Deploying Windows Vista clients with SMS
Sorry, but I've seen this before too many times (so my interest was low).
SMS shipped an Operating System Deployment Feature Pack (OSD) a couple of years ago. We are updating that feature pack to support Windows Vista.
The original OSD introduced the Windows Imaging Format (WIM) - a file based image that eliminates duplicate files in the image and offers around 3:1 compression. The version of WIM was 0.9
Windows Vista uses WIM itself for it's installation process - it uses WIM 1.0
Windows Vista is HAL independant and you can load extra device drivers into the image - so you're closer to getting to one image
So it works like this:
In SMS create the Image Capture CD (this is a WinPE disk, that you can add extra drivers to) - you actually create a 150Mb ISO file, that you burn to CD.
Then you build your reference PC - Operating System, Applications, etc.
Then insert the Image Capture CD into the reference PC. It will run sysprep and reboot the PC. The machine boots from the CD and loads up WinPE, it then creates the image file (of the C: drive) and copies it to a file share (that you defined when you created the CD).
I now have a .WIM file of my reference PC, which I load into SMS as a package. I then associate a Program to the package that includes all my setup options and any additional things I might want the setup to do (like run USMT). Now I have my SMS package defined, I get it out to my distribution points. Once it's there I advertise the package to a collection of PCs.
When the advertisment runs, the user is notified of what's going on (if you made that choice during the program definition). The program runs several phases:
- Validation (is this PC capable of accepting this image - enough disk space, etc).
- Pre-Installation (USMT to save user & machine state, partition & format disk if required).
- Installation (delete unwanted files from disk - \windows, \program files, etc. then expand WIM file onto disk)
- Post-Installation (additional SMS packages to install other stuff)
- State Restore (USMT in reverse).
More later - Dave.