Build and Capture a Windows 7 Image

By | February 2, 2011

This guide will cover the installation and then capture of a Windows 7 Image using SCCM to handle the whole process. As with Windows XP, you can if you prefer install the Operating System yourself and then create a bootable cd via the SCCM console to capture the image. At the end of this guide you will have created a base image that can then be used for deployments to your other workstations or laptops.

Before we start, this guide assumes that you have already installed and configured SCCM 2007 with SP2 or above and have completed the relevant steps to enable the deployment of Operating Systems using SCCM.

The first thing you need to do is find yourself a copy of Windows 7, for the purpose of this guide I am going to use Windows 7 Professional x86. The source files will need to be made available on a network share.

Importing Windows 7 Professional

  1. Open SCCM ConfigMgr console
  2. Expand Computer Management
  3. Expand Operating System Deployment
  4. Right Click on Operating System Install Packages
  5. Select Add Operating System Install Package
  6. Enter the path to the network share where you have copied the source files for Windows 7 to i.e. \\server\share
  7. Click Next
  8. Enter the details for this build
  9. Click Next
  10. Click Close

Under Operating System Install Packages you should now have a Windows 7 package listed. At this point it is worth adding this package to the required distribution point. To do this Expand the install package you have just created, right click Distribution Points and select New Distribution Points. The wizard then just needs to be completed in the same way that you would add a software package to a distribution point.

Before creating the task sequence to build and capture the image file, you will need to create the SCCM ConfigMgr client install package, again once this has been created it will need to be copied to the required distribution points.

  1. Open SCCM ConfigMgr console
  2. Expand Computer Management
  3. Expand Software Distribution
  4. Right Click on Packages
  5. Select New
  6. Select Package From Definition
  7. Click Next
  8. Select Configuration Manager Client Upgrade
  9. Click Next
  10. Select Always obtain files from….
  11. Click Next
  12. Enter the source directory of the SCCM Client files. In my case this was d:\program files\microsoft configuration manager\client
  13. Click Next
  14. Click Finish

Once the package is created add this to the required distribution points.

Creating the Task Sequence

The next step of this guide is to create the Task Sequence required to build and capture the image

  1. Open SCCM ConfigMgr console
  2. Expand Computer Management
  3. Expand Operating System Deployment
  4. Right Click on Task Sequences
  5. Click New
  6. Click Task Sequence
  7. Select Build and capture a reference…..
  8. Click Next
  9. Give the Task Sequence a name
  10. Click Browse
  11. Select a boot image
  12. Click OK
  13. Click Next
  14. Click Browse
  15. Select the OS install package that was imported earlier
  16. Click OK
  17. By default the local administrator account is disabled in Windows 7, if required enable the account and enter and confirm your local administrator password
  18. Click Next
  19. Enter a workgroup name. You can at this point choose to join the machine to a domain but as we are creating what will become a master image the recommended approach is to keep the machine out of a domain for the time being
  20. Click Next
  21. Click Browse
  22. Select the ConfigMgr Client Package we created earlier
  23. Click OK
  24. Click Next
  25. Click Next
  26. Click Next
  27. Click Browse
  28. Click Next
  29. Enter the details for the image you are creating
  30. Click Next
  31. Enter the path where you want to save the image to i.e. \\SERVER01\imagecapture\Win7Prox86.wim
  32. Enter a useraccount that has access to this location
  33. Click Next
  34. Click Next
  35. Click Close

One final thing to do before we advertise the Task Sequence, is to modify the partition disk part of the Task Sequence and set the format part to perform a quick format.

  1. Open SCCM ConfigMgr console
  2. Expand Computer Management
  3. Expand Operating System Deployment
  4. Click on Task Sequences
  5. Right Click the Task Sequence you have just created and select Edit
  6. Select Partition Disk
  7. Select the Primary drive
  8. Click the Edit icon
  9. Select Quick Format
  10. Click OK
  11. Click OK

Advertising the Task Sequence

Before completing this step, you need to create a collection that you will be advertising the task sequence to.

  1. Open SCCM ConfigMgr console
  2. Expand Computer Management
  3. Expand Operating System Deployment
  4. Click on Task Sequences
  5. Right Click the Task Sequence you have just created, Click Advertise
  6. Click Browse
  7. Select the collection to advertise the Task Sequence to
  8. Click OK
  9. Select Make this task sequence….
  10. Click Next
  11. Make the Task Sequence mandatory and set it to run as soon as possible
  12. Click Next
  13. Select Access content directly from a…….
  14. Click Next
  15. Click Next
  16. Click Finish
  17. Click Close

Now that the task sequence is advertised you can now start add your machine into the collection to build and capture your reference machine. Once the capture is completed you will then need to create a new task sequence to deploy this to your workstations or laptops.

This guide should help you on your way to deploying operating systems using SCCM, however one thing I have covered in this guide is the issue of drivers not being available during the installation process. Windows 7 is pretty good and from experience has already had the required drivers for PC’s and Laptops.

The quickest way to resolve any driver issues to add them into SCCM and create driver packages that can be used during the Apply Device Drivers portion of the Task Sequence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *