So I know that Windows 7 is Release Candidate now, but that doesn’t mean people don’t still want to install Windows Vista, and what a better time to rebuild your Vista box if you don’t fancy the step to 7 than now?
I spent a few hours last night working on my Vista image on my WDS (Windows Deployment Server) and I’m really happy with it. I’ve never really meddled with the Vista DVD much in the past because I got confused by the Windows Image format and how to service it initially but once you get your head round it, it’s really easy.
I’ve now got a Vista DVD with the following integrated:
- Service Pack 2 RTM
- Internet Explorer 8 RTM
- Remote Server Administration Tools
All of this has been done using the proper Microsoft techniques and not using vLite or the like because of all of the problems using products like vLite can cause.
So if you want to do this yourself, read the two articles as follows:
For Integrating Service Pack 2:
The article says it’s for Beta, but it works perfectly for the RTM also. The whole process for SP2 took me about one hour on a VM with enough horsepower to get through the Vista install fast enough. The interesting thing is that the Vista installation still shows the EULA for SP1, however after it’s installed if you check System Properties it reports Service Pack 2 and everything as it should be for Service Pack 2.
This process is the same process I used for RSAT too, however you jut change all the references to IE8 to RSAT. I’m pretty sure this would also work for any Standalone MSU update that you could get your hands on, but SP2 is new enough for my liking, plus me having WSUS, it’s not too much of an issue.
Next on the agenda:
- Integrate the PXE drivers for VMWare E1000 virtual NIC work in WindowsPE so that I can boot a WDS deployment in a VMware virtual machine.
- Integrate the system drivers for the Dell Inspiron 1525 and Dell Dimension E521 machines I have at home.
At the moment I can unattend the Vista install but I need to install some of the drivers manually afterwards. Once I can get these drivers in, it will be completely zero touch other than pressing F12 to network boot the machine Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Excellent.
The great thing here also is that most of the things I’m doing with the Vista DVD can be easily ported to Windows 7 as 7 uses the Windows AIK and WSIM for image deployments also, so I will be able to have a great build of Windows 7 RC and RTM out there.