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Configuring WDS

Before you can use WDS, you need to configure it. You can configure WDS by using the Windows Deployment Services snap-in. You can run the WDS snap-in in the MMC or you can run it in the Server Manager. To access the WDS snap-in and configure WDS on the server, follow these steps:

1. In the WDS snap-in in the MMC (Start, Administrative Tools, Windows Deployment Services) or Server Manager (expand the Roles and WDS nodes), expand the Servers node (see Figure 5.3).

Figure 5.3. Expand the WDS and Servers nodes to access your server icon.

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2. Right-click the server you want to configure and select Configure Server from the shortcut menu. The Windows Deployment Services Configuration Wizard opens.

3. Click Next to continue. On the next wizard page, provide the path to be used for the folder (RemoteInstall) that will contain the images you use to deploy operating systems with WDS (see Figure 5.4). Use the Browse button to specify another location. After specifying the path for the folder, click Next.

Figure 5.4. Specify the path for the folder that will hold the OS images.

Did you Know?

It is recommended that you install the RemoteInstall folder on a volume other than the volume that contains the Windows Server 2008 operating system. It is also recommended that (if possible) the images (which are stored in RemoteInstall) actually be stored on a different disk than the Windows operating system.

4. On the next screen you are asked to provide the PXE server settings. You are provided the following options:

  • Do Not Respond to Any Client Computer— The default choice is designed to keep PXE clients from contacting the WDS server. This setting can be used to negate client contact before you have fully configured WDS or after you have completed all your client installations and do not wish unknown clients to contact the server.
  • Respond Only to Known Clients— Selecting this option means that you need to “prestage” the client computers that will use WDS in the Active Directory Domain Services. You specify the MAC hardware address of the computer and identify it as a managed computer. You can also specify what WDS server the client computer is to use.
  • Respond to All (Known and Unknown) Client Computers— This option allows any potential WDS client on the network to communicate with the WDS server.

Select one of the options (select the third option for discussion purposes) and then click Finish.

Did you Know?

If you choose to allow unknown WDS clients to contact the WDS server, you can select the For Unknown Clients, Notify Administrator and Respond After Approval check box. This enables you to control whether the WDS server should respond to an unknown client on the network.

The configuration is complete. However, before you can actually use the WDS server, you need to add images to the WDS server that are then used by the WDS clients.

Two types of images are required: the boot image and the install image. The boot image is the image file that enables the WDS client to boot to the operating systme (via the network). The install image is the image file that contains the installation files for the OS.

The boot image and the install image files are found on the installation CD or DVD for the client operating system. Figure 5.5 shows the Select Windows Image File window (used during the installation of a boot or install image) during the installation of a boot image from a Windows Vista DVD. Note the selected file is boot.wim. The install image, install.wim, is also shown in the figure.

Figure 5.5. Boot and install image files (*.wim) must be installed on your WDS server.

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The next section looks at adding boot images to your WDS server. It looks also at how to add the install images.

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