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Windows Vista : Working with Windows Deployment Services (part 1) - Creating a Capture image, Creating a Custom Install image

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7/19/2013 7:46:20 PM

With WDS installed and configured, you will find the actual use of WDS is very straight forward.Here we will cover several tasks associated with the use of WDS including:

  • Creating a Capture image

  • Creating a Custom Install image

  • Creating a Discover image

  • Preparing Media for a Discover image

  • Deploying an Install image

  • Leveraging the Windows Deployment Services API

1. Creating a Capture image

To create your own Install image, it is first necessary to create a Capture image. A Capture image is one that you boot to in order to capture the operating system to a .WIM file.

  1. Right-click one of the boot images you have added to WDS and click Create Capture Boot Image. Choose one that matches the architecture for which you want to target with this Capture image.

  2. In the initial form presented by the Create Capture Image wizard, you can enter an Image Name and Image description to identify the capture image. You must also specify a Location and filename where the new file should be generated. A progress bar is provided as the capture image is generated.

  3. When complete, click the Finish button to close this wizard.

  4. Add this newly generated image to the Boot Images in WDS. Right-click Boot Images and choose Add Boot Image.

  5. Browse to the File Location specified in Step 2 to select the new Capture image. When selected, click Next to continue. You are presented the opportunity to update the name and description you entered in Step 2.

  6. Click Next. The Add Image wizard provides a summary of the image to be added based on your selections.

  7. Click Next. Progress is given as the image is added.

  8. When the image has been added to the server, click the Finish button to complete the process.

With the Capture image created, the next steps are to establish a reference computer to capture an Install image as a WIM file for deployment.

2. Creating a Custom Install image

Prepare a reference computer and then create an Install image based on that system. The following steps take you through the creation of a Custom Install image for Windows Vista:

  1. Create a reference computer. This includes Windows Vista, Service Pack 1, and any updates or applications you may want to deploy as part of your Custom Install image.

  2. You need to generalize the installation by using Sysprep so that it may be deployed to other systems. Run Sysprep from \Windows\System32\Sysprep\sysprep.exe (the folder is hidden by default). Leave the System Cleanup Action set to OOBE, select the Generalize check box, and leave Reboot as the Shutdown Option, as shown in Figure 1.

    Figure 1. Running Sysprep to generalize your Custom Install image
  3. When the computer restarts, boot to the network and press the F12 key when prompted. Depending on your hardware, you may need to edit the boot order of the system or hit a key to be presented with a boot choice menu. Because there is more than one boot image active in WDS, you'll be presented with the option to choose a Capture image.

    NOTE

    When working with Microsoft Virtual PC 2007, you must make sure the focus is set to the boot window for the virtual machine, then hold down the DEL key during the startup process to enter the BIOS Setup Utility. From here, you can go to the boot menu and change the Boot Priority to move PXE to the top of the list.

  4. Choose your Capture image from the list, as shown in Figure 2 After you have made your choice, the Windows PE image will be loaded over the network using PXE, as shown in Figure 3. When the image finishes loading, the Windows Deployment Services Image Capture Wizard will appear.

    Figure 2. Choosing the Capture image from Windows Boot Manager
    Figure 3. Loading a Windows PE image by using PXE
  5. Click Next on the Welcome screen to begin.

  6. On the Image Capture Source screen, choose the appropriate volume to be captured from the Volume to Capture drop-down list. Enter an Image Name and Image Description in the fields provided and click Next to continue.

  7. Click the browse button and select the location and filename for where you want to store the image. The location you specify here must be a local location on the computer (this is enforced to avoid image corruption in the event that there could be network issues during the capture process). Be sure to specify a filename with a .WIM extension.

  8. Select the Upload image to WDS server box and specify the Server Name in the provided field. Once entered, click the Connect button (depending upon your environment, you may be prompted to provide credentials with sufficient privilege to connect to the WDS server).

  9. In the Image Group drop-down box, choose the image group in which you want to keep this image. Finally, click the Finish button to begin the process.

NOTE

On Windows Server 2003 systems, two files are generated during the image creation process: an ImageName.WIM file and a Res.RWM file. The Res.RWM file contains the file streams that are associated with the images (each image group will have its own Res.rwm file).

Because the actual files that make up the image are stored in this Res.RWM file, the ImageName. WIM file is much smaller and contains only metadata, which describes the files, folders, and permissions that make up the image.

The reason for this separation is to differentiate the resource-only .WIM file from the metadata in order to speed up the image enumeration process. Image enumeration works only on .WIM files, and so the Res.rwm file is not used. The data in the Res.rwm file and in the Image_name. wim file is single-instanced and compressed.

3. Creating a Discover image

A Discover image is used to deploy to systems where PXE is not available. Discover images are saved and booted to physical media such as CDs, DVDs, or USB drives. The Discover image locates the WDS server and then the server installs the image to that computer. If you have more than one WDS server, you can create Discover images to target specific ones. To create a Discover image, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click one of the boot images you have added to WDS and click Create Discover Boot Image. Choose one that matches the architecture for which you want to target with this Capture image.

  2. Enter the desired Image name and Image description in the fields provided on the Create Discover Image Wizard page.

  3. Specify the location and filename for the Discover image. You can choose any location, but ultimately this is to be placed on some kind of removable media that can be inserted into computers you want to image with WDS (normally those systems that do not support PXE).

  4. Click the Browse button to select the Windows Deployment Server to Respond. This brings up the standard computer selection dialog where you may enter the name of the WDS server.

  5. Click the Check Names button to verify you have it correctly specified. When you have the server name properly selected, click OK to close the Select Computer dialog box. Then, click Next to continue. A progress dialog appears while the discover image is generated and saved to the specified location.

  6. When complete, click the Finish button to close the wizard.

Other -----------------
- Windows Vista : Installing Windows Deployment Services (part 2) - Configuring Windows Deployment Services
- Windows Vista : Installing Windows Deployment Services (part 1) - Satisfying prerequisites, Setting up Windows Deployment Services for Server 2003
- Windows Vista : Introducing Windows Deployment Services
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