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Last Updated September 10, 2008


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Windows Vista Deployment Planning

Migrating an Operating System is a major project that requires careful planning and guidance. To ease the process, Microsoft has provided a number of tools for automating Vista deployments including the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK), the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 (MDT), Windows Deployment Services (WDS) and the new User State Migration Tool.

Where to start

* 10 things you need to know about deploying Windows Vista

How to utilize the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) is a software package designed for network deployment of Microsoft Windows operating systems, including Windows XP and Vista , as well as Windows Server 2003 and 2008. (September 2008)

TechNet Vista Deployment Center 
The Microsoft Home page for deployment tools and guidance including the Windows Automated Installation Kit, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, User State Migration Tools, Application Compatibility Toolkit. Source:

Windows Vista Step-by-Step Deployment Guide
The official Microsoft step-by-step guide provides guidance to perform a basic Windows Vista deployment. Source:

How to Start a Windows Vista Pilot Deployment
Great article by fellow MVP Brien Posey that describes how to successfully manage a pilot deployment program. Source: 

Planning & Designing Windows Vista Deployments
Five part article which provides an overview of the Deployment Process, mapping Windows Vista to your business needs, assessing your current environment, configuring Vista, and planning your deployment. Source:

Webcast: Windows Vista deployment overview
On-demand webcast which covers a number of topics related to deploying the Windows Vista operating system. Source:

Richard Smith's Windows Vista Deployment Planning
Richard is a consultant for Microsoft Consulting Services and in this series provides insights into the methodologies he uses when planning Windows Vista deployment.
A community site by Johan Arwidmark, Micke Nyström and Anders Jansson.

Deploying Vista - Part 1: Understanding the Windows AIK 
Great series of articles by Mitch Tulloch on automating the deployment of Windows Vista. Part 1 begins with an overview of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK). Source:

Deploying Vista - Part 2: Understanding Windows Setup and the Windows Imaging File Format
Provides an overview of how Windows Setup works in Vista. Source: Windows

Deploying Vista - Part 3: Understanding Configuration Passes
Covers the different configuration phases of Windows Setup in Vista.  Source: Windows

Deploying Windows Vista
This article examines the new tools and procedures for deploying Windows Vista and how they can make the administrator's job of rolling out workstations easier. Source: Windows

Windows Automated Installation Kit
Download site for the Windows Automated Installation Kit that contains the tools to help corporate IT professionals customize and deploy Microsoft Windows Vista, including performing unattended Windows installations, capture Windows images with ImageX, and create Windows PE images. Source:

The Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 is HERE

Windows User State Migration Tool (USMT) Version 3.0.1
User State Migration Tool (USMT) version 3.0.1 automates the process of migrating user files and settings during deployments of Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista. USMT captures files and settings from the source computer and then migrates them to a new Windows installation. The newly updated tool uses XML based answer files, and can be customized to suit deployment needs. Source:

USMT Documentation 
The primary documentation for deploying, using, and customizing the User State Migration Tool. Source:

USMT Team Blog
The blog from the team that developed the new USMT tool. The best source for advanced guidance, troubleshooting, and tweaking of USMT. 

Migrating to Vista using User State Migration Tool 3.0
This article by Mitch Tulloch walks you through how to use User State Migration Tool 3.0 (USMT 3.0) to migrate Windows XP desktop computers to Windows Vista in an enterprise environment. Source: 

Windows PE 2.0
How to create a Windows Vista boot CD with WinPE
Using WinPE, admins can launch Vista from a disk and use the deployment to create and restore images. Source:

Windows PE 2.0 for Windows Vista overview
Find out how Windows PE 2.0 makes large-scale, customized deployments of Windows Vista notably easier. Source: 

HOW TO: inject drivers into Microsoft's free OS, Windows PE 2.0
Detailed How to article on injecting drivers into the Windows PE 2.0 environment. Source:


Windows Deployment Services
Step-by-Step Guide for Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2008
Step-by-step guidance that focuses on the functionality of the complete installation of Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server® 2008. It includes guidance on installing and configuring WDS, upgrading existing RIS servers, creating install images, unattended installations, and creating multicast transmissions.  Source:


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