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Windows Deployment Services Getting Started Guide

Updated: April 15, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

This guide contains step-by-step guidance for how to install and configure the most common scenarios for Windows® Deployment Services (sometimes called “WDS”) in Windows Server® 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Note that you cannot use Windows Deployment Services with the Server Core installation option. To download the Windows Deployment Services documentation (including a step-by-step guide, deployment content, and WDSUTIL command-line syntax), see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=89381.

noteNote
For information about Windows Deployment Services Update for Windows Server 2003, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=66145.

Windows Deployment Services is the updated and redesigned version of Remote Installation Services (RIS). Windows Deployment Services enables you to deploy Windows operating systems over the network, which means that you do not have to install each operating system directly from a CD or DVD.

For information about what is new or included in your version of Windows Deployment Services, see Windows Deployment Services: What’s New (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=140114).

Windows Deployment Services is intended for deployment specialists who are responsible for the deployment of Windows operating systems. This guide assumes that you have a working knowledge of common desktop deployment technologies, as well as networking components such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Domain Name System (DNS), and Active Directory® Domain Services (AD DS). The target audiences are:

  • Deployment specialists interested in deploying Windows images to computers.

  • IT planners, designers, or analysts evaluating Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

To install and configure Windows Deployment Services in order to install an operating system, perform the following steps.

 

  Task Reference
Check box

Install Windows Deployment Services.

noteNote
If you are upgrading your server, see Upgrading from a server running RIS on Windows Server 2003 .

Installing Windows Deployment Services

Check box

Configure the server and add the default images (Install.wim and Boot.wim) that are included on the product DVD in the \Sources folder.

Configuring Windows Deployment Services

Check box

Install an operating system.

Installing an install image

The following are requirements for installing this role, depending on whether you choose the default installation (both Deployment Server and Transport Server), or only the Transport Server role service.

 

Deployment Server and Transport Server Transport Server
  • AD DS. A Windows Deployment Services server must be either a member of an AD DS domain or a domain controller for an AD DS domain. The AD DS domain and forest versions are irrelevant; all domain and forest configurations support Windows Deployment Services.

  • DHCP. You must have a working DHCP server with an active scope on the network because Windows Deployment Services uses PXE, which relies on DHCP for IP addressing.

  • DNS. You must have a working DNS server on the network before you can run Windows Deployment Services.

  • NTFS volume. The server running Windows Deployment Services requires an NTFS file system volume for the image store.

  • Credentials. To install the role, you must be a member of the Local Administrators group on the server. To initialize the server, you must be a member of the Domain Users group. For more information about this, see Required Permissions (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=115301).

  • For Windows Server 2008: The only prerequisite is that you must be a member of the Local Administrators group on the server to install Transport Server. Note also that a PXE provider is not installed with Transport Server, so you must create a custom PXE provider in order to network boot.

  • For Windows Server 2008 R2: You must be a member of the Local Administrators group to install Transport Server. In addition, if you are using Transport Server to network boot, your environment must contain DHCP (Windows Server 2008 R2 contains a PXE provider, which allows you to network boot).

You can install Windows Deployment Services by using the Initial Configuration Wizard, Server Manager, or the command line.

  • To install the role by using the Initial Configuration Wizard, click Add roles on the Initial Configuration Tasks startup screen. Click Next and then select Windows Deployment Services.

  • To install the role by using Server Manager, click Add roles, which is located in the Roles Summary pane. Click Next and then select Windows Deployment Services.

  • To install the role by using the command line, run one of the following two commands:

    • For Deployment Server, run ServerManagerCmd -install WDS.

    • For Transport Server, run ServerManagerCmd -install WDS-Transport.

During the installation, you have the following two role services to choose from. For a detailed comparison of these options, see Using Transport Server (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=115298).

  • Deployment Server. To install this option, ensure that both Deployment Server and Transport Server are selected on the second screen of the installation wizard. This is the most common option because it provides the full functionality of Windows Deployment Services, which you can use to configure and remotely install Windows operating systems. Note that Deployment Server is dependent on the core parts of Transport Server.

    noteNote
    If you want to manage Windows Deployment Services on a remote server that is running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2, you can install the Remote Server Administration Tools. To do this, open Server Manager, right-click the Features node, click Add Features, and locate Remote Server Administration Tools. This will install WDSUTIL and the Windows Deployment Services MMC snap-in on the server.

  • Transport Server. To install this option, clear the Deployment Server check box on the second screen of the installation wizard. This option provides a subset of the functionality of Windows Deployment Services. It contains only the core networking parts. You can use Transport Server to create multicast namespaces that transmit data (including operating system images) from a standalone server. You should use this option if you want to transmit data by using multicasting, but you do not want to incorporate all of Windows Deployment Services. This guide focuses on the functionality of the complete installation of Windows Deployment Services (Deployment Server role service). If you choose to install the Transport Server role service, see Using Transport Server (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=115298).

After you install the server role, you must configure the server. Once you have used the instructions in this section to configure the server, add a boot image, and an install image, you will be ready to deploy images.

  • Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is not supported for Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2008. Windows Server 2008 R2 does not support IPv6 for network booting, but does support IPv6 for deploying images.

  • If you are running Windows Deployment Services and a non-Microsoft DHCP server on the same computer, in addition to configuring the server to not listen on port 67, you will need to use your DHCP tools to add Option 60 to your DHCP scopes.

    noteNote
    There are some scenarios (particularly those that require running a DHCP server) that do not support adding custom DHCP option 60 on the same physical computer as the Windows Deployment Services server. In these circumstances, it is possible to configure the server to bind to UDP Port 67 in nonexclusive mode by passing the SO_REUSEADDR option. For more information, see Using SO_REUSEADDR and SO_EXCLUSIVEADDRUSE (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=82387).

  • If DHCP is installed on a server that is located in a different subnet, you will need to do one of the following:

    • (Recommended) Configure your router to forward broadcast packets. All DHCP broadcasts by client computers on UDP port 67 should be forwarded directly to both the DHCP server and the Windows Deployment Services server. Also, all traffic on UDP port 4011 from the client computers to the Windows Deployment Services server should be routed appropriately (these requests direct traffic, not broadcasts, to the server).

    • Add DHCP options 66 and 67. Option 66 should be set to the Windows Deployment Services server, and option 67 should be set to boot\x86\wdsnbp.com. For more information, see Managing Network Boot Programs (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=115304).

  • If Windows Deployment Services and DHCP are running on the same computer, configuring Windows Deployment Services to not respond to any client computers will not work. This is because although Windows Deployment Services will not respond, DHCP will. You can try to work around this issue by disabling DHCP option 60 on the DHCP tab

To configure the server role, use the following procedure. Then see the following section to add images to the server.

  1. Ensure that you are a Domain Administrator.

  2. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Windows Deployment Services. If there is not a server listed under the Servers node, right-click the Servers node and click Add Server to add the local computer.

  3. In the left pane of the Windows Deployment Services MMC snap-in, expand the list of servers.

  4. Right-click the server, and then click Configure Server (Note that the screenshots included in this document are from Windows Server 2008).

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  5. Follow the instructions in the wizard.

  6. When the configuration is completed clear the Add images to Windows Deployment Services now check box and then click Finish.

Now that you have configured the server, you will need to add images. For instructions, see the next section.

You must add at least one boot image and one install image before you will be able to boot to the Windows Deployment Services server and install an image.

  • Boot images. Boot images are Windows PE images that you boot a client computer into to perform an operating system installation. In most scenarios, you should use the Boot.wim file on the product DVD from one of the following operating systems:

    • Client: Windows Vista (with at least Service Pack 1 (SP1)) or Windows 7

    • Server: Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2

    You can also use custom boot images that you have created using the Windows AIK (for example, for diagnostic testing).

  • Install images. Install images are the operating system images that you deploy to the client computer. You can use the Install.wim file from the product DVD to deploy images for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2. For operating systems released prior to Windows Vista, you must create a custom install image. For instructions, see Creating Custom Install Images and Deploying Earlier Versions of Windows.

To add the Install.wim from the product DVD, use the following procedures.

  1. In the Windows Deployment Services MMC snap-in, right-click the Install Images node, and then click Add Install Image.

    b6f3361d-af95-4b2a-a6c9-b8c976fd741b
  2. Specify a name for the image group, and then click Next.

    405ac2d0-d2c7-4325-9375-b650b2c29786
  3. Browse to select the default install image (Install.wim), which is located in the \Sources folder of the product DVD, and then click Open.

  4. To add a subset of the images included in the Install.wim file, clear the check boxes for the images that you do not want to add to the server. You should add only the images for which you have licenses.

  5. Follow the instructions in the wizard to add the images.

  6. Click the image group to verify that the correct images were added.

    c4df1536-a42a-4e70-aa96-efe2f08216df
  7. Repeat this procedure to add any additional install images.

  1. In the left pane of the Windows Deployment Services MMC snap-in, right-click the Boot Images node, and then click Add Boot Image.

    b58b0018-e7a6-46cb-a6e7-c525322242c7
  2. Browse to choose the default boot image (Boot.wim) on the product DVD, located in the \Sources folder.

  3. Click Open and then click Next.

  4. Follow the instructions in the wizard to add the image.

  5. Repeat this procedure to add any additional boot images. When multiple boot images are available to client computers, clients will be presented with a boot menu that displays the boot images. For more information, see Managing the Boot Menu (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=115305).

  6. If you want to modify any of the settings of the server, right-click the server in the MMC-snap in, and click Properties.

    8d9ceb1c-d610-4d73-a4f6-89029c1ac4fe
  7. Now that you have at least one boot and install image on the server, you can perform a PXE boot on a client computer to install an operating system using the steps in the following section.

After you have at least one boot and one install image on the server, you can deploy an install image.

  • The client computer must be capable of performing a PXE boot.

  • Your user account must be a member of the Domain Users group.

  • The client computer must have at least 512 MB of RAM, which is the minimum amount of RAM for using Windows PE.

  • The client must meet the system requirements for the operating system of the install image.

To perform a PXE boot on a computer to install an image, use the following procedure.

  1. Configure the BIOS of the computer to enable PXE booting, and set the boot order so that it is booting from the network first.

  2. Restart the computer, and when prompted, press F12 to start the network boot.

  3. Select the appropriate boot image from the boot menu. (This boot image selection menu will be available only if you have two or more boot images on the server.)

  4. Follow the instructions in the Windows Deployment Services user interface.

  5. When the installation is completed, the computer will restart and Setup will continue.

This section applies to you if want to upgrade your server running Windows Server 2003 with SP1 or SP2. We recommend that you perform a clean installation whenever possible. However, if you decide that you want to upgrade your server, you should read the upgrade guidance in Upgrading to Windows Server 2008 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=110832) to ensure that your upgrade is successful.

When moving an existing RIS infrastructure to Windows Deployment Services, we recommend that you upgrade all of your servers to Windows Deployment Services. The three server modes on Windows Server 2003 and the ability to convert RIPREP images enable you to transition seamlessly from RIS to Windows Deployment Services. We do not recommend installing Windows Deployment Services on new servers in your environment while continuing to maintain the existing RIS servers—because it requires additional hardware and administrative overhead. Having two PXE servers that are configured differently on the same network segment can lead to unpredictable results.

There are three modes of operation for Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2003: Legacy, Mixed, and Native. Your server must be in Native mode to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2. Your upgrade will be blocked if RIS is configured, or if your server is in Legacy or Mixed mode. To determine which operating mode the server is currently in, run the command WDSUTIL /get-server /show:config.

To determine how to upgrade, consider which of the following scenarios applies to you:

  • If RIS is currently running on the server but you do not have Windows Deployment Services installed, you must install it before upgrading. Windows Deployment Services is included in the Windows AIK and Windows Server 2003 SP2. For more information about how to install and configure Windows Deployment Services, see the Step-by-Step Guide for Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2003 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=94643). Then use the following procedures to switch from Legacy mode (the default setting) to Native mode.

  • If RIS was installed on the server when you installed Windows Deployment Services, it will be in either Legacy or Mixed mode; you will need to change it to Native mode before upgrading.

  • If RIS was not installed on the server when you installed Windows Deployment Services, the server will be in Native mode and therefore ready to be upgraded.

Use one or both of the following procedures to change the server mode to Native.

  1. Initialize the server by doing one of the following:

    • Using the MMC snap-in. On the Start menu, click Administrative Tools, and then click Windows Deployment Services. Right-click the server, and then select Initialize Server.

    • Using WDSUTIL. Run the command WDSUTIL /Initialize-Server /RemInst:C:\RemoteInstall (assuming that C:\RemoteInstall is the location of your REMINST shared folder).

  2. When the process is completed, use the following procedure to change the server mode from Mixed to Native.

  1. Retire your RISETUP and RIPREP images, or convert them to .wim format. To retire them, just delete the images. If you want to convert them, you have two options:

    • Convert them offline (for RIPREP images only). To do this right-click the Legacy Images node, right-click the image and click Convert to WIM.

    • Deploy and recapture them by using the Image Capture Wizard (for RIPREP or RISETUP images). For instructions, see Creating Custom Install Images.

  2. Run the command WDSUTIL /Set-Server /ForceNative.

  3. When the process is completed, the server is ready to be upgraded. For more information about upgrading, see Upgrading to Windows Server 2008 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=110832).

To uninstall the Windows Deployment Services component, you can click Remove Roles in Server Manager, or run ServerManagerCmd -remove WDS at an elevated Command Prompt window.

You can also uninitialize the server if you want to reset the server to a nonconfigured state but you do not want to uninstall Windows Deployment Services. This is helpful if you want to start over but would like to retain existing settings. For example, if you want to move the RemoteInstall folder (perhaps you got a new hard disk for your server and wanted to move this folder to it), you would uninitialize the server, copy the folder to the new location, and then reinitialize the server by using the new path. To uninitialize the server, run the command WDSUTIL /uninitialize-server in an elevated Command Prompt window.

For instructions on performing more advanced tasks, see the following topics:

  • Performing Multicast Deployments. In order to deploy an image using multicasting instead of unicasting, you must first create a multicast transmission. Multicast transmissions make the image available for multicasting, which enables you to deploy an image to a large number of client computers without overburdening the network.

  • Managing and Deploying Driver Packages. If you have Windows Server 2008 R2, you can deploy driver packages to client computers as part of an installation, and you can add driver packages to boot images prior to deployment.

  • Creating Custom Install Images. You can use Windows Deployment Services to create custom install images using capture images, which provide an alternative to the command-line utility, ImageX.exe. To create a custom image, you create a capture image, prepare a reference computer using Sysprep, and then capture the operating system using the Image Capture Wizard.

  • Performing an Unattended Installation. You can automate the entire deployment using two unattend files: one for the Windows Deployment Services user interface screens, and one for the later phases of Setup.

  • Creating Discover Images. A discover image is a type of boot image that you can use to install an operating system on a computer that is not capable of network booting using the Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE).

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