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Automating Windows Server 2008 R2 Installation

Automating Windows Server 2008 R2 Installation

If you need to install Windows Server 2008 R2 on a series of computers in your organization, the following methods are available:

  • Answer files: This is an XML-based file (unattend.xml) that contains the operating system settings required for an unattended installation of Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows Server 2008 R2. If you have prepared the answer file properly, the server installation proceeds without intervention. Windows Server 2008 R2 provides the Windows System Image Manager utility to facilitate the creation of properly formatted answer files.

  • Sysprep: Sysprep prepares a Windows installation for copying to additional computers. It removes computer-specific information such as the server name. You can use third-party disk imaging software to prepare multiple copies for distribution to new servers. As well as the Windows Server 2008 R2 installation, images can include installations of a common set of software to be used on all servers. For more information, refer to “Sysprep Technical Reference” at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744263(WS.10).aspx.

  • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010: MDT is a Microsoft Solution Accelerator that is used for deployment of operating systems and applications. A solution accelerator is a set of documents, scripts, job aids, and methodologies that assist IT professionals in designing, deploying, and maintaining Microsoft technologies. For more information, refer to “Microsoft Deployment Toolkit” at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd407791.aspx.

  • Windows Deployment Services (WDS): WDS is an upgrade to Remote Installation Services (RIS), which was used for deploying installations of Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 in a domain environment. Similar to RIS, you must have an Active Directory domain, a DHCP server, and DNS to use WDS. WDS can deploy images of either Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. For more information, refer to “Windows Deployment Services Getting Started Guide” at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771670(WS.10).aspx.


  

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