Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is a Microsoft solution used to deploy Windows operating systems remotely. WDS can be utilized to set up new computers with a network-based installation.
- WDS Server: The server component of the WDS, is responsible for storing the installation images and deploying them.
- Boot Image: This image is what the client computer boots to over the network. It contains the Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE).
- Install Image: This is the actual Windows OS image that gets installed on the client machines.
- PXE Boot: Stands for Pre-boot Execution Environment. It allows a workstation to boot from a server on a network prior to booting the operating system on the local hard drive.
Why Use WDS?
WDS provides a streamlined way to deploy Windows operating systems across a network. It eliminates the need for physical media or manual installation processes, making it efficient for large-scale deployments.
Setting Up WDS on Windows Server
- Firstly, ensure that the Windows Server role for WDS is installed. This can be done via the Add Roles and Features Wizard in Server Manager.
- Open the WDS console. Right-click on the server and choose Configure Server.
- Select a location to store the boot and installation images.
- Configure the server to respond to client computers. It's recommended to choose the Respond to all client computers option for initial setup.
Adding Boot and Install Images
- In the WDS console, right-click Boot Images and select Add Boot Image. Point it to the "boot.wim" file from the Windows 10 installation media.
- For the Install Image, right-click Install Images and choose Add Install Image. Navigate to the "install.wim" or equivalent from the installation source.
Deploying Windows 10 Using WDS
- Ensure the client machine's BIOS or UEFI is set to boot from the network.
- Start the client machine. It should detect the WDS server and begin the boot process using the provided boot image.
- Once booted into WinPE, follow the on-screen prompts to select the desired install image and begin the installation process.
WDS is a powerful tool for IT administrators looking to simplify and accelerate the deployment of Windows operating systems. By following the above steps, setting up and deploying Windows 10 via WDS should be a straightforward process.