Book Image

Mastering the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit

By : Jeff Stokes, Manuel Singer
Book Image

Mastering the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit

By: Jeff Stokes, Manuel Singer

Overview of this book

Topic The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) provides a comprehensive collection of tools, processes, and guidance for automating desktop and server deployments. It considerably reduces deployment time and standardizes desktop and server images. Moreover, MDT offers improved security and ongoing configuration management. Microsoft Deployment Toolkit is the official supported method of creating and customizing Windows images for deployment. Description: Starting from scratch, this book walks you through the MDT setup, task sequence creation, and image deployment steps in detail. Breaking down the various MDT concepts, this book will give you a thorough understanding of the deployment process. Beginning with imaging concepts and theory, you will go on to build a Microsoft Deployment Toolkit environment. You will understand the intricacies of customizing the default user profile in different versions of Windows. Driver handling can be a challenge for larger organizations; we’ll cover various driver concepts including mandatory driver profiles. ]Other important topics like the User State Migration Tool (USMT), configuration of XML files, and how to troubleshoot the USMT are also discussed in the book. We will cover the verifier and Windows Performance Toolkit for image validation scenarios. Furthermore, you will learn about MDT web frontend implementation as well as how to utilize the database capabilities of MDT for deeper deployment options. We’ll wrap it all up with some links to resources for more information, blogs to watch, and useful Twitter handles.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
Mastering the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
About the Authors
About the Reviewers

CustomSettings.ini and the Unattend.xml file

Now that we've reviewed the CustomSettings.ini structure, some commonalities between the Unattend.xml file and CustomSettings.ini may be evident. For example, the OSDComputerName value of CustomSettings.ini is what will dynamically supersede our task sequence's <ComputerName> value of Unattend.xml when the task sequence runs.

This is the key value in using MDT for deployment. With a structured Unattend.xml file and deployment, you get a hands-off deployment. However, it's machine-specific, typically, hardware-specific. It's also a challenge to manage this and change Unattend.xml, even with WSIM. So, this solution of utilizing Unattend.xml manually (even per model, for example, for driver considerations) doesn't scale and should not be used in the Enterprise environment, or small and medium businesses.

Dynamic modification

With MDT, we are essentially scaling Unattend.xml and dynamically modifying the values as we see fit, for each task sequence...