MDT 2010: Create a Lite Touch Deployment USB drive

This may have been blogged before but never in stereo! I thought you may want to watch a music video while reading todays blog post.

OK, so I’m a little cheesy today. But hey! it’s not like I’m getting paid for this. Right then. you’ve got yourself a mountain of LTI CD’s because you kept updating your bootstrap.ini? No? Well here’s the solution anyway: Dont boot from CD but use a . . . (wait for it! . . .)
Flash Drive! (Aah-haa! Saviour of the universe!). Only 3 simple steps needed:

The “Host” – Prepare your USB Drive

 {Danger, Wil Robinson! This will wipe your flash drive (disk 1). Do not continue if you are not confident in targeting the correct disk.}

Open an elevated Deployment Tools Command Prompt, type Diskpart and press enter. Within the diskpart console type:

select disk 1
clean
create partition primary
select partition 1
active
format fs=fat32 quick
assign
exit

Remember disk 1 may not be your UFD so use List Disk in Diskpart to determine your UFD disk number. This is similar to the Technet article  Walkthrough: Create a Bootable Windows PE RAM Disk on UFD except you dont need to use size=<size of device> just use the whole drive. Also, it’s best to quick format the drive.

The “Shell” – Generate your Windows PE files

Create the directory structure for building your Windows PE disk. Think of this as the ‘shell’ if you like.  Next, use the copype.cmd batch file to create folder structure based on your required architecture. Or in other words type:

copype.cmd x86 c:\winpe_x86

This will create a folder structure in the root of your c: drive like this:

Copy all the files and folders from the ISO folder to your flash drive.

The “Engine” – Update the WIM file

Copy the LiteTouchPE_x86.wim from your Deployment Share\boot folder
to your {Flash Drive}\Sources folder and rename it to Boot.wim. Think of this as the ‘engine’ or the heart of your UFD.

That’s it. You can now boot to your deployment share and perfom Lite-Touch deployments.

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About Andrew Barnes

A Scipting and Deployment Specialist.
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18 Responses to MDT 2010: Create a Lite Touch Deployment USB drive

  1. Xter says:

    You should really put the warning about the disk selection above that to prevent someone who has never messed with diskpart from wiping a drive they did not. Luckily I know better, but I am sure there may be a few people who just copy / paste and may wipe another external drive.

    Thanks for the instructions, worked a treat.

    Like

  2. eaglestar says:

    I think Xter means put the text “Remember disk 1 may not be your UFD so use List Disk in Diskpart to determine your UFD disk number” above the Diskpart commands, so any novice users dont wipe out other drives accidentally. Great tutorial, thanks!

    Like

  3. OK Then, I’ve updated it to a manic robot with a warning in big red letters. Hope this is enough.

    Like

  4. a4r0afras says:

    Hi,
    Just wanted to know how would i automate this process of creating a bootable USB Stick with the image on it.
    for example i boot up a cd and plug a usb stick, how would i be able to recognise the usb stick and format and copy the contents over so i can use the stick as a bootable USB.

    Like

  5. Kenneth Davis says:

    Can this be done for USB external drives or just UFD

    Like

  6. stickittotheman says:

    Or you could just use ISO to USB

    http://www.isotousb.com/

    Works a treat for me, been using it since Win7 deployments

    Like

  7. Where is this “copype.cmd” you speak of? I don’t have that on my Win 7 box.

    Like

  8. Mauricio Almaraz says:

    Hello Everybody!

    I need help…

    Can I deploy Windows 8 and migrate data users from PCs with Windows XP and 7, all task running on a USB Flash Memory?

    Thanks!

    Like

  9. Romasz says:

    Why so much trouble?
    1. Generate ISO file in MDT
    2. Use Microsoft Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool to make USB from that ISO (works for all operating systems).

    Like

  10. Ryan Strope says:

    Not sure about 2010 but MDT 2012 you just create a media under Advanced Configuration\Media with a selection profile of what stuff you want (Drivers, Task Sequences, Operating Systems, etc) update the media which creates the same folder structure the networked deployment share has as well as an iso of that media.

    For a USB after you diskpart it you literally copy the contents of the \content into the root of the USB and it is ready to go.

    With only a minor change to one of the files in the Scripts folder i was able to setup an offline deployment share to do sysprep and captures directly to the USB for remote and non connected PCs.in about 60 seconds of actual interaction (copy times and disk format times of course were much longer)

    I’m definitely loving how easy this stuff is getting now If only Microsoft would work that whole diskpart into a wizard under MDT

    Like

  11. Matt Fippard says:

    Why are people still working with x86 images? If you want to use the 64bit version of the image (the only way to deploy a 64bit windows image!) you can use the command copype.cmd amd64 D:\winpe_x64. Maybe a small update to the article is needed as I for one don’t work with x86 images anymore and pretty much all equipment you buy now is 64bit ready

    Like

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