Sunday, 6 January 2008

How to configure a reference PC that once imaged can be deployed to multiple PCs


• An x86 or x64 based computer running Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2003 SP1 operating system. This will be the machine where WAIK gets installed and various files created.
• A PC where windows Vista is to be installed. Can be a virtual machine. Should have internet/network connectivity, preferably wired. This will be the reference PC
• CD/DVD burner and CD/DVD burning software, one blank CD, one blank DVD
• Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK)
• Windows Vista install DVD

• These instructions are based on the Ultimate or Business versions of Vista
• These instructions assume a clean install of Vista
means press the Enter key
• You know how to open an elevated command prompt in Vista and perform simple file operations like copy/paste, find a specific location in Explorer…..

• Install and configure Windows Vista along with any needed applications on a reference PC.
• Prepare the reference PC for imaging.
• Install WAIK on the work PC
Download, change the .img ending to .iso and either mount in a virtual CD drive on the work PC, or burn to a CD and install. Leave all settings to default.
• Create a Sysprep.xml file that will automate the configuration of Windows Vista.
• Run Sysprep.exe on the reference PC to "prep" the Vista installation for imaging.
• Create a WinPE 2.0 CD
• Boot the sysprepped PC with a WinPE CD and capture an image of the hard drive.
• Save the image to a removable media.
• Apply the saved image to other PCs.

On first boot up of the newly imaged PCs, mini-setup, using sysprep.xml, will run and auto-configure Windows Vista.

In following posts I will detail each of these steps.