Setting Up Your Deployment Server

The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 (MDT) is a free download from Microsoft’s site. The machine you install the MDT on has a couple of special names — “technician machine” (you’ll see this in the Microsoft documentation) or Deployment Server. For all examples on this site my Deployment Server is running Windows Server 2008 R2.

Before You Install the MDT…

You’ll need to be sure the planned deployment server meets the hardware requirements, software requirement and some key points should be considered.

Minimum Hardware Requirements

  • 1.4 gigahertz (GHz) processor or better
  • 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM or more
  • Enough hard drive space to store your images

Recommended Hardware Requirements

  • 1.4 gigahertz (GHz) processor or better
  • 2 GB of RAM or more
  • 2 Disk Sets (RAID 1 for your OS AND RAID5 for your data) at least 150 GB of disk space

Operating System of  Technician Machine / Deployment Server

Vista SP1 or later

Please consider installing the MDT on a Server class OS such as Server 2008 R2 which allows you to easily integrate MDT and Windows Deployment Service (WDS) or MDT and Config Manager.

Supported Image Operating Systems

  • Windows XP (SP3)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2
  • Windows Vista (SP1)
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008 (all SPs)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2

The version of Windows Pre-Installation Environment (WinPE’s are covered in the WinPE section) supported is WinPE 3.0 which is included in the WAIK 2.0

The Required Software

The MDT uses the WAIK’s tools for capturing, applying and maintaining images. MDT 2010 requires installation of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows 7 (aka – WAIK 2.0). The WAIK 2.0 is also a free download from Microsoft. You’ll find it here:

I recommend downloading and installing the WAIK before you install the MDT (I’ve had less trouble this way). Be sure to match the architecture of the WAIK and MDT (both x86 or both x64) – mixing these will give you well — let’s just say undesired results.

The WAIK 2.0 requires the .Net Framework 2.0 or later and MSXML 6.0 or later. These need to be installed before you can install the WAIK. But Microsoft did a nice job by including these as components in the WAIK so once you have downloaded the WAIK you have all the required software.

Installing Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010

Install the MDT by following these steps:

  1. Download MDT 2010 from Microsoft’s site ( Be sure to download the correct version (x86 or x64 depending on your architecture).
  2. Double-click the MicrosoftDeploymentToolkit_x86.msi, or MicrosoftDeploymentToolkit_x64.msi.
  3. From the “Welcome to the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Setup” Wizard page click Install and then click Next.
  4. Accept the End-User License Agreement by putting a check mark in the I accept the terms in the License Agreement box, and click Next.
  5. On the Custom Setup page, choose the folder name you would like to install the MDT to by clicking the Browse button in the Location field. I changed the default location from C:\Program Files\Microsoft Deployment Toolkit to C:\Program Files\MDT as shown in Figure 1.

    Figure 1: Custom Setup Page

  6. Also on the Custom Setup page clicking the Disk Usage button will show the amount of hard drive space required to install the MDT.
  7. The Disk Usage button shows the Disk Space Requirements in Figure 2 which lists your hard drives, the amount of space available on each and the amount of space needed to install the MDT.

    Figure 2: Disk Space Requirements Page

  8. I recommend storing your images on a separate drive from the OS and ensure you have plenty of hard drive space, you may be surprised at how large your images become. When you have configured your location and ensured you have enough hard drive space click Next and then click Install.
  9. As the installation completes you will see the “Completing the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit Setup Wizard” page, click Finish to complete the installation of MDT 2010.

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