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(While drivers for hardware devices also play a big role in deployment, they're beyond the scope of this discussion.However, the solution we developed to simplify drivers for Microsoft's own hardware is outlined in this Tech Net blog post: tinyurl.com/kog748.) The desktop configuration, whether involving single or multiple disks, is important when deploying Windows 7 using Configuration Manager.After USMT has gathered the necessary user data, it needs somewhere to "store" this data during the migration.Microsoft had numerous choices for where to store its users' data, but that same range of options may not be within many other enterprises' IT budgets.However, using System Center, Configuration Manager 2007's Operating System Deployment (OSD) feature and the soon-to-be-released Service Pack 2 (SP2) can greatly simplify the process.No matter where your enterprise falls on the complexity spectrum, you can use the Microsoft blueprint to move your enterprise to Windows 7 sooner rather than later.When trying to upgrade the OS that's running on an encrypted drive, the task sequence must disable or suspend the encryption.

Options for storing this data for later retrieval included external hard disks, file servers and optical drives such as DVDs.The challenge is understanding whether you're deploying Windows 7 only to new machines or via a migration process where an OS already exists.As shown in Figure 1, we had to develop a solution for Microsoft that works with a single disk with a number of partitions or with complex multi-boot and multi-disk configurations.As most IT veterans have learned, it takes awhile to move or copy any file onto a hard disk -- which, in turn, causes deployments to simply take too long.A deployment that takes away a user's productivity for a day (or days) simply isn't feasible -- and it represents a risk that you don't want to take.Windows 7 introduces the next generation of USMT (version 4.0), which offers vast improvements over its predecessor.The primary differences between USMT 3.0 and version 4.0 are the focus of the last part of our scenarios: selecting the right process for gathering the user state and the method for saving that state.That's especially the case at Microsoft, where the target is 280,000-plus desktops.Figure 1: Enterprise Desktop Disk Configuration Scenarios When developing an enterprise desktop solution, the primary focus areas are hard-disk configurations, encryption technologies, applications and user data.Unlike applications that are delivered to the desktop, operating systems pose a significant risk to users' productivity and data.Thus, you often spend a great deal of time trying to ascertain the current state of affairs and attempting to minimize risks while finding the sweet spot.