Windows’ various versions are the computer operating system I’ve supported my entire professional career. There have been very occasional instances of supporting other systems like Mac’s OS, both before and after Apple switched their OS to UNIX.
There’s many things I don’t like about Windows. I’ve stopped using it for my personal systems for around a decade now. One of many gripes is the installation and update process.
For a while I was fortunate enough to have a professional staff who developed Windows deployment images for our company. They were very good and made image deployment “just work”. It was to the point that about all that was necessary was network boot the pc, point it to the image source and sit back and wait.
I reviewed the procedures they created. Asked questions to better understand what needed to be done to create the Windows images. I never actually was hands on creating an image though. Not from my staff’s documentation and not with any of them shoulder surfing me through the process.
Years later I reached the point of needing to create zero touch deployment images on my own. I failed. It seemed I was close to the solution but never quite there.
Microsoft’s documentation is terribly frustrating for me for the task of image creation. I’ve not found a single Microsoft webpage that goes from zero to bootable deployment image. There’s lots and lots of webpages with instructions for various portions of the work. And some webpages with basic outlines that have links (too many) to details that themselves have many links to more details. Alice never went down such a deep rabbit hole.
Then I found Kari Finn`s guide to “Create media for automated unattended install of Windows 10” on tenforums.com. Kari takes all the diversions Microsoft provides and narrows them down into a single linear process that goes from having installation media to having a zero touch custom installation image. BRAVO and thank you Kari!
Using the guide I’ve finally made my first successful zero touch deployment image!!!
From here I’ll make custom images for the software installations and architectures, BIOS/MBR and UEFI/GPT, that I need to support.
Finally I can make my own images. The world is my oyster.