Windows 10: Best way to create W10 Pro reference computer and deploy the image

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  1.    20 Jul 2016 #51

    ahelton said: View Post
    Here's the full article on technetium where I got the quote from: Apply Images Using DISM
    I suppose in certain situations having the exact same partition structure would be necessary, however in this situation I don't think it is given you clean installed Windows. Just allow enough space for Windows on the partition where the image would be laid down.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    25 Jul 2016 #52

    RBunning said: View Post
    2>>.wim images are capable of containing more than one Windows image. The /index: 1 designates which specific Windows image DISM is to apply from the .wim. You can see a list of all the indexes on a given .wim by typing DISM /get-wiminfo /wimfile:imageName.wim. Given you only just created your .wim by capturing a partition with DISM only once, there should be only one image on your .wim (you'd have to use DISM to append multiple images into one .wim).
    Does this mean that you could setup your reference computer a certain way, capture an image and then proceed to add some more software and maybe change some additional settings and capture another image? And then I guess you could theoretically apply the first image to some machines and the second image to other machines? (aka different images could be applied depending upon who the user of that particular machine is going to be?)
    Last edited by ahelton; 25 Jul 2016 at 17:10.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    25 Jul 2016 #53

    I don't want to interrupt your conversation too much, but I will add a thought.

    If you want to practise deployment, then instead of a physical machine, you could use a Virtual Machine. I use VirtualBox but Hyper-V is probably better if you have the right 'host' version of Windows. It won't activate, and is a bit slower than using physical hardware, but for test purposes it might be easier to have everything on one machine. Plus if you totally kill a virtual machine you can just delete the file and start again!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    25 Jul 2016 #54

    DavidY said: View Post
    I don't want to interrupt your conversation too much, but I will add a thought.

    If you want to practise deployment, then instead of a physical machine, you could use a Virtual Machine. I use VirtualBox but Hyper-V is probably better if you have the right 'host' version of Windows. It won't activate, and is a bit slower than using physical hardware, but for test purposes it might be easier to have everything on one machine. Plus if you totally kill a virtual machine you can just delete the file and start again!
    Hi David, thanks for the input. That's a very good idea. What do you mean by "right host version of windows"? All my machines are W10 Pro x64.

    I am already over halfway through this process and thus far everything is going smoothly, fortunately. But I'd definitely like to mess around/practice with things even after I have this done, so think I will implement the virtual machine idea per your suggestion. I've never used VMs before; only have read about them, but have been wanting to give them a go for a while now. This sounds like the perfect opportunity to check VMs out. Thanks again.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    25 Jul 2016 #55

    ahelton said: View Post
    Does this mean that you could setup your reference computer a certain way, capture an image and then proceed to add some more software and maybe change some additional settings and capture another image? And then I guess you could theoretically apply the first image to some machines and the second image to other machines? (aka different images could be applied depending upon who the user of that particular machine is going to be?)
    Uhh... yes...?

    You can always modify (or 'update') your image by installing new software, updates, etc... on the reference machine then capture that new image and deploy it (the new image could be deployed on select machines). You might want to re-image all the machines maybe once every 1- 3 years or so if you want to- just to give the machines a refresher, make sure everything is up to date, and possibly give all computers a change to be at the same place/ remove crap files that may have accumulated. Whether or not this is ideal is going to depend on what you want to do and your setup.

    >>I don't exactly understand how my quote relates to your question so I might not have answered your question entirely...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    25 Jul 2016 #56

    ahelton said: View Post
    Hi David, thanks for the input. That's a very good idea. What do you mean by "right host version of windows"? All my machines are W10 Pro x64.

    I am already over halfway through this process and thus far everything is going smoothly, fortunately. But I'd definitely like to mess around/practice with things even after I have this done, so think I will implement the virtual machine idea per your suggestion. I've never used VMs before; only have read about them, but have been wanting to give them a go for a while now. This sounds like the perfect opportunity to check VMs out. Thanks again.
    The host version of Windows is the edition of Windows installed on the machine that will be emulating the virtual machine. I don't exactly know that you have the physical resources to ideally emulate Windows 10, though. Hyper V is included generally on select 'professional editions of Windows' (Pro, Education, and Enterprise editions). It isn't included on the Home edition of Windows.

    >>I would recommend Virtualbox or VMware player (free for noncommercial- if you want to play around on your own time)- it's good for VM's and is easier for a starter to understand than Hyper-V.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    25 Jul 2016 #57

    ahelton said: View Post
    Hi David, thanks for the input. That's a very good idea. What do you mean by "right host version of windows"? All my machines are W10 Pro x64.
    Yes you need Windows 10 Pro (or Enterprise or Education). It doesn't work in the Win10 Home version for instance.
    I must admit I didn't read the whole thread so apologies if you said that already.

    The bit that's tricky in VirtualBox is getting the VM to access a 'real' USB plugged into the host machine- Hyper-V may be better, but I usually get round it by creating virtual disks on a USB.

    ahelton said: View Post
    I am already over halfway through this process and thus far everything is going smoothly, fortunately. But I'd definitely like to mess around/practice with things even after I have this done, so think I will implement the virtual machine idea per your suggestion. I've never used VMs before; only have read about them, but have been wanting to give them a go for a while now. This sounds like the perfect opportunity to check VMs out. Thanks again.
    I also just noticed that Microsoft have revamped their deployment help pages (again) to go with the coming '1607' Anniversary Release and the latest pages are helpful and include things like Sample Scripts which I find are good to get ideas from.

    They have been updated in the last week, although I haven't figured out how to get the latest ADK which is required for some of it to work - may need to wait a week or two for that to be released publicly.
    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/win...ng-walkthrough
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    25 Jul 2016 #58

    RBunning said: View Post
    Uhh... yes...?

    You can always modify (or 'update') your image by installing new software, updates, etc... on the reference machine then capture that new image and deploy it (the new image could be deployed on select machines). You might want to re-image all the machines maybe once every 1- 3 years or so if you want to- just to give the machines a refresher, make sure everything is up to date, and possibly give all computers a change to be at the same place/ remove crap files that may have accumulated. Whether or not this is ideal is going to depend on what you want to do and your setup.

    >>I don't exactly understand how my quote relates to your question so I might not have answered your question entirely...
    Oops. I grabbed the wrong quote! Bah. I'll edit it to clarify my question.

    Basically, I was just thinking in hypothetical terms. Let's say you have 10 computers in need of imaging. 7 of those computers are going to be for mere peons and thus need to have certain settings and configuration, while the other 3 are for more advance users. The mere peons only need some basic software installation, while the more advanced users require some more robust tools. Could you therefore first create and capture a reference image for the peons, and then edit the reference computer some more and "re-capture" and image that will be used to deploy to the more advanced user computers? Could the initial "mere peon" image be given the parameter /index:1 and the "advanced user" image be given /index:2?

    Does that make sense?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    25 Jul 2016 #59

    ahelton said: View Post
    Oops. I grabbed the wrong quote! Bah. I'll edit it to clarify my question.
    Oh, oh yeah. You should be able to make several different images and squish them into one .wim (then deploy the different images from the different indexes on the .wim). I haven't tried doing this just yet- but I probably will.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    25 Jul 2016 #60

    RBunning said: View Post
    Oh, oh yeah. You should be able to make several different images and squish them into one .wim (then deploy the different images from the different indexes on the .wim). I haven't tried doing this just yet- but I probably will.
    Cool. I was just curious. BTW, I just completed getting my reference computer set up the way I want it to be. Now it's on to this automated batch script thingy. Is there any sort of documentation to read a little bit more about this since I'm so unfamiliar with it? My scripting prowess is severely lacking.

    I have SublimeText3, so I figure I can just use that to accomplish editing the startnet.cmd file, correct?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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