Sometimes, it’s not possible to PXE-boot your machines to install them using MDT 2010 (because it might be a remote network/VLAN) . Then you have two scenarios that I will cover in this post:

  • Scenario 1: A bootable USB that will connect to the Deployment Share over the network and transfer all the files.
  • Scenario 2: A bootable USB that will contain all Deployment Share data and install everything from the USB

Are you just looking for booting from USB and doing a normal install of Windows 7/2008 without MDT? Check my other post.

First, in both cases you need to prepare the USB. Insert it and run the following commands against it (make sure you select the correct disk!):

list disk
select disk x
create partition primary
select partition 1
format fs=ntfs quick

From the Windows 7/2008 DVD, copy the following to the USB:

  • bootmgr (file)
  • \boot (directory)

Some posts out there argue you also need to run bootsect.exe from the \boot directory of the Windows 7/2008 DVD. Why I don’t know since for me it works anyway:

bootsect.exe /nt60 D: (and even possible /mbr)

Now you’re all set to continue to scenario 1 or 2 depending on what you want to do.

Scenario 1

So you just want to boot using the USB and get all the files over the network from the Deployment Share? Make sure you update the Deployment Share:

On the USB root, create a folder called \sources. Go to the \DeploymentShare\Boot and get either LiteTouchPE_x86.wim or LiteTouchPE_x64.wim depending on what you’re booting on. Copy it to the \sources directory on the USB and rename it to boot.wim.

Scenario 2

So your computer does not have network access to the Deployment Share or is on a slow link so you want to install everything from the USB?

In MDT, right-click Media and choose New Media.

You can specify a temp location on the MDT-server while it generates:

Once created you need to Update Media Content which will actually copy all the files over to that directory.

Then simply copy everything from D:\DeploymentUSB\Content to the root of the USB.

Boot on the USB and it should install everything from the local USB.

If you can’t get the USB to boot, check my other post which includes some known issues.