Windows Deployment Platform Components - Windows Setup

Windows Setup (Setup.exe) is the program that installs Windows 7. It uses image-based setup (IBS) to provide a single, unified process with which all customers can install Windows. IBS performs clean installations and upgrades of Windows. Windows Setup and IBS allow you to deploy Windows 7 in your organization easily and cost effectively.

Windows Setup includes several new features that facilitate installations that are faster and more consistent than Windows XP, including the following:

• Improved image management. Windows 7 images are stored in a single .wim file. A .wim file can store multiple instances of the operating system in a single, highly compressed file. The install file, Install.wim, is located in the Sources folder on the Windows 7 media.

• Streamlined installation. Windows Setup is optimized to enable the deployment scenarios used by most organizations. Installation takes less time and provides a more consistent configuration and deployment process, resulting in lower deployment costs.

• Faster installations and upgrades. Because Windows Setup is now image based, installing and upgrading Windows 7 is faster and easier. You can perform clean installations of Windows 7 by deploying the Windows image to destination computers; you perform upgrades by installing a new image onto an existing installation of Windows. Windows Setup protects the previous Windows settings during the installation.

Windows Setup improves the installation experience over Windows Vista. For example, Windows Setup moves the license key to the Windows Welcome page, allowing users to type a product key after completing installation. Windows Setup also automatically creates a small, hidden partition for BitLocker Drive Encryption. This makes it easier to enable BitLocker Drive Encryption later, because users don’t have to prepare the drive. Additionally, the last phase of Windows Setup, Windows Welcome, is faster and gives more feedback on the progress of the setup process.

Source of Information : Windows 7 Resource Kit 2009 Microsoft Press

Windows Deployment Platform Components - Windows SIM

Windows SIM is the tool you use to create and configure Windows 7 answer files. You can configure features, packages, and answer file settings. Windows Setup uses Unattend.xml to configure and customize the default Windows 7 installation for all configuration passes. For instance, you can customize Internet Explorer, configure Windows Firewall, and specify the hard drive configuration. You can use Windows SIM to customize Windows 7 in many ways, including the following:

• Install third-party applications during installation.
• Customize Windows 7 by creating answer files (Unattend.xml).
• Apply language packs, service packs, and updates to an image during installation.
• Add device drivers to an image during installation.

With versions of Windows earlier than Windows Vista, you had to edit answer file settings manually using a text editor, even after initially creating an answer file by using Windows Setup Manager. The Windows 7 answer file (Unattend.xml) is based on XML and is far too complex to edit manually, however. So you must use Windows SIM to edit Windows 7 answer files.

Source of Information : Windows 7 Resource Kit 2009 Microsoft Press

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