I am inquiring on general or best practice for deploying Windows 7, just to see what others are doing. I am referring to a completely unattended install. I am curious as to which methods are preferred in each step of the scripted install or imaging process. If you have time, please advise on these topics:

K2000 - scripted install or images? Do you like to take the time to perfect the scripted or just deploy/create a base script with OS+Drivers+.NET+A/V apps+Browser Branding+Updates, later building an image from this base? If you end up managing many images, do you wish you went with scripted or vice versa?

How are you applying your updates? Are you waiting for WSUS and letting users restart, using PI tasks or the K1000, or some other method?

How are you applying your Windows 7 personalization and general settings? This can refer to paritioning, domain join, naming, themes, power schemes, taskbar appearance, UAC, folder views, bacground, gadgets, and the login appearance. Which or why do you prefer to apply with WAIK, USMT, Scripts, GPO, k1000 or other methods?

The what and why to these questions will help me determine my approach for our upcoming Windows 7, Office 2010, IE9, USMT deployments. I have browsed through and searched this board and others, but I thank anyone in advance for their additional input. I do understand that a lot of these can be answered through personal preference or current hardware inventory, but anything helps.

Thanks again.
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K2000: Scripted Windows 7 install using customized WAIK (add a custom admin acct, MAK activation key, various OOBE settings), KBOX driver feeds and adding a standard suite of applications using post process.
One scripted image fits ALL hardware, installs appropriate drivers. The only issue right now is that the video drivers are not installing from the driver feed content, but KACE is working on that issue. Video driver is a manual process.
Windows update is ON, UAC is OFF. Not using WSUS.
This allows MS updates to run, however our K1000 patching is pushing remaining urgent updates when inventory discovers they are needed.
We stage the machines in a lab and add additional user specific apps if needed. Some of our apps are managed installs from the K1000, so if the machine or user fits the filter criteria, additional apps are installed post process by the K1000 automatically.
We have refreshed about 100+ machines with Win 7 this way and the only major manual process is user data migration.
Have not used USMT due to the KBOX drive space it would consume for user data, also do not want user data going over the WAN from our remote sites, due to the limitation that the RSA's cannot currently store USMT user data.
Eventually we will try working USMT into the process.

In summary, one scripted Win 7 to manage and fits everything we have.
Answered 06/30/2011 by: mlathrop
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ORIGINAL: mlathrop
In summary, one scripted Win 7 to manage and fits everything we have.


I Agree. I prefer the Scripted Install for our environment as well. It's a lot to do and setup at first, but it does everything. We can even push the scripted install across different sites as the package push isn't that big. The KBE is about 250megs then the OS push is about 2gbs then the post install items are about 3 gbs. But it doesn't it in stages so we never tax our network completely during those remote installs.


Fiddle around with both and see for yourself. [:)]
Answered 06/30/2011 by: grch
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We deploy to remote offices using Remote Site Appliances, so the network isn't impacted. We have a couple of dedicated servers to host the RSA's in the remote sites that also act as K1000 replication points for managed installs and patches. All synchronization (scripted install, KBE, patches, managed installs and scripts) happens off hours. A decent workstation can do the job, don't neccessarily need a server
Answered 06/30/2011 by: mlathrop
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I use system images. I keep 4 master images, unattended syspreped, to cover both XP and Win7 for all Dell Optiplex and Latitude systems. Each of these has basic software already installed. I use post-installs task to customize for a 1-2 machine deployment, things like versions of Office, Adobe suites, etc. When I need to do a lab I either build it from my master or a similar lab and have a separate, syspreped image for that. Each of my masters has a 1.5-2GB driver store (for x86 and x64) that gets deleted after it gets used. Once a system gets imaged, sysprep prompts for a name (very unique and can't be automated), auto joins the domain (using netdom) and just needs a reboot. No driver install required. (except the random laptop accelerator) I disable all updates, Windows, java, flash, chrome, etc and deploy these updates every now and then via k1000.

overall i'm fairly happy with my k2000
Answered 06/30/2011 by: Tentacle Master
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