Q: How can I create an OS deployment package by using the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) OS Deployment Feature Pack?

A. You can now use the .wim file to create an OS deployment package, by following these steps:

  1. Within the SMS Management Console, select New, Operating System Image Package from the context menu of the Image Packages leaf item.
  2. Click Next to launch the New Operating System Package Wizard.
  3. At the screen that the figure shows, enter a name for the package, the location of the .wim file, and a location to create the source for the new package, which will contain the .wim file to be deployed. The destination for the package source files should be a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path. You should use an empty or new folder for the destination because all existing files in the location will be deleted. Click Next.
  4. A copy progress dialog box will be displayed. After the process is done, click Finish.

Now that the image package exists, you need to deploy it to client machines via deployment points. From the SMS Management Console, select Image Package, then select the name of the image package you want to deploy. Right-click the package's Distribution Point, and select New, Distribution Points from the context menu. Then select the distribution points from which you want to distribute the OS package.

Next, you need to create a program to install the package, as follows:

  1. Right-click the Programs leaf of the new package and select New, Operating System Program.
  2. Click Next to launch the New Operating System Program Wizard.
  3. Enter a name for the program (e.g., WindowsXPSP2Install) and accept the default "Create a new Operating System Program with default settings," as the figureshows. (You can change the settings later.) Click Next.
  4. At the next screen, enter the product key to use for all installations (This feature is designed for customers with a select agreement that don't have to activate their Windows installations and that use one product key for all OS installations.) Enter the key and click Next, as the figureshows. You'll notice an option to use an encrypted product key; you can find more information about this option at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=328356.
  5. The wizard then prompts you to enter a workgroup or domain for the new OS to join. If you select a domain, the wizard prompts you to enter the name and password of an account with sufficient privileges to join multiple accounts to the domain, as the figureshows. You'll also notice an option to create a random local administrator password for the machine. This password won't be known, meaning the account can't be used by intruders. You must use domain accounts to log on to the newly built box. Click Next.
  6. Click Finish.
  7. Now that you've created a new program for the package, you need to update the distribution points. To do so, right-click Distribution Points and select All Tasks, Update Distribution Points from within the SMS Administrator Console.

    You now have an OS ready to deploy. You might want to perform more changes, such as setting User State Migration Tool (USMT) to capture the state of user profiles if you're refreshing machines. You can also create a CD-ROM to deploy this image to new machines. From the SMS Management Console, select Image Packages, then All Tasks, then click "Create Operating System Image Installation CD." The process creates an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) file, which you can then burn to a CD-ROM (remember, you need to burn the entire contents of the ISO file). Insert the newly created CD-ROM into a new machine, and the OS will deploy, as the figureshows. You can also use the CD-ROM in an existing installation to initiate an SMS-based upgrade.

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