How to deploy custom windows 7 using windows deployment services (WDS) 2008


  1. Windows 2008 Active Directory, DNS and DHCP
  2. Download Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) and installed in WDS server.
  3. Windows 7 DVD

Step1 Install WDS in Windows 2008 Server. Navigate to Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools >Manage Server>Expand Roles>add new role

Follow screen shot

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Step2 Install WAIK in WDS server, In windows 2008, you don’t need to install .net framework 2.0. Its inbuilt. Insert WAIK DVD in WDS server and install WAIK. nothing special, install as you install an ordinary application.


Step3 Configure WDS Server. Navigate to Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools > Windows Deployment Services. Expand Server and right click [sever name] and click Configure Server. Click Next to start the Wizard. Check the Path (I used e:\Remoteinstall, avoid boot partition if possible). For DHCP Options 60 Check both “Do not listen on Port 67″ and “Configure DHCP option 60 to “PXE Client” and Click Next. For PXE Server Initial Settings select “Respond to all (known and unknown) client computers” and click Finish

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Check both “Do not listen to port 67” and “Configure DHCP option 60 to PXE Client” option if DHCP and WDS has been configured in same Server

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on WDS console expand Servers, right click on WDS server, navigate to property. Click network settings>check obtain IP address from DHCP


Now add winpe.wim image in WDS. WDS>right click on boot image>Add boot image>Browse and navigate to C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\x86\WinPE.WIM  Name this image as “Capture Image”

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add boot.wim image in WDS. Now insert windows 7 DVD in WDS server’s dvd rom.  WDS>right click on boot image>Add boot image>Browse and navigate to D:\sources\boot.WIM  (d:\ is dvd rom drive) Name this image as “Deploy Image”

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to add x64 bit winpe.wim in boot image, WDS>right click on boot image>Add boot image>Browse and navigate to C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\amd64\WinPE.WIM and add this image.



Now make image group in WDS.

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Step4 Install Windows 7, prepare it by installing desired application. Log on to Windows 7 computer as an administrator. Navigate to c:\windows\system32\sysprep and Run sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /reboot  from command prompt. be careful of this reboot to capture the image, if not you will need to re-do Sysprep. Press F12 to initiate a session the WDS Server. Select capture Image option.

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On command prompt as shown above screen, type WDSCapture and hit enter key.

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Upload image to WDS server, click on connect, provide credentials if required, select Image group and name it.

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Once image capture is done. navigate to WDS console>Image group>right click on windows7 image>property>check allow image to install in unattended mode>select file> browse and navigate to unattended xml file prepared using WAIK.



Step5  to deploy this image boot similar workstation and press F12 to PXE boot. Select deploy image option>select group>select image.

About Raihan Al-Beruni

My Name is Raihan Al-Beruni. I am working as an Infrastructure Architect in Data Center Technologies in Perth, Western Australia. I have been working on Microsoft technologies for more than 15 years. Other than Microsoft technologies I also work on Citrix validated solution and VMware data center virtualization technologies. I have a Masters degree in E-Commerce. I am certified in Microsoft, VMware, ITIL and EMC. My core focus is on cloud technologies. In my blog I share my knowledge and experience to enrich information technology community as a whole. I hope my contribution through this blog will help someone who wants more information on data center technologies.
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11 Responses to How to deploy custom windows 7 using windows deployment services (WDS) 2008

  1. Ozgur says:

    Didnt work for me. When i type wdscapture on the commandprompt it gives an error saying that the command is not recognized.


  2. Ozgur says:

    I need to mention that i am trying to capture an x64 version of win7 enterprise rtm..i do have x64 boot image.


  3. Raihan says:

    Check Both boot images in WDS you have installed. It worked for me without any trouble it should work for you also. WDS is fresh install or Upgrade from RIS?


  4. Ozgur says:

    wds is fresh. I do exactly what is told. what about the “create capture image” option. ? is it useless ?


  5. Ozgur says:

    it worked now. seems like the waik i was using is the latest one and had problems. anyways wdscapture worked but this time i dont see C:\ as the source. and yes i did sysprep the machine (windows 7 enterprise x86) any ideas ?


    • Raihan says:

      unfortunately, you have to re-do sysprep and start capturing again. Make sure press F12 before it boot to windows. This time it should work. X86 or X64 doesnt matter.


  6. Ozgur says:

    i perform sysprep the way you explain in the article. all the computer sare running on hyper-v. thats no problem right ?


  7. Imtiaz says:

    its possible sysprep capture image deploy all different machine and Different Mother board or same capture image deploy to same system


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