Deploy Windows 7/8 without Ethernet? RRS feed

  • Question

  • We have 30 laptops that are frequently reimaged and we only have space to do about 4 at a time in the place where we normally build machines.  It would be nice if we could just take all 30 to another room with 30 USB sticks and image them at the same time without needing a giant network switch and a mess of network cables.

    I had the idea of creating a deployment share that has all the applications locally so all the software installation files can be accessed without using network shares and copying that to a bootable USB stick.

    After the OS, drivers and applications are installed, the deployment task would run a netsh script to join the 802.1x wireless network using a static user name and password with rights to join the wireless network, then once it is on the wifi, join the domain,  run gpupdate /force command and group policy would apply a different wireless policy using computer-based authentication instead of the user and the deployments should continue on, run the remaining tasks to install Windows Updates and antivirus agent check-in and definition updates over the wireless connection and then finish the deployment.

    Should this work?  Can you run a full Lite Touch deployment and join a domain without access to a wired network connection?

    The only issue I see with this updating the task sequences and updating the OS on 30 USB sticks since I don't know of anyway to do that quickly.  So, we would would try not make changes more than once or twice per year.

    Is there any easier way?  For instance, will a new version of MDT support full deployment over wireless?

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 2:19 AM

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    Arnav Sharma | Facebook | Twitter Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 6:55 AM
  • You can offload all network related stuff to USB when it comes to operating system deployment, just like the link provided by Arnav Sharma.

    The trick is how to achieve the domain join, since the 'recover from domain step' is part of the task sequence, and needs an online connection, you'll have to find a way to make the machine domain join either offline, which is possible (but also has some obstacles to overcome). An other way would be to first initiate the WLAN connection, validate that the connection is made, and then perform the domain join.

    Creating MDT media for DVD/USB is the way to go, when you want to offload the network or have no network available. Deploying over WLAN is a feature I can't see happening in the upcoming 2013 release of MDT, it is 1st just not desirable, and 2nd in my opinion difficult to configure. The closest thing you can achieve is to export existing wireless profiles and import them for your clients, so you can test/make use of the WLAN network, during deployment, but only when the deployment is already in the Windows phase:

    How to add wireless profiles during deployment via MDT

    Good luck!

    If this post is helpful please click "Mark for answer", thanks! Kind regards

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 7:58 AM