This topic provides general information about using Windows® Deployment Services to deploy Windows operating systems over the network, as well as links to additional documentation.
In This Topic
Introduction to Windows Deployment Services
Windows Deployment Services is the updated and redesigned version of Remote Installation Services (RIS). You can use it to install Windows to computers over a network instead of installing each operating system directly from a CD or DVD. To use Windows Deployment Services, you should have a working knowledge of common desktop deployment technologies and networking components, including Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Domain Name System (DNS), and Active Directory® Domain Services.
To implement this technology, first you install and configure Windows Deployment Services. Then, add the default images from the \Sources directory of the installation DVD to the server. This includes the Windows installation image (Install.wim) and the Windows PE boot image (Boot.wim). The Boot.wim file contains Windows PE and the Windows Deployment Services client. The client is Setup.exe with some additional functionality needed for network deployments.
After you have at least one of each image on the server, you are ready to deploy Windows images. Now, when you boot a computer using Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE), the Windows Deployment Services server responds to the PXE requests and loads the Boot.wim file into the RAM of the computer. Then, you can select which Windows image to install on the computer. You can also perform more advanced tasks like creating Windows images using capture images, creating discover images for computers that are not capable of PXE booting, and configuring an unattended installation.
For information about the features that are included in each version of Windows Deployment Services, see Windows Deployment Services: What's New.
Deploying using Windows Server® 2003
When deploying Windows using Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2003, there are three server modes: Legacy, Mixed, and Native. These server modes determine the administration experience, the image formats that you can use, and the boot environment:
- Legacy mode is equivalent to RIS; it
uses Windows Deployment Services binaries with RIS
- Native mode is Windows Deployment
Services without RIS functionality; this means that you are only
able to deploy .wim images.
- Mixed mode contains both RIS and
Windows Deployment Services functionality; you can deploy
RISETUP and RIPREP image types using RIS, and .wim files using
Windows Deployment Services.
These modes allow you to transition between server modes; as a result, they provide a clear migration path between the RIS and Windows Deployment Services. Windows Deployment Services is included in the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) version 1.1 and in Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2; both of these versions are identical. However, Windows Deployment Services is not available in the Windows AIK for Windows 7.
To get started with this version, see the Windows Deployment Services Update Step-by-Step Guide. This guide will walk you through configuring your server, adding images, and installing an operating system. It also includes instructions for more advanced tasks like creating custom images and performing an unattended installation. For detailed documentation, see Deploying and Managing the Windows Deployment Services Update on Windows Server 2003.
Deploying using Windows Server® 2008
Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2008 is a server role that you can install using Server Manager. To get started with this version, see the Windows Deployment Services Role Step-by-Step Guide. This guide will walk you through configuring your server, adding images, and installing an operating system. It also includes instructions for more advanced tasks like creating multicast transmissions, creating custom images, and performing an unattended installation.
For more detailed documentation, see the following:
- Deployment Guide
- Technical Reference
- WDSUTIL command line syntax
- Events and Errors Information
To download this documentation, see Documentation for Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2008
Deploying using Windows Server® 2008 R2
Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server® 2008 R2 is a server role that you can install using Server Manager. It includes many improvements to the version that was included with the initial release of Windows Server 2008 including the ability to deploy driver packages as part of an installation and add driver packages to Windows PE boot images. For information about this version of Windows Deployment Services, see Windows Deployment Services for Windows Server 2008 R2.