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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?

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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.

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  • 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
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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

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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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