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I am still amazed that this is free from Microsoft.   I’ve just spent a few hours messing about with it.

And whether you’re Small Business, General Field Technician or in the Enterprise.  You can USE this without headaches.  You can USE this for FREE.  You don’t even need high end hardware to play with it!

The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 is a free download from Microsoft that allows you to pull off a NUMBER of things easily.

 

You can use it to Customize your operating System more readily for your Environment

You can create a standard image to install on Client sites

You can use it to capture User configuration information before deployment

You can have all the drivers ready in one environment

Why you can even tie it directly into a Windows Deployment Server on Server 2008 with EASE

 

And it has POWERSHELL scripts so that you can Automate more easily!

 

Yes it does a pile of things

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What you’re seeing right now is the very screen from “Getting Started” in the MDT 2010.    It gives you a quick breakdown of the step by step process used in deployment.  What is nice is as you click on each step in the presented photo it IMMEDIATELY

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Brings you to detailed instructions relevant to that step

And yes it can get REALLY complex.   But it doesn’t have to be really.  It’s meant to be the most powerful tool in your deployment arsenal and yet the simplest if need be.

 

And do you know how hard it isn’t? (Yes strike me down, a double negative hath been uttered!)

 

Create a new Deployment Share from “Actions / New Deployment Share” or Right Click on “Deployment Shares” and choose the same option.  Follow the Step by Step wizard.   You have various options you can select or de-select for your Deployment Share including the option of asking Users for the Product key or Admin password (depending on your environment it might make sense with OEM Stickered software? 

 

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You then import whatever Applications, Operating System Media, Drivers, Service Packs You’ll need…

 

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Create a “Task Sequence” which when you link up with a Windows Deployment Server allows you to “Boot and Choose” from PXE.   These Sequences STOCK are “Standard Client Task” and “Standard Server Task” which are good for instaling a clean O/S with Applications, “Sysprep and Capture” which is needed if you’re going to capture a running “Gold O/S" including customizations and store it as a Master on a server.  BTW, this is FAR better than standard Imaging since it gives you a proper, hardware independent clean install everytime.  “Lighttouch OEM” would be a typical deployment OEM’s would use and is preconfigured for those scenarios.  “Standard Client Replace Task” allows you to boot off PXE and Capture the profiles of the user or Users on a workstation, and blank it out afterwards.

Also, note none of these are “HARDCODED”, they are Predefined templates you can take and customize to meet YOUR needs, fully documented within the Application MDT 2010

 

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And then you can work with various “Selection Profiles” and “Media” to create the Standard install environment to work from

 

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And of course after running each task, it automatically creates a Powershell script so that you just edit and run that for the next time to standardize how you do it.

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Why a Powershell Script? 

Let’s just say you are a field tech, and you’re running MDT 2010 and WDS on various client sites with unique applications and Operating system needs.   The nice thing, is because ALL of this is Powershell based, you can carry a USB key with you with the standard tasks you normally use to make MDT 2010 customized the way you want, have the MDT 2010 and Windows AIK software ready, and in minutes create a NEW deployment Environment referencing the client’s OWN operating System and Applications.  The names of the MSI files will be different as will the source for the Deployment, but the process is the same and therefore just a few edits away.

 

And I can tell from experience, having the ability to create a standard hardware independent deployment makes *YOU* smarter, faster and more cost effective to your customers!  Or better yet, you can bill your standard rates but have the client up and running completely with a new Deployment in a FAR shorter time, which makes THEM more productive and HAPPIER!

With something like this in your bag of tools?  You can deploy 50 copies of Windows 7 as easily as you can Deploy Five!

 

So what do you need to get started?

MDT 2010 (Free download from Microsoft)

Windows AIK for Windows 7 (Free download from Microsoft)

 

And maybe a Saturday afternoon with a glass of Iced Tea to play 🙂

 

We’ll deep dive into this a bit more, but download it, try it, EMPOWER YOURSELF!

 

Sean
The Energized Tech

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