The Windows Deployment Services (WDS) server role enables the deployment of Windows operating systems to client and server computers. Using WDS, computers that do not have an installed operating system boot from the network, contact the WDS server, and download and install the operating system. WDS:
- Deploys Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and earlier versions of Microsoft operating systems.
- Is available with Standard, Enterprise, and DataCenter editions of Windows Server 2008.
WDS uses disk images for the installation. There are four types of WDS images.
|Install image||An installimage is an image of the operating system that will be installed on client computers.
|Boot image||A bootimage is a minimal operating system (Windows PE) that is sent to the client when it first connects to the WDS server. Boot images are used as follows:
|Capture boot image||A captureboot image is an image that you use to create custom install images. To create a custom install image you do the following:
|Discover boot image||A discoverboot image is an image that is placed on removable media (such as a CD, DVD, or USB drive) that can be used by non-PXE clients to boot and locate a WDS server. To use a discover image:
Be aware of the following WDS details:
- WDS has the following requirements:
- The WDS server must be a member of an Active Directory Domain Services domain.
- WDS requires a DNS server.
- DHCP is necessary for IP addressing and PXE.
- The WDS image store must reside on an NTFS file system volume.
- WDS automates the installation process using two separate unattend files:
File Description Windows Deployment Services client unattend file The Windows Deployment Services client unattend file automates the WDS client screens (authentication, selecting the install image, disk configuration, etc.). The file uses the Unattend.xml format, and it is stored in the \WDSClientUnattend folder. Image unattend file The Image unattend file automates the remaining setup phases. Depending on the operating system version in the image, it uses either the Unattend.xml format or the Sysprep.inf format. It is stored in a subfolder (either $OEM$ structure or \Unattend) in the per-image folder.
- WDS supports the following transmission methods to deploy images:
- Unicast transmits a separate image to each individual client.
- Multicast transmits a single image which is received by all clients configured to receive it.
- Scheduled casting is when the image is transmitted at a pre-configured time and/or after a certain set of computers have contacted the WDS server.
- To manage and maintain WDS from the command line, use the WDSUTIL utility.