How to create a Windows XP SP3 Reference Machine using Configuration Manager 2007 SP1 R2

In this post, I will show how to deploy Windows XP SP3 (the easiest and least customizable way) in a virtual environment (Virtual PC 2005 SP1) step-by-step. This post is inspired from “Quick Start Guide for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007” document.

In this post, I will create a reference machine with Windows XP SP3 and will capture an image of it. And in the then next post, I will use the captured image to create a new task sequence that can be used to deploy Windows XP SP3 to target machines.

My environment is described below (note that all operating systems and products used are x86 versions):

ComputerDescription and system resources
Home-DC1The computer runs Windows Server 2003 SP1 with the following roles and services installed:

  • AD DS
  • DNS Server
  • DHCP Server

The system resources of the computer are as follows:

  • Processor running at 2 gigahertz
  • 128 megabytes physical memory
  • One disk partition that has 35 gigabytes (GB) available disk space and that will become the drive C partition
  • One CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive that will be assigned the drive letter D
Home-SCCMThis computer runs SQL Server 2005 SP2 and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1 R2 fully working. The computer runs Windows Server 2003 SP2 R2.
The system resources of the computer are as follows:

  • Processor running at 2 GHz
  • 1024 MB physical memory
  • 33 GB available disk space
Home-XPSP3-Ref01This is the reference computer, which runs no current operating system.
The system resources of the computer are as follows:

  • Processor running at 2 GHz
  • 1024 MB physical memory
  • 65 GB available disk space
Home-XPSP3-Tar01This is the target computer, which runs no current operating system.

  • Processor running at 2 GHz
  • 1024 MB physical memory
  • 65 GB available disk space

So, let’s start.

Prepare the environment

Create required folders and shares

The MDT 2008 deployment process requires additional folders that are used as the source for files or to store files created during the MDT 2008 deployment process. Some of these folders need to be shared so that they can be accessed from other computers.

To create the required folders and shares:

  1. On Home-SCCM computer, create the following folders:
    • Captures
    • Packages
    • Source
  2. Configure the following shares and permissions:
    Share nameShare permissionsSecurity permissions
    Captures$
    Packages$
    Source$
    Administrators: Full Control
    Everyone: Read
    SYSTEM: Full Control
    Administrators: Full Control
    Creator owner: leave as default
    SYSTEM: Full Control
    Users: Read & Execute, List Folder Contents
  3. Create the following subfolders:
    • Source\MDT2008
    • Source\Sysprep_XPSP3
    • Source\USMT301
    • Source\Windows_XPSP3
    • Packages\CustomSettings_Reference
    • Packages\CustomSettings_Target
    • Packages\ MDT_2008_Files
    • Packages \Sysprep_XPSP3
    • Packages \USMT301
    • Packages \Windows_XPSP3
    • Packages \WinPE_Custom

Note: Please note that I do not have the “Drivers” folder as I’m installing the OS in a virtual machine and I will not use any drivers.

Obtain the required software

Besides the OS, SQL, Configuration Manager and other software installed already, we will also need the software listed below:

Obtain this softwarePlace in this folder
MDT 2008 Update 1, available at
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=3bd8561f-77ac-4400-a0c1-fe871c461a89
C:\Source\MDT2008
Windows XP SP3 distribution files from the product CDC:\Source\Windows_XPSP3
USMT version 3.0.1 available at
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=799ab28c-691b-4b36-b7ad-6c604be4c595
C:\Source\USMT301
Sysprep for Windows XP SP3 available at
http://www.microsoft.com/downloadS/details.aspx?FamilyID=673a1019-8e3e-4be0-ac31-70dd21b5afa7&displaylang=en
Extracted files from “deploy.cab” place in C:\Source\Sysprep_XPSP3

Install User State Migration Tool

The USMT is used to save and restore user state migration information.

Install USMT on Home-SCCM in order to extract the files needed to create the System Center Configuration Manager package.

To install USMT 3.0.1:

  1. In Windows Explorer, go to C:\Source\USMT301, and then double-click InstallUSMT301_x86.msi.
  2. Complete the installation wizard by accepting all the default values.
    This installs USMT in C:\Program Files\USMT301.
  3. Copy the USMT source files from C:\Program Files\USMT301 to C:\Source\USMT301.

Install Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 Update 1

To install MDT 2008 Update 1:

  1. In Windows Explorer, go to C:\Source\MDT2008.
  2. Double-click MicrosoftDeploymentToolkit_x86.msi and then click Install.
  3. Click Next to skip the welcome page.
  4. On the End-User License Agreement page, review the license agreement, select I accept the terms in the License Agreement, and then click Next.
  5. On the Custom Setup page, click Next.
  6. Click Install.
    The installation process status is displayed, then finishes.
  7. Click Finish.

Enable Configuration Manager Console integration

To enable Configuration Manager console integration:

Note: Ensure that Configuration Manager Console is closed while performing these steps.

  1. Click Start, and then point to All Programs. Point to Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, and then click Configure ConfigMgr 2007 Integration.
  2. The Configure ConfigMgr 2007 Integration script starts.
  3. In the Configure ConfigMgr Integration dialog box, in Site server name, verify that the value entered is your site server name.
  4. In Site code, verify that the value is your site code, and then click Finish.

Import and configure a task sequence to create a reference computer

The reference computer is used as the template for deploying new images to the target computers. Configure this computer (Home-XPSP3-Ref01) exactly as the target computers will be configured. An image of the reference computer will be captured and the image deployed to the target computers.

Create a MDT 2008 task sequence for the reference computer

To create a task sequence for deploying the reference computer:

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, and then click Microsoft System Center. Click Configuration Manager 2007, and then click ConfigMgr Console.
  2. In the Configuration Manager console tree, go to Site Database/Computer Management/Task Sequences.
  3. In the details pane, click Import Microsoft Deployment Task Sequence.
    The Import Microsoft Deployment Task Sequence Wizard starts.
  4. Complete the Import Microsoft Deployment Task Sequence Wizard by using the information in the table below. Accept the default values unless otherwise specified.
    On this wizard pageDo this
    Choose TemplateSelect Client Task Sequence, and then click Next.
    GeneralIn Task sequence name, type Windows XP SP3 Reference Deployment. In Task sequence comments, type Task sequence for deploying Windows XP SP3 to the reference computer (Home-XPSP3-Ref01), and then click Next.
    DetailsClick Join a workgroup.
    In Workgroup, type WORKGROUP.
    In User name, type Work User.
    In Organization name, type Work Organization.
    In Product key, type product_key (where product_key is the product key for Windows XP SP3).
    In Capture destination, type \\Home-SCCM\Captures$\Home-XPSP3-Ref01.wim.
    In Capture Account, click Set, and then complete the Windows User Account dialog box by performing the following steps:

    1. In User name, type Home\Administrator.
    2. In Password and Confirm password, type domain admin password.
    3. Click OK.

    Click Next.

    Boot ImageClick Create a new boot image package.
    In Package source folder to be created, type \\Home-SCCM\Packages$\WinPE_Custom, and then click Next.
    Boot Image: General SettingsIn Name, type Windows PE Custom.
    In Version, type 1.00.
    In Comments, type Customized version of Windows PE to be used in deployment of reference and target computers, and then click Next.
    Boot Image: Image OptionsClick Next.
    MDT PackageClick Create a new Microsoft Deployment Toolkit Files package.
    In Package source folder to be created, type \\Home-SCCM\Packages$\MDT_2008_Files, and then click Next.
    MDT Package: MDT DetailsIn Name, type MDT 2008 Files.
    In Version, type 1.00.
    In Comments, type Provides access to MDT 2008 software during Configuration Manager deployment process, and then click Next.
    OS ImageClick Create a new OS install package.
    In OS installation folder location, type \\Home-SCCM\Source$\Windows_XPSP3.
    In Package source folder to be created, type \\Home-SCCM\Packages$\Windows_XPSP3, and then click Next.
    OS Image: Image DetailsIn Name, type Windows XP SP3.
    In Version, type 1.00.
    In Comments, type Windows XP SP3 package used to deploy to reference computers, and then click Next.
    Client PackageClick Create a new ConfigMgr client package, and then click Next.
    USMT PackageClick Create a new USMT package.
    In Path to USMT executables and related files, type \\Home-SCCM\Source$\USMT301.
    In Package source folder to be created, type \\Home-SCCM\Packages$\USMT301, and then click Next.
    USMT Package: USMT DetailsIn Name, type USMT.
    In Version, type 3.0.1.
    In Comments, type USMT files used to capture and restore user state migration information, and then click Next.
    Settings PackageClick Create a new settings package.
    In Package source folder to be created, type \\Home-SCCM\Packages$\CustomSettings_Reference, and then click Next.
    Settings Package: Settings DetailsIn Name, type MDT 2008 Reference Computer Custom Settings.
    In Version, type 1.00.
    In Comments, type Configuration settings for MDT 2008 deployment process (such as CustomSettings.ini) for the reference computer, and then click Next.
    Sysprep PackageClick Create a new Sysprep package.
    In Path to Sysprep executables and related files, type \\Home-SCCM\Source$\Sysprep_XPSP3.
    In Package source folder to be created, type \\Home-SCCM\Packages$\Sysprep_XPSP3, and then click Next.
    Sysprep Package: Sysprep DetailsIn Name, type Windows XP SP3 Sysprep.
    In Version, type 1.00.
    In Comments, type Sysprep files needed to deploy Windows XP SP3, and then click Next.
    SummaryDisplays a status bar that shows the progress of the tasks defined in the wizard. The Import Microsoft Deployment Task Sequence Wizard closes when the task sequence is imported.
    This process can take several minutes to finish.

Customize MDT 2008 configuration files

When the MDT 2008 task sequence has been imported, customize the MDT 2008 configuration files that provide the configuration settings for deploying Windows XP to the target computer. Specifically, customize the CustomSettings.ini file.

To customize the MDT 2008 configuration files for the reference computer:

1. In Windows Explorer, go to C:\Packages$\CustomSettings_Reference, and then double-click CustomSettings.ini.

2. In Notepad, add DoCapture=Yes to the end of the CustomSettings.ini file.

3. In Notepad, save the file, and then exit Notepad.

Customize the reference computer’s task sequence

By default, the task sequence sets the password for local Administrator account to a random value. At this step we will specify the password we want.

To customize the Windows Vista Reference Deployment task sequence:

  1. In the Configuration Manager console tree, go to Site Database/Computer Management/Operating System Deployment/Task Sequences.
  2. In the details pane, click Windows XP SP3 Reference Deployment.
  3. In the details pane, click Edit.
  4. In the Windows XP SP3 Reference Deployment Task Sequence Editor dialog box, go to PostInstall/Apply Windows Settings.
  5. On the Properties tab, click Enable the account and specify the local administrator password.
  6. On the Properties tab, in Password and Confirm Password, type P@ssw0rd, and then click Apply and OK.

Select distribution point for packages and image

The Import Microsoft Deployment Task Sequence Wizard created a number of packages and images. After these packages and images were modified as needed, we will select the distribution points from which the packages and images will be copied and available to target computers.

To select the distribution points for software distribution packages:

  1. In the Configuration Manager console tree, go to System Center Configuration Manager/Site Database/Computer Management/Software Distribution/Packages.
  2. In the details pane, click MDT 2008 Files.
  3. In the details pane, click Manage Distribution Points.
  4. The Manage Distribution Points Wizard starts.
  5. Complete the Manage Distribution Points Wizard by using the information in the table below. Accept default values unless otherwise specified.
    On this wizard pageDo this
    WelcomeClick Next.
    Select Destination Distribution PointClick Next.
    PackageIn Distribution points, select HOME-SCCM, and then click Next.
    CompletionClick Next.
    Wizard CompletedClick Close.

Repeat steps 2–4 of this procedure, substituting each of the following packages for:

  • MDT 2008 Reference Computer Custom Settings
  • USMT
  • Windows XP SP3 Sysprep
  • Configuration Manager Client Upgrade

To select the distribution points for boot images:

  1. In the Configuration Manager console tree, go to System Center Configuration Manager/Site Database/Computer Management/ Operating System Deployment/Boot Images.
  2. In the details pane, click Windows PE Custom.
  3. In the details pane, click Manage Distribution Points.
  4. The Manage Distribution Points Wizard starts.
  5. Complete the Manage Distribution Points Wizard by using the information in the table below. Accept default values unless otherwise specified.
    On this wizard pageDo this
    WelcomeClick Next.
    Select Destination Distribution PointClick Next.
    PackageIn Distribution points, select HOME-SCCM, and then click Next.
    CompletionClick Next.
    Wizard CompletedClick Close.

To select the distribution points for operating system installation packages:

  1. In the Configuration Manager console tree, go to System Center Configuration Manager/Site Database/Computer Management/ Operating System Deployment/Operating System Install Packages.
  2. In the details pane, click Windows XP SP3.
  3. In the details pane, click Manage Distribution Points.
  4. The Manage Distribution Points Wizard starts.
  5. Complete the Manage Distribution Points Wizard by using the information in the table below. Accept default values unless otherwise specified.
    On this wizard pageDo this
    WelcomeClick Next.
    Select Destination Distribution PointClick Next.
    PackageIn Distribution points, select HOME-SCCM, and then click Next.
    CompletionClick Next.
    Wizard CompletedClick Close.

Deploy Windows XP SP3 and capture an image of the reference computer

Create task sequence bootable media

A method must be provided for starting the computer with Windows PE and the necessary software to initiate the MDT 2008 process. At this step we’ll create the task sequence bootable media by using the Task Sequence Media Wizard and will use the .iso file to boot a new virtual machine with no operating system installed, just a new unformatted virtual hard disk.

To create task sequence bootable media:

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, and then point to Microsoft System Center. Point to Configuration Manager 2007, and then click ConfigMgr Console.
  2. In the Configuration Manager console tree, go to System Center Configuration Manager/Site Database/Computer Management/Operating System Deployment/Task Sequences.
  3. In the details pane, click Create Task Sequence Media.
  4. The Task Sequence Media Wizard starts.
  5. Complete the Task Sequence Media Wizard by using the information in the table below. Accept the default values unless otherwise specified.
    On this wizard pageDo this
    Select Media TypeClick Bootable media, and then click Next.
    Media typeIn Media file, type \\Home-SCCM\Captures$\ConfigMgr2007_TS_Boot_Media.iso, and then click Next.
    SecurityIn Password and Confirm password, type P@ssw0rd, and then click Next.
    Boot imageIn Boot image, click Browse.
    In the Select a Boot Image dialog box, click Windows PE Custom, and then click OK.
    Click Next.
    SummaryClick Next.
    ConfirmationClick Close.

The wizard creates the “ConfigMgr2007_TS_Boot_Media.iso” file in the \\Home-SCCM\Captures$ shared folder.

Create an advertisement for the reference computer task sequence

As I want to deploy Windows XP SP3 to bare-metal machines (which ConfigMgr doesn’t know about), I have to create an advertisement for All Unknown Computers collection.

To create an advertisement for the task sequence:

  1. In the Configuration Manager console tree, go to System Center Configuration Manager/Site Database/Computer Management/Operating System Deployment/Task Sequences.
  2. In the details pane, click Windows XP SP3 Reference Deployment.
  3. In the details pane, click Advertise.
  4. The New Advertisement Wizard starts.
  5. Complete the New Advertisement Wizard by using the information in table below. Accept the default values unless otherwise specified.
    On this wizard pageDo this
    GeneralIn Comment, type Advertisement to deploy Windows Vista to the reference computer and then capture an image of the reference computer.
    In Collection, click Browse.
    In the Browse Collection dialog box, click All Unknown Computers, and then click OK.
    Select the Make this task sequence available to boot media and PXE check box.
    Click Next.
    ScheduleClick Next.
    Distribution PointsClick Next.
    InteractionClick Next.
    SecurityClick Next.
    SummaryClick Next.
    ConfirmationClick Close.

As “Home-XPSP3-Ref01” is a virtual machine, at this point I will start it and boot from the created ISO file.

On the Welcome to the Task Sequence Wizard page, in the Password field type P@ssw0rd and press Next. You will see that there is only one assignment: Windows XP SP3 Reference Deployment. Select it and click Next to start the operating system deployment.


The last task sequence action will capture an image of the reference computer.


If any problems occur during the deployment, consult the MDT 2008 documentation or learn how to troubleshoot task sequence issues in Configuration Manager.

In the next post I will use the captured image to create a task sequence for target machines.