I am starting to implement Microsoft Deployment Toolkit along with Windows Deployment Services to install Windows 7 and Windows Vista over the network, including applications. We are a PC repair shop so this will save time having to select the correct Windows disc and manually having to install each application one by one.

Using the standard Windows Vista/7 disc, you have the option of moving the old Windows directories (Users, Windows, Program Files, Program Files (x86)) into a folder called Windows.old. We do many format and reinstalls and we want to keep the customer's data. Using MDT straight away formats the drive and then installs Windows.

How can I set it to it moves everything into the Windows.old folder as before?


If you start the installation process through a running Windows installation, you will get an "extra" screen in the MDT Wizard. That is, this screen does not appear if you PXE boot with WDS and go into MDT. This screen lets you backup the entire PC, if you want. The existing system is backed up into a WIM image, which ends up in the Windows\Temp directory. If there is sufficient free space on the drive, the PC is backed up to itself, so the files never cross the network and come back.

You can start MDT from within Windows by connecting to your deployment share, going to the Scripts folder, and running LiteTouch.vbs.

When the re-image is finished, you can mount the WIM to a folder, named Windows.old if you want. It will look just like any old folder to the user.

  • Is there a way to do that on PXE as sometimes the machine doesn't boot so I cannot use that option inside Windows – Dean Perry Jun 10 '11 at 13:10
  • Not that I've been able to figure out. If someone can correct me on that, I'd love to know it's possible. – Patrick Seymour Jun 13 '11 at 23:37
  • Yeah it would be very helpful :) I mean surely it can't be hard as using the standard Vista or 7 disc, installing on a drive which already has Windows, it asks to move the old stuff to windows.old. Microsoft like to make it hard for us! – Dean Perry Jun 14 '11 at 21:23

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