I am quite fond of WDS – especially in 2008 R2- especially since the WIM files can still be used to contain an XP image. While this does work, you cannot do any of the awesome offline servicing that you can on images of newer operating systems. I have only run into one issue with my current WDS deployments – AcerPower 2000 machines. These are very small form factor machines from Acer that are all self contained with no room for expansion\add-ins. They are decent machines, but come with A LOT of crap-ware from Acer. So I made an image.
I have the environment setup to push images over the network by booting into PXE – all this worked fine…when I went to boot the system, there were miscellaneous errors – NTLDR is missing…..HAL.dll is missing. Very weird errors. Booting into PE and using diskpart, it was almost as if the entire drive was blank! Even though the image had “applied” it hadn’t. Even a repair install doesn’t work. I had to re-image this machine from scratch.
I had a further chance to investigate this – something told me to look in the BIOS, and there it was: Bootblock Write Protect. Once turned off, the image works perfectly.
BIOS > Advanced BIOS Features > Bootblock Write Protect