MDT Wizard: Use an external Customsettings.ini


Some month ago, I shared a tool, link Here, that allows you to generate a Customsettings.ini file in order to use it like a profile. This way you can create multiple INI files.
In this post I will show you a wizard that I have created to apply a profile you have created and use it during your deployment.

MDT & PowerShell - Quick Reference Guide Update 1.1


In this post, you can find an update version 1.1, of the MDT & PowerShell - Quick reference Guide.

Why this guide ? In my job I work a lot with MDT and try to automatize most of common actions using PowerShell. I started to write this guide to keep in memory these cmdlets. 

What's new ?

In the new version, I aded PowerShell cmdlets for actions on the below nodes:
- Actions on the Monitoring node
- Actions on the Task Sequences node


How to get the PDF ?



MDT module 8443 for MDT Light version


In this post, you can find the MDT module from the new 8443 version in order to use with the MDT Light version.


What is a MDT module ?

Few months ago, I shared a way to use MDT without the MDT and ADK installed.
Using this method you can manage a Deployment Share with PowerShell. 
To do that you just have to load a module and create some registry keys. 
This module is a "light" version of the MDT installation files.
See here how to use this method.


What is MDT Light version ?

Three months ago I shared a tool, called MDT Light version, that allows you to manage a Deployment Share using the MDT portable method, above.
This tool allows you, with a GUI, to do different kind of tasks as import application, OS, update deployment share ... without MDT & ADK installed.
See here, how to use this tool.
See here, when to use this tool.


Why a new module ?

Two months ago Microsoft provided a new version of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.
After different versions, 2010, 2012, 2013 Update 1, 2013 Update 2, the new version is now called Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 8443.

See here the post from Aaron Czechowski about the new version.
You can download the new version here.
The new module 8443 will contain required installation files from the latest version.


How to get the module ?




How to use the module ?

This module works like the previous one. 
To use it using the commandline way, just set the MDT module path, as below:

To use it using the MDT Light tool, just browse to the lateste module version.
Select your Module GUI

Powershell tool: Boot on WDS for MDT


In this post, I will show you a tool that allows you to modify the WIM boot file LiteTouchPE located in the Boot folder. Thgis way you can boot on a WDS Server and connect to a remote Deployment Share.

MDT & PowerShell - Quick Reference Guide


MDT can be used using PowerShell.

Indeed you can do whatever you want with MDT & PowerShell.
For instance you can import application, Operating System, package or also create and update a Deployment Share.
MDT allows you to see each corresponding PowerShell script for a specific action.

In this post, you can find a document I have created that gather PowerShell cmdlets to manage the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.

How to get the PDF ?

Managing the Advanced configurations node in MDT with PowerShell


In this post, I will show you how to use the advanced configurations node from a Deployment Share using PowerShell.

Managing selection profiles 

What is a Selection profile ?

The selection Profiles node allows you to manage easily your Deployment Share items: Applications, Drivers, Operating Systems, Packages or Task Sequences.
By default the six profiles below are available.  
Default Selection profiles
As you will likely understand seeing the comments part, these profiles will be used to gather items.
The first one All Drivers will gather all driver folders that have been created in the Out-of-Box Drivers node.
In the screenshot below my Out-of-Box Drivers node is composed of three folders which will contain different drivers.
Out-of-Box Drivers node
Selection profiles can be created to include whatever you want. As instance, we can create a PE Drivers selection profile that will contain PE Drivers from the Out-of-Box node.
Then we can use it as Windows PE drivers in the Deployment Share properties.
Deployment Share - Windows PE properties
You can also create a Windows 10 profile to gather, for example, Windows 10 OS, applications, Drivers
Windows 10 selection profile

Add a Selection profile with PowerShell

The PowerShell cmdlet used to add a selection profile is new-item.
The next script allows you to create a selection profile with the following informations.
- Profile name: Windows 10 profile 
- Folders that should be included
  • Applications 
  • Operating Systems
  • Out-of-Box Drivers
Remove a Selection profile with PowerShell 

Selection profile can be removed from a Deployment Share using the PowerShell cmdlet remove-item.



Managing Linked Deployment Share

The Linked Deployment Share node allows you to synchronize a Deployment Share with another. As instance we’ll use a “Master” Deployment Share that will be the main Deployment point.
A target Deployment Share located on another computer will be linked to the first one.
This way you can share a deploy content between two Deployment Shares.

MDT and ADK are not mandatory on the target computer to create a linked Deployment Share. However, in this case you have to create and share a folder that will contain content of a basic Deployment Share folder.

Note: Make sure that both Deployment Shares use the same MDT versions.
You can create a linked Deployment Share, through the New Linked Deployment Share Wizard.
To that end you need to specify the linked deployment share UNC path, which should be UNC path of your target computer. You can also specify a selection profile that we’ve seen previously.
Let’s select the Windows 10 selection profile previously created. 
Linked Deployment Shares - General Settings
Looking at the target Deployment Share we notice that nothing happened on the target deployment share. 
To make our main deployment share available on the target computer, we need to replicate content.
To do this, just do a right-click on your linked DS from your main DS and select Replicate Content. 
Linked Deployment Shares - Replicate content
Note that this part needs some time to complete.
Now looking at our target DS we can see that our Windows 10 profile have been correctly replicate from the main DS.
Target Deployment Share after replication

Add a linked DeploymentShare with PowerShell

To add a linked Deployment Share we’ll use the same cmdlet as for adding a selection profile.

The next sample script will (a) Load the MDT module; (b) create a PSDrive mapped to the deployment Share and create a linked deployment Share.

See below available properties in our linked deployment share, previously created and corresponding with the above switches. 
Linked Deployment Share Properties

Remove a linked DeploymentShare with PowerShell

As mentioned in the previous part, the PowerShell cmdlet to use to remove a linked deployment share is remove-item.


Replicate content with PowerShell

As we have seen in the first part, if you want to add content from your main deployment Share to the target Deployment Share you need to replicate content.
PowerShell allows you to automate this task using the cmdlet Update-MDTLinkedDS.

The below script, provided by the View Script button, allows you to replicate content to the linked deployment share.



Managing a media 

What is a Media ?

The media part of the Advanced Configuration node allows you to create a deploy content for USB stick or DVD.
With the help of the New media Wizard, select a folder that will contain the deploy content and specify a selection profile.
New Media Wizard
Note: As for a Deployment Share when you modify something in the boot image, you’ll need to update the media content.

Create a media with PowerShell

The next sample script will be used to create a media. It’s composed of five parts:
PowerShell script - Create media process

Update media content with PowerShell

The PowerShell cmdlet used to update media content is Update-MDTMedia.
The update media content works as the Update deployment share part.
The following script is this one available by clicking on the View Script button when you update a media.



Powershell tool: MDT Light version

In a previous post, I have shown you a method to use MDT as a portable application without installing MDT or the ADK.
I was thinking why not going further and create a tool that will allow you to do mostly common actions used in MDT.
That's why I created this tool and also because I like to create new ways to do some actions using Powershell. There are two versions, depending of the computer's architecture on which you're running the tool.
Run the tool on a computer without MDT & ADK installed.
I tested on different environment, but you may have some issues, don't hesitate to contact me from here or by mail: damienvanrobaeys@gmail.com

How to get the tool ?

Prerequisites
  • You need the MDT & ADK modules 
  • A computer without MDT & ADK installed
  • The x86 tool version for 32Bit system
  • The x64 tool version for x64 system

How to get modules ?
I shared on DropBox the MDT & ADK modules I used. You can download them, or create yours. Click here to download these modules.
Check how to create yours in my previous post.

Which actions you can do ?
  • Create Deployment Share
  • Open Deployment Share
  • Update Deployment Share (3 options)
  • Add / Modify / Remove an application
  • Add / remove an OS
  • Add / Remove a Language Pack
  • Add / Remove a Package
  • Add remove a media
  • Update a Media

How to use the tool ?

1 / Run the MDT Light version.exe
2 / The first GUI is composed of two tabs. The first tab allows you to choose your Deployment Share or Deploy folder.
Select your master Tab
The second Tab allows you to load both MDT and ADK modules.
Select modules Tab
See my last post, here, to understand what I mean by MDT and ADK modules.

3 / Then click on Launch MDT portable version
4 / The second window will be launched and your Deployment Share content will be displayed in the Datagrid.
Main MDT Light version GUI

Main MDT Portable Version GUI


Understanding Datagrids

For now I have created 6 Datagrid, but I'm still working on this project.
Applications Tab
Operating System Tab
Language Packs Tab


Understanding the Actions part

The Actions part, below, allows you to manage the datagrid content. It'll do an action depending of the tab you're located.
Actions part
1 / The first button will launch the update Deployment Share below:
Update Deployment Share part
2 / The second button allows you to add an item in your Deployment Share,
For instance if you are on the Application tab, it will launch the add an application part
Add Application part
If you are on the Operating System Tab, it will launch the Add an OS part

3 / The third button allows you to modify an item.
For instance if you are on the Applications tab, it will launch the Modify an application part
Modify application part
4 / The fourth button allows you to remove an item from your Deployment Share.
Select an item, for instance an application, and click on the rermove button.
5 / The fifth button allows you to refresh the datagrid.


Use the more settings part

On the main MDT Portabble version GUI, you can find in the title bar a button that allows you to display more settings.

More settings button
This button will displayed the FlyoutControl below:
More settings Flyout
It will allow you to:
  • Open another Deployment Share
  • Create a new Deployment Share
  • Load another MDT Module folder
  • Load another ADK Module


Use the checking part

On the main MDT Portabble version GUI, you can find in the title bar a button that allows you to display a checking part. It will display the Deployment Share path, version, MDT & ADK modules paths and the MDT module version.
Checking part button
The button will display the Flyout control below:
Checking part Flyout

The tool in action

Add an application
We will add a random application then we will check the applications.xml file 
Add an application part
Add an OS

We will first, add a Windows 7 OS from full sources then we will add the same OS from the install.wim file
Add an OS from Full sources
Add an OS from a WIM file

Add a Language pack

We will add a French and Russian language packs
Add a Language pack part

The project on GitHub


What's next ?

For the next version I will add functionalities below:
  • ProgressBar when adding items
  • Task sequence part
  • Linked Deployment Share part
  • List folders and sub folders 
  • Better verbose for the updatedeployment part