Building Windows 7 Enterprise x64 Image [3]

OK so recapping. Getting on with Windows 7 x64 imaging installing feature apps, then another capture, then testing full deployment. After that it will be customising with 6550b deployment task and testing the outcome on a 6550b.

The pre release of Update 1 had problems but the production release looks like working satisfactorily so I am migrating the previous (32-bit Pro) deployment share to it. Overall impressions of MDT are that it does what it says and that it is fairly straightforward for someone like me who does not use it regularly to pick it up again for a new deployment project at irregular intervals.

As MDT can do full captures it is probably the straightforward means for backing up old laptops as well. I haven’t used this yet but will probably look at it with the transfer of old laptops with these new ones we are setting up.

My second x64 capture, this time with the full apps, failed at first with the error message saying “there is not enough space on the disk”. I remember this situation happening before with MDT. Part of the capture stage is to create a reserved partition that, presumably, holds the Windows PE boot image, which is then used to reboot the captured system in Windows PE in order to carry out the actual capture process. If this partition is already present from a previous capture stage then this error results. The solution is simply to go to Computer Management, Disk Management and delete the reserved partition. After applying this step the capture worked normally.

The next step was to trial deployment to a target platform, in this case the same laptop I used to deploy the first x64 capture image. Once again this took about 40 minutes to deploy. The image is now a little over 6 GB which compares to about 2 GB for the base OS installation. I am unsure whether that really means 4 GB of stuff was installed or whether one is compressed and the other isn’t etc etc. The deployment was successful and everything on the laptop works about as expected.

This completes our task of building reference 64 bit images for the present. The next step is to create a platform specific task for deploying the Probook 6550b which I expect will be a similar process to that used to create the previous deployment for the 6730b laptops.