As part of the Vista Beta 2 release, there will be a set of new tools to use to help you deploy it. For the IT Pro this kit comes with:

  • An Update to Windows Deployment Services from RIS.

This is a quickly installed hotfix that gives you the ability to deploy either your existing RIS images or the new WIM based file format. Theres a new management UI and you can capture your existing Windows XP images and deploy them instead as a WIM image.

  • Windows System Image Manager

This tool replaces the Windows XP Setup Manager. Its very cool and is a one tool unattended.xml file builder. You can put everything in here including product keys, regional settings and the like.

  • ImageX (and other tools)

This is the new command line tool for image manipulation including image capture, remounting a WIM for additional stuff to be added and image deployment. It comes with a filter you need to install on your Windows machine to allow the WIM file to mount as part of the filesystem. This filter is available in x86 and x64 editions too!

  • WinPE 2.0

Gotta love this! Even if you dont use WDS, you can still boot a CD of WinPE and then rip down a WIM image from a fileserver! You can also use it to boot a machine and capture an image.

  • Documentation

Yes amazingly theres something in there to tell you how to set up a deployment environment!