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Mastering the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit

Book Description

Take a deep dive into the world of Windows desktop deployment using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit

About This Book

  • Learn Microsoft Deployment Toolkit best practices and how to adopt them into your deployment project

  • Troubleshoot task sequence errors and quickly resolve deployment blockers

  • An easy-to-follow, in-depth guide to image creation, customization, and deployment of Windows

  • Who This Book Is For

    This book is ideal for those deploying or planning to deploy Windows, in need of a top-to-bottom guide on project deployment. It is also an invaluable resource for consultants who need a top-to-bottom guide (or just a refresher) on project deployment.

    What You Will Learn

  • Build a production-ready MDT environment

  • Administer the environment for multiple users

  • Customize your reference image with an MDT Task Sequence

  • Create standalone media for offline deployments

  • Customize the default user profile according to the version of Windows

  • Get to grips with some troubleshooting steps and processes to reduce the time for recovery of a failed image

  • Customize and create Windows images for deployment

  • Discover useful tips and tricks to help save time in your deployment projects

  • In Detail

    The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) provides a comprehensive collection of tools, processes, and guidance for automating desktop and server deployments. It considerably reduces deployment time and standardizes desktop and server images. Moreover, MDT offers improved security and ongoing configuration management. Microsoft Deployment Toolkit is the official supported method of creating and customizing Windows images for deployment.

    Starting from scratch, this book walks you through the MDT setup, task sequence creation, and image deployment steps in detail. Breaking down the various MDT concepts, this book will give you a thorough understanding of the deployment process.

    Beginning with imaging concepts and theory, you will go on to build a Microsoft Deployment Toolkit environment. You will understand the intricacies of customizing the default user profile in different versions of Windows. Driver handling can be a challenge for larger organizations; we’ll cover various driver concepts including mandatory driver profiles. ]Other important topics like the User State Migration Tool (USMT), configuration of XML files, and how to troubleshoot the USMT are also discussed in the book.

    We will cover the verifier and Windows Performance Toolkit for image validation scenarios. Furthermore, you will learn about MDT web frontend implementation as well as how to utilize the database capabilities of MDT for deeper deployment options. We’ll wrap it all up with some links to resources for more information, blogs to watch, and useful Twitter handles.

    Style and approach

    This is a comprehensive guide written using a step-by-step approach. It begins with the basics and gradually moves on to the advanced topics MDT.

    Downloading the example code for this book. You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at http://www.PacktPub.com. If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit http://www.PacktPub.com/support and register to have the code file.

    Table of Contents

    1. Mastering the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
      1. Mastering the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
      2. Credits
      3. About the Authors
      4. About the Reviewers
      5. www.PacktPub.com
        1. Why subscribe?
        2. Free access for Packt account holders
      6. Preface
        1. What this book covers
        2. What you need for this book
        3. Who this book is for
        4. Conventions
        5. Reader feedback
        6. Customer support
          1. Downloading the color images of this book
          2. Errata
          3. Piracy
          4. Questions
      7. 1. Imaging Concepts and Theory
        1. Imaging history
        2. Imaging concepts
        3. Imaging tools
        4. Setup
        5. Summary
      8. 2. Setting Up Your Environment
        1. Setting up MDT for the first time
          1. Setting up the virtual machine
          2. Downloading the MDT installer
          3. Installing Windows ADK
          4. Installing MDT
          5. Setting up reference share and deployment share
            1. Specifying a share name
            2. Specifying a descriptive name
            3. Modifying deployment options
            4. Summary and confirmation
        2. Exploring the completed reference share
          1. Setting reference properties
          2. Setting up our reference share task sequence
            1. Increasing the scratch space
            2. Including trace files in the boot WIM
            3. Naming ISO-generated files
        3. Updating up the deployment share
          1. Automatic boot media creation
        4. Importing an OS
          1. Choosing the type of OS to add
          2. Importing an OS from DVD media
          3. Viewing image properties
        5. Importing Hyper-V drivers
        6. Importing patches
          1. Downloading a hotfix
          2. Setting up a packaged import
          3. Updating the deployment share to include the hotfix
        7. Adding applications to our reference image
          1. Automating image updates
            1. Finding .msi files with the ITNinja repository
            2. Placing the .msi file
          2. Setting up a new application
            1. Specifying application details
            2. Finding the .msi source directory
            3. Specifying the destination directory
            4. Entering command details
        8. Summary
      9. 3. Creating Reference Images
        1. Creating a reference image in the management console
          1. Specifying the general settings
          2. Selecting the template and the OS
          3. Specifying a product key and OS settings
          4. Passwords and security
          5. Summarising our entries
          6. Finalising the task sequence
          7. Observing the task sequence
          8. Making configuration changes
          9. Creating an application bundle
            1. Making an application bundle object
            2. Installing the bundle
            3. Modifying the bundle
          10. Managing updates
        2. Sysprep run supportability
        3. Boot media for the reference task sequence
        4. Summary
      10. 4. Default User Profile Customization
        1. Customizing the image
          1. Checking out the customization documentation
          2. Accessing Windows System Information Manager
          3. Adding games to our Enterprise image
            1. Analyzing our changes
          4. Leveraging the Audit mode
          5. Local Policy Object Customizations and SCM
          6. Shell customizations
            1. Windows 7 Start menu and taskbar
            2. Windows 7 background, logon screen, and user tiles
            3. Windows 8 customizations
        2. Summary
      11. 5. CustomSettings.ini and Task Sequence
        1. The structure of the CustomSettings.ini file
          1. The Unattend.xml structure
          2. The variables.dat structure
        2. CustomSettings.ini and the Unattend.xml file
          1. Dynamic modification
          2. Task sequence structure
            1. Initialization
            2. Validation
            3. State capture
            4. Preinstall
            5. Install
            6. Postinstall
            7. State restore
          3. Logging
        3. Summary
      12. 6. Drivers
        1. Understanding offline servicing
        2. The MDT method of driver detection and injection
        3. Populating the Out-of-Box Drivers node of MDT
        4. Utilizing model variable to control what drivers are installed
        5. Drivers as applications
        6. Win PE drivers
        7. Summary
      13. 7. Image Deployment
        1. Reference image deployment
          1. Thick image
          2. Thin image
          3. Hybrid image
        2. Virtual machine creation
        3. Deployment
        4. Deployment share
        5. Deployment scenarios and network considerations
          1. Deployment networks
          2. Configuration of the deployment network
          3. Geographical considerations
        6. Summary
      14. 8. USMT – The User State Migration Tool
        1. History
        2. Supported scenarios and minimum requirements
        3. What USMT will migrate and won't migrate
        4. Where to download
        5. How USMT works
          1. USMT basics
          2. The ScanState process
          3. The LoadState process
        6. ScanState and LoadState syntax
        7. UsmtUtils tool
          1. Delete hard-link migration store
          2. Verify compressed migration store
          3. Recover files from a compressed migration store
          4. Supported cryptographic algorithms on the current system
        8. Customization of XML files
          1. Migrate registry keys
          2. Migrate a folder from a specific drive
            1. Including subdirectories
            2. Excluding subdirectories
        9. Migration options
          1. PC Refresh scenario
          2. PC Replacement scenario
          3. Online versus offline migration
          4. File copy versus hard-link
          5. Using Windows XP with ADK 8.1
        10. Best practices
        11. Troubleshooting USMT
        12. GUI wrappers for USMT
        13. Summary
      15. 9. Troubleshooting Deployment Logs
        1. Delving into Windows logs
        2. Microsoft deployment toolkit logs and task sequencer logs
          1. Getting CMTrace
          2. Clearing a failed (dirty) MDT deployment
          3. Look up error codes
        3. Common errors and frequent pitfalls
          1. Further help
            1. User state migration tool logs
        4. Summary
      16. 10. Validating the Image
        1. Driver Verifier
        2. Windows Performance Toolkit
        3. Windows Assessment Toolkit
          1. Windows Assessment Toolkit example 1 - verifying drivers
            1. Windows Assessment Services
        4. Summary
      17. 11. Database, UserExit Scripts, and Web Services
        1. MDT Configuration Database step by step
          1. Supported versions of SQL Server
          2. Configuring the SQL Server
          3. Creating a MDT database
          4. Configuring permission of the MDT database
          5. Using the MDT database
            1. Applying customizations to individual computers
            2. Applying customizations to roles
            3. Applying customizations to locations
            4. Applying customizations to computers based on their manufacturer and model
          6. Considerations on MDT database usage
        2. UserExit script
        3. Web services
        4. Summary
      18. 12. Additional Enterprise Configuration Items
        1. Reference VM configuration
        2. Securing the MDT process
        3. Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer