You can use Windows Deployment Services to deploy Windows Vista as well as earlier Windows operating systems such as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. To do this, you use Sysprep to prepare the operating system, and then use a capture image to save the image in the Windows image (.wim) file format. Note that Windows Deployment Services does not recognize that the image contains an earlier operating system until the image is selected on the image selection page. When the image is selected, the image's metadata specifies the exact version of the operating system.

Although Windows Deployment Services provides full functionality for applying images for Windows Vista, note the following limitations when deploying the images of earlier Windows operating systems: