>Windows Deployment Services (WDS) allows us to distribute Windows 8 on an enterprise wide scale. In part 6 of my Windows 8 deployment series, we will configure WDS and optimize our image deployment.

The greatest thing about MDT is how what you need is always where you are looking. In our last post, we finished by updating our deployment share. By updating our deployment share, MDT automatically built our boot media. We did not have to call DISM or any other tool in order to do this. The second greatest thing is how versatile MDT is.

By default, both a .WIM and an .ISO file are created when we update our deployment share. This allows us to use a variety of deployment options (CD, USB, and PXE). In your environment, you will most likely use PXE as the primary means of deployment. As efficient as WDS is, you can deploy a complete OS, necessary applications, and settings in under 30 minutes! Oh – and it’s free!

Windows 8 WDS - Deployment time

This production machine has just 2 GB of RAM and a traditional hard drive. Still imaged in 29 minutes!

How to install WDS

Setting up and configuring WDS in Server 2012 is a snap when compared to earlier versions. Within Server Manager, we will launch the Add Roles and Features wizard.

Windows 8 deployment - Install WDS

We will then proceed through our wizard and select the Windows Deployment Services server role.

Windows 8 deployment - Add WDS role

This role will also install the WDS RSAT console.

Continue through the wizard. Be sure that under Role Services, both Deployment Server and “Transport Server” are selected.

Windows 8 deployment - Transport Server

The Transport Server service provides multicasting capability.

Finally, press “next” and then “install”. After a few minutes, your server will have the WDS role installed!

Windows Deployment Services - Export configuration settings

If you will be configuring multiple WDS servers, export the configuration settings to automate setup.

Configuring WDS

Now that WDS is installed, we will need to configure a few items. First, launch the Windows Deployment Services MMC. Expand to your server, right click, and select “configure”.

Windows 8 deployment - WDS mmc


Once the Configuration Wizard is launched, proceed through the wizard. Be sure to select “Integrated with Active Directory”.

Windows Deployment Services - Integrate with Active Directory

Integrating WDS with AD makes management much easier

Once you reach the PXE Server Settings menu, select “Respond” to all clients computers (known and unknown).

Windows Deployment Services - PXE boot

Selecting this option will allow you to use MDT in a nearly Zero Touch environment.

Continue through the rest of the wizard and launch the Deployment Workbench.

Enabling Multicasting with MDT

When MDT is integrated into WDS, imaging is a whole lot easier! For one, you don’t have to worry about multicast sessions or prestaging clients! To configure MDT for multicasting, right click on your deployment share and select Properties. On the General Tab, simply check the Enable Multicasting for this Share button.

Windows Deployment Services - DeploymentShare

They certainly do make it easy!

After pressing Ok, refresh your WDS console. Then expand the Multicast Transmissions section. You should now see a new multicast session for MDT.

Windows Deployment Services - Auto-Cast session

This Auto-Cast session is only on and always activated. It is ready to deploy!

Importing the boot images

Finally, we need to import our MDT generated boot images into WDS. This will allow computers to PXE-stream our Windows PE setup. Within the WDS MMC, right click on Boot Images and select Add Boot Images. If you do not see your Boot Images listed, browse to your deployment share and open the Boot folder.

Windows Deployment Services - X86 MDT generated boot image

Our X86 MDT generated boot image

For simplicity, I will only import the x86 boot image. The x86 boot image will deploy a 32 bit and 64 bit operating system.

Production view of a WDS server with boot images

A production view of a WDS server with boot images


Now that WDS is configured, we are ready to deploy Windows 8! In our next post, we will deploy Windows 8 and streamline the installation process. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know!

  1. Gregor 11 years ago

    You have to update deployment share to activate multicast session in WDS, refreshing console is not enough.

  2. Joseph Moody 11 years ago

    Hey Gregor,

    I probably did that when I was working in my lab. Let me verify that so that we can note that down.

    Thank you very much!

  3. Bavo Bostoen 10 years ago

    Any updates on what to do exactly when configuring MDTto use multicasting in
    WDS? Update deployment share, or regenerate share completely, or simply refresh WDS console ; please let us know.

    Also: on some shares MDT displays an error when i try to enable multicasting although WDS is running in the domain – had no time for further research so any clues are apreciated (remark: all services are running one a single DC but i followed WDS configuration instructions that should allow this, i’m running W2K8R2 SP1).

    Thanks a lot for informative articles.

  4. Joseph Moody 10 years ago

    You will only need to update the deployment share. After updating, you should be able to open the Windows Deployment Services console, expand down to the Multicast Transmissions container, and see a MDT Share transmission.

    This transmission is autocast so any client attempting to use it will automatically connect.

    Other than that, you will need IGMP enabled on all of your switches. Let me know if you are still having problems.

  5. Aiv 10 years ago

    Joseph great article !!

    I have a question for you, I have set up WDS server but my DHCP is on different server then WDS role. Now I know I should manually configure Server Option on my DHCP for wds. From my past experience if WDS and DHCP services are on one server you can allow WDS automatically configure Server Option 060. But since both of these roles are on different server it appears I don’t have Server Option 060 on my DHCP server to configure.
    How do I fix this ? since at this moment I can’t do a network boot.

  6. Author
    Joseph Moody (Rank 3) 10 years ago

    Thanks Aiv!

    You actually don’t need to configure option 60 if your WDS server is not your DHCP server. You will need to configure option 66 and 67


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