7 tools to ease your Windows 7 rollout

These utilities help you plan, ensure app compatibility and manage images.

Why suffer?

When it comes to upgrading Windows clients, preparation is the difference between a smooth transition and a horrible experience for both you and your users. To that end, blogger Ron Barrett gives you this list of seven essential tools to make your Windows 7 rollout easier. For more details on all of these tools, visit Ron Barrett's blog post 7 tools for Windows 7 rollouts .

The Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit

Verify that your apps are compatible

The Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) is a free tool from Microsoft to help admins identify application compatibility issues before deploying Windows 7. The tool determines the outcomes of running an app that is not compatible, too.

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit

Verify all hardware is compatible

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) is a toolkit used to assess and inventory the hardware and devices on computers within your network. It then reports which systems are good to go for a Windows 7 installation. Device drivers have always been a sore spot for Windows migrations.

User State Migration Tool

Migrate user settings

User State Migration Tool (USMT) is a tool that will help you migrate user settings and features from an old PC to the new Windows 7 installation. This scriptable command-line tool is easy to use, too.

Windows Automated Installation Kit

Automate the work

Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) for Windows 7 is a set of tools and documents to help admins deploy Windows 7 automatically. It configures answer files, captures Windows images and then configures or modify those images.

Deployment Image Servicing and Management

Take automation to the next level

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is a command line tool that consolidates some of the management functions in WAIK and allows you to configure features packages and updates of images throughout the life of the image. It is the next generation of Microsoft's previous rollout tools Package Manager, PEimg and Intlcfg.

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit

Don't touch that client

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) is a toolset that provides a deployment workbench for configuring the operating system, applications and user settings. Used with System Center Configuration Manager 2007, it enables a zero-touch deployment.

Windows Deployment Services

Deploy Windows 7 while you sleep

Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is a server role that will allow you to automatically deploy Windows 7 over the network from a centralized location. WDS supports multicast deployments and unattended installations. However, not all clients can work with WDS.