Deploying Windows XP with WDS

By Rory Monaghan


This is another WDS blog post that I have to give some credit to my friend Louie Meraz who I worked with when doing this. Deploying Windows 7 with WDS is very simple, deploying XP is also simple but maybe not quite as straight forward and fluid.

To create an XP image again you should have an XP machine with whatever configurations and applications you require on there. Also the most up to date Windows Updates. Take it off the domain and then run setupmgr (part of the you can download) to create an RIS answer file. You will see a few lines in this file (found on the machine under C:\windist) with %ServerName% you need to change this to your WDS Servers hostname and also update the OriSource Path to the path which will contain your XP Answer file. e.g. \\%SERVERNAME%\RemoteInstall\Images\XP\XPTest\$OEM$\$1\sysprep

The answer file should be copied to the server under:


You will then need to run a SysPrep on your machine. SysPrep is not natively on XP so you will need to get a copy of the Cab file which contains it. Download and do a Mini Setup and Reseal and Reboot.

After the machine Reboots hit F12 to go to your Boot Menu and navigate to WDS. Now select capture. As you have performed a sysprep WDS will now create an Image and upload it to Captures on your WDS server. Once this has completed you will need to copy it to the correct Image Group e.g. XP.

Next Pre-Stage your machine that you want to image e.g.:

C:\Windows\System32\WDSUTIL /Add-Device /Device:” HostnName & ” /ID:” Mac” /WDSClientUnattend:Machine.xml /BootProgram:boot\x64\PXEboot.

n12 /BootImagePath:boot\x64\images\boot.wim /OU:””OU=Desktops,OU=Computer Accounts,DC=CompDC,DC=net,DC=Company,DC=com”””
After doing this you should see your machine in whatever OU you set above with the Remote Install tab populated.
You will need to browse in WDS to your server in the left pane. Right Click and browse to Properties. Go to the Client tab for x86 browse to your ImageUnattend.xml.
You Image Unattend should look like the following:
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>
<unattend xmlns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-

<settings pass=”windowsPE”>
<component name=”Microsoft-Windows-Setup” processorArchitecture=”x86″ publicKeyToken=”31bf3856ad364e35″ language=”neutral” versionScope=”nonSxS” xmlns:wcm=”” xmlns:xsi=”“>
<Disk wcm:action=”add”>
<CreatePartition wcm:action=”add”>
<ModifyPartition wcm:action=”add”>
Obviously you need to change the bold text to suit your environment. Providing your domain and a domain admin. Also providing the correct WDS Image info.

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