Windows 7 : Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 - Creating and Populating a Deployment Share (part 2) - Populating the Deployment Share - Importing Operating Systems

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2. Populating the Deployment Share

After you have created a deployment share, it will appear in the Deployment Workbench, as shown in Figure 9. Under your deployment share you'll see six nodes: Applications, Operating Systems, Out-of-Box Drivers, Packages, Task Sequences, and Advanced Configuration. In this section we'll discuss each of these nodes .

Upon creation of the deployment share, a new folder is created and shared. You can see this in Windows Explorer. Figure 10 shows the folder and its subfolders. Most of these folders will be empty until you import operating systems, applications, drivers, and packages (patches) and create task sequences. We'll peek into those folders momentarily.

A deployment share is like a repository of components; you fill it with parts that you need during deployment or when you need to create a reference image. You'll need to import each component into the Deployment Workbench so that they can be used. First let's look at the components you can add to the repository; they include operating systems you'd like to deploy, applications, drivers, and packages (patches and language packs). For example, you could import Windows 7, Windows XP SP3, and Windows Server 2008 into the Operating Systems node. Then you could import Microsoft Office 2010, Adobe Reader, QuickBooks Pro, and a slew of other applications into the Applications node. Finally, you could import the drivers and patches for all operating systems (except for XP and Windows Server 2003, including R2—they do not support imported patches or language packs in the Packages node).

Figure 9. New deployment share

Figure 10. Deployment share folders

Now comes the fun part—you can bind these different components together. That is where task sequences come into play. A task sequence controls exactly what happens during the deployment and the order in which it occurs . A standard task sequence will contain at least one OS and possibly applications, drivers, and patches. You could create a task sequence to deploy Windows 7, Office 2010, Adobe Reader, and all drivers and patches related to Windows 7. Or a task sequence could deploy Windows 7, Office 2007, and QuickBooks along with all the drivers and patches related to Windows 7. The point is, for a standard task sequence you only need one operating system (from the ones you have imported into MDT), any applications you choose, and drivers and patches for a fully functional deployment process. And here is the cool part: you can create as many task sequences as you choose, using the same components but in different groupings. To import the components, we'll begin with an operating system; then we'll cover applications, drivers, and patches.

2.1. Importing Operating Systems

Importing operating systems into MDT is a wizard-driven process. The supported OSs that can be imported are Windows XP SP3 and later. You can import three types of images: a full set of source files, a custom image (WIM files you have created), and Windows Deployment Service (WDS) images. The first operating system we are going to import is a full set of source files. To import your first OS, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the Operating Systems node and choose New Folder; name the folder Windows 7 (that way, it will be more organized if you start adding other OSs later on).

  2. Open the Operating Systems node and right-click the Windows 7 folder and choose Import Operating System.

  3. The OS Type page (Figure 11) shows the three types of images you can import. Accept the default selection, Full Set Of Source Files, and click Next.

    Figure 11. The OS Type page
  4. On the Source page (Figure 12), click the Browse button to navigate to your full set of source files, which can be from either the root of a Windows 7 DVD or a folder where you have copied the entire Windows 7 DVD (the D: drive in Figure 12). Once you have browsed to your full set of source files, click Next.

  5. The Destination page shown in Figure 13 prompts you for the name of the folder to be created in the F:\MDTLab\Operating Systems folder. This folder will not appear in the Deployment Workbench; to view the newly created folder you'll need to use Windows Explorer and browse to your deployment share's Operating Systems folder (ours was on the F: drive). Accept the default name of "Windows 7 x86" or enter any you prefer, and then click Next.

  6. The Summary page displays the details of the Import Operating System Wizard just as it did in the New Deployment Share Wizard. To make any changes, click the Previous button to reach the page you'd like to change, then click Next.

  7. The Progress page is displayed, and when the process finishes the Confirmation page appears. Once again you have the View Script button (showing the PowerShell commands run to import an OS), and the Save Output button that will dump the contents of the Confirmation page to a text file. Importing image files can take a while, depending on the size of the image and the speed of your server. Click Finish on the Confirmation page and you're back in the Deployment Workbench with the Operating Systems node highlighted. The new OS is displayed in the details pane, as shown in Figure 12.

Figure 12. The Source page

Figure 13. The Destination page

Figure 14. The workbench with imported OSs

Organizing Your Deployment Workbench

With MDT 2010, you can create folder structures to help organize everything in your Deployment Workbench. You can also use it to move around objects, using drag and drop, but we prefer copy and paste. When you copy and paste or drag and drop it does not affect the underlying file system behind the scenes; the folder structure you see in the deployment workbench is logical, not physical. The purpose of this is to make it possible to organize a large number of files and folders without consuming as much space as it would if the structure were physical. It also gives us the opportunity to work with the content as an object from a programmatic point of view.

Additionally, if you have multiple deployment shares, you can use the Deployment Workbench to connect to all of them at the same time and move objects between them. That ability is really nice. Just remember to use F5 to update the screen whenever you start moving things around.

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