Windows Deployment Services: Installing and Configuring

By | August 5, 2013

Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit – Windows ADK – This is used to setup Windows Deployment Services and includes some other tools:

  • WDS – Deploys any version of Windows down to XP.
  • WinPE Tools – Allows you to create a disc to boot into a PreExecution Environment.
  • OS CD Img – Creates an ISO file that contains all of the settings you’ve created
  • Setup Information Manager (SIM) – creates setup answer files.

Windows Deployment Services (WDS) – Lets you do the following things:

  • Group together Images and assign permissions to them.  It also lets you delegate them based organization.
  • Customize boot and OS images.  This also lets you capture the boot and deploy it later.
  • Supports all current OS images.
  • Uses Efficient transport using TFTP unicast or multicast.

Windows Deployment Services (WDS) Requirements:

  • Active Directory
  • DHCP (uses option 60, port 67).  Be sure to do these on the same server and DHCP setup first.  This will allow you to specify a different port outside of port 67 so it doesn’t interfere with DHCP
  • DNS
  • NTFS
  • Some human interaction required
  • BIOS Network Boot – Avoid boot loops by leaving HD as priority and let it boot from the network since no OS is on the HD the first time around.
  • Groups for limiting storage and permissions.  Computers in the same group will be able to share a SIS and save storage space.

Windows Imaging Files (.wim):

  • File based images (not sector) and makes it easy to add/remove files (such as drivers).  This also makes it work better on different hardware since it isn’t sector based.
  • Hardware independent – stated above.
  • Single Instance Efficiency
  • ImageEx has been Deprecated.

Setting up WDS:

Server Manager > Manage > Add Roles and Features > Next > Windows Deployment Services from Roles menu > Next > Leave deployment Server and Transport Server.  Note: Make sure AD, DHCP, and DNS is installed prior!

You can then launch the Windows Deployment Services from Tools in Server Manager.

Right Click your server and click configure server.  Choose to integrate with AD if this is a DC.  Choose the path of the installation files (recommended on a network drive or different drive).

Since this server should be your DHCP server, choose to not listen on DHCP ports.  Also, have it configure your DHCP options automatically.  Next, tell which computers you want it to respond to.

After the wizard is done, right click install images and create a new image group.  Name the group then choose the install.wim file from your install media.  You can choose to rename them here.  This will extrapolate your images to this directory so you can deploy them when doing an install.

Under boot images, right click and add the boot.wim file from your install media.  You can then name the boot image and click Finish.

You can also prestage devices in Active Directory by right clicking and choosing Active Directory Prestaged Devices and choosing New Device.  Here you can enter the server name, the device ID, the Device Group you wan to add it to then the directory structure you’d like to use.  Click Next then specify the server you want to have deploy the image from (which should be this unless you have more).    You can then set the PXE boot requirements (recommended to do always continue unless the user presses ESC key).  The default image does not need to be selected if you are selecting your own server.