With MDT installed and ready to go on our system, we need to get the basics setup.   First off we should point out that before you go digging online for documentation, EVERYTHING you need is built into the system.  An incredibly detailed help system with tons of information.  Step by Steps.   So before you go ANY further make sure you click on “Documentation” on the Upper left panel

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If you’re trying to figure out anything, I recommend the Quick Start Guides.   They’ll get you up and running in a very efficient manner.  Note especially for those of your deploying Systems Center Configuration Manager 2007, there is an excellent set of instructions predefined just for you.   But even if you aren’t deploying SCCM some of the details on how to do more complex deployments are in there, make excellent reading and can be applied to smaller environments.  Even if you don’t have SCCM.

The next key task is to create a Deployment Point.   All that is, is a Prebuilt folder structure populated with some predefined XML files, Vbscript files that will be the base for your image.   As you  import software, images and build configurations; this will be your Master repository for you to build on.

So to create your first Deployment point, Right click on “Deployment Shares” and select “New Deployment Share”

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This will launch a simple Step by Step wizard that prompt for a physical location, Network share name and Descriptive Name

The default location is “C:Deployment Share” but you can choose any location on the local computer.   It will also default to a Network share name on the computer with MDT as “DeploymentShare$” with a Descriptive name of “MDT Deployment Share” .  You can choose any names and descriptions you like. But I personally recommend sticking with the Hidden Share concept for (“$” on the end of the share name)the name since it means people can’t randomly browse, mess or ruin your work while you’re, well you know, WORKING on it. Smile 

There are some key questions it will prompt you for next.

“Ask if an image should be captured”

This is an opportunity to to establish that images created from this environment COULD be captured a .WIM file.   If you choose this an option, it means you could build what is referred to as a “Gold Image”.  For a simple deployment you may not want this option.   In our sample scenario we’re to going to leave this box UNCHECKED (It is enabled by default)

“Ask user to set the Local Administrator Password”

Now you in the back of the room.  STOP Laughing.  Although in a corporate environment you may not want this, remember that MDT is a TOOL that could be just as easily be used for Residential deployment.  Yes, large big corporation having the user’s set their OWN local Administrator password would not be such a smart move.  For home however, this might make sense.  But it is UNCHECKED by default

“Ask user for Product Key”

Now again, depending on your setup, you might want to exercise this option.  Computers with OEM product keys for the operating system are a perfect opportunity to leverage this.  Or if you have an environment full of FPP (Retail) copies,  Asking for the product key at Deployment time probably isn’t a bad idea.   With a Corporate setup using KMS or MAK, you may not want to worry about this.

When you’re done you’ll see a quick summary of what it’s about to do.

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Click Next, let the magic happen and the work is done.  But here is the coolest part (Did you think I would miss an opportunity to NOT mention my nearest and dearest friend,  Powershell?

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That’s right on the lower right hand side is a “View Script” button.  That’s because ALL of this runs through Powershell and is thus an easily scriptable repeatable task.  As you run through ALL of the Wizards in MDT 2010 you’ll find they are Windows Powershell scripts.  Click Finish and you’ll be looking at your first Deployment point.

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If you were to look at the File system, you’d see it’s simply a reference point to the folder structure wherever you created it as can be seen above

You can have as many deployments as you want or need, your only restriction being physical storage space.  And the laws of physics of course Winking smile

Next time we’ll show you how to begin with the fun stuff and Import an Operating System