Playing With W2008 R2 WDS

I’ve been doing the last bits of preparing for my Windows User Group session on deploying Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (details here and LiveMeeting webcast here) for this Friday (December 4th, 09:30 GMT – it’ll be recorded). 

I’ve been trying out a few of the features of Windows Server 2008 R2 Windows Deployment Services (WDS), a free OS image capture/deployment solution from Microsoft.  Some of the new features are:

  • Driver additions to the boot image are really easy.
  • Setting up multicast is really easy too.
  • Clients can join a multicast midway and then get the rest of the stream afterwards.
  • You can configure a multicast to only initiate when a session has enough computers or at a certain date/time.
  • You can allow no computers or all computers access to WDS. 
  • You can allow new computers to access WDS two ways.  The first (old) one is to pre-build computer accounts in Active Directory with the GUID/MAC of the physical machine to build.  Or, you can delay a boot up until the end user calls the helpdesk and gets and administrator to approve their session in the WDS console.

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