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I would like to create a golden windows 7 image for PC's that have different graphics cards, network cards etc, whats the simplest way to do this so the OS will detect and install the correct one.

Will it be best to use WDS, I've never used anything except older imaging tools i.e. clone from usb etc

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The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) used with WDS would be the best way. First, decide which type of image best fits your needs. This could be a thick, thin, or hybrid image. Please see the TechNet Magazine article ‘Desktop Image Management: Build a Better Desktop Image. In certain situations, having a thin image and adding software during the deployment makes it easier to keep the image updated with the latest versions of the software that your employees use. With MDT, you add applications into MDT and select which ones (or groups) that you will install to the machine you are deploying to. MDT also manages device drivers similar to how WDS does it, using PnP hardware calls to install the proper drivers during the deployment. When you get a new model of PC, you would download the drivers for it and import them into MDT. It can also use WSUS or Windows Update to apply the latest patches during the deployment.

MDT creates boot images that you can use in WDS to allow PXE network booting and multicasting for ease of deployments. Best of all, MDT is free.

These two videos will show you how flexible and powerful MDT can be:

Deployment Day Session 1: Introduction to MDT 2012

Deployment Day Session 2: MDT 2012 Advanced

There are many more videos, articles and walk-throughs to help you deploy Windows on the Deploy Windows 7 page of the Springboard Series on TechNet.

Hope this helps,

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Thanks very much, big help. – JJJJNR Nov 11 '13 at 15:04

Create "golden" computer. Then use sysprep and the Generalize option. From there you can get more extravagant; like WDS, SCCM, or whatever works for you.

Lots of information and links in: Automatically Configure New Computers

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I've seen it done a few ways. WDS allows you to create driver groups that will automatically install depending on the machine you're pushing the image onto.

One of the guys who images our labs using Ghost on three different models of PCs would take the hard drive, install Windows on the first machine, update all of the drivers, then take the drive to the next machine, install the drivers, and again on the 3rd, and then sysprep, capture, and install.

You could also use DISM to inject the drivers if you don't want to install WDS.

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