Time to deploy Windows 7. You take a look at your desktop and laptop inventory. Is it going to be easier to create an image for each model, or to create one image and to add the different drivers and components required for each model? Adding drivers sounds more efficient, but creating different images is more straightforward. What are the trade-offs? And what tools do you need? The more you think about it the less clear it can seem.
If you want to perform completely unattended imaging, you need to change the computer so that it boots from the network when there is an imaging task. There are two ways you can do this:
- You can change the boot device order so that a network boot is tried first. This is changed in the BIOS setup.
- You can leave the boot order as it is but, when required, edit the boot configuration of the hard disk so there is no bootable partition. Then the boot sequence will fail through to the network.
With Windows Deployment Services (WDS) and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 we can deploy images to our target computers with minimal interaction. We can automate selecting a different image for different makes and models of computer. We can optionally add drivers, applications, updates and features. What more could we need?
You skipped Vista. Now you plan to start deploying Windows 7. You face a blizzard of jargon and you feel you should know how it all works. But what technologies do you really need, and how can you make rational decisions when everything is so muddled?