MDT (Microsoft Deployment Toolkit)

First step is downloading the latest version from Microsoft website: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54259 (as of Oct 2019 the latest was released in 01/25/2019 – MicrosoftDeploymentToolkit_x64.msi). Run the installer and install it on your desktop/server. As part of MDT you have two products:

  • UDI Designer – provides a wizard-driven interface that allows you to provide configuration information needed by a OSD task sequences. It’s used by SCCM to deploy operating systems. This will be covered in SCCM tutorials.
  • Deployment Workbench – graphical interface used to build and update Windows images that will be used by WDS to deploy it to computers connected thru a PXE server.

Let’s start it, look for Deployment Workbench and open it.

When you use it for the first time you need to create a New Deployment Share. The menu on the right side has “New / Open Deployment Share”. Click on “New Deployment Share”. First step is to choose the path for the share, for a network path use: \\server-name\share-folder\

Next you need to choose the share name. Make sure is the same name with the name of the folder that you put in the first step, otherwise you will get an error and cannot go to the next step.

Next step is for options, choose anything that you need with your share.

Summary to check everything looks OK, click Next.

The confirmation page, click on Finish.

Next step after you created the share is to open it. Click on the right side on “Open Deployment Share”

After the share is opened you can start add/modify the options. Inside a deployment share you will see the following:

  • Applications – any application that you want to Add and to be part of the Windows image that you will deploy
  • Operating Systems – add any Windows OS (desktop or server) you want to deploy
  • Out-of-Box Drivers – any driver you want to add to a Windows image, before deploy to users
  • Packages – any package that will be added to the image
  • Task Sequences – you can customize the tasks that will take place when deploy a new image
  • Advanced Configuration – has profiles, linked deployment shares and the most important “Media” (this is used to create offline media to deploy when there is no network access)
  • Monitoring – used to monitor the deployment

Let’s start with the first menu “Applications”. You can create folders inside this menu to organize better the applications. On the right side you have the option to Add: New Application or Folder.

Second option is Operating Systems. Same like the applications you can create folders and organize better all the OS you add to the share.

Next option that will be used a lot to keep the images updated is Out-of-Box Drivers. You can create two main folders: x86 and x64. Inside those folders you can have sub-folder to organize all the drivers.

If you want to add new drivers, select the folder where you want to add the drivers and click on Import Drivers (or right click on folder).

Select the Driver source folder and click on Browse, then navigate to the folder where you have the drivers and then click Next.

Check the summary , click next and when is done just click on Finish.

Review the import results, check the folder where the drivers were supposed to be added.

Next important menu is Task Sequences. As an important part of the deployment you need to create a task for each version of Windows that you need to deploy. Similar to other menus you can create folders inside Task Sequences to organize better when you have many OS versions.

A regular task sequence looks like this one below. You will have tasks for each phase of a deployment.

If you don’t need a task inside the whole task sequences, click on the task name and with the options tab you will see “Disable this step”, just check the box and this way will disable this task. You can enabled later if you need it. If you don’t need a task you can remove it, just click on “Remove” and the task selected is removed from the task sequences. If needed you can re-add the task later or add new tasks to customize the deployment.

Another important menu is “Advanced Configuration -> Media”. With this menu, you will create an offline ISO file that you can burn it into a DVD or USB and use it similar to the image on the share. If you don’t have access to the network share, just create an offline image and install it from DVD/USB. This will have all the settings that a network share image have.

When you choose to create a “New Media” it will ask you for the path where the ISO file will be saved. After the image is created just go to that path and get the ISO file -> burn it on a DVD or USB.

After everything is setup it’s time to build the image that will be used to deploy. Before you need to check the properties for the share, right click on the share and click on Properties. Will start with the General Tab. The options for this are Platforms Supported: x86 or x64 (if you need only x64 just un-check the x86 option)

Second tab is for Rules. You can edit it and add/delete settings that you need to have with the deployment.

Next tab is Windows PE. This will have sub-tabs, first is Platform: x64 or x64 (the options are similar, but remember to change it and adjust settings for each platform). The others sub-tab are below Platform, the first one is General. Make sure “Generate a generic Windows PE WIM file” is checked. Optional you can check “Generate a Lite Touch bootable ISO image”.

Second sub-tab is Features. You can add/remove any feature that you think is useful for your image. Check this tab and check/un-check features that you think you need. This selection doesn’t affect the installation.

Last sub-tab is about Drivers and Patches. Again, is about personal preferences, just to be safe you can add all the drivers that you have imported.

Last step in the whole process, after everything was added (Applications, OS, Drivers, Task Created), is to create your image files that will be used on WDS server. When the share is selected click on the right side on “Update Deployment Share”. It will open a new window where you can choose between Optimize the boot image or Completely regenerate the boot images. If you never created an image, even if you choose “Optimize the boot image updating process” will create a new image. After an image is created will use that image and just update the changes that you made inside the share (if you only added one driver, the whole process will be faster because will only update the image with that driver, it’s no need to recreate a new image just for one driver). Also, check the box “Compress the boot image”

Wait for the process to finish and check for errors. If everything runs without errors you just created the first image that you can use to deploy Windows to many users. Click on Finish.

Now, you will copy the WIM files into the WDS server (this will be another tutorial – check WDS tutorial). The files are on your share folder -> check inside the Boot folder. If you only need the x64 image, just copy that file but if you need support for both platforms copy both files.

Manually add drivers into a WIM

  • Create the folders (\mnt, \mnt\Drivers, \mnt\offline)
  • Mount the image using Command Prompt (as Administrator)

dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:D:\mnt\boot.wim /Index:1 /MountDir:d:\mnt\offline

  • Add the driver

dism /Image:d:\mnt\offline /Add-Driver /Driver:d:\mnt\Drivers\driver.inf

  • Unmount the image

dism /Unmount-Image /MountDir:d:\mnt\offline /Commit

Check out the next tutorial about “How to add images into WDS server

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