The MDT deployment process uses the reference computer as a baseline for the configuration of target computers when the deployment process is complete. You configure the reference computer to comply with the business, technical, and security requirements of the organization. After configuring the reference computer, capture an image of the reference computer that you can then deploy to the target computers.

Only in rare circumstances will you be able to deploy the images from the Windows distribution media unmodified to the reference and target computers. Instead, create customized images that include the Windows operating system, language, packs, applications, device drivers, software updates, and other software.

The MDT deployment process allows for the creation of customized images that are first deployed to a reference computer, then captured from the reference computer, and finally deployed to target computers. MDT manages the customization of images so that you can create them with less effort and higher levels of automation. For example, the Deployment Workbench in MDT can automatically inject the appropriate device drivers into images.

When creating a reference image for:

·     Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, creating reference images using virtual machines (VM) can be more difficult. For example, reference images created with Hyper-V® VMs would work on modern dual-core and hyperthreaded machines (with ACPI UniProc or ACPI MultiProc HALs) but not on older, single-processor computers (with ACPI HALs).

·     Windows Vista and later operating systems, VMs work well for creating reference images, because the HAL issues are not applicable.

Note   VMs typically do not have the same performance as physical computers, so creating the reference images may take longer.

Related Topics

Planning MDT Deployments