We use numerous make and model of laptops in our research. To this point we've always used "ghost" to image them (w/ XP). Im wondering about the feasibility of using MDT instead.

Would I need a separate image for each make / model or is there some way to generalize an installation so it will work on different types of hardware?


Yes, where you are is exactly where we were about two years ago. Jump head first into MDT and luxuriate in the freedom of the single image :-)

You will need three tasks ideally (IMO - many people combine tasks 1 & 2)

1 build vanilla XP SP3

(then install all the software you want on this machine)

2 capture the 'reference' machine.

3 deploy the captured image to all other devices.

  • So I need an image with drivers specific to that model? – ethrbunny Mar 17 '12 at 13:32
  • No, you gather all the drivers in your domain and add them to the "out-of-box drivers" section. Then as MDT deploys the image it'll grab whatever drivers it needs from that list (in theory :-) ) – Kieran Walsh Mar 17 '12 at 14:57

Yes, the current thinking when using MDT is not to image them but to "deploy" them. A "deployment" consists of the base OS (thick or thin) + model specific drivers, plus any apps for the particular role you are deploying. Driver management can be as specific as you want. See this article for a video walkthru of how to deploy a system with MDT


To expand a little on Kieran's answer you can get driver packs that will help you out too.

Dell put out drive packs on their community wiki.

Also you can user Driverpacks.net too.

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