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Windows 8 is officially upon us! With a plethora of new features and the ability to run it on nearly any existing modern hardware, now is the time prepare your organization. Over the next nine posts, we will cover deploying Windows 8 using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) and Windows Deployment Services (WDS). Our end result will be a single task sequence that will automatically image a computer to your specifications (including automatically retrieving old names)! Best of all, this solution is completely free and easy to setup!
Why use Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT)? ^
Imagine that you are told to build a house. You are given all of the tools and supplies – just no blueprints. That is how deployment used to be. Microsoft provided a suite of tools to deploy operating systems. Tools like the Windows Assessment and Development Kit (ADK). However, these are just tools with no connecting framework. If your IT department is like mine, you don’t have the time to learn the intricacies of DISM, ImageX, Windows SIM, and the host of other deployment tools.
This is where MDT fits in. MDT provides guidance for each tool. For example, when you need to build a boot image, MDT knows to call DISM and inject the drivers. So while you can technically deploy an OS with MDT, don’t… Save yourself the time and sanity!
MDT installation ^
To deploy Windows 8, we will need MDT 2012 Update 1. This can be downloaded here. MDT can be installed on a client OS (Windows 7/8) or a server OS (Server 2008 and above). For simplicity and because we will use network deployments, our deployment share will be installed on a machine running Windows Server 2012. When MDT is installed, a Deployment Share will be created. This Deployment Share is the home of our applications, drivers, operating systems, and task sequences. Let’s go through the setup process!
After starting the setup, be sure that all features are selected. Select Next.
Leaving the install location on C:\ is acceptable as only the tools are installed there.
On the Customer Experience Improvement Program, make your selection and press next.
Help the MDT guys out and send them some data!
Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) installation ^
To get the most out of our Deployment Share, we will need a few additional tools. Microsoft has made all of those tools (plus a few extras) available in one download. Head on over here and grab ADK. Proceed through the setup with all of the default options.
Good time for a coffee break…
Setting up the Deployment Share ^
A Deployment Workbench MMC has been pinned to your Start Screen or Start Menu. Open up the Deployment Workbench. Once opened, right click on Deployment Share and select New Deployment Share.
Once your share is setup, you can install this MMC on your primary workstations to Open the Deployment Share
We will then accept the default values for the path (C:\DeploymentShare), share (DeploymentShare$), description (MDT Deployment Share).
Setting the Deployment Share description
When selecting your Deployment Share location, be sure to place it in a location that can accommodate several operating systems, drivers, and applications. In our environment, the Deployment Share is just under 40GB. This includes 6 operating systems, drivers for 20+ models, and several applications (including office).
On the options pane, uncheck all options. In this series, we will be deploying the original Windows 8 install image. If needed, these options can be specified later.
Deployment Share Options
Continue through the wizard until it is finished.
Your new Deployment Share!
You should now be able to expand the Deployment Share within the Deployment Workbench. You have now installed and configured MDT (along with ADK). In my next post, we work with MDT folder structure as well as import applications, drivers, and an operating system.