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How to install WDS on Server 2016?

Posted in Networking, Windows Server1 year ago • Written by Ghulam AbbasNo Comments

If you have 100 computers and you want to install on them windows. In this case, if you use Windows installation disk, certainly it will make you tired and you will be the board of that work. In these situations, rather than doing a manual install on each computer, you can use Windows Deployment Services to automatically deploy Windows to multiple computers at once over the network.It needs a little bit work to Setup up WDS, but it can save you a lot of work later.

What is WDS?

Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is a software platform and technology that allows you to perform automated network-based installations Over a network or an Install Media.

In other Definition, I can say that performing an installation over a network with no operating system or local boot device is also called WDS. When it comes to woking, The WDS server will store the installation files and help you manage the boot and operating system image files to be used in the network installations.

What is an Image File?

An image file is basically a snapshot of a computer’s hard drive taken at a particular moment in any time. Sometimes The image file can be referred to an install image and is used to install an operating system. Mostly it will the install.Wim file. This WIM file contains all the given files:

  1. It contains all the Operating System Files
  2. It Contains any updates and drivers which you added on them.
  3. Any Application that has been installed and you have used Sysprep.
  4. Any Configuration changes that has been made by yourself on that.

Those clients who want to communicate with WDS server, their computer must have a PXE (preboot execution environment) boot. PXE is a technology that boots a computer using the network interface without a data storage device like a Hard Drive or an installed Operating System. In order to find out, does your computer have a PXE boot or no? Go to the BISO settings of the Computer? and check that, if it has then enable it.

When PXE is used with WDS Server, the client’s computer will automatically download a boot image which contains that the windows PE, Further I will show you How to add a boot image on WDS.

What is Windows PE?

Windows Preinstallation Environment is minimal Windows operating system with limited services. It is used to install an Operating System with the Operating System Image Files.


Before you can use WDS, you have to install the Windows Deployment Services role on a server. That server can be in an Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain or it can be a stand-alone server. The minimum requirements for installing WDS are these:

  1. An AD DS server is required if WDS is integrated into Active Directory. The deployment server can be either a member server or a domain controller. WDS imposes no minimum AD DS domain or forest versions, and a standalone WDS doesn’t require AD DS.
  2. An active DHCP server on the network is required to support Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE).
  3. NTFS The image store must reside on an NTFS volume. (This is required or Configuration of WDS)

Installing the Windows Deployment Services Role

Installing a Service in Server, do not seem too hard but in order to deploy WDS on Windows Server 2016, you can follow either of these two ways.

  1. Install WDS with Server Manager
  2. Install WDS with PowerShell Commands

So the whole topic of this scenario is How to install WDS? So let’s Get started.

Install WDS with Server Manager

Step #1. Open Server Manager on Start Menu.

Step #2. At the top of Server Manager, click Manage and then select Add Roles and Features. The Add Roles and Feature Wizard opens.

Step #3. On the Before you begin page, click Next.

Install Features with Cmdlets


Step #4. Select Role-based or feature-based installation, and then click Next.

Install Features with Cmdlets


Step #5. Select a server from the server pool, select name of the server to install WDS to, and then click Next.

Install Features with Cmdlets


Step #6. In Services Roles, Scroll down and select Windows Deployment Services.

Install Features with Cmdlets


Step #7. When the Add Roles and Features Wizard dialog box opens, click Add Features. and then click next.

Install Features with Cmdlets


Step #8. Back on the Select server roles page, click Next.

Step #9. On the Select features page, click Next

Install Features with Cmdlets


Step#10. On the WDS page, click Next.

Install Features with Cmdlets


Step #11. When you install the Windows Deployment Services role using Server Manager, it automatically
prompts you to install the necessary management tools. WDS can be deployed with the combined Deployment Server role service and Transport Server role service.

Install Features with Cmdlets


Step #12. On the Confirm installation selection page, click Install.

Install Features with Cmdlets


Step #13. When the installation finishes, click Close.

Difference Between Deployment Server and Transport Server

On Step 11 we had recognized, that WDS requires one of this feature or both of them, but the big deal is what are the difference between this two Roles. For better understanding take alook at this table.

Deployment Server

Transport Server

Server requirements Requires AD DS, DHCP, DNS Do not Require
PXE Supports network boot with PXE create a custom PXE
Image server Includes the WDS image server  Don’t include the WDS image server
Transmission method Allows both unicasting and multicasting Only multicasting
Management tools Can be managed either with WDS or withWDSUTIL command-line Only managed with WDSUTIL command-line tool.


It was all about, How to install WDS on Server 2016? I hope you have learned this article, I hope you will ask your questions, give us your suggestions, opinion about what articles we have to write. If you faced any problem tell us below by comment, Feel free to tell us. we’re waiting for your suggestion.

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