Some of you probably noticed a new download showed up today:

The Windows® Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows® 7 SP1
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=0aee2b4b-494b-4adc-b174-33bc62f02c5d

Be sure to read the “readme” that goes along with this at:

Windows Automated Installation Kit for Windows 7 Readme
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd349350(WS.10).aspx

A quick Q&A that I assembled from information in this readme and our own MDT testing:

Q:  Do I have to use this to deploy Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP1?

This supplement is optional. If you do not need to modify the SP1 boot.wim and winre.wim files, you can continue to use the Windows 7 RTM tools, including WinPE 3.0, without installing this supplement.  (So MDT and ConfigMgr can deploy WIndows 7 SP1 just fine using Windows PE 3.0.)

Q:  How do I install this on a machine currently running the Windows 7 RTM version of Window AIK?

There’s no installer provided with this.  You need to extract the contents of the download and then XCOPY the files over the top of your existing Windows AIK installation.  See the details in the readme.

Q:  What’s changed in this Windows AIK supplement?

  • The number in the Version registry value is 3.1 to reflect the new Windows PE version.
  • The Windows PE 3.1 base image contains Remote Network Driver Interface Specification (RNDIS) binaries. These binaries are also available for Windows PE 3.0 as a hotfix. For more information, see Knowledge Base Article ID: 979265 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=206678).
  • Windows PE 3.1 includes 802.1x binaries as an optional component. The file name of this package is WinPE-Dot3Svc.cab. This optional component is also available for Windows PE 3.0 as a hotfix. For more information, see Knowledge Base Article ID 972831(http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=206072).
  • The Windows PE 3.1 base image contains fixes that are related to 4k/512e drive support. These fixes are also available for Windows PE 3.0 as a hotfix. For more information, see Knowledge Base Article ID: 982018 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=206679).
  • Windows PE 3.1 includes bug fixes that are related to the Windows PE version that is included with Windows 7 SP1.

Q:  Does Windows 7 SP1 and Windows PE 3.1 work with MDT 2010 Update 1?

Yes, this is fully supported.  (There is one small issue involving Windows 7 SP1, Windows PE 3.1, and having Windows RE included in your MDT-generated Lite Touch boot images, but if you don’t mind Windows RE not being there, you don’t need to worry about this.)

Q:  Does Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 support Windows 7 SP1 and Windows PE 3.1?

The Configuration Manager team is still testing Windows 7 SP1 and Windows PE 3.1, so this is unsupported until that testing is completed.

Q:  Does this supplement include the recently-released USMT 4 update for Office 2010 support?

No, you need to download and apply that one (http://blogs.technet.com/b/mniehaus/archive/2011/02/02/usmt-4-0-support-for-office-2010.aspx) separately.