You’ve deployed Windows XP in the past, and now you’re thinking ahead to Windows Vista. Whether you’ll be deploying to 10, 100, or 100,000 computers, just knowing how the process has changed from Windows XP will make the deployment run much more smoothly.
So here are 10 deployment differences between Windows® XP and Windows Vista™ that you’ll be glad you discovered when it’s time to make the move.
With Windows XP and Windows 2000, it was possible to create images that would fit easily on a single CD (less than 700MB). Even organizations that added applications, drivers, and utilities to their image typically ended up with an operating system image in the 1GB to 3GB range.
With Windows Vista, image size begins at about 2GB—compressed. Once this image is deployed, the size is often around 5GB or more, and there’s no way to reduce it. If you add additional applications, drivers, or other files, this image obviously grows even larger.
So how will you deploy the image? Does your network have the necessary capacity? (10MB networks or non-switched networks are not sufficient.) If you want to use CDs, how many can you deal with? You’ll need three or four. DVDs (with a capacity of 4.7GB each) are now easy to create, so you can deploy using DVD drives if you have them. (If not, consider adding DVD drives when buying the next round of PCs.)
With USB memory keys growing in size (as large as 4GB or more) and shrinking in price, it would be quite easy to use one for deploying Windows Vista, since you can make a bootable key as long as the computer’s BIOS supports it.
Finally (though this doesn’t relate to image size), take note that there is no longer an I386 directory. Instead, all components, whether installed or not, reside in the Windows directory (although not in the standard SYSTEM32 directory). When installing a new component, the necessary files will be pulled from this location.
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Here’s a rundown of the tools you’ll be using when you roll out Windows Vista, followed by a list of the tools you can retire for good once Windows Vista arrives.
- SYSPREP This is the updated version, modified for Windows Vista.
- SETUP A new installation tool for Windows Vista, replaces WINNT and WINNT32.
- IMAGEX The new command-line tool for creating WIM images.
- Windows System Image Manager A tool for creating and modifying unattend.xml files.
- PEIMG The tool for customizing Windows PE 2.0 images.
- Windows Deployment Services The new version of RIS, which adds the ability to deploy Windows Vista and Windows XP images, as well as Windows PE 2.0 boot images.
- PNPUTIL This is the new tool for adding and removing drivers from the Windows Vista driver store.
- PKGMGR Also new, this Windows Vista tool is used for servicing the operating system.
- OCSETUP This replaces SYSOCMGR and is used for installing Windows components.
- BCDEDIT A new Windows Vista tool for editing boot configuration data.
- Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0 This updated tool lets you assess whether your applications are compatible with Windows Vista.
- User State Migration Tool 3.0 An updated tool for capturing and restoring user state, supports Windows XP and Windows Vista, as well as all versions of Office including 2007.
- BitLocker The full-volume drive encryption capability included in Windows Vista Enterprise and Ultimate editions.
- Remote Installation Services RIS has been replaced by Windows Deployment Services (WDS) but still offers legacy support on Windows Server 2003; RIPREP and RISETUP are not possible with Windows Vista.
- Setup Manager/Notepad Use Windows System Image Manager instead for editing unattended setup configuration files.
- WINNT.EXE and WINNT32.EXE Use SETUP instead.
- SYSOCMGR Replaced by OCSETUP, PKGMGR.
- MS-DOS Boot Floppies Forget them. Use Windows PE!