Windows Vista Deployment Webcast Q&A

As promissed here is the Q&A log from the webcast I did on Monday.  Enjoy.

Question: Do the WIM image files need to have all drivers built-in for each hardware platform it will be installed on?

Answer: no, see

Question: How can you get the imageX tool

Answer: It is part of the Windwos Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) that will be available for download.

Question: will old (e.g. miniport) OEM WDM-type drivers be usable within Vista?

Answer: yes, see

Question: Will WAIK go RTM (or RTW :-)) before vista goes RTM?

Answer: Very likely you'll see pre-release versions prior to RTM, but other than that I don't know.

Question: I already have the WAIK installed but still have not been able to find do you access it once the WAIK is installed?

Answer: Check the path to where you have it installed. If you have an earlier version, it may be called XImage. It should be under program files/ Windows AIK.

Question: What's a good starting place for Windows Vista Deployment resources?


Question: can you package WIM through sms 2003 sp1

Answer: yes, see

Question: Does WDS work with the multi-imaged WIM file or do we need to wait for SMS V4?

Answer: Take a look at Zero Touch Deployment with SMS

Question: is there a difference between waik and opk?

Answer: OPK is packaged for OEM / System Builders. WAIK is for IT Pros / Administrators. The tools at the core are the same, with additional items for specific user needs.

Question: Will it be possible to have Windows Vista version with different service packs and/or hotfixes in the same *.wim file ?

Answer: Yes! In fact, duplicate files will not be duplicated, so space is saved that way, too.

Question: why does it take time to mount/unmount... unlike mounting an ISO as a virtual drive and such?

Answer: It takes time to read-through the contents and render it for working within the file system. And when you unmount and "commit", it has to add and compress what changes you've made, too. You can unmount without commit, and you'll just ignore any changes. That goes much faster.

Question: Sorry-I got disconnected temporarily. If you answered my question about the drivers in the WIM file, could you re-post?

Answer: question: will old (e.g. miniport) OEM WDM-type drivers be usable within Vista? Answer: yes, see

Question: Good document for Deployment Features:

Answer: Windows Vista Deployment Features and Improvements

Question: I am currently using RIS to install OS on new systems. Will Vista work in RIS or is RIS being replaces by WAIK?

Answer: I believe it will work with RIS; but you're likely to use WDS (Windows Deployment Services), which is the next generation of RIS. WDS works on Windows Server 2003 SP1 as well as Longhorn Server.

Question: Is WAIK a part of the Vista install, or is it a separate download?

Answer: I'm not sure that has been officially decided, but I believe it will be a separate download.

Question: Where would I be able to get WDS? Is it standard on 2003 Server Standard?

Answer: It's an add on to Win2k3 see

Question: can you please also review creating winpe2.0 - so we have to use .wim's for winpe2.0 also?

Answer: The webcast will be available for download within 48 hours. Also, see the documentation at

Question: Is this true imaging we're looking at, or a kind of adapted Setup program that runs on the target computer?

Answer: WIM files can represent complete OS installation images, but they are file-based rather than bit-based, so you have flexibility in how they are used (as he's shown here).

Question: I've had trouble installing Vista into a VPC 2004 Virtual Machine, it never finds a volume it can install on, are there any tricks to this?

Answer: The latest build seems to be working, generally, if you don;t have access to the most recent build expect a beta refresh probably before June is over.

Question: Is there a version of WAIK that I can download, I'm running Vista 5306

Answer: here it is\1displaylang=en&familyid=311f4be8-9983-4ab0-9685-f1bfec1e7d62&displaylang=en

Question: Re: Tricks to installing on a Virtual Machine...

Answer: One thing you might try is to format the .vhd disk in another virtual machine first. Then earlier builds of Vista should be able to see it when you attempt to launch and run the install.

Question: if you leave the size of the partition blank will it use the entire partition example 60 gb ???

Answer: Yes.

Question: Here's the WAIK user's guide:


Question: Here's the Windows Vista Beta 2 Deployment Guide:

Answer: Windows Vista Beta 2 Deployment Step by Step Guide (preview release)

Question: when you have created the unattend.xml file, where do I put you get the setup to use it?

Answer: The Windows Deployment Target Desinger lets you generate unattend.xml files through a UI see the tutorial at

Question: What does OOBE stand for?

Answer: "Out Of Box Experience"

Question: any docs on how to install vista with SMS ???

Answer: Absolutely, in combination with WIM file formats we call it Zero Touch Deployment see teh documentation at

Question: Will WDS support some kind of WOL, so we don’t have to visit the client computer like we need to in RIS today?

Answer: That's a function of the network adapter not the server OS or deployment model

Question: can you review the significance of the answer file compontnents\phases - ie when is generalize applied, vs oobe system

Answer: Won't be able to cover that all today, but check out the resources we've mentioned earlier in the Q&A panel - links to the early versions of the deployment documents should cover what you need.

Question: Any way to encrypt the Administrator's password in the .XML?

Answer: Not currently, no.

Question: Is there any way to create an image that includes applications and settings, like ghost, and not just the OS?

Answer: Absolutely. Your image capture can contain (and be used as) an entire new OS installation. You would run a sysprep, and then capture the contents of the disk as an ImageX .WIM file that can be used as the source of your deployed desktops.

Question: Is there documentation that shows taking this and incorporating it into WINPE? Step by Step?

Answer: Check out "Windows PE for Windows Vista":

Question: is this the same as USMT ?

Answer: basically yes, USMT is the command line version for getting the same job done see

Question: Can we use XImage already with Windows XP ?

Answer: I can find no documentation that says yes

Question: Is it possible to turn on a client computer and start the installation from the WDS server, without having to go visit the client computer?

Answer: I believe so, but check out the deployment resources for the specifics on what options you have.

Question: Is any of this backwards compatible to Windows XP ?

Answer: At this time, all the documentation I have seen for this references Vista only

Question: How does sysprep work with imageX ? At what stage do you run sysprep? Before you take the WIM file?

Answer: You would allow SysPrep to prepare the OS for duplication, and shut down the OS. Then you'll be ready for ImageX. You would use Windows PE or some other disk-boot OS to launch ImageX from.

Question: When you say image based you mean a file not sector based install, right?

Answer: Correct "Before I tell you about XImage, I should describe the image format it uses: the Microsoft Windows Imaging Format (WIM) image format. Instead of the sector-based image formats, which are rather common these days, the WIM image format is file-based. Using a file-based image format, WIM provides several benefits over other formats:" from

Question: can you let me know when you are going to have webcast on vista with SMS, cause this is my main focus . thanks

Answer: I don't know if there is one scheduled to specifically cover that, but I'd watch, and the search tool there.

Question: what are the exact steps for upgrade on my xp box?

Answer: Within the context of this webcast, I can only point you to deployment resources

Question: Will System Center Essentials have an OS deployment feature like SMS, or will WDS be the tool to use with Essentials?

Answer: I don't see any other deployment tools mentioned in the System Center Essentials info I've seen; so yes, it looks like WDS will be the way to go.

Question: with support for multiple languages will staff in other countries be able to apply their regional language over my image?

Answer: yes!

Question: When you pull the image from the system, can it have other applications installed?

Answer: Sure. That's one of the huge benefits of taking an image for later deployment. So.. yes!

Question: Will you do a webcast on WDS?

Answer: I'm sure there will be some. Keep watching

Question: John's Blog again:



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