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I am new to system administration, and working in a small division where there is no Active Directory Domain Controllers. [The windows PCs are authenticated against Linux Samba domain controllers.] Currently windows OS are installed MANUALLY from a DVD, then manually install Office, configure this and that...

I am researching on a better way of windows deployment, and MDT, microsoft deployment toolkit seems very good and is free. However after viewing blogs and videos, I am still not sure if this tool can work on its own - does it rely on windows deployment service (WDS)? I am asking this because WDS seems to require active directory domain controllers, which we do not have.

IS there an automated Windows 7 installation solution that does not require AD Domain controllers? (I have to run the tool from my own windows 7, just like I am doing software updates on remote PCs from my PC using PDQ deploy...)

any input is welcome and thanked...

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closed as not a real question by mdpc, Sven, Wesley, Jenny D, Khaled Apr 1 '13 at 11:58

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Generally, WDS is only used to deploy the boot image. It does not host the install image in a typical MDT deployment. With the correct hackery, you can deploy this boot image and unattend file through something like tftpd and pxelinux rather than WDS, but it's totally unsupported and also a nightmare to set up.

You can always make a boot install CD instead of network booting. That would take all PXE out of the picture all together and alleviate the requirement for something like WDS.

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And the boot CD you generate in MDT can be mounted, and then copied over to a bootable USB stick. Works great! – pauska Apr 3 '13 at 15:41

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