Q. How can I deploy an Automated Deployment Services (ADS) image on a target server?

A. To deploy a precaptured image on a target server, you first use the Microsoft Management Console ADS snap-in to create a new device for the target server's media access control (MAC) address, then assign the target server a job to deploy the image. The ADS Help files explain the process of deploying an ADS image; however, I used the following process successfully:

  1. Click Start, Programs, Microsoft ADS, ADS Management to start the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) ADS snap-in.
  2. In the Automated Deployment Services () branch 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 target and click Properties.
  4. Click the User Variables tab and click Add.
  5. Enter values for the local administrator password, domain, domain password, domain administrator, machine name, and product key. (You must click Add after entering each value; thus, you'll have to repeat the Add step six times to enter all six values.) The figure at figure shows the User Variables tab in which you enter the values.
  6. Select the check box that encrypts the passwords (the check box is displayed when you click Add) and click OK.
  7. Right-click the server that you want to target, click "Run job," then click Next.
  8. Select "Use an existing job template" and click Next. You'll see a screen like the one at figure
  9. Select "boot-to-da" and click Next.
  10. Click Finish.
  11. The target server should now be configured to boot from Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) and started. The target server will boot to the Deployment Agent and await further instructions from the ADS server.
  12. Right-click the server that you want to target, click "Run job," then click Next.
  13. Select "Create a one-time job" and click Next.
  14. Enter an optional description and click Next.
  15. For the command type, select "Task sequence" and click Next.
  16. At "Task Sequence File," click Browse.
  17. Navigate to c:\program files\microsoft ads\samples\sequences and select a deployment file that's based on the ADS-supplied file da-deploy-image-domain.xml (or da-deploy-image-wg.xml if you're deploying an image in a workgroup instead of a domain). Click Next. (You should create your own template based on the appropriate ADS-supplied file and use your template instead of the ADS file, because you'll need to modify items such as imagename.)
  18. Click Finish to start deploying the image on the target server.

After the image is deployed, sysprep.exe runs with the parameters you previously configured and the certificate copied over and reboots the server to the restored image. You'll notice items such as "networking installed" and "domains joined" (if you've set them) on the startup screen of the deployed OS. The administrator doesn't need to intervene at any point while sysprep.exe is running.

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