MDT 2010 New Feature #11: Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 support
A few people asked why I hadn’t talked about support for these new OSes yet. First, these were mentioned in the original announcements so you’ve probably already heard about that, and second, I said I would mention new features in no particular order.
So yes, MDT 2010 Beta 2 fully supports Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 release candidate builds. The deployment process for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is very similar to that used with Windows Vista, so you may not immediately notice any difference. (We use the same unattend.xml templates for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2, which tells you how similar they really are.) There are a few differences that we’ve encountered, but our scripts hide those so you probably will never notice.
With Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, the Windows team recommends creating two partitions, a small partition for the boot files and a large partition for the operating systems. The minimum size for the small partition is 100MB, but MDT 2010 uses 300MB to make sure that there is enough space for a Windows Recovery Environment (Windows PE-based) WIM. This partition will automatically be created when performing a “new computer” deployment using Lite Touch. (There is a variable, DoNotCreateExtraPartition, that can be set to “YES” via CustomSettings.ini to skip this if you want to purposely ignore the Windows team’s recommendations.)
MDT 2010 Beta 2 also supports deploying Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 using the ConfigMgr 2007 SP2 beta, which is available on http://connect.microsoft.com, so be sure to try that beta (in a lab, of course) too.