Windows 7 Reference Task Sequence Creation With ConfigMgr and MDT Integration
A customer earlier in the week had implemented ConfigMgr for their builds and was getting good results with it. They hadn’t implemented MDT as they couldn’t see the benefit, so with this series of posts I’m going to highlight why we mostly do it this way, and what benefits using MDT Task Sequences brings.
Now that SP2 for ConfigMgr is in Release Candidate (and due for RTM at the end of October according to Mr Niehaus) we can use this stuff for Windows 7 deployment.
First up, install SQL, ConfigMgr, its dependencies, and MDT 2010 RTM.
Now, integrate MDT with ConfigMgr by clicking
Now open the ConfigMgr console. nothing much has changed, but you have a couple of new options when you right click in the OS Deployment node. You can create MDT Boot Media clicking in boot images and you can create an MDT Task Sequence clicking in Task Sequences, let’s do that now!
When we do this we are prompted to pick a template. So, here’s the first benefit with MDT. More pre-configured templates:
The standard ConfigMgr task sequence only gives three options:
Further to that, the ConfigMgr standard Task Sequence expects you to have set up all of the dependent packages, boot images, etc. yourself before running through the wizard. MDT will create them for you if required…
Ok, so we pick to deploy the MDT Client Task Sequence, I can already tell that this is going to be a rambling post, but the first thing of note is that you no longer have to provide a capture destination if you’re not going to be doing a capture. Hurray, a minor irritant squashed (it’s the little things…)!
That said, I need to capture this build, so I fill in the box.
With the standard ConfigMgr task sequence, I’d need to select one of the pre-built boot images, but I want the goodness of ADO and other brilliant, so I get MDT to make a special one just for me:
The MDT asks if you want other languages, a custom wallpaper (I always make mine in PowerPoint, some of the templates make for pretty wallpapers, when there’s all this technology around there’s still no getting away from the fact that the customers like their logos on things, and why not.). On the same screen as the wallpaper, language, ADO options etc. you can also provide an extra directory to add. I put my diag tools in here (Trace32.exe etc.) they make life easier if you have problems in PE).
I create a Deployment Toolkit File Package. This holds all the scripts and bits that the MDT task sequence needs. Those of you still with us may notice that I put everything in a sub-folder of a root folder called OSImaging. This keeps things nice and tidy as far as I’m concerned, and is something I recommend.
Now MDT wants to create our OS package for us. Again under the standard ConfigMgr task sequence you’d have to do this outside of the wizard.
It also creates the ConfigMgr client package for you. Again, it’s not hard to do yourself, but why bother when the wizard can sort you out…
and USMT package:
We don’t need Sysprep, so can skip the final screen and then we’re ready. The wizard goes off and creates all the objects listed above.
Once it’s finished we just need to add the packages created to distribution points (this includes the OS install, so it can take a little while). I’ve got a PXE Service Point, so I add my new boot image to that DP too.
Next we’ll deploy and capture this and then start to look at the clever stuff we can do with the MDT integration to streamline deployment and support advanced deployment scenarios.