This kind of thing happens all the time, and there are options for you. My favorite so far is the use of Windows Thin PC. It connects to your domain, it’s easy to manage and you probably already own the licenses for it if you’re running Microsoft Virtual Desktops. Here’s the Lowdown on Windows Thin PC Thin PC is a dumbed down version of Windows 7 that is very similar to Windows Embedded. You are only allowed to install remote desktop clients, management applications, security applications and media players on it. You can connect it to the domain and push out GPOs. You cannot install any productivity applications like Microsoft Office.
It does not have Windows Search, and you cannot install any other Windows Features. Sounds like everything you need in a Thin client. You cannot buy Windows Thin PC licenses by themselves. To get them, you must purchase Windows 8.1 with Software Assurance or the Windows VDA license. Windows 8.1 with SA licensing has some strange legality issues when it comes to VDI. We tend to go for VDA licensing instead. Overview of the Method I know what you’re saying, “But Trey, I don’t want to go around and install this on hundreds of computers.
I would have to walk around to all of them and run through the install. Then, I would have to install my antivirus and remote connection software.” Well, I didn’t want to do that either. I found an easier way to deploy it. Here are the detailed steps for you.
My colleague,, wrote a for those of you who would like to deploy via DVD or USB stick. It should be out shortly. Here’s what you will need: • A server with Windows 2012R2 installed on it. This can be virtual. 2008R2 will work too, but 2012R2 has some really good enhancements. My guide is going to focus on 2012R2. • Windows Active Directory domain.
• A 32 bit computer or server to install the windows AIK kit. I had a LOT of problems trying to create the autounattended.xml files on the 64 bit version. Just to make things easier on yourself, find a 32 bit OS somewhere.
A virtual machine with windows 7 32 or Windows Server 2008 should work fine. You can get the AIK here:. It is a really large download. About 1.7 GB.
• A virtual machine to install Thin PC and configure our custom image. You can use a physical computer, but it is going to make your life so much easier if you can virtualize it.