Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Windows Deployment Services Part 1

Currently testing Windows Deployment Services. I have to say there is a lot Microsoft doesn't tell you.

First you need to just backup your ADS (if you use it). The following article is most useful - Backing up ADS and then completely do away with ADS. Remove the services and update the server to 2003 Service Pack 2. Once this is done you may proceed with the installation on WDS as per this article - Step by Step Guide to WDS Once you have WDS and associated services installed. Now what? Hmmm PXE won't boot into PE. Why? Well Microsoft decided that we should already have this knowledge programmed in so they didn't include it in the step by step guide.

What needs to be done at this point is the boot image needs to be loaded into the WDS server. You will need to download and mount the Windows Automated Installation Kit which includes the files you will need to boot into the Preinstallation Environment from Microsoft here - Windows Automated Installation Kit I had to mount the .img file with Nero, once mounted, copy the data to the HDD and run the AIK install. This copies all the boot image files you will need to get going.

Once this is done you will need to go into your Windows Deployment Services Management Console (under Administrative Tools) and go to the WDS Server properties - Boot tab and make sure you have the pxeboot.com selected for your x86 architecture. If you are running 64-bit make sure you also make the appropriate changes under this tab. Restart the services (WDS and TFTP).

In a large environment like the one I am in, you will need to configure your VLAN's scope options in the DHCP Snap-In. This includes modifying the 066 Boot Server Host Name and the 060 PXEClient to reflect the name/IP of the WDS server. I also had to go into the routers physically and add the helper file to the running config to ensure the clients could connect to the WDS server.

Build your reference machine and Sysprep and then boot into PXE (F12 usually) and you should be up and going! I am still currently researching unattended installs etc. for use with WinPE. Hope this helps as I love common sense answers to this kind of thing.