MDT 2012 Beta 1: Cross-Platform Deployment

Those of you who deploy both x86 and x64 versions of Windows 7 using MDT 2010 Lite Touch probably know that you have to use two different boot images to do it:  When booted from a Lite Touch x86 boot image, you only see task sequences associated with x86 operating systems; when booted from a Lite Touch x64 boot image, you only see task sequences associated with x64 operating systems.

With MDT 2012 Beta 1, that’s been changed.  Now, if you boot from a Lite Touch x86 boot image you will see all task sequences, whether x86 or x64. 

But there is one “gotcha”:  If you choose a task sequence that deploys an x64 OS, MDT will need to find a copy of the corresponding x86 setup files and it will then use those to install the x64 OS.  So you need to make sure that you have x86 setup files in the deployment share (with one of the operating systems), even if you aren’t deploying that operating system.  It needs to match the version (e.g. 6.1.7601.17514) of the x64 OS that you are deploying.  (This is the really the same as if you were deploying a custom image.  Now, we just make sure we pick a copy of setup files that match the Windows PE platform being used, ignoring those that don’t, even if they are provided with the OS being deployed.)

The other combination, booting from an x64 boot image and deploying an x86 OS, isn’t supported by Windows Setup, so we still hide x86 task sequences when you have booted into an x64 boot image.

Comments (9)
  1. Definitely not simple to do – there were wizard changes, LiteTouch.wsf changes, ZTIDriver.wsf changes, ZTIPatches.wsf changes, etc. – and all the changes assume the matching ZTIUtility.vbs, ZTIGather.wsf, etc.  By the time you replaced all of those, you might as well be running MDT 2012 Beta 1.

  2. We purposely prevent cross-platform installations of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (only allowing Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2).  This is because of a support limitation in those OSes:  You can only do a cross-platform installation using Windows PE 2.0 (it fails on Windows PE 3.0).  Since we don't support Windows PE 2.0 (from an older WAIK) in MDT 2012, we can't support this scenario.

  3. Yamini56 says:

    I know this post is old but thought I would give it a try. We received a Dell tablet that has a 32bit processor. We have MDT TS's for Windows 8 x32 and x64 deployed. We are using the 32bit boot wim. We are only seeing the 32bit TS's, none of the x64 ones. Is this normal? Does it check the processor and only display what can be deployed? Is there a setting we can change to display all TSs? We are running MDT 2012 Update 1.

  4. Diagg says:

    Sorry for the stupid questions but : Can you name the files involved and where to place them ?

  5. Farmer Pete says:

    I think he is talking about the setup files.

    For Windows 7, I only do scripted installs.  My understanding is that the setup files would of course be available, as it has the full DVD and runs the setup to install.  So I could eliminate the x64 boot images?  Yay!  🙂

  6. Dujon Walsham says:

    I can see this being an issue in this sense

    I especially use Windows Server 2008 R2 images, and since 2008 R2 is only in 64 bit, would there be anyway to get this to install using a 32bit boot wim?

  7. Dujon Walsham says:

    then again i just remembered that some Windows 7 images have the same build number, and since there are ISO's which now ship with both on the same disk, can this work perhaps in junction with the 32bit boot wim?

  8. Phil says:

    Actually I don't see why this was changed at all…In MDT update 1 2010 it was working fine…Now there is some confusion for my group using it as they think the wizard is broken.

  9. Michaja van der Zouwen says:

    I'm testing MDT 2012 RC1 right now and I'm able to install WS 2008 R2 with a 32-bit litetouch bootimage out-of-the-box, without the need for 32-bit setup files (probably because the WinPE image itself is based on 32-bit win7 which has the same kernel). The only problem I'm having is that my 64-bit 2008 Task Sequences aren't showing up in the menu pane using the same 32-bit boot image, even thought the 32-bit 2008 Task Sequences are present (and available). Has anyone out there come across this issue?

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