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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.

That's especially the case at Microsoft, where the target is 280,000-plus desktops.

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.

This article describes how the Microsoft team approached deploying Windows 7 to our own enterprise.

It covers how we developed our Windows 7 deployment solution and how you can apply these same tools to simplify your The first step, of course, is assessing the requirements and scenarios needed to accomplish a wide distribution of a new OS.

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.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.(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.For example, let's assume that the typical Microsoft user state was around 1GB.