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


In this chapter, we've discussed the task sequence and how variables are utilized by the stock scripts; we also discussed how to create our own variables for different hardware configurations.

We've also looked at the structure of the CustomSettings.ini and variables.dat files and Unattend.xml file. More importantly, we've discussed the interconnectedness of CustomSettings.ini and how it is used to variable-ize Unattend.xml dynamically. On top of this, the task sequence itself can make Unattend.xml values into variables as well for our deployment purposes.

We've also walked through the deployment task sequence structure and covered the gotchas, frequently used areas, and best practices.

Lastly, we've gone over monitoring, from its roots to its current incarnation of PowerShell-enabled cmdlets.

In the next chapter, we'll cover driver concepts, when drivers are applications and when they are drivers, how to handle both scenarios, and mandatory driver profiles.