Now that we have a Deployment point to work with, we need to Import an Operating System.

With MDT 2010, although we typically may think Windows 7, It is completely perfect for deploying any Windows Operating system as far back as Windows XP.

It is not, no matter how hard you try, a very good Deployment system for Legacy setups such as Windows 2000, DOS/Windows 3.1 or even that copy of CP/M 2.2 you found in the back corner on eBay.  Really, don’t bother trying.  It’s a geeky cool thought but a wasted endeavor.   There are far better things to pursue your time with;  Like organizing your collection of slightly stale Babelfish and old pennies.

On a more serious point,on any CURRENT operating system from Microsoft, it is a beautiful thing to work with and a very simple task.


When you initially right click on “Operating Systems” to import an O/S you may be tempted to just Import it and go.  From my personal experience, I recommend you actually break it into organizational folders.   The more time you spend in getting MDT organized as you use it, the far easier it will be down the road when you get into Selections and Task Sequences.

Yes, it WILL just work if you just dump everything into one folder, but also try to plan things out in the short term and it will pay off in the long term.  Remember too, those Powershell sample scripts will allow you to EASILY replicate this. So go ahead and spend the time now.

Right clicking on “New Folder” is pretty simple and just creates a subfolder.   Since I’m pretty certain everybody here has created a file folder in Windows at least ONCE in their career, we’ll skip on that ever so challenging part Winking smile

So let’s start with Importing an O/S into a base folder.   .   Right Click on “Operating Systems” and choose “Import Operating System”.  It will bring up a Wizard prompting us for three available source types.

Full set of source files

This is standard root directory structure and current Microsoft operating system.   This will be any current CD/DVD or ISO file with Virtual CD mounting software.   Even if you have the file structure copied to a physical folder will work fine.

Custom image file

This would be an example of a .WIM file that has been captured, or possibly other variants (such as a customize WinRE environment or even the DART toolkit)

Windows Deployment Services images

This allows you to leverage existing images on a Windows Deployment Server to create physical deployment media.

For this series we’re going to deal with Windows 7 media. It is almost an identical process with Windows XP or Windows 7.  The variants will be whether a product key is required or not (you WILL require it with Windows XP).

So on our first screen after choosing “Import Operating System” we’re going to choose “Full set of source files” and simply browse to the root of a DVD drive Containing Windows 7 Professional.  One of the coolest things about the process (as seen by the screen below) is that it is smart enough to identify the Operating System and will automatically name the folder based upon that.  In our example, our example of 32bit Windows 7 will be automatically named “Windows 7 x86”.  Clicking next gives us a progress Window like previous Wizards until we get “Finish” and our “View Script” button.


When done you will see an entry under Operating Systems like our example here for Windows 7 Enterprise.   An import of non Enterprise media will show multiple available versions.


You could have something as simple as the setup we see here for the operating systems or even a Multi Tiered folder structure.   For if you were a Consultant working for multiple clients on Deployment, you could ACTUALLY build a repository of the various operating systems you deploy.

Next time we’ll look into Importing applications into MDT 2010