Microsoft – Windows Deployment Services (ver. Windows 2012) – Installation & Configuration


Playing around with a lot of computers and OSes lately. And, I am getting a bit tired of placing CDs/DVS/USBs medias in the bays and slots.  And, so I am hoping to resurrect the ability to install off the Network.


Powershell v3

If you issue “Powershell “import-module servermanager” without having Powershell version 3 installed, you will get an error.


PS C:\> import-module servermanager
Import-Module : The specified module 'servermanager' was not loaded because no
valid module file was found in any module directory.
At line:1 char:14
+ import-module <<<< servermanager + CategoryInfo : ResourceUnavailable: (servermanager:String) [Import-Module], FileNotFoundException + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Modules_ModuleNotFound,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.ImportModuleCommand PS C:\>



Review Powershell Version

Powershell – Get-Host

Powershell "Get-Host"




Powershell – $PSVersionTable
 Powershell "$PSVersionTable" 


Download Powershell v3

The URL is


Install Instructions

Here is the list of available packages



Choose the Download you Want

Here we chose the MS Windows 7 specific binaries



Install Complete

Here we are prompted to reboot our OS.




Rebooted the computer


Revisit Powershell Version

Powershell – Get-Host

Powershell "Get-Host"



Powershell – $PSVersionTable
 Powershell "$PSVersionTable" 



Windows 7

Unfortunately, on an  MS Windows 7, still unavailable to access ServerManager:


D:\>Powershell "import-module servermanager"
import-module : The specified module 'servermanager' was not loaded because no
valid module file was found in any module directory.
At line:1 char:1
+ import-module servermanager
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : ResourceUnavailable: (servermanager:String) [Imp
   ort-Module], FileNotFoundException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Modules_ModuleNotFound,Microsoft.PowerShell.Comm





Install – Windows Deployment Services

Let us try to determine whether Windows Deployment Services is installed on the computer that we want it installed on.

Is “Windows Deployment Services” installed?

One is able to determine whether “Windows Deployment Service” is installed via a couple of ways:

  • GUI :- Using Server Manager, check for “Windows Deployment Services” under the “Server roles”
  • Command Line :- Using PowerShell, issue “Get-WindowsFeature” and review WDS entries


Powershell "import-module servermanager"

Is “Windows Deployment Services” installed?

Powershell "Get-WindowsFeature | Where-Object {$ -match \".*WDS*.\"} "

As WDS is not installed, we got back:

Screen Shot (Textual):

Display Name Name Install State
------------ ---- -------------
[ ] Windows Deployment Services WDS Available
[ ] Deployment Server WDS-Deployment Available
[ ] Transport Server WDS-Transport Available
[ ] Windows Deployment Services Tools WDS-AdminPack Available

Screen Shot (Image):



  • Our Screen shot indicates that WDS features are available, but they are yet to be installed

Install “Windows Deployment Services” via Powershell?

Install WDS via PowerShell

Powershell "Install-WindowsFeature -Name WDS -IncludeManagementTools "



As the ‘fresh’ install prompted us to reboot the server, we did so.

Recheck if “Windows Deployment Services” is installed?


Is “Windows Deployment Services” installed?

Powershell "Get-WindowsFeature | Where-Object {$ -match ".*WDS*."} "

As WDS is now installed, we got back:

Screen Shot (Textual):

Powershell "Get-WindowsFeature | Where-Object {$ -match ".*WDS*."} "

Display Name Name Install State
------------ ---- -------------
[X] Windows Deployment Services WDS Installed
[X] Deployment Server WDS-Deployment Installed
[X] Transport Server WDS-Transport Installed
[X] Windows Deployment Services Tools WDS-AdminPack Installed

Screen Shot (Image):


Configure Windows Deployment Services

Launch Windows Deployment Services Management Tools

Windows Deployment Services is managed by using an MMC; in this case WdsMgmt.msc.  The tool’s full path is %windir%\system32\wdsmgmt.msc.

Windows Deployment Services is not configured

Once Wdsmgmt.msc is launched, you want to access the left pane; specifically the list of Servers.


In the screen shot above, we quickly see a few things:

  • The system is telling us that “Windows Deployment Services is not configured

Configure Server – Windows Deployment Services

To configure the specific server, select the server, right click on your selection, and from the drop-down menu select “Configure”.

Before you begin

The first screen show is the “Before you begin” window:


  • In this screen the prerequisites are listed
  • And, those are Active Directory Domain Services, DHCP, DNS, and NTFS File System partition
  • Note that the NTFS partition must exist on the server where the install is occurring
  • And, on the other hand, Active Directory (AD), DHCP, and DNS can be on other servers

Install Options

The next screen is the “Install Options” window:



  • As we have a functioning Active Directory infrastructure and I have Admin access on it, will select the “Integrated with Active Directory” option

Remote Installation Folder Location

The next screen is the “Remote Installation Folder Location” window:


Quick Note:

  • On this screen, we designate the install path
  • By default, the C:\RemoteInstall path is chosen.
  • I will advice that you choose a different path for a coupe of reasons
  • First Drive C: is usually the system path
  • And, hopefully you have another drive that has more room

I will suggest that we open up command prompt and run diskpart.exe; as diskpart will let us see our disk sizes and identify the system drive.


  • Launch Command Prompt (cmd.exe) in Administrator mode
  • Initiate diskpart.exe
  •  In diskpart, issue “list volume


From the screen shot above:

  • We can tell we have three partitions; that is the volumes marked as Partition in the Type column
  • All three partitions are designated as NTFS
  • Drive C: is the System Partition = In the Info column, it has the System designation
  • Drive E: contains the Pagefile = In the Info column, it has the Pagefile designation

Since we know we can not use the system partition, we cross out drive C:  And, choose Drive E: over Drive G:, as E: has more storage.

RemoteInstallationFolderLocation (customized)

Traditionally, Windows Deployment Services was known as RemoteInstallServices (RIS) and the base folder was thus called \RemoteInstall.

Knowing my memory, I will opt for something I am more likely to remember and that is more in line with the new product name; and settled on E:\MSWindowsDeploymentServices 

PXE Server Initial Settings



  • To balance availability to the most clients and protect against unintended installation, we will choose the “Respond to all client computers (known and unknown) and also require approval”

Task Progress

The “Task Progress” screen details the steps that the application takes to prepare WDS.


Task Progress (Starting Windows Deployment Services)

Unfortunately, the system was unable to start the “Windows Deployment Services”.  Let us go debug …

TaskProgress - The ServiceDidNotRespond

Let us click the Finish button and go debug.

Troubleshoot Windows Deployment Services


As Windows Deployment Services is not starting we need to debug it.  Hopefully, this will be a quick session.

Review Event Viewer

The first place to look for correlating error messages is Windows Event Viewer:

  • Error Message:  An error occurred while trying to start the Windows Deployment Services server.
    Error Information: 0x54B
    Event ID: 257
    Source : WDSServer
    Log Name : Application
  • Error Message:  The Windows Deployment Services Server service terminated with the following service-specific error:
    The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted.
    Error Information: 7024
    Log Name: System

Log Name = Application | Event ID=257 | Error Information=0x54B


Log Name = System | Event ID=7024 


Resolution – Configure Domain Controller

We had to explicitly specify our AD Server.

By default, WDE is configured to “Allow Windows Deployment Services to dynamically discover valid domain servers (recommended)“.

So by default the “Advanced” Tab looks like this:

We changed to match:


So the changes are:

  • We specified an AD Domain Controller
  • We specified an AD Global Catalog
  • We chose to “Authorize this Windows Deployment Servers in DHCP”

Resolution – Ensure Active Directory is configured as a Global Catalog

I am aware of the history of the server that we are using as Active Directory server, it was originally a secondary Active Directory.

And, so I know that it is not a Global Catalog.

So goggled for the steps to promote the server to be the “Primary Domain Controller”:

To configure AD02 as a global catalog server

  • Open the Active Directory Sites and Services Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in.
  • Expand Sites.
  • Expand the Default-First-Site-Name site.
  • Expand the Servers folder.
  • Expand the <server> object.
  • Right-click the NTDS Settings object, and then click Properties.
  • Select the Global Catalog check box, and then click OK.
  • Close the Active Directory Sites and Services dialog box.

Other Configuration Choices

There are a few other configuration choices that you might want to be aware of and cross-check against your choices and broader environment.

Configuration – PXE Response


Configuration – “AD DS”


Configuration – DHCP


Configuration – Multicast


Listening To

Watched a movie name “First Time”.  It is available here:

  1. Link
    • Added on 2013-Dec-1st
    • Edited Out on 2017-Nov-29th

And, it has a great soundtrack.

Here are a couple of the tracks:

  • Vampire kiss by john gold


Got help from my younger brother as he has used RIS while employed by a big Health Insurance & Hospital company.  He also promised to go home and get PIX working in his Linux leaning network.


References – Windows Deployment Services (WDS)

References – Domain Controller

References – PowerShell


References – Blogs


References – Q/A

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