Stage 2: Creating the server image
After preparing for deployment, you’re ready to create the server image.
To create a basic image, you run a standard command line. To create a customized image, you can modify this command line — or you can modify certain aspects of the server image or its setup. If you want to support multiple installation types, you can create multiple server images.
Creating a basic image
To create a basic server image, you must initialize the setup. After setting up the image and tweaking it as necessary, you can use it for deployment.
Initializing the setup
To initialize the setup for creating a server image, you use a command line.
You can create either a 32-bit server image or a 64-bit image.
The following command line lets you create a basic 32-bit server image from the installation disc (where X: is the disc drive):
The following command line lets you create a basic 64-bit server image:
If you want to create a log file of installation events, include the /l switch in your command line.
Limited setup UI
If you want to limit the amount of user interface (UI) encountered when creating a server image, include the /q switch in your command line.
Setting up the server image
If your /a command line succeeds, the setup initializes in one of two ways:
- with full UI — for the standard command line
- with limited (or no) UI — for a command line customized to include /q
Full setup UI
The setup UI takes you step-by-step through the process of setting up the server image. A few notes on this process will suffice.
End-User License Agreement (EULA)
To create the server image, you must accept — on behalf of your organization — the terms in the license agreement. Installations deployed from the image will not prompt users to review the license agreement.
Type the full (UNC) path in the box provided, or click the Change button to browse to that location. To prevent installation problems, limit the path to 50 characters.
By default, automatic updates are enabled.
Limited setup UI
If you want to limit the amount of user interface (UI) encountered when
creating a server image, include the /q switch in your command line.
Be careful to avoid suppressing (or “silencing”) a required user-interface field when introducing a /q switch into your command line — otherwise, you may fail to create a valid server image. You may need to include the following public properties in your command line:
- TARGETDIR="path" — to specify the desired location of the server image. For best results, do not end the path with a backslash ( \ ).
- ALLOW_PRODUCTUPDATES=0 — to disable automatic updates (and inproduct messaging) on the workstations. By default, automatic updates are enabled for workstations installed from a server image.
- additional installation properties supported by the setup.
Finalizing the server image
This section describes recommended steps to take before deploying from the server image.
Optionally, you can finalize the image in the following ways:
- Customize the registry settings you want to deploy
- Customize the setup fileset
Patching the image
To avoid deploying the software twice, you may want to check for software updates and apply them to the image as necessary.
Testing the image
You may want to test your finalized image with a small subset of workstations before rolling it out to your entire organization.
Moving the image
To change the location of a server image after you create it, you must create a new image at a new location. You cannot copy an image from one location to another.
Creating a customized image
If you require a more customized server image than offered by command line switches and public properties, you may want to consider the specialized scenarios discussed in the Appendix.
You can modify the Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI) files used to install the software.
You can apply Microsoft® transformation (MST) files to the setup.
You can edit the registry settings for the server image.
You can customize the setup fileset.
You can customize the settings used to install the software on the workstations.
Creating multiple images
If your workstations require different configurations of the software, you can create one server image for each installation type.
If you want to support both 32-bit and 64-bit installations of the software, you must create two server images: one for the 32-bit installations, and one for the 64-bit installations.
When a product update becomes available, you will need to apply it to each server image.
Use a naming convention that makes it easy to distinguish the server images from one other.