Windows Deployment Services

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  • Boot images - provide an installation environment/platform, from which to install an OS
    • Capture images - provide a capture environment/platform, from which to ingest a gold install of an OS
  • Install images - OS installation images

Setup DHCP

DHCP is used to provide booting machines with an IP address, and then direct them to a boot image.

  1. In DHCP setup the following Scope Options
    • 066 Boot Server Host Name - hostname of WDS server
    • 067 Bootfile Name - share path to boot file, eg \Boot\x86\wdsndp.com or \Boot\x86\PXEboot.com
  2. If WDS server is not on same subnet as clients, allow DHCP broadcasts to WDS server
    • Same as required for a DHCP server, ip helper-address for Cisco

Create a Boot Image

  1. Right-click over Boot Images and click on Add Boot Image...
  2. Locate a boot image (EG boot.wim in the sources folder on an OS install CD)
  3. Provide an appropriate name and description
  4. Allow the creation to complete

Add Additional Drivers

If the boot image fails to boot properly because appropriate drivers couldn't be found you'll need to add them to the image.

  1. If drivers for the device don't already exists on the server, add them first
  2. Backup the boot image first
    1. Right-click over the image and select Export Image...
    2. Save to an appropriate place
  3. Right-click over the image and select Add Driver Packages to Image...
  4. Locate the drivers and add (there's a Package Date Added attribute to enable searching for packages you added on a particular date)

Error 0xc1420127

  • Error occurred while trying to execute command. Error Code: 0xc1420127

If you received error when trying to add drivers or make other changes to an existing image, this is probably because of previous failed change which has left the image mounted. Delete all keys under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WIMMount\Mounted Images

Create a Capture Image

  1. Right-click over an existing Boot image and select Create Capture Boot Image
  2. Give the image an appropriate name, description, and specify where it should be saved
  3. Click Next to initiate the creation of the image
  4. Tick the box to allow creation of boot image
  5. Accept the file location (should be as previously specified)
  6. Edit name and description if required
  7. Accept selected image, and complete.

Prepare Gold Image Machine

Creating an image that can be deployed to machines...

  1. Install and configure a PC as you want to deploy (check and double check)
  2. Run Sysprep to prepare the machine for imaging
    • cd C:\Windows\System32\sysprep
    • sysprep /oobe /generalize /reboot
  3. Eventually the machine will reboot, get ready to hold F12 once at BIOS to ensure a network boot
  4. When prompted, select Network Boot, Onboard NIC, etc
  5. You may need to hit F12 in order to be able to select a boot image
  6. Select the Capture Image to boot
  7. Select the drive to image
  8. Select a file to save the image to (can be on the same partition the image is coming from)
  9. Tick the Upload image to a... option
  10. Type in the name of the WDS server and click Connect
  11. Once complete, go to WDS server, Right-click over Install Images and select Add Install Image...
  12. Find wim file
  13. Update name/description as required

Unable to Connect WDS server

  1. Press Shift and F10
  2. Run ipconfig to confirm networking
  3. If not running, run wpeutil InitialzeNetwork
  4. Run ipconfig to confirm networking
  5. If still nothing, run netsh interface show interface
  6. If this shows nothing, your NIC can't be found so you'll need to just save locally, then boot back into the OS of your source machine and copy the image off manually.

Enable Multicast Transmission

Note that whilst images will preferably delivered by multicast, if they don't proceed fast enough (or at all), they'll fall back to SMB file copy

  1. Right-click over Multicast Transmissions and select Create Multicast Transmission...
  2. Give the Multicast Transmission a name, eg Auto-Cast
  3. Select the image group that will have images delivered by multicast
  4. Leave Auto-Cast selected

If multicast transmissions are slow or fail, you may need to reduce the multicast packet size (if your network doesn't handle fragmentation well).

  • Windows 2008 R2 - In HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WDSServer\Providers\WDSMC\Protocol, change the following
    • ApBlockSize to 1385 (from 8785)
    • TpCacheSize to 3145 (from 1190)
  • Windows 2008 - In HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WDSServer\Providers\WDSMC\Profiles\Custom, change the following
    • ApBlockSize to 1385 (from 8785)
    • TpCacheSize to 3145 (from 1190)

Restart the WDSService to apply