On Windows PowerShell and other admin-related topics

Looking at MDT 2010 beta


While testing the betas of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 these days like many others I`ve also had a look at the beta of the next version of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.
I installed it on the Windows Server 2008 R2 server and deployed Windows 7 on a virtual machine. Haven`t noticed any bugs so far.
It doesn`t seem to be that many noticeable changes from the current 2008-version of the MDT. The GUI looks exactly the same, but there are some new features of course.

The list below is copied from the “What`s New In MDT 2010 Guide” on the Microsoft Connect website for MDT 2010 beta.


The MDT 2010 Beta 1 release includes the following new features:

· Support for Windows 7 Beta. Deploy Windows 7 Beta by using MDT 2010 Beta 1.

· Support for Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta. Deploy Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta by using MDT 2010 Beta 1.

· Support for Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) version 2.0. Deployment of Windows 7 Beta and Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta by using MDT 2010 Beta 1 requires the use of Windows AIK version 2.0.

· Support for Windows User State Migration Toolkit (USMT) version 4.0. USMT 4.0 is required to support Windows 7 Beta deployments. Specifically, the following new features of USMT 4.0 are supported in LTI-based deployments:

· Support for USMT 4.0 hardlink migration. USMT 4.0 includes a new method of saving user state called hardlink migration. Hardlink migration creates a snapshot of current user data files before reinstallation, which keeps data in the same location on the disk while upgrading the system and rebuilds the links after Windows 7 Beta is installed. Hardlink migration dramatically reduces the time required to migrate user state, because the data is never moved, which is faster than copying the user data to another disk.

· Support for USMT 4.0 shadow copy. USMT 4.0 supports the ability to archive files that are in use by using the shadow copy feature in Windows 7 Beta and Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta.

· Support for the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool. The new DISM tool (Dism.exe) allows for servicing offline images, mounting and unmounting Windows Imaging format (WIM) files, and customizing Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) boot images. The DISM tool replaces many of the tools in previous versions of the Windows AIK, including Package Manager (Pkgmgr.exe), the International Settings Configuration Tool (Intlcfg.exe), and the Windows PE command-line tool (PEimg.exe).

· Support for Windows PE version 3.0. Windows PE 3.0 is included as a part of the Windows AIK version 2.0 and is required to deploy Windows 7 Beta and Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta by using MDT 2010 Beta 1.

· Support for the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) management tool. MDT 2010 Beta 1 uses the new BCDEdit command-line tool to manage BCD files. MDT 2008 Update 1 used the BitLocker™ Drive Preparation Tool (BdeHdCfg.exe) to manage boot configuration.

· Support for Windows 7 Beta default disk partition configuration. In MDT 2010 Beta 1, the disk partition configuration for Windows 7 Beta will be similar to the Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption disk configuration, where the operating system is installed on Disk 0, Partition 2, and the system partition is on Disk 0, Partition 1.



The new DISM tool which replaces ImageX and Peimg from the previous versions of Windows AIK seems to be really powerful. There isn`t any official documentation yet, but I found this forum post which got some useful information.

It doesn`t seem like MDT 2010 will contain any PowerShell features (snapins, modules or cmdlets) for administration or operations, so I guess this will come in the next version.

Upgrading from MDT 2008 to MDT 2010 is pretty straightforward, so if your using MDT today you will be well prepared for Windows 7 when MDT 2010 is released.


January 16, 2009 - Posted by | Deployment

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