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Getting started with answers to your most frequently asked product questions
Step 1: Request a SmartDeploy demo
Talk with a product specialist about how SmartDeploy can streamline imaging in your organization. If you’ve used other imaging software in the past, we’ll let you know what makes SmartDeploy different and exactly where you’ll see a time and resource savings.
Step 2: Download the free trial
Using what you’ve learned in the demo, run through a few different test deployments on up to 15 computers in your live environment using the fully-functioning 15-day trial. Follow along with our Quick Start Guide or step-by-step videos. If you have questions, contact us and we’ll be happy to walk you through the process. Most customers are able to see an end to end proof of concept in an afternoon between their normal day to day activities.
SmartDeploy has been designed to be extremely flexible and to fit within a diverse set of existing environments and infrastructures. To that end, you can use any simple file share and related hardware to host your deployment packages. At deployment time, you can tell SmartDeploy to pull from any accessible location, whether a local resource, such as a USB drive, or a network share, mapped to a local drive letter. All of this can be done via a common Windows Browse dialog box at deployment time.
If you like to use a network cable to do your imaging, you can integrate SmartDeploy with Microsoft Windows Deployment Services (WDS). WDS is a role that you configure within Windows Server and only requires common infrastructure components such as AD, DHCP, and DNS. SmartDeploy generates the Image.wim and Boot.wim files needed and can be directly imported into the WDS console. When it is all setup, plug in the network cable, hit the power button, press the keystroke to network boot (such as F12) and away you go.
Get more details on integrating SmartDeploy with WDS.
Microsoft is very particular about copying software onto multiple devices from an image, also known as “reimaging”. Do yourself a favor, stay compliant with Microsoft, get the latest media, the highest end SKUs (such as Enterprise), and a single key that is meaningful for all your devices.
We understand licensing agreements can be troublesome, but the good news is that Microsoft Volume Licensing isn’t as difficult or expensive as it sounds!
All you need to do is contact your preferred software reseller regarding a Microsoft Volume License agreement. Tell them how many machines you have and for a minimal fee you get the agreement in place, access to download the latest ISOs, and one key that works for all your activations. Even better, you can encrypt the key in your SmartDeploy image and OS activations will happen automatically.
SmartDeploy supports all kinds of OS activations like retail or OEM, but it is the best practice to get the VL agreement in place and use a Multiple Activation Key (MAK), or Key Management Server (KMS).
Get more details: Microsoft licensing isn’t as scary as it sounds
Yes! Simply contact your Account Manager to discuss your evaluation and trial details. If needed, they can add more days, deployments, or Platform Pack downloads to your account. You can email your Account Manager directly or reach them at [email protected] or 888-7DEPLOY.
After your trial is extended, we recommend that you recreate your boot and deployment media.
You could, but we didn’t design SmartDeploy for backup. SmartDeploy is intended to be used as an imaging solution to ensure a common, consistent computing experience on every endpoint IT manages.
If you have a specific machine and you want to take a point in time backup of it, you can do it with SmartDeploy command-line tools. If you need to restore the machine, that is done from CMD line as well. For additional information on this process, contact SmartDeploy support.
As a best practice, we always recommend the use of a virtual machine (VM) as a reference computer. Using a physical reference machine for reimaging is not recommended and is considered an unsupported usage of SmartDeploy.
In general, you can include any Windows-based software (whether installed on the captured image or at deployment time) and make as many custom images as you want. Many customers have just one golden image with SmartDeploy and apply that to any device. But if you have departments that have different OS’s or application sets, you can certainly make unique images for those departments.
SmartDeploy uses the Microsoft Windows Imaging (.WIM) file format which is a very flexible and powerful format for imaging computers. Unlike other formats, .WIM is file-based (not sector-based) which allows for greater reliability in deploying to different types of computers.
Most image files compress to between 5GB and 20GB depending on the amount of software included in the image.