Windows Deployment Services is a server role that enables you to remotely deploy Windows operating systems. You can use it to set up new computers by using a network-based installation. This means that you do not have to install each operating system directly from a CD or DVD. To use Windows Deployment Services, you should have a working knowledge of common desktop deployment technologies and networking components, including Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Domain Name System (DNS), and Active Directory Domain Services.

You can use the Windows Deployment Services Step-by-Step Guide (, which will lead you through installing this role, adding images, configuring the server, and then installing an image. It also includes instructions for how to perform more advanced tasks such as multicasting your images, creating your own images, and configuring an unattended installation.


This is a subset of the documentation available online at

Quick start checklist

To get up and running quickly, perform the following steps.

  Task Reference
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Configure the server.

Configuring Windows Deployment Services

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Add the default images (Install.wim and Boot.wim) that are included on the installation DVD (in the \Sources folder).

Add a Boot or Install Image

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Install an operating system.

Install an Operating System

Tools for managing Windows Deployment Services

There are two tools that you can use to manage your server. For procedures for common tasks, see How to Perform Common Tasks (

  • Windows Deployment Services MMC snap-in . A Microsoft Management Console (MMC) that provides an easy way to manage images, computers, and common server settings. You can perform almost all tasks from the MMC snap-in (for example, you cannot prestage client computers or manage .vhd images). Note that the snap-in is not available when you install only the Transport Server role service.

  • WDSUTIL command-line tool. A tool that enables you to manage the full functionality of the server. WDSUTIL also enables you to script common tasks. Simple batch files can run the required commands because the commands do not require an interactive user session.


Windows Deployment Services provides the following benefits:

  • Allows network-based installation of Windows operating systems, which reduces the complexity and cost when compared to manual installations.

  • Supports mixed environments including Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 through Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

  • Uses standard Windows Setup technologies including Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE), .wim files, and image-based setup.

  • Transmits data and images by using multicast functionality.

  • Allows you to create images of a reference computer using the Image Capture Wizard, which is an alternative to the ImageX tool. For more information, see the “Creating Custom Install Images” section of Creating Images (

  • Allows you to add driver packages to the server and configure them to be deployed to client computers along with the install image. In addition, you can add driver packages (such as network adapter drivers, mass storage drivers, and bus drivers) to your Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 boot images. For more information, see Managing Driver Packages.

  • Allows you to deploy virtual hard disk (.vhd) images as part of an automated deployment. For more information, see Deploy Virtual Hard Disk Images.