by October 9, 2006 0 comments

There are a number of ways to deploy desktops in an enterprise environment.
Many of these include: creating disk images of the operating system,
applications, drivers and so on, separately; hosting these images on a remote
installation server (RIS); and deploying them using remote booting technologies.
Although this saves the hassle of having a number of copies of the media
available for performing installations, it still does nothing to ease the
process of deployment. The alternative to this are ‘ghosting’ techniques,
where you create a system with all its drivers and
applications installed, set up user preferences to a certain extent and create
an image of this system. But, this image can be deployed only on other systems,
identical to the original.

IT managers
Create system images for remote deployment 
win desktop deployment 

This is where Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) and Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) come in.
Using a combination of both kits (WAIK is a part of BDD), you can create a
flexible image of a pre-configured system and then deploy it on several types of
target desktops. You can deploy images created with BDD using distribution
shares, deployment shares, creating DVDs to deploy on-site as well as systems management server (SMS) packages. Distribution
shares act as master copies, where you have a number of permutations stored on a
single server. Deployment shares are used in distributed or large environments
and these contain subsets of permutations and serve groups of target desktops.

Set up the tools
You need to download the Standard or Enterprise edition of the BDD package from the Microsoft Connect website After you run setup from the package you downloaded, you will need to install
WAIK manually. To do this, navigate into ‘C:\Program Files\BDD Vista\WAIK’
and run the ‘startcd’ application there. Select ‘Windows AIK Setup’ from
the left menu to install the application. Ensure that you install WAIK to ‘C:\Program
Files\ Windows AIK\Tools\x86 ‘ only since BDD requires it to be in that
location. You additionally need to install Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 and
MSXML 6.0 from the same menu. Now, before continuing, head to either
(for Win XP) or /k5net (for Win 2003) to download MMC 3.0 for
that OS and install that as well on the same server, you installed BDD and WAIK
on. Reboot the system.

Create images
The first thing to do now is obviously to capture images. This can be done in
two ways. You can use the BDD to capture OS images, hardware drivers as well as
application sources. Before you begin with that you need to create a ‘Distribution’
share where WAIK and BDD will store their files. Fire up the ‘Windows System
Image Manager’ from the ‘Windows AIK’ Programs group. Click inside the ‘Distribution
Share’ pane, right click and select ‘Create Distribution Share.’ Select
the appropriate drive or folder and click on Open. Now open the ‘BDD Workbench’
console from the ‘BDD Vista’ group of Programs menu.

When capturing source files
using BDD Workbench, from media like CD-ROMs or DVDs, the entire content
of that disk is copied

Open the tree in the left pane to reveal the contents of the ‘Distribution
Share’ node. Now right click on the appropriate node (operating systems,
drivers, packages or applications) and select ‘New.’ A wizard will help you
import the requisite source files. ‘Packages’ here refer to Systems
Management Server packages.

Vista and Longhorn support a new disk imaging format called Windows Image (WIM) and these images can have multiple captured images inside them. BDD
2007 lets you capture each image inside such WIM files and use them separately. For instance, the Vista Beta DVD
Image contains images for the different editions of Vista (Business, Ultimate
and so on) and BDD 2007 will let you use each of these separately for
Simply point the wizard to the appropriate source folder or drive and BDD does
the rest. After a while, all the files pertinent to deploying that software will
be in your ‘Distribution’ folder. Similarly capture images for your drivers
and other applications as required. Alternatively, you can configure a fully configured
system (with these drivers and application installed) and capture an image of that system using the ImageX utility as
outlined later below.

Create Win PE bootable
To capture an image of a configured system, you need to create a Windows PE bootable and run ImageX from there.
Start this process by going to ‘C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools’
folder from a command prompt. Run the ‘copype.cmd’ to copy files from the
Windows AIK\Tools\x86 folder to an empty directory and add the ImageX tool to
this new folder by running these commands:

copype.cmdx86 D:\PEImages\Imgx86
copy “C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86\imagex.exe” D:\PEImages\Imgx86\iso

Now open Notepad to create a configuration file with the following lines:

[Exclusion List]
“System Volume Information”
[Compression Exclusion List]

You can choose to store the captured source files in different ways. The Lab option requires lots of space 

The first set of lines (under Exclusion List) will exclude all those files
from getting into your ISO. Compression Exclusion will exclude these files from
being compressed and leave them as is in the ISO. Save this file to ‘D:\PEImages\Imgx86’
as ‘wimscript.ini’. Next, we create a CD
image. From the same command prompt, run (from the same ‘PETools’ folder as

oscdimg —n —bD:\PEImages\ Imgx86\ D:\PEImages\Imgx86\iso D:\PEImages\Imgx86.iso

After that, burn this ISO onto a CD and boot from this disc into the Windows
PE environment.

Capture Images
Once you have booted your preconfigured computer with the Windows PE disk, from
the command prompt switch to the ‘C:\opktools\imagex’ folder and run:

imagex/capture D:\ C:\images\StandardDesktop.WIM “Standard Desktop Image”

Replace ‘StandardDesktop’ and the text within the double-quotes with any
suitable name and comment. After a wait period, your WIM file will be ready. You
can now edit and modify the WIM image, create catalogs from it and apply drivers
and customizations into it using the Windows System Image Manager (WSIM) we used

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