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Designing a Client Life Cycle for Windows 7 Desktop Administrators

This chapter from MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-686): Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Administrator covers designing and managing a licensing strategy, designing a client hardware platform and migrating user profiles.

When you are designing a client life cycle, you should ensure that your plan reduces the amount of time you have to spend maintaining parts of that life cycle. Your aims can include reducing the amount of time you spend managing operating system activation, configuring the operating system so that the installation is easily transferrable to another computer, and minimizing the amount of time it takes to move data from an older computer to its replacement.

Although it is not a problem to enter a unique product key when you perform a traditional installation of Windows 7 on a small number of computers, a simple operation that takes a minute or so becomes problematic when you have to perform the same operation on several thousand. Microsoft offers enterprise customers an alternative way of ensuring that their computers are properly licensed without consuming an inordinate amount of time. The name for this method is volume activation. You will learn about volume activation in the first lesson of this chapter.

A new feature of Windows 7 is the ability to deploy the operating system directly to a VHD file and boot that VHD file on physical hardware. Installing Windows 7 on a bootable VHD allows an installation to be easily migrated to new hardware. When configured in this manner, migration to new hardware is as simple as transferring the VHD container in which Windows 7 has been installed to the new physical or virtual host.

Although the promise of VHD deployments suggest that in the future it will be relatively simple to migrate users from their old computers to their new computers, most of the users coming to a new Windows 7 installation will be coming from computers running the Windows XP or Windows Vista operating systems. The User State Migration Tool offers administrators the ability to automate the process of user data migration, vastly speeding the process of transitioning users from these older computers to new computers that run Windows 7.

Exam objectives in this chapter:

  • Plan and manage client licensing and activation.

  • Plan and manage a physical hardware and virtualization strategy.

  • Design a user state migration strategy.

Lessons in this chapter:

  • Lesson 1: Designing and Managing a Licensing Strategy

  • Lesson 2: Designing a Client Hardware Platform

  • Lesson 3: Migrating User Profiles

Before You Begin

To complete the exercises in the practice sessions in this chapter, you need to have done the following:

  • Installed the Windows 7 operating system on a stand-alone client PC named WKSTN1, as described in the introduction.

  • Downloaded and installed the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK).