How to install and Configure WDS in Windows Server 2012 R2

Steps to Install And Configure WDS (Windows Deployment Services) 2012

In this article we’ll learn the steps to install and configure WDS i.e. Windows Deployment Services. 

What is Windows Deployment Services ?

WDS is a service of Microsoft through which we can deploy an operating system to other computers over a network using PXE boot. You don’t need to walk to the computers to install the Operating system on them. You can simply boot the Server from the network and it would start deploying OS on the Server. In this article, let’s  learn the steps to install and configure WDS on Windows Server 2012 R2.

Pre-requisites to install and configure WDS Server

  • Domain Controller for authentication
  • DHCP Server: It would provide dynamic IPs to Computers, it is also required to assign IP address while server is booting.
  • PXE Boot option on client machine to boot from network.
  • Boot Image: This would boot the client machine from Network.
  • Install Image: This would provide the images that we would install on the client machine.
  • DNS Server: It is required for name resolution.

Install Windows Deployment Services

1. Click on Server manager icon to open server manager console.

Install Windows Deployment Services 2012
Install Windows Deployment Services 2012

2. To install Windows Deployment services, click on Add roles and Features to install WDS.

Install Windows Deployment Services 2012

3. On ‘Add roles and feature Wizard’ we will verify all the prerequisites like administrator account has a password, the valid static IP address is configured on the box, etc. To continue click Next.

4. Select ‘Role-based or feature-based installation‘ and click on Next.

Install Windows Deployment Services 2012
5. In ‘Select destination server’ wizard, in server poll all remotely manageable servers are listed, select the computer on which you want to install the role.

Install Windows Deployment Services 2012

6. Select’Windows Deployment Services’ and click on next. This will install Windows Deployment Services.

Install Windows Deployment Services 2012
7. Some features are required to install Windows Deployment Services. Click on Add Features to install those features that are required to install WDS and then click on next.

8. In ‘Select Features’ windows, we don’t need to select any additional features. To continue click next.

9. Here, we can see additional information about Windows Deployment Services, click next.

Install Windows Deployment Services 2012

10. In ‘Select role services‘ select Deployment server and Transport Server.Click on next.

Install Windows Deployment Services 2012

11. In “Confirm Installation Selections” windows, We can See all the roles and features that we have selected to install. Select the option “Restart the destination computer automatically if required” and click on install. After completing the installation, Click on close.

12. To verify if Windows Deployment Services is installed or not. Click on start button then click on down arrow. WDS icon confirms that it is installed successfully.

Steps to configure Windows Deployment Services

1. Open Windows Deployment Services console, right click on Computer name and select “Configure Server”.

Configure Windows Deployment Services 2012

2. This window, would explain all the pre-requisites that are required before we configure WDS like:

  • Server on which we installing and configuring WDS should be a member of domain.
  • We should have DHCP serve in our network, as clients would contact DHCP while booting from network.
  • Active DNS server in the network for name resolution.
  • NTFS file system to store images.

3. To configure Windows Deployment Services, select the option “integrated with Active Directory” because this server is a member of Domain.

Configure Windows Deployment Services 2012

4. Create a folder on NTFS partition and browse the path. It would store all the boot images, capture images and install images. For this practical, we’ll create a folder with the name of “RemoteInstall“. It is recommended to host this folder on the independent partition or on separate disk.

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5. Define the settings for the client computers i.e. which type of client computer would get response from WDS. For this practical, we’ll select an option “Respond to all client computers (known and unknown)“. Click on next to continue.

Windows Deployment Services 2012 R2

6. PXE policies will be configured for the client devices.

7. Once the Windows Deployment services are configured successfully, next step is to add boot image and install image from the DVD of Windows Server 2012. We’ll discuss the steps to add images and deploy OS in future articles. Click on Finish.

install and configure wds

8. To Configure Windows Deployment services, open the “Windows Deployment Services” console and verify green play button is visible. If it shows black circle that means WDS services are not running. To run the WDS server service, right click on the computer name DC03, go to all task and run the service.

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Hope you understood the steps to install and configure WDS i.e. Windows Deployment services on Windows Server 2012 R2. Feel free to contact us to share your views, reviews and suggestions in the below mentioned comment section. Also share details of any other alternate of WDS server that you are using in your environment.