How to Configure Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2012 R2

Last Updated on April 18, 2021 by admin

Windows Deployment Server (WDS) is a Microsoft server technology for the network-based installation of Windows operating systems. WDS is used to remotely deploy Windows on multiple machines without physically walking to them and using an installation DVD.

This tutorial is dedicated to installing and configuring this technology. We assume you have already installed and configured DHCP server.


Your server should comply with the following requirements:

  1. Administrator account has a strong password
  2. Static IP is configured.
  3. Latest Windows updates are installed.
  4. Firewall is turned off.
  5. You have an active DHCP server on this machine.

Installing Windows Deployment Server

Step 1: Open the Server Manager Dashboard from the task bar. Click on Manage in the upper menu and scroll down to Add Roles and Features. Click Add Roles and Features

Add Roles and Features

Step 2: Read the important notes and make sure you fulfill all of them before you continue. Then click Next

Read the prerequisite notes
Step 3: Choose Role-based or feature-based installation and click Next

Choose Role-based or feature-based installation
Step 4: Select the destination server on which you want to install to WDS role and click Next

Select the destination server
Step 5: Choose Windows Deployment Services from server roles. As soon as you mark the check box another small window will pop up alerting you to install other required features as well along with WDS. Click Add Features

Choose Windows Deployment Services Tools

Step 6: File and Storage Services shall be selected. Then click Next

Go to the next step
Step 7: Select .NET Framework 4.5 and click Next.

.NET Framework 4.5
Step 8: Note down the related notes and click Next

Read the WDS notes

Step 9: Keep default selections "Deployment Server and Transport Server" and click Next.

Deployment Server and Transport Server
Step 10: Confirm your installation selections and when you are done click Install.
Confirm your installation selections

Step 11: When an installation is succeeded click Close.
Close the dialogue.


Configuring Windows Deployment Server

Step 1: Open Server Manager Dashboard, click on Tool and scroll down to Windows Deployment Services and click it

Open Windows Deployment Services
Step 2: Right-click on your machine located under Servers. Scroll to Configure Server and click on the menu item.

Click on Configure Server
Step 3: Before you continue further read the requirements and make sure you meet them. Click Next.

Read the requirements
Step 4: Choose Standalone server and click Next.

Choose Standalone server
Step 5: Browse and choose the path on your drive where you would like to place boot images, install images, PXE boot files, and other WDS tools. Click Next
Select the path for the boot images

Step 6: Ignore the warning and click Yes

Confirm warning
Step 7: Choose Respond to all client computers (known and unknown) and click Next
Choose Respond to all client computers

Step 8: Add images to your WDS server by keeping Add images to the server now field checked. Click Finish

Add images to your WDS server
Step 9: Provide the path of your installation DVD which contains boot.wim and install.wim. Click Browse
Provide the path of your installation DVD

Step 10: Choose sources folder and click OK

Choose sources folder
Step 11: Confirm the path by clicking Next.

Click next
Step 12: Provide an image group name and click Next.

Provide an image group name
Step 13: Verify the information and click Next.

Verify the information
Step 14: Click Finish.

Click Finish

Step 15: Right-click Multicast Transmission, scroll to Create Multicast Transmission and click it.

Create Multicast Transmission

Step 16: Provide the name of this transmission and click Next.
Provide the name of this transmission

Step 17: Choose the image you would like to transmit using multicasting and click Next.

Choose the image you would like to transmit
Step 18: Choose Auto-cast and click Next.
Choose Auto-cast

Step 19: Click Finish.

Finish the dialog
Step 20: Right-click the machine name located under server node. Click DHCP tab and check mark both boxes. Click Apply and you are done with configuration. Now your WDS server is ready.

Apply the configuration

You are done setting up Windows Deployment Server on your network. WDS is now listening to serve the clients. Read our next tutorial on how to install Windows 7 using WDS.

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