In the previous parts of this series, I covered setting up MDT and all the customizations that are necessary to automate the process of creating a reference image. Now that MDT is configured, we can capture our first reference image.
When capturing a reference image, I highly recommend using a virtual machine. (Personally, I use Hyper-V, but a number of people out there also use VMware products.) Why? First, using a VM gives you functionality (namely snapshots) that you don’t get with physical hardware. If you have manual processes that you have to perform for your reference image, snapshots will become very important to you (I’ll go into more detail in a later post). Second, not all third-party drivers handle Sysprep correctly. VM’s are typically very general hardware that, for lack of a better term, “just work” because the drivers for the important hardware (storage and networking) are included in Windows. Quite a few hardware drivers out there for physical hardware like to install helper utilities that many times don’t get removed during Sysprep like they should. Capturing on a VM eliminates the problem.
In the Hyper-V Manager, create a new using the defaults. For Startup memory, you’ll probably want to make at least 1GB (if not more) available. Also make sure that the network connection is connected to a network that can access your MDT Deployment Share for creating reference images.