A couple of posts back I put talked about how easy it is to use Windows Deployment Services with a video to reinforce the point: some roll outs of Windows 7 will need nothing more. Depending on exactly what is needed there are plenty more tools out there.
Looking for something else over the weekend I stumbled upon the deployment section from the Windows 7 resource kit as a free e-book. Going all the way back to Windows for Workgroups in the early 90’s I’ve thought that (a) the resource kits are some of the best books to come out of Microsoft Press (b) If there is a res kit for a product you work with you should have it on your shelf. The Windows 7 one runs to over 1700 pages – thick enough, as someone said, to stun an Ox. I was one of the small army of people made a small contributions it, so the only thing that keeps me from buying a copy is the complimentary copy which (I’m told) is on its way to me. I like to thumb through a real paper book and pencil the occasional note in, but I also like having a searchable e-book (Manning publishers gave me a complimentary e-copy of Bruce Payette’s Powershell in action and it’s a whole different experience as a searchable text). So even if you have already bought the hard copy I’d recommend pulling down the PDF. This is no mere sample chapter . It runs to 330 pages - I haven’t read every word: what strikes me about having skimmed it is it’s completeness.
Sometimes you don’t want a complete reference but a set of easier to digest pieces, and there are there is a 5 part series in the deployment section of the Springboard blog which covers a lot of useful ground; so that’s an alternative starting point.