Windows 7 Deployment Terminology

The following terms are unique to Windows 7 deployment and MDT 2010. Understanding this terminology will help you better understand the deployment content.

• Answer file. An XML file that scripts the setup experience and installation settings for Windows 7. The answer file for Windows Setup is usually Unattend.xml or Autounattend.xml. You can use Windows SIM to create and modify this answer file. MDT 2010 builds answer files automatically, which you can customize if necessary.

• Catalog file. A binary file that contains the state of all the settings and packages in a Windows 7 image. When you use Windows SIM to create a catalog file, it enumerates the Windows 7 image for a list of all settings in that image as well as the current list of features and their current states. Because the contents of a Windows 7 image can change over time, it is important that you re-create the catalog file whenever you update an image.

• Feature. A part of the Windows 7 operating system that specifies the files, resources, and settings for a specific Windows 7 feature or part of a Windows 7 feature. Some features include unattended installation settings, which you can customize by using Windows SIM.

• Configuration pass. A phase of Windows 7 installation. Windows Setup installs and configures different parts of the operating system in different configuration passes. You can apply Windows 7 unattended installation settings in one or more configuration passes. For more information about configuration passes, see the Windows Automated Installation Kit User’s Guide in the Windows AIK 2.0.

• Configuration set. A file and folder structure that contains files that control the preinstallation process and define customizations for the Windows 7 installation.

• Destination computer. The computer on which you install Windows 7 during deployment. You can either run Windows Setup on the destination computer or copy a master installation onto a destination computer. The term target computer is also commonly used to refer to this.

• Deployment share. A folder that contains the source files for Windows products that you install. It may also contain additional device drivers and application files. You can create this folder manually or by using Windows SIM. In MDT 2010, the deployment share, called a distribution share in previous versions of MDT, contains operating system, device driver, application, and other source files that you configure with task sequences.

• Image-based setup. A setup process based on applying an image of an operating system to the computer.

• Master computer. A fully assembled computer containing a master installation of Windows 7 that you capture to a master image and deploy to destination computers. The term source computer is also commonly used to refer to this.

• Master image. A collection of files and folders (usually compressed into one file) captured from a master installation. This image contains the base operating system as well as additional applications, configurations, and files.

• Master installation. A Windows 7 installation on a master computer that you can capture as a master image. You can create the master installation using automation to ensure a consistent and repeatable configuration each time.

• Package. A group of files that Microsoft provides to modify Windows 7 features. Package types include service packs, security updates, language packs, and hotfixes.

• Task sequence. A sequence of tasks that runs on a destination computer to install Windows 7 and applications and then configures the destination computer. In MDT 2010, task sequences drive the installation routine.

• Task Sequencer. The MDT 2010 component that runs the task sequence when installing a build.

• Technician computer. The computer on which you install and use MDT 2010 or
Windows AIK 2.0. This computer is typically located in a lab environment, separate from the production network. It can be a workstation- or a server-class computer.

• Unattend.xml. The generic name for the Windows 7 answer file. Unattend.xml replaces all the answer files in earlier versions of Windows, including Unattend.txt, Winbom.ini, and others.

• .wim. A file name extension that identifies Windows image files created by ImageX.

• Windows 7 feature. An optional feature of Windows 7 that you can enable or disable by using Unattend.xml or DISM.

• Windows image file. A single compressed file containing a collection of files and folders that duplicate a Windows installation on a disk volume. Windows image files have the .wim file extension.

Source of Information : Windows 7 Resource Kit 2009 Microsoft Press

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