MDT 2012 Deployment Guide: Step by Step (10 of 11)

Automating the Deployment Process

  1. Right-click on the deployment share and select Properties

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  1. Select the “Rules” tab
  2. In the main window, edit the settings as required.  A sample CUSTOMSETTINGS.INI is below but feel free to change it as needed…
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CUSTOMSETTINGS.INI

[Settings]

Priority=Default

[Default]

_SMSTSORGNAME=Customer

SkipBDDWelcome=YES

SkipProductKey=YES

ProductKey= XXXX-XXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

OverrideProductKey=XXXX-XXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

SkipDeploymentType=YES

DeploymentType=NEWCOMPUTER

SkipDomainMembership=NO

JoinDomain=domain.com

DomainAdminDomain=domain.com

DomainAdmin=MDTAddComputer

DomainAdminPassword=Pa55w0rd

MachineObjectOU=ou=example,dc=domain,dc=com

OrgName=Customer

SkipUserData=YES

SkipTaskSequence=NO

TaskSequenceID=TASKSEQID

SkipPackageDisplay=YES

SkipLocaleSelection=NO

UILanguage=en-US

UserLocale=en-GB

KeyboardLocale=0809:00000809

SystemLocale=en-US

SkipTimeZone=NO

TimeZoneName=GMT Standard Time

TimeZone=085

SkipBitLocker=YES

SkipSummary=YES

SkipCapture=YES

SkipAdminPassword=YES

SkipApplications=NO

SkipFinalSummary=NO

WsusServer=http://wsus.domain.com

Home_page=http://intranet.domain.com

FinishAction=SHUTDOWN

Sets the Company Name during the deployment

Skips unneeded wizard pages

Skips unneeded wizard pages

The Windows product key to use (only required if using MAK keys)

Sets the deployment type

Skip the domain membership screen

\

Credentials to use to join computers to the domain

/

Do not perform a user state migration

Do not ask which task sequence to run

Defautl to the task sequenceID you created earlier

Don’t display a list of possible OS packages to install Ask which regional settings to configure

Set the default UI language to English

Set the default user locale to GB English

Set the default keyboard to UK

Ask which time zone the computer is in

Set the default time zone to GMT

Set the default time zone to GMT (legacy support)

Skip the installation of BitLocker

Skip the Summary screen before deployment starts

Skip the “Build and Capture” options during deployment

Don’t ask for a local admin password for new PCs

Do not request local admin password during OS deployment

Pre-sets the admin password to the value specified

Allows you to set the local WSUS server for updates

Sets the default IE homepage for all users of new computers

Tells the computer to shut down once task sequence is completed

 

If you want to specify the Timezone, Locale or other settings during the deployment, simply change the YES to a NO for the relevant option and you’ll be prompted during deployment.  These settings are injected automatically during deployment into the unattend.xml so you don’t have to worry about messing around with it usually.

MDT 2012 Deployment Guide: Step by Step (9 of 11)

Creating a Deployment Task Sequence

  1. From the Deployment Workbench, expand the customer Deployment Share and right-click on Task Sequences and select New Task Sequence
  2. Enter a Task Sequence ID and Name.  Make a note of the ID as you may need it later!

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  1. Accept the default “Standard Client Task Sequence” template
  2. Select the relevant OS Image to deploy

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  1. This option will vary dependent on whether you are going to be using KMS or MAK licenses for their Windows 7 deployment.

KMS          –                 Select Do not specify a product key at this time

MAK         –                 Select Specify a multiple activation key (MAK key) for activating this operating system

and enter the relevant key

 

  1. Enter the relevant information in the OS Settings page

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  1. Enter an Administrator password – this will be the local Admin password for the machines when built (Dilbert)
  2. Ensure the summary data is correct
  3. Accept the confirmation screen

The task sequence is now created.  We can customise this to our hearts content but generally we don’t need to make too many changes.

 

 

9.1  Task Sequence Properties

When you edit a Task Sequence, there are multiple areas of configuration.  The properties of a Task Sequence consists of three tabs – General, Task Sequence and OS Info.

General Tab

The General tab contains the summary information about the Task Sequence including the sequence ID, Name and any comments along with the list of client platforms which the sequence is allowed to run on.

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Task Sequence Tab

The task sequence example below is based on the “Standard Client Task Sequence” template provided by MDT but the screenshot below includes quite a bit of stuff which wasn’t needed for the environment concerned (sorry).  Both 32 and 64 bit sequences are identical with the exception of the “Install Operating System” step which refers to the appropriate 32 or 64 bit custom OS image.

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Set DriverGroup001 Task Sequence Variable Step

This is an additional step we’ve added which sets the “DriverGroup001” variable to “%make%\%model% which will automatically pick up the correct drivers from the repository based on manufacturer and model name.  If we do not do this, MDT will just trawl through the entire Out-of-Box Drivers repository and try to determine the correct drivers based on PnP ID and it sometimes gets it wrong!  This gives us a little more control!  NOTE: DriverGroup001 needs to go immediately before the first “Inject Drivers” step.

OS Info Tab

The OS Info Tab’s contents will vary depending on which OS is being installed by the Task Sequence.  For Windows 7, it simply consists of a single button to edit the unattend.xml file which controls the configuration settings of Windows 7 during deployment.  Most elements of unattend.xml are automatically configured on-the-fly by MDT based on information provided during the Deployment Wizard although you can add additional elements manually.  For MIL, we are letting MDT perform all of the configuration of unattend.xml based on settings we have pre-configured in the CustomSettings.ini (see section 4.1)

Copying the Default Profile we Created before we Captured our Image:

 

                  While within this task sequence we need to modify our Unattend.xml file so that the image will keep our Default Profile.  To do this, we must enable the CopyProfile setting within the Unattend.xml file but we can only do so from the Deployment Task Sequence, and NOT FROM THE CAPTURE TASK SEQUENCE.  View the Images below for more details:

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MDT 2012 Deployment Guide: Step by Step (8 of 11)

Importing a Customer Reference Image

  1. From the Deployment Workbench, expand the customer Deployment Share and right-click on Operating Systems and select Import Operating System
  2. From the Import Operating System Wizard, select Custom Image File and click Next
  3. Browse to the path of the WIM file.  For captured images, this would by default be the \Captures folder in the Deployment Share
  4. Select “Copy Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, or later setup files from specified path” and enter the path to the relevant OS installation media.  (Strictly speaking you shouldn’t need to do this step but it bugs out sometimes in my experience)

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  1. Enter an appropriate directory name

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  1. Ensure the summary is correct and click Next

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  1. Wait while the image is imported then check the Confirmation shows no errors.

 

 

You should now have everything you need to deploy your Windows 7 image to any hardware.  The last step is to create a deployment Task Sequence.

MDT 2012 Deployment Guide: Step by Step (7 of 11)

            Capturing a Windows 7 Image from a reference PC

The reference computer should be connected to the same network as the MDT Deployment server and should be set to get an IP address via DHCP.

 

THE REFERENCE COMPUTER MUST NOT BE JOINED TO ANY DOMAIN!

 

  1. Boot the reference computer and ensure network connectivity
  2. Make any last-minute modifications (additional software, Windows Updates, etc.)
  3. Click Start and type \\<MDTSERVER>\share$\scripts\litetouch.vbs and press Enter
    1. If prompted for credentials, enter a domain account with access to that share:
    2. If prompted with a Security Warning like the one below, click Open
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  1. Select Sysprep & Capture Win7 Reference Image from the Task Sequence selection screen
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  1. Select Capture an image of this reference computer from the Capture an Image selection screen and enter an appropriate file name.
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  1. Wait while the Windows PE environment is copied to the reference computer and SYSPREP is run

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  1. Once SYSPREP has completed, the computer will automatically reboot into a Windows PE environment and the image will be captured to the server.  This capture process may take some time depending on the size of the image.

MDT 2012 Deployment Guide: Step by Step (6 of 11)

Completing the Deployment Share Configuration

Now you have imported an OS (from source media) and some WinPE drivers, we can go ahead and complete the configuration of the Deployment Share.

6.1       Advanced Configuration

The Advanced Configuration section of MDT consists of four separate areas although, we only use the Selection Profiles section for now.  The rest are advanced topics which you can explore later!

Advanced Configuration – Selection Profiles

Created a single additional selection profile – “WinPE Drivers” and configured it to contain only the drivers which Windows PE will use.  We’ll use this profile in a moment to configure the Windows PE environment.  The next three photo’s are in order by actions:

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 6.2       More Deployment Share Properties

Now we return to the Properties page for the deployment share.  We need to open the Windows PE x86 Components tab (and/or the Windows PE x64 Components one)

In the Selection Profile drop down, select the WinPE Drivers profile we just created and then click OK.

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6.3       Build the WinPE Boot Media

Once everything is completed, you can update the deployment share.  This will generate (or regenerate) the PXE boot images including loading the relevant drivers to allow the Windows PE environment to talk to the network to enable the deployment.

  1. From the Deployment Workbench, right-click  the customer Deployment Share and select Update Deployment Share
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  1. Select Optimize the boot image updating process
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  1. Click Next.

NOTE:                       This process may take in excess of 30 minutes!  Be patient!

  1. Click Finish

We can now capture our reference Windows 7 image.  I am assuming that this has already been created on a reference PC (or VM).