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Windows 7 Deployment

Currently i've been put in charge of rolling out Windows 7 in our company.

What i'm looking for is the deployment strategies everyone else is using to do this, what software do you use? what are some of the problems you have come accross etc? In particular does anyone use MDT?
I like the idea of having one image for all hardware models but i'd like to know if people have this working successfully? Also i created a test reference image and it all worked ok with applications and drivers but my desktop layout/icon customisation didn't come across.
I probably just need to play with it abit more but what issues have others come across?

Thanks.
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andoss
Asked:
andoss
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3 Solutions
 
RRRRyanCommented:
You'll have to pick your own poison. If your image is small enough you don't need fancy network crap, just a good CD/DVD. I can tell you with Windows 7 that your group policies are gonna need an overhaul. I can recommend Ghost, but I'm a cheapskate and paying for software that will tie up the network transferring an OS image is not something I'm willing to do. I've got to go to the machine anyway, might as well drop a disk in it.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I haven't used MDT much, but done a fair amount using Windows Deployment Services.  Far cheaper than Ghost (free), and if run on a windows 2008 server, WDS supports multicasting - you could deploy dozens of systems at once.  I've also built an image on a Dell LAtitude 6510 and deployed it to a very different Optiplex 745 with no signs of problems.
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RRRRyanCommented:
We tried WDS but for some reason had a nightmare with managing the images. I'll have to revisit that option some day. Nice to hear from someone it worked for.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I've set it up in several locations and I can't say I've had any significant problems.

I have a document for installing it:
http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/installwds2008.asp
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andossAuthor Commented:
Thanks Lee i'll give that a read through.
You've been using WDS to deploy Windows 7?

I'm working at a company with around 700 employees spread out over 7 locations, the 6 branches don't have any IT staff onsite so the process for the users once the image is setup needs to be fairly straightforward.

Currently the branches use boot discs to boot ghost and load the images from external USB drives while at Head Office we have a Ghost server for multicasting etc. Problem we had with using the old system for imaging Win 7 is that sysprep doesn't work the same way with Win 7 so joining the domain etc was a manual step.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I haven't mastered the domain join aspect of Sysprep in win7.  It seems to auto-join based on the logged in user name at the time of deployment.  I'm sure there's a way to turn this off - or adjust it - but haven't explored it further.  WDS images are file based and exclude some very large files.  The result is that the images are usually smaller than other products.  
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Kody-BurgCommented:
I use WDT2010 in our college system. It will allow you to deploy Windows 7 and all necessary software and drivers automatically. It also creates a unattend file for you automatically.

I highly recommend you take a look at WDT2010.

Best of luck,

Kody
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andossAuthor Commented:
Do you mean MDT2010 not WDT2010?
Or what is WDT2010? Google knows nothing about it.
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Kody-BurgCommented:
Sorry, made a typo...should have looked closer before submitting...yes, I meant MDT2010.

Thanks,

Kody
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andossAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone, i've been following this guide which is good (although rather alot to take in).
http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Deploying-Windows-7-Part1.html

Looks like using MDT2010 and WDS is the way to go. Just need to get my head around things.
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andossAuthor Commented:
No one answered my question in any depth so i've split points as you all gave me some ideas which is what i was after.
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