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The past weeks have seen Pierre, Mitch and myself drink bigger doses of caffeine than what would be contained in the mug pictured above although Pierre might chime in that the mug looks no bigger than the espresso cups I use for my morning jolt. It has been a labor of love however, as all three of us enjoy getting our hands dirty developing the new #CANITPRO camps containing new content in regards to Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager / Windows 8. More details to follow and dates to be announced soon.
Attendees from the Windows 8 for Enterprise camps delivered earlier this year have recently reached out to me with interest in performing some of the labs delivered as a next step in their learning. This OS deployment process is similar to what many IT Professionals have utilized in past deployments of Windows 7 and prior operating systems. However, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager provides several enhanced features making OS deployment easier. This "Step-By-Step" will showcase the tasks involved in deploying Windows 8 utilizing ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 and will also showcase newly offered features and considerations when deploying. For those who do not have access to a System Center 2012 lab, may I suggest reviewing our previously posted: Step-by-Step: Building a FREE System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 Lab which will provide you the means to complete this and other future exercises.
Step 1 - Installation Prerequisites for OS Deployment
Prior to using the OS Deployment features of ConfigMgr 2012 SP1, the prerequisites below are required..
Step 2 - Preparation of Boot Images In ConfigMgr 2012 SP1, management of boot images has been streamlined in several ways to reduce the need to manage many custom boot images.
Features Added in SP1
Adding New Boot Image Packages
Remember: With the increased number of drivers supported in the new Windows PE 4 images, you may no longer need to maintain custom boot images.
Step 3 – Add the Operating System Image
Adding an Operating System Image
Step 4 – Define a Task Sequence to Install an OS Image
You can define a task sequence to install an OS image by clicking the Create Task Sequence button on the ribbon bar of the ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 console.
Creating a Task Sequence
After the new Task Sequence is created, you can right-click on the task sequence and select Edit from the pop-up menu to see the following new options available within the task sequence:
Step 5 – Deploy a Task Sequence
After defining the OS Deployment Task Sequence, this Task Sequence can be deployed by clicking the Deploy button on the top ribbon bar in the ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 Console.
Deploying a Task Sequence
When working through the Deploy Software Wizard, you’ll notice that a new target filtering option has been added to make an OS Deployment available to any of the following:
New targeting options in Deploy Software Wizard
The “hidden” option above allows you to deploy the task sequence so that it doesn’t show up in the selection list in the Windows PE boot environment. If using this option, you can specify this deployment by setting a new task sequence variable, SMSTSPreferredAdvertID, to the value of the Advertisement ID for this deployed task sequence as part of a prestart command in your Boot Image Properties. See How to Set an Operating System Task Sequence Variable for more details on creating a script to set a task sequence variable value.