Windows 7 / Getting Started

Getting Started Developing Disk Images

A typical difficulty with deployment efforts is the number of images that you must manage. In heterogeneous environments with diverse requirements, many organizations build numerous images. Adding new hardware, language packs, security updates, and drivers usually requires re-creating each disk image. Updating multiple images with a critical security update and testing each of them requires a lot of effort from you. Therefore, a major Microsoft design goal, beginning with Windows Vista and continuing in Windows 7, is to significantly reduce the number of images you must maintain and help you maintain those images more easily.

A key way that Windows 7 helps you reduce the number of images that you must build and maintain is by reducing dependencies on features that typically differ from one image to the next. These include languages, HALs, and device drivers. For example, unlike Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows, Windows Vista and later images are no longer tied to a HAL type. (Windows Vista and later versions support only Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI)-based computers.) The operating system can redetect the HAL when you apply it to each destination computer. Windows Vista and later versions are also language neutral, which means that all languages are operating system features, and adding or removing language packages is very easy. In addition to reducing dependencies, Microsoft modularized Windows Vista and later versions to make customization and deployment easier, based the installation of Windows Vista and later versions on the file-based disk imaging format called Windows Imaging (WIM), and made other significant deployment features to the core operating system.

MDT 2010 is a framework for these tools and features. Rather than using each tool and feature individually and using scripts to cobble them together, this tutorial recommends that you develop and deploy Windows 7 images by using MDT 2010.

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