Deploying Windows 7 Using WAIK

Windows AIK is a collection of tools and documentation designed to help IT professionals deploy Windows.

Whilst WAIK provides the tools, it isn’t feasible to use it for large deployments – only initial setups or small deployments. When looking at large scale deployments, Microsoft have the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 which offers Light Touch or Zero Touch deployment options.

Download: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=696dd665-9f76-4177-a811-39c26d3b3b34&displaylang=en

Tools Included in Windows AIK

  • Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM) – Used to create unattended installation answer files and distribution shares, or to modify the files contained in a configuration set.
  • ImageX – Used to capture, modify, and apply file-based disk images for rapid deployment.
  • Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) – Used to Apply updates, drivers, and language packs to a Windows image.
  • Windows Pre-installation Environment (Windows PE) – Designed to prepare a computer for Windows installation.
  • User State Migration Tool (USMT) – Used to migrate user data from a previous Windows operating system to Windows 7.
  • Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) – Used to automate and centrally manage the Windows volume activation process

Deployment Options

Windows AIK 2.0 supports deploying the Windows operating system from the following sources:

  • Media – Run Windows Setup from the destination computer by using the Windows product DVD; manually customize, audit, and reseal the installation.
  • Network – Deploy an image of the reference installation from a network share. The image can be customized, if necessary.
  • Server – Connect blank destination computer to the network, boot from the network by using PXE boot, and choose the image to install

How To Deploy From Media

  1. Using Windows SIM, create an answer file. You can specify components to install and customisations. An example answer file can be found here – http://www.itsupportguides.com/windows-7/windows-7-autounattend-example
  2. Save the answer file to the root level of a USB memory stick, naming the file autounattend.xml
  3. Run your Windows 7 install DVD, with the USB memory stick plugged into the computer
  4. Windows 7 will load the autounattend.xml file during the installation and will apply the customisations specified.
  5. The completed installation can be further customised by installing applications and modifying the default profile and then resealing with sysprep.

How To Deploy From The Network

    1. Using Windows SIM, create an answer file.
    2. In addition to your usual components and customisations, browse the Windows 7 components to add the ‘InstallFrom’ option (Components -> x86-Microsoft-Windows-Setup -> ImageInstall -> OSImage -> InstallFrom).
    3. This should leave you with at least the following (note, the path needs point to a location in your environment and credentials have access to)
<unattend>
<settings pass="windowsPE">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS">
<ImageInstall>
<OSImage>
 <WillShowUI>Never</WillShowUI>
<InstallTo>
 <DiskID>0</DiskID>
 <PartitionID>1</PartitionID>
 </InstallTo>
<InstallFrom>
<Credentials>
 <Domain>DomainName</Domain>
 <Password>Password</Password>
 <Username>UserName</Username>
 </Credentials>
 <Path>\\server\share\install.wim</Path>
 </InstallFrom>
 </OSImage>
 </ImageInstall>
<DiskConfiguration>
 <WillShowUI>Never</WillShowUI>
<Disk>
 <DiskID>0</DiskID>
 <WillWipeDisk>true</WillWipeDisk>
<CreatePartitions>
<CreatePartition>
 <Order>1</Order>
 <Type>Primary</Type>
 <Extend>true</Extend>
 </CreatePartition>
 </CreatePartitions>
 </Disk>
 </DiskConfiguration>
 </component>
 </settings>
 </unattend>
  1. Save the answer file to the root level of a USB memory stick, naming the file autounattend.xml
  2. Run your Windows 7 install DVD, with the USB memory stick plugged into the computer
  3. Windows 7 will load the autounattend.xml file, load the install.wim image from the network share, install Windows 7 and apply the customisations specified.

 

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