It seems like it’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally happened: Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 have been released to manufacturing. So are you ready for them? Let’s talk a little about deploying them, FAQ-style:
- What new tools will be made available with Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008?
A new version of the Windows Automated Installation Kit will be released, with full support for these new OSes. It also includes the new Windows PE 2.1 version, a minor update to the existing Windows PE 2.0 version. Images created with WAIK 1.0 are fully compatible with those created with WAIK 1.1 — there are no changes to the WIM file format.
- How can I add Windows Vista SP1 to my existing images?
There will be a documented process for doing this. However, I would suggest rebuilding your image using the integrated (slipstreamed) version of the Windows Vista SP1 media. Since you already have automated reference build processes in place using Microsoft Deployment (I hope) this is pretty simple: Add the new SP1 OS image, update your task sequence to use the new SP1 image instead of the RTM image, then rebuild and recapture your custom image.
- Why is it better to capture a new image using SP1 media?
It’s not that it’s better; it’s just quicker. The process of installing Windows Vista SP1 to an existing RTM image can’t be done offline. Instead, you have to deploy the OS to a computer, install SP1 (which can take a while), reboot, clean up after the install, sysprep, and capture the newly-upgraded image. The integrated (slipstreamed) media lets you avoid these time-consuming steps. (So you won’t see Microsoft Deployment include detailed instructions on how to add SP1 as an application in an existing task sequence. We just don’t think people will want to do it this way.)
- Will the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit support deploying Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 images?
Yes, we will be releasing updates in February to add support for Windows Vista SP1, Windows Server 2008, and WAIK 1.1.
- What about BDD 2007? Will it be updated as well?
Yes, we will release a new update for BDD 2007 to support Windows Vista SP1 and WAIK 1.1. This will also be available in February. However, it’s a great time to consider making the move to Microsoft Deployment (the next version of BDD 2007) instead. (Microsoft Deployment is effectively BDD 2008, if you prefer to think of it that way: it’s the evolution of BDD 2007, with new support for server OSes and many other new features.)
- How will I upgrade already-deployed Windows Vista computers?
You will be able to deploy the service pack using WSUS, SMS 2003, ConfigMgr 2007, and other means. White papers will be made available to describe the deployment options.
See http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2008/02/04/announcing-the-rtm-of-windows-vista-sp1.aspx for the official Windows Vista SP1 release announcement, and http://blogs.technet.com/windowsserver/archive/2008/02/04/windows-server-2008-rtm.aspx for the Windows Server 2008 announcement.