I've been using MDT for a while to deploy my Win7 desktops, mostly using WDS and boot-from-LAN.

The problem I have now is that the company recently took it upon itself to purchase laptops without wired NICs, so I can't use PXE boot.

Can I use the LiteTouch ISO boot image and connect to a WiFi network to pull the data from the Deployment Share?


As far as I'm aware, you cannot do this. You should look into purchasing a PXE-capable USB NIC adapter.

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  • And that's why management should not be allowed to purchase hardware... I think I have an old USB DVD drive around here somewhere... – Cylindric Sep 18 '12 at 14:01
  • Shame if it can't, all it really needs to have is the WiFi drivers in the PE and some way of specifying the WiFi credentials. – Cylindric Sep 18 '12 at 16:15

There is no supported way of doing this. However the iPXE project looks like it has a lot of promise to do what you want to.

This is something I've wanted to setup for a while on my own network. I already have WDSLinux running so it wouldn't be too hard to get wimboot setup on there. You would need to download it from the WinPE page. Once you have that just drop it into where you have your other pxelinux files.From there you just need to edit your config files to point to he litetouch.wim files.

iPXE is gPXE (etherboot) and they include the ablity to boot from wifi. I'm not sure if they will work with your hardware. I'm a dell shop so I'll try this when I get into the office on Monday. I do have a few things laying around the house and if I have time this weekend I'll setup a lab and try to bang out something for you.

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Actually, I think you can.

I remember a couple years ago at MMS they were demoing a keynote where they would show laptops under the first row of attendee's and asking them to pull them out and open them up without turning them on. The speaker then sent a command and demonstrated that SCCM using Intel's management interfaces, woke up the computers wirelessly, told them to boot to the NIC (WLAN, no ethernet/CAT5) and then sent it a task sequence to upgrade the Windows XP that was on it to Windows 7. It was pretty damn slick.

I'll try and find the video, but to answer your question yes it can.


So they boot into Windows XP, not PXE but I know vPro you can do this. Links are below.

MMS Demo - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/video/mms-2009-day-2-keynote-demo-on-stage.aspx Prep Video 1 - http://edge.technet.com/Media/Microsoft-Management-Summit-2009-Keynote-Demo/ Prep Video 2 - http://edge.technet.com/Media/Behind-the-scenes-at-MMS-for-the-Keynote-Demo/

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Deploying over wifi is not supported by MDT. Really it comes down to WinPE doesn't include any support for wifi. You would need to use a USB to gigabit dongle, or create media.

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WinPE 3.1 supports 802.1x authentication and wifi.

Go through this first.


then mount the wim and add the packages in the next url and create the lang.ini file


After building the wim mount it and rename setup.exe to "setup.exe~" so that when you boot the wim it will land at a command prompt.

Boot up the wim, execute the wifi.cmd built in the first url link which is located in x:\windows\system32 and connect to your network.

To start a WDS deployment there is another copy of setup.exe in the sources folder so you can do something like.

x:\sources\setup.exe /wds /wdsdiscover /wdsserver:XXXXXX /unattend:xxxxxxx

I was using an 802.1x auth wifi network (WPA2 enterprise) with a computer certificate method imported from an xml

Suprising overall deployment performance was quite reasonable, on a wireless N connection it only increased the deployment time from booting into winpe to win 7 sysprep of 40 minutes on a wired client to 70 minutes via wifi for a 30Gig wim image.

Whilst this will bypass MDT you can use the setupcomplete.cmd in your install image to finish customizing your image such as join a domain etc.

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