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WDS - Consolidating Images?

Posted on 2013-01-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-02-12
Hi all,

Basically we have a well established WDS platform that is actually very simple.

Breif overview of the system;
WDS is setup to be side-by-side with network
PXE response requires F12 but is open to all clients
Allowed to discover DC's
Not authorized in DHCP
Uses default address range for multicast
Keep all multicast clients in a session
Do not listen on 67 and option 60 are off (un-ticked)
REMINST network shared to all domain admins

The current set up is as follows, multiple images that have different unattended XML's that adds a key, adds the device to relevant domain, auto logs in as that domain administrator and then runs relevant ps1 script (see text file) that renames the device, activates windows and office, runs logmein installer, sets power plan to high performance and then reboots.

What I want to achieve is one image with multiple unattended files with matching multiple ps1 scripts, as the current set up means multiples of the same image files!
Complete overkill of space as I have like 10 images, 5 domains - desktop and laptop scripts.
Also by having one image I can run a script that offline upgrades it from our WSUS server.

I don't want another software solution, so only suggestions for WDS please! If not possible to consolidate these into one image then I'll have to lump it.

Also happy for people to use scripts - hope they prove useful :)

Many thanks in advance,
Question by:colinharris
LVL 61

Accepted Solution

Cliff Galiher earned 1200 total points
ID: 38829936
If what you have works, keep it. You can also write one script to do the WSUS updates and have all of the other scripts call it. So updating the one script would effectively update your various installs.

As far as space goes, don't sweat it. When you configure WDS, you may notice it configures something called "SIS" on the folder where your images are stored. SIS stands for "single instance storage" and this specifically is enabled to allow you to keep multiple images without chewing up a bunch of space. There is a reason WDS takes a bit of time to process the image when you load it, and why you can't simply copy the file into the folder and update a text file. WDS is dedup,coating the image as it loads it so you get as much space savings as possible. If all of your images are similar, there is very little wasted space.

So really, changing would introduce more risk and more maintenance.
LVL 85

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 38829965
Personally I find WDS a brain dead option compared to MDT which I tie into WDS and leverage its database options to name computers based upon function and asset-tag

This way I have a minimum of images to work with and do everything with task sequences
LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38830014
Agree with ve3ofa - you want to use MDT in conjunction with WDS - they are fantastic together... the WMI filtering offered by MDT allows you to do some REALLY COOL stuff.

Author Comment

ID: 38830207
Hi all,

Thanks for your answers, I have used MDT, that is what I used to make the initial unattended image file.

- cgaliher, quite interested in the "SIS" repo and how that works, as I don't seem to have that structure but is what I'm after!

What my problem is; when we have a new site, I make a new install image group and add
2 install images (for desktops and laptops) always from the same captured WIM.

This then makes 2 WIM files and a large RWM file but this is duplicated for every site (currently 5) and literally the only difference is the XML auto-unattended file and the matching PS1 script - held in a separate folder.

So what I need to know is if WDS can combine these? My thinking is that they'll all need to be on the same install image group and therefore on the same RWM?

The idea is I can then run a scheduled powershell script task daily or weekly on the WDS server itself that offline updates the single image from our WSUS repo.
Also should help save space, as currently using 59.9Gb just on images...

LVL 97

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 300 total points
ID: 38832328
WDS should dedupe the images when they are stored in the same group.  Why multiple groups?

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