To use a network for deployment, you must create and share the folders containing the Windows® OEM Preinstallation Kit (Windows OPK) and Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) tools and applications. You use these tools to preinstall and ensure that all computers used in preinstallation have valid IP addresses, either by using Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) or by assigning static IP addresses.

Create and share folders for network deployment

To create a network share:

  1. Designate a computer to store your files and folders. This can be workstation, server, or even a laptop.

    By default, the computer name is used as the name of the network share (example, network_share).

  2. On the designated computer, create folders to be used on your network share. For example:

    • Add a folder for a Distribution Share, example: MyDistributionShare. For more information, see Create a Distribution Share.

    • Add a folder for applications installation files and other files used in deployment, example: MyApplications.

  3. Share the folders, and then create user accounts for accessing them.

    To share a folder, right-click it, click Sharing and Security, and then select Share this folder on the Sharing tab.

  4. From this computer, test that the folders are accessible. Example, navigate to \\network_share\MyDistributionShare and \\network_share\MyApplications.

  5. Create user accounts to access these folders from other computers by using the instructions later in this topic.

Best Practices for High-Volume Deployments

For high-volume deployment environments such as factories or enterprises, the following best practices are recommended:

  • Fast network infrastructure: To transfer images of Windows to destination computers as quickly as possible, use gigabit networking and switches instead of hubs to connect your destination computers to your image servers.

  • Windows Deployment Services (Windows DS): Use Windows DS on your image servers to deploy .wim files to destination computers booted from Windows PE RAM disks.

  • USB 2.0 boot support: On your destination computers, use a BIOS with USB 2.0 boot support. This enables faster Windows PE boot times, which make deployments faster.

  • Win32 tools: To optimize your development resources, develop a single Win32® test suite to test in your lab and deployment environment and for your recovery solution.

See Also