MDT 2013 Guide 05: Application and OS

With all the MDT software, prerequisites and configuration updates out of the way, we are now able to start configuration of the components which will perform the deployment.

Before we continue though, I will take a moment here to outline how the deployment will be implemented.

Deployment Overview

There are 3 phases to the deployment:

  1. Creating a Gold Image
  2. Capturing the Gold Image
  3. Deploying the Gold Image to all workstations

 

Phase 1 – Creating the Gold Image

Phase 1 involves installing Windows and any large applications which don’t change version very often. Applications such as Microsoft Office, Lync, Anti-Virus, or any other applications that have a base install and then are updated via patches, should be installed in this phase. Applications which change version frequently (Java, Flash, etc) should only be installed in Phase 3.

After installation of the base OS and static applications, all updates will be installed so that the image is fully up-to-date.

The last step will be to shut down the virtual machine and take a snapshot. This is why the gold image is only ever created on a virtual machine.

Phase 2 – Capturing

This Phase simply runs a task sequence to capture the above gold image to a file and save it on the server for use in Phase 3.

Although it’s possible to capture the image at the end of the Phase 1, we separate these steps out in order to make it easier to update the gold image later. Any time in the future that we want to make a change to the gold image, or we want to test out some changes, we can revert back to the snapshot, update the image, shut it down, take another snapshot and then capture it again.

Phase 3 – Deploying

The last Phase involves deploying the captured gold image to a workstation, along with any other regularly updated software and any further updates that have been released since the gold image was captured.

 

For the purposes of this guide, the only static application installed on the gold image will be Office 2013.

Office 2013 Professional Plus

Before we add the Office 2013 application to MDT, we will customise it for silent installation.

Mount the Office 2013 Professional Plus evaluation ISO (you can simply rename the .img extension to .iso) on your MDT virtual machine and copy the contents of the drive to a temporary location on the server. I chose D:\Installs\Office2013.

Download the Office 2013 Customization Tool (choose admintemplates_32.exe) and extract it. Copy the admin folder to the folder you extracted the Office 2013 ISO to (D:\Installs\Office2013). You will be left with a directory structure like below:

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Run the following command:

This will open the Office Customization Tool with the appropriate product selected. Click OK to proceed.

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Choose a default file format and click OK.

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You are free to configure as much as needed here, but the minimum I configure is as follows:

Firstly, set the Organization Name by choosing Install location and organization name and entering the name.

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Choose Licensing and user interface and then Enter another product key. You will have received an installation product key when downloading Office 2013, so enter this here. If you did not make a note of this key, simply click the link to download Office 2013 again to get it.

Tick I accept the terms of the License Agreement and change the Display level to None.

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Since I’m only installing this in a lab environment, I also remove most of the components of Office, to reduce the installation time. If you want to do this, click on Set feature installation states and set any features you don’t want to install as Not Available.

Once your customisations are complete, click File – Save and save the file as Custom (or whatever name you choose) in the Updates folder. The name is not important, as the Office 2013 setup will apply all .MSP files it finds in the \updates folder.

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Close the Office Customization Tool.

 

Add the Office 2013 Application to MDT

Open the Deployment Workbench and expand the MDT Deployment Share.

I like to separate out the applications that will form part of the gold image, and the applications that will be deployed onto the workstations during deployment. Right-click on Applications and choose New Folder. Give it the name Gold Image.

Right-click on Gold Image and choose New Application.

Leave on Application with source files.

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Fill in as many details as you can.

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Choose the temporary directory where you copied the Office 2013 files and tick the box Move the files to the deployment share instead of copying them.

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The destination directory name can be left on the default.

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Enter setup.exe as the Command line.

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After the installation has completed, Office 2013 will appear in the list of Applications.

 

Import Windows 8.1

Firstly, mount the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation ISO on your virtual machine. As with the Applications section, we will create a New Folder named Windows 8.1 under Operating Systems.

Right-click on the Windows 8.1 folder and choose Import Operating System. Leave on the default of Full set of source files.

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Set the Source directory to the mounted DVD.

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Set an appropriate name for the Destination directory name, or leave it on the default.

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This will take a little while to complete. When it has finished, open Operating Systems and Windows 8.1.

The name of the image that is auto-generated by the import process is very long, so I like to rename it to match the destination directory name (ie. Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation x64.wim).

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Conclusion

We have set up an application for silent install and imported it into MDT, along with the Windows 8.1 OS. Next, we’ll configure the task sequence that will perform the deployment.

 

MDT2013 Series:
01 Intro and Active Directory Setup
02 MDT Software Installation
03 Deployment Share and MDT Database Setup
04 Network Access Permissions
05 Application and OS
06 Creating Build Task Sequence
07 MDT Database
08 WDS and PXE Booting
09 Creating the Gold Image
10 Capturing the Gold Image
11 Creating Deployment Task Sequence
12 Deployment Role and Computer Object