task Sequence

2/18/2013 6:38:36 PM

2. Edit the Deployment Task Sequence

The one-size-fits-all policy might apply to your reference image, but it most likely will not be the best approach when it comes to deployment task sequences. Your reference image is like a common denominator between all desktop and laptop computers in the organization. A task sequence that deploys that reference image can be varied depending on who or what it will be used to target. Some examples are as follows:

Kiosk-Like PCs

Some PCs, such as in a call center, might not have any user state or data on them. It is a waste of time to attempt to capture or restore a user state.


Rebuilding the PC of an executive or director using zero touch installation (or even manual) is a scary time. What happens if the build goes wrong? Have you anything you can quickly restore the machine to?


You will find that some teams, departments, sites, or divisions have specific software that is licensed and used on all machines. It would be a requirement to quickly get that software onto the PC.

Having multiple task sequences allows you to do all of this and much more. You can then target each task sequence at the appropriate collection using an advertisement. You will edit the deployment task sequence (Deploy Windows 7 Pro x64 Standard Image) and make some changes.

By default, before an operating system is installed using the Client Task Sequence template, a backup is made of the existing installation. This backup would be very useful if you are performing an installation for users who are sensitive to downtime, such as executives. You can quickly recover the backup should something go wrong with the ZTI deployment. Would you really want to do this for every computer on the network? It would be time consuming and require a lot of storage space. Click the Options tab and check the Disable This Step check box (Figure 4) to prevent this task from running. The task will be grayed out when it is disabled.

Figure 4. Disabling a task sequence step

One of the most powerful security features of Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise editions is BitLocker. There is a task to enable and configure BitLocker (Figure 5) but it is disabled by default. Enable the Enable BitLocker step and configure it to match your organization's policies.

Figure 5. Enable and configure BitLocker

It is possible to force software to be installed onto the computer as a part of the task sequence. Normally, ConfigMgr will wait until the computer is built and the ConfigMgr client can evaluate policy to determine what software distribution advertisements apply to it.

The Install Software task, shown in Figure 6, allows you to pick a package and a program within that package to run. Doing so forces the software to install. Note that only programs with the "Allow this program to be installed from the Install Software task sequence without being advertised" setting will be able to run. Programs that do not allow execution without a user being logged in will not be visible in the Program selection box. This is because no one is logged into the PC when this task runs.

Figure 6. The Install Software task

The easiest way to force more than one software distribution package to install is to add from Install Software tasks from the Add menu. Alternatively you can use the Base Variable Name in combination with Collection settings. You can learn more about this advanced technique at

Copy an Existing Task Sequence

You can copy an existing task sequence to create a new one. Right-click on the source task sequence and select Duplicate. You can then customize the new copy.

You can add, configure, and disable tasks until you have a task sequence that meets the requirements for distributing the operating system reference image to the desired collection of PCs. You can then create more task sequences with different settings while still using the same reference image for other collections. When this is complete, it will be time to deploy the operating system.

  •  Windows 7 : Zero Touch Installations - Identifying and Targeting Machines for Rebuilding
  •  Windows Vista : Setting Up a Small Network - Viewing a Network Map, Managing Wireless Networks, Working with Network Connections
  •  Windows Vista : Setting Up a Small Network - Displaying the Network and Sharing Center, Customizing Your Network
  •  Windows Vista : Setting Up a Small Network - Setting Up a Peer-to-Peer Network
  •  Windows 7 : Command-Line and Automation Tools - Windows Script Host
  •  Windows 7 : Command-Line and Automation Tools - Batch Files, Windows PowerShell
  •  Windows 7 : Command-Line and Automation Tools - The MS-DOS Environment
  •  Windows 7 : Command-Line and Automation Tools - Setting Environment Variables
  •  The Windows 7 Command Prompt Environment
  •  Windows 8 All-In-One PCs On Test (Part 3) - Acer Aspire 7600U, Logitech t400/t620/t650
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