One of the operating system deployment features in Configuration Manager 2012 is the ability to create a prestaged image. What this means is that you create a WIM file, which has all the content required for the deployment of the OS. Most hardware vendors offer a service, where they will apply this image to the disk of your computers before delivery. Thus, when you receive the computers, they already have the content on the local hard drive.
There are several advantages to this, for example a drastically lower deployment time, since the client computer will not have to download the content. It also allows for OS deployment in areas with a low bandwidth connection and no local distribution point.
To create the prestaged image follow these steps:
- In the Configuration Manager console, right click task sequences and select Create Task Sequence Media.
- Select Prestaged Media
- Specify how you want the client to find a management point.
- Fill in the information for the prestaged image and put in a destination for the WIM file.
- Input your required security settings.
- Select your task sequence for OS deployment.
- Fill in boot image, distribution point, and management point.
- Input image information.
- Here you can specify additional application content to include in the prestaged image. This is for software deployed to the device that is not part of the task sequence.
- The same as the previous step but for packages instead of applications.
- Add the necessary driver packages.
- Specify a distribution point that has all the content needed to create the prestaged image and add it.
- If you need specific task sequence variables or prestart commands for the deployment, you can input them here.
- Review the summary of the settings.
- Let configuration manager do the heavy lifting.
- The image is successfully created and ready for testing, before delivering it to your hardware vendor of choice.