How to use MDT to apply a captured image to stand alone workstation


  • I will have a stand alone notebook computer without internet access due to it will be used for forensic investigations of external hard drives.  After each use the system will need to be wiped and restored with a custom windows 7 ultimate 64-bit image.  I'd like to make this process as least user interactive as possible, and run as quickly as possible from dvd media.  I've captured my custom windows 7 image into a wim file and imported it MDT 2010.

    I have 2 different ways to do what I need, and I need a little advice on which method would be better: 

    One method would be to have the user boot into a winpe environment from a dvd with imagex, diskpart, and my custom .wim on it and have the user open a dos prompt, run diskpart and type in the needed commands to wipe and format the disk, and then apply the .wim file to the hard drive.  This is user intensive as the user would be typing several text commands, but applying the wim wouldn't take very long, 15 minutes or so and then the user boots the computer as normal to begin their investigations.

    The other method I can think of is to have MDT do it by booting from the media, but this starts an install process and then applys the .wim which takes about an hour.  I don't really need it to start an install process, I just need it to format the disk and set it bootable, and then apply the .wim.  On the plus side the user has the graphical interface with little user interaction required.  However, I'm not really sure how to accomplish this with MDT as the boot media seems to want to launch the entire install process.

    Any suggestions?

    Saturday, September 03, 2011 5:56 PM

All replies

  • MDT has a built-in method of doing this called Media-based deployment.  You can use your same task sequences and create a mini-me MDT structure that can be put on a DVD or bootable USB drive. 

    Your Building a LiteTouch Bootable USB Image Questions Answered!

    If you found this post helpful, please give it a "Helpful" vote. If it answered your question, remember to mark it as an "Answer".

    Rich Prescott | MCITP, MCTS, MCP

    [Blog] Engineering Efficiency | Twitter: @Rich_Prescott | Powershell Client System Administration tool
    Saturday, September 03, 2011 6:19 PM
  • Thanks, I've been playing around with the media deployment with a couple of tutotials I googled.  Which task sequence would I want to use to apply the .wim to the hard drive?  I don't need to run a windows installation procedure, I just need it to format the c: drive, write the .wim to the hard drive, and make it bootable.  Is there is a task sequence for that, or will I need to use an existing task sequence and customize it?
    Monday, September 05, 2011 1:37 AM
  • You can use the Standard Client Task Sequence to deploy the image via media.
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it answered your question, remember to "Mark as Answer".

    Rich Prescott | MCITP, MCTS, MCP

    [Blog] Engineering Efficiency | [Twitter] @Rich_Prescott | [Powershell GUI] Client System Administration toolkit
    Monday, September 05, 2011 1:46 AM
  • You can create a task sequence specifically for your external media deployment.  Once you've got it set, select it as part of your selection profile and then it shows up in the WIN-PE environment and runs the task sequence you've setup to install/deploy your Win7 install.
    Wednesday, July 31, 2013 4:04 PM