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Microsoft Releases Windows Deployment Toolkit Update
Microsoft last week released an updated version of its free Windows and Microsoft Office 2010 deployment tool.
The new Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Update 1 has now reached "release-to-Web" or "release-to-manufacturing" status, according to various Microsoft blogs. It previously was released in September, but Microsoft's blogs now refer to that release as a "beta" version.
The toolkit can be used to deploy newer Microsoft operating systems, such as Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. It also works with older Microsoft OSes, such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008. Additionally, users can deploy Office 2010.
Microsoft added some fixes in Update 1 based on user feedback. The toolkit has some improvements for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SCCM 2007) users, and it now automatically detects driver support by the user's platform. The toolkit is part of Microsoft's "Solution Accelerators" series of free solutions and can be downloaded here for both x86 and x64 systems.
Even though Microsoft is calling this release "Update 1," users should first uninstall the beta or earlier version before using this toolkit, according to this Microsoft blog. Also, the blog cautions that distribution of the toolkit on Microsoft's download page worldwide can take a little time, so users should check the file sizes and the build number to ensure they are downloading the right release.
The build for Update 1 is 5.1.1642.1, and the .MSI file size should be about 16 MB. The blog recommended that users back up their servers before using the new toolkit.
Microsoft promised that Update 1 "will preserve your existing MDT [Microsoft Deployment Toolkit] configuration." The toolkit can be used for so-called "lite touch" installation deployments, or it can work with SCCM 2007 for "zero touch installation."
The lite touch approach is an interactive way of installing Windows and applications on target PCs, whereas SCCM 2007 is part of Microsoft's suite of management products for IT pros. For SCCM 2007 users, Microsoft added a wizard in the toolkit that enables custom OS deployments for individual users.
The toolkit also supports prestaged media for those using System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3, which is currently available as a beta.
Microsoft described the new toolkit release further in this blog, which also provides links to documentation and videos showing the OS migration process.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.