Windows Imaging - HII and No Sysprep - an Alternative
It's been long since we started using Altiris Deployment Servers and in the beginning we have been using Sysprep imaging for Windows 2000 (who does not remember these times). With new processor architectures and models (Hyperthreading, etc. it became very much difficult to use a single Sysprep image and so we made a decision to move away from Sysprep and moved on to the "Microsoft Standard way" and unattended installations of Windows.
Now I think it is time to share out how we use DS and maybe some of you in the community will adopt parts or find it useful.
A few words to the environment we work in:
- We're an Enterprise company with offices (large and small) around the entire globe;
- Simplicity and transparency are what we like and also minimizing the overhead on maintaining standards across an International environment;
- Infrastructure wise we have several Deployment servers and most of them have remote sites they also serve. Some of them have an additional (remote) PXE server installed, which means the PXE services are installed on a Windows machine with a HDD large enough to hold files required for imaging and software deployments.
- In the attached document, you will find the script tasks detailed along with an overview of the build process and you will notice that we use an additional drive throughout the entire process (G:\).
We maintain a modular process, which provides maximum transparency. Now, what means modular? Basically, we separate things out, the OS source, Core applications (like Office, Adobe products, utilities), patches and also drivers. As you can imagine, this reduces the maintenance overhead a lot.
Enough said, please consume the attached document and comment back.