Microsoft Deployment Toolkit / Image-based Deployment vs. Script-based Deployment

It's starting to look like this MDT tool is nowhere as sophisticated or valuable as I initially thought. In fact, it looks like a teaser app to push you to buy SCCM in order to really enjoy any valuable leveraging of workflow efficiencies. So I need to take a step back and ask a basic question about it.

We don't have standard computer images, like one image for HR computers, another image for Finance computers, another image for Engineering computers, etc. When we get a request to build a new computer for an employee, it's anything goes. They could need any combination of over 100 applications we support in house. It's a custom build every time.

For this reason, I'm thinking we don't even want to pursue what is traditionally called "images" when building a deployment solution and, instead, use what is referred to (by me at least) as scripting-based deployment where the technician is selecting menu options as he builds the new computer to determine which O/S, drivers, & apps get installed.

I want my technicians to be able to PXE boot a computer on our network & be presented with a nice little menu (or menus) of some sort that allows him to determine the O/S, drivers, and apps that are to be installed.

Can MDT do this without the need to purchase any additional Microsoft applications to work in conjunction with MDT?

If the answer is yes, can you please provide me with a link to the information that can guide me through how to do this step-by-step? So far, the videos, built-in Help, & other online sources show me bit and pieces but I have not yet found a comprehensive start-to-finish walk-through of using MDT, and I mean step-by-step, not one that assumes I already know or have done this and that, which they don’t cover. Thanks.
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James HaywoodConnect With a Mentor Commented:
MDT does exactly what you have described. You pxe boot into a winPE environment and follow the menus selecting the OS, Applications etc that you want for that particular box.

I would highly recommend purchasing this book:

It gives you a complete step by step guide to setting up your environment, much better than the various mish mash of websites that are available.

No you will not have to purchase further software
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
you may want to take the free course at the microsoft virtual academy
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