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Deploying Vista 64 bit to Dell 755

After we were able to get the deployment of Vista 32bit out to our Dell 755s tackling the install of Vista 64bit was next on the agenda.  The primary reason for pushing out 64bit was because of the memory threshold limit on 32bit.  Several of our old Dell 740s had 2 gb of added memory we wanted to move over to our new 755 boxes which put us over the 3.5gb limit.  Not a huge issue, but I also new down the road we would want to deploy 64bit versions of Server 2008 so we might as well work out the issues now.

Before you can start a 64bit install you have to add a 64bit OS to the list in MDT.  This is the same process as adding a 32bit OS and creating the task sequence as documented in the first MDT post.  When you include your 64bit OS in a task sequence, be sure in the title and description to note that this is the 64bit installer so there is no confusion later. After the OS and Task Sequence are added you will need to add any 64bit Out of the Box Drivers this is the same process that you did with your 32 bit drivers.

Lastly you need to make 64bit a supported platform with your deployment point.  Up to this point when you updated the boot image MDT only updated the 32bit .wim file so now you need to tell MDT to also update the 64 bit boot image.

Go to Deployment Point, and Choose Properties for the Deployment Point and then on the general tab tick the check box next to x64 and choose OK.  Lastly update your Deployment Point.



After your deployment point is updated you will need to add this new boot image to your WDS server.  Go to Server Manager and navigate to the boot images in your WDS server.  Right Click on Boot images and select new boot image.  This time you will select the 64bit boot image, LiteTouchPE_x64.wim, found in:
DistributionBoot.  You can leave both the 32bit and 64 bit boot images enabled so when you pxe boot off your server you select the appropriate architecture for your install.

When you PXE boot off the WDS Server you will be presented with the two LiteTouch boot images, select the x64 image.

After you select the x64 image the WindowsPE installer that you have seen in the 32 bit installs will display… this time with one exception, the Operating systems displayed as tasks available are the 64bit options you added in the task sequences.


64 bit OS Install “Got-Ya’s”

1.  The intel sata driver for the Dell 755 appears in MDT as a driver that is both 32 and 64 bit.  Its not.  When you boot into WindowsPE the first time after adding all your drivers and updating the boot images you will get a lovely error like the following:
File: windowssystem32ddriversiastor.sys
Status: 0xc0000359
Info: Windows Failed to load because a critical system driver is missing or corrupt.
64bit Boot Error

This happens only after you update the 64bit boot image from MDT.  The original 64bit boot image has the needed storage controller driver but when you update MDT it includes the OOB drivers you added.  Since intel’s storage driver is really not a 64 bit driver like MDT thinks it is the 64bit WindowsPE bombs.   So what do you need to do?  The easiest way to do fix this is the following steps:

  • Delete all drivers from the Out of Box Drivers in MDT
  • Download both the 64 bit and 32 bit Intel Matrix Storage Manager Drivers.
  • Add only the 32 bit Driver to OOBD
  • Open the properties of that driver and un-tick the x64 check box.


  • Next add the 64 bit driver.  This time you will have to select “Import drivers even if they are duplicates of an existing driver”


  • Next you will need to edit this newly added driver.  The easiest way to find this driver is to sort all OOB Drivers by Platform.  The newly added driver will display x86, x64.  Edit that driver to only support x64 platform.


  • After your drivers are updated, import all your drivers again and update your deployment point.


See other Posts on Vista Deployment with MDT:

One Comment

  • Reply Michael Simms |

    Thanks for this. Solved our problem with HP EliteBook 6930p.

    I didn’t delete the drivers. I unchecked 64bit on each existing isator file. Downloaded the Intel 64bit driver from Intel’s site and de-selected 32bit after importing as prescribed.

So, what do you think ?