Configuring Windows Deployment Services

Applies To: Windows Server 2008


This topic applies to the Deployment Server role service. For information about configuring the Transport Server role service, see Transport Server.

You can configure Windows Deployment Services by using the Windows Deployment Services MMC snap-in or by using WDSUTIL at the command prompt. Configuring Windows Deployment Services involves the following actions:

  • Creating a shared folder that contains the files necessary for PXE boot, the files for booting Windows PE into RAMDISK, Windows PE boot images, and install images for Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008.

  • Configuring the answer settings of the PXE listener to control whether and how the server services incoming client boot requests.

  • If Microsoft DHCP is installed on the same physical computer as Windows Deployment Services, the configuration wizard will do the following—if you configure Windows Deployment Services by using WDSUTIL, you have to manually make these changes:

    • Adds DHCP option tag 60 (with the PXE client setting selected) to all DHCP scopes (as a DHCP global option). This is necessary so that a booting PXE client can be notified that there is a listening PXE server on the network.

    • Selects the Do not Listen on port 67 option. This is necessary so that booting clients can find the DHCP server on the network.

You can configure Windows Deployment Services by using one of the following procedures:

To configure using the Windows interface

  1. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Windows Deployment Services.

  2. In the left pane of the Windows Deployment Services snap-in, right-click the server and click Configure Server.

  3. Follow the instructions in the wizard.

To configure using a command line

  1. Click Start, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

  2. Type the following command where <driveletter> is the name of the NTFS formatted drive and <foldername> is the name of the directory where you want to create the shared folder:

    WDSUTIL /initialize-server /reminst:"<driveletter>\<foldername>"
  3. To set the answer policy to answer all clients, run:

    WDSUTIL /Set-Server /AnswerClients:all
  4. If you are installing Windows Deployment Services on a computer with Microsoft DHCP installed, run:

    WDSUTIL /Set-Server /UseDHCPPorts:no /DHCPoption60:yes


For more information about why you must configure these options, see Set DHCP Configuration Options.

  1. To add a boot image, run the following command where <bootimage> is the full path to the boot image:

    WDSUTIL /Add-Image /ImageFile:<bootimage> /ImageType:boot
  2. To add an install image, run the following command where <installimage> is the full path to the install image and <name> is the name of the image group to create (you can append /SingleImage:<imagename> to add only one of the images included in the install.wim):

    WDSUTIL /add-image /ImageFile:<installimage> /ImageType:install /ImageGroup:<name>


Help for WDSUTIL is available by typing WDSUTIL /? at a command prompt.

Additional considerations

  • The only server functional mode in Windows Server 2008 is Native mode. If you are managing servers running the Windows Deployment Services Update, see Chapter 11: RIS Upgrades and Coexistence of Deploying and Managing the Windows Deployment Services Update on Windows Server 2003 (

  • To perform these procedures, you must be a member of the Account Operators group or the Domain Administrators group, or you must have been delegated the appropriate user rights.

Additional references