Fun with SMS 2003 OSD

I’ve been playing around with Microsoft Systems Management Service (SMS) 2003 because there was talk of implementing at my company, even the OSD part! OSDFP is the OS Deployment Feature Pack for SMS 2003 SP1. Basically, it uses the management forces of SMS to upgrade existing computers with ease. For example: you can upgrade a Windows 2000 to Windows XP hands free, having SMS 2003 migrate all the user profile data. This does require a fair amount of work on the back end, but in the end it will save you lots of work! You can also do “bare metal” and “replacement” scenarios all from a Windows PE CD.
The first task in using the OSD is creating a Windows PE CD. This is pretty much done for you, except you have to provide the network drivers. As you know, I’m quite lazy and rather not have to download, extract, simply and organize the drivers myself. Let’s go find someone that has already done this for us! We want the Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows Drivers by LittlBUGer. Now, the OSD PE wizard expects all of the *.SYS/*.DLL/*.INF to all be in one folder with NO subdirectories. Unforunately, the driver pack extracts with a full folder structure. We can get around this by zipping up the whole folder structure with ZipCentral. Now extract the ZIP file, but tell the program not to preserve the folder structure. When it asks if you want to overwrite files, say yes to all.

Drivers names for different NICs are pretty unique, so you will be pretty safe here. Viola, you now have support for at least 25 different NICs! You didn’t even have to break a sweat!

– Soli Deo Gloria

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