How can I capture an Automated Deployment Services (ADS) image?

A. Before you can capture an ADS image (i.e., an image of a server OS), you must first perform the following steps on the installation you want to capture:

  1. Install the ADS Administration Agent from the ADS installation point (i.e., the server that has a copy of the ADS Management Agent).
  2. Create a sysprep folder in the C drive's root directory by typing
    mkdir c:\sysprep
  3. Copy sysprep.exe and setupcl.exe from the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM deployment tools to c:\sysprep.
  4. Copy the relevant .inf file from c:\program files\microsoft ads\samples\sysprep on the ADS server to c:\sysprep on the computer to be imaged; rename the file sysprep.inf.

To capture the image of the computer, perform the following steps:

  1. Click Start, Programs, Microsoft ADS, ADS Management to start the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) ADS snap-in.
  2. In the Automated Deployment Services (<computer name>) directory tree in the left pane of the snap-in, click the Devices object.
  3. In the right pane, right-click the device (i.e., server) that you want to capture, click "Run job," then click Next.
  4. Select "Create a one-time job" and click Next.
  5. Enter an optional description and click Next.
  6. For the command type, select "Task sequence" and click Next.
  7. At "Task Sequence File," click Browse.
  8. Navigate to c:\program files\microsoft ads\samples\sequences and select capture-image.xml (or capture-image-w2k.xml if you want to capture a Windows 2000 Server system). Click Next. You should create your own task sequence files based on the task sequence files that ADS supplies because you'll want to change the names of items in the files such as imagename. (If you don't change the name "imagename," the captured image will be called "imagename".)
  9. Click Finish to start the image capture.

You can check the capture status by selecting the ADS snap-in's Running jobs object. Double-clicking the job name provides more detailed information. The server being captured will boot from the network (make sure its first boot device is set to network Preboot Execution Environment--PXE). After the capture is finished, the source system displays the Deployment Agent screen until you manually restart the computer or send it additional commands. The figure at figure shows the Deployment Agent screen. If you check your ADS image storage location, you should now see a new image file.

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