MDT 2010–From Zero to Deploy–Part 12

Now for the best part of MDT 2010. Makin’ the Media!

The process is simple and the only thing limiting you to the amount and type of media configuration is your hard drive space.

So first thing is to Right click on on the Media folder on the left hand side and choose “New Media”.   We’ll have three fields to fill out.

Media Path

The local folder to contain the Media you are building.   The structure must exist.  You can Browse to it’s location (if the folder already exists) or you can use the same browsing interface to create said folder

Comments

Pretty much a free form field to put in details about this media.  Be creative if you need to be, but don’t get carried away.

Selection Profile

Just What information we’re going to pull down and put into this Media.  Yes, the very Selection Profile you just created (or one of the predefined ones).  This is why the Selection Profile is important since our Destination media might be a DVD or a small USB key.  The Selection Profile our method of control on content.

Fill in your details, Click on next twice more, and Finish.  (And again… poke poke poke…. Every step generates a Powershell script)

So now under our Media Link we have some raw and unprepped media.

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If you like, you can rename MEDIA001 to anything you like.   Click on the name, and on the right hand right is a “rename” option.  So click it and rename the name.  Or if you’re geeky, hit F2 and rename it. Smile

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Right click on the Media name and choose “Properties” which will show you the present configuration the Media including various options to work with

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Let’s break this down to four tabs since the x86 and x64 configurations are identical in how they work (based on whether you’re generating an x64 or x86 Windows PE image)

Oh right, if you’re not familiar with it, Windows PE is a very light core based version of Windows 7.   So our environment will actually build a tiny version of Windows with the ability to use the same Windows 7 drivers as the main Windows 7.  It also brings forth options we didn’t have before like the ability to install Windows Vista, Server 2008, Windows XP or Server 2003 / 2003 R2 from a USB key.

Now on the General tab there’s not much to do.   By default we will have a bootable ISO file created containing a bootable x86 and x64 file.   If you don’t want the ISO media and just need the structure for a USB key you can clear the “Generate a Lite Touch bootable ISO image” checkbox

It’s up to you whether you want to have a bootable x86 and bootable x64 Windows PE environment or not is up to you.  Simply clear off the one you don’t want.  I’ve not found a drawback yet to NOT having the x64 version but that’s just me.

The Rules tab will be touched in greater detail later on.  Suffice it to say this is the part where we can have some of our questions for the image Pre Answered such as computer name, time zone, others.   We’re going to dedicate the next article to that Smile

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You can edit the Image Description for the Windows PE Wim file.   If you look in the folder structure MDT 2010 is installed within you’ll see a folder called “Samples” with the very background picture.    If you have something you’d like to use instead, just place it here.  You’ll of course want reference it’s name, have it in BMP (Bitmap) format and try to keep it at a resolution of 800×600.    If you alter this your new bootable image will have this as it’s background.    This would be a way to customize the boot environment for yourself or a client for a more professional look.

There’s also the setting for “Scratch space size” – This is memory allocated from RAM for Windows PE.  By default it’s 32 meg.  It can be increased to has high as 512.  If you encounter errors (possibly if you have too many drivers loaded in the environment?) you may need to increase the Scratch space size.   By default you shouldn’t need to adjust it very often.

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Under the Windows PE x86 Components tab we are specifying what drivers that we’re using in our Windows PE environment.  Typically the default settings are fine.  We only need network access and possibly the hard drive.

Click ok to get back to your Media.

Right click and choose Update.  This can take a while to build depending on just how much you’re pulling in.  What this process is actually doing is copying all the files over and building the root structure of a bootable media (like a DVD or USB).  When it’s done (if the “Generate a Lite Touch bootable ISO image” is check
ed off) it will then proceed
to build an ISO file from this structure that you can burn afterwards to a DVD (presuming your structure fits the 4 gb or 8 gb limit of your blank media.

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So after it’s all done in the folder “C:MyMedia” you’ll see an ISO file (that hopefully is reasonable size Winking smile ) and a folder called content

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You can take the LiteTouchMedia.iso file and use any standard CD/DVD burning software to produce the media

Double click inside Content and you’ll see a structure similar to this

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Does this look familiar?  this is your boot media BEFORE it was dumped into the ISO file.

Making this into a bootable USB key is so easy.  You can Bing the solution if you like but just for quick refresher

INSERT USB KEY TO WIPE OUT (make sure there nothing of value on it)

Enter DISKPART

LIST DISK

Find the disk that is your USB key (just gauge by size).  If it’s the second disk

SELECT DISK 1

CLEAN

CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY

FORMAT FS=FAT32 QUICK

ACTIVE

ASSIGN

EXIT

Select the files in the Content Folder, past them to the USB key.

Enjoy

If you don’t do anything else at this point, you have a preconfigured environment right now that is a Lite Touch install.  Simply put, it will ask some basic questions and then do all the work for you.

Next time round we’ll take a look at Customizing your MDT 2010 to start answering some of those questions and bring it to a Near ZTI install

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