Don’t be scared of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit

Whilst at various conferences, seminars, and reading Technet forum posts, I hear and read conversations about MDT. Here are some of the highlights.

I want to deploy Windows but I’m not an enterprise, I cant afford System Center

MDT is free! Its freely available from the Microsoft solutions accelerators. It does not require System Center to work.

I do not have an extensive network, and I do not use PXE boot facilities as my users are home workers.

MDT does not require servers to deploy Operating systems. MDT is a deployment workbench, its used to bring together the various components of a deployment. You could create a media deployment which could be a DVD, USB media which contains all the deployment components.

At the moment we run XP. We are rolling out Windows 7 next year, so we will wait a while before using MDT

You can use MDT to deploy XP! Ill admit you lose some functionality like adding roles and you still have to use Sysprep instead of the more advance unattend xml files. But its still a lot more advanced than old style RIS deployments.

I added all my systems drivers to the out of the box drivers folder but when I build, it always shows two or three unknown drivers what’s going on!

The best way to build and capture a reference image is to use a virtual machine.A virtual machine doesn’t have the driver issues that physical machines have. After I moved to virtualization, I went from 10 builds down to 1! The best virtualization applications are the type that have snapshot capabilities, such as HyperV, Vmware, Virtualbox.

I want to be certified in MDT, how do I go about achieving this?

There’s no certification for MDT. However there are certifications which cover MDT and Windows deployment. Search for Microsoft exams 70-680, 70-681, and  70-686

I want to deploy to multiple sites, but I’m worried about our bandwidth, is it possible with MDT?

MDT can create linked deployment shares which holds a duplicate copy of the main deployment share on a locally held deployment share. When deploying to a remote machine, MDT can assess the network gateway and instruct the deployment to use the local deployment share.

Is it possible to automate the deployment? I don’t want to have to click through a menu on each of my 300 machines

It is possible to automate the deployment, MDT can use a database to store all the information about a deployment. When the deployment starts, MDT queries the the database, if the query finds a match to a machine listed in the database, the deployment will automate.

Hey, Can someone suggest me an article, or website on Win7 Deployment?

At the moment Windows deployment is quite a hot topic. There a number of articles and blog posts dedicated to the subject.


Deployment Research

The deployment bunny

Springboard series

Extreme deployment


Deployment Fundamentals Deployment Fundamentals – Kindle Edition

Mastering Windows 7 Deployment


Technet – Microsoft Deployment Toolkit Forum

Technet – Windows 7 Installation, Setup, and Deployment Forum


Hopefully this should help you on your way to deployment success. Good luck in your deployments.


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