There are many ways to deploy a Windows® operating system. However, there are several common steps that you will go through in order to deploy Windows. The following process outlines a typical Windows deployment.
- Plan - Determine which deployment
method best meets your business needs. Gather all the required
resources, including hardware and software.
- Environment Setup - Build your
deployment environment. Install Windows System Image Manager
(Windows SIM) onto a single computer designated as the
technician computer. Build a lab environment to test your
installation prior to deployment. Use Windows SIM to define
your network shares and other environment settings.
- Customize - Create an answer file,
Unattend.xml, by using Windows SIM. Unattend.xml is a single
file that replaces a number of previous Unattend.txt and .ini
files. Use Oobe.xml to customize Windows Welcome.
- Install and Test - Assemble the new
computer, also known as a reference installation. Apply the answer
file and the Windows product DVD to the reference installation.
Test your new installation.
- Deploy - For high-volume deployments,
capture and store an image of the new installation onto your
distribution share. Deploy the image onto new computers and deliver
the new computer to the customer. For low-volume deployments, apply
the answer file and the Windows product DVD to each new computer
and then deliver the new computer to the customer.
- Maintain - Modify the existing image
by using Windows SIM to include drivers, service packs, and
OEM Manufacturing Process
In a high-volume manufacturing environment, it is common to create an image for each computer model that you will ship. You develop the image in a lab environment by using Windows SIM, store the images on a distribution share, assemble the new computers on the manufacturing floor, and then copy the images by using a network. This process works well for build-to-plan (BTP) and build-to-order (BTO) business models where speed is a priority.
The default image file (Install.wim) that is included with the Windows product DVD works only with Windows Setup (Setup.exe). Do not deploy this default image directly with the ImageX tool.
In a low-volume manufacturing environment, the flexibility to quickly customize an installation that includes different kinds of hardware and software is more important. In this case, DVD-based installations or configuration set installations are the preferred methods.
You can also design your own deployment process by using parts of the previously listed methods. The tools are flexible enough to support many complex deployment scenarios. This guide will describe only the core methods.
Corporate Deployment Process
As with OEM manufacturing environments, corporate environments can also range from low to high volume. The previously described deployment methods are also applicable to this space. However, in a corporate environment, there are additional processes not applicable to an OEM environment. Corporate deployments must address upgrade and migration issues. This guide will provide some guidance on these issues, but it will mainly focus on installing the new operating system onto the new hardware. For more information about corporate deployment, see the Business Desktop Deployment Solution Accelerator.