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

How USMT works

At first glance, USMT with its various executables looks complex and confusing. We will explain the basics of USMT, the role of included XML files, and give insight to the ScanState and LoadState process with its steps and rule processing. With this knowledge, using USMT will be less confusing.

USMT basics

USMT 5.0 and newer consists of the following components:

  • scanstate.exe

  • loadstate.exe

  • usmtutils.exe

  • The MigDocs.xmlMigApps.xml, and MigUser.xml migration files

  • The downlevel and replacement manifests for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7

  • Various libraries and supporting files

The interactions between these components are shown in the following figure: 

USMT uses a two-part migration process consisting of gather and restore. The gather, which can be done in online and offline mode, uses the command-line scanstate.exe to collect user and computer settings and data based on XML files included with USMT, included in the operating system, and provided by the customer.