One of the most exciting features for deploying a Windows XP client to Windows 7,sits around the ability to create a hardlink during a REFRESH scenario with MDT 2010.
In order to leverage USMT 4.0 in MDT 2010, you must first install the latest Windows Automated Installation Kit for Windows 7.
For more information on the Windows Automated Installation Kit, go here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd349343(WS.10).aspx
Jeremy Chapman has an excellent video demonstrating how this works: http://edge.technet.com/Media/User-State-Migration-with-Windows-7/
What I really like about hardlinks it doesn’t migrate the user’s data out to the Network, meaning faster deployment times. So, instead of moving files to a protected location on the hard disk, the files aren’t transferred at all, just the paths to them are updated. This is a very cool feature that Microsoft has to offer us to help us facilitate our migration efforts from Windows XP to Windows 7.
This means the install and settings transfer happens much faster, because the files aren’t transferred at all, just the paths to them are updated. It’s really cool, and means you can have a fresh install of Win7, with all your XP files and settings, completed in short amount of time. Of course, you still need to install the OS. But still…very cool…
So, how do I get USMT hardlinks to work in MDT Lite Touch Installation Environment? When you install MDT 2010 and create your Deployment Share, MDT will create a folder called USMT and copy the necessary USMT files into that folder. If you refresh the machine (by starting Litetouch.vbs from the running OS), MDT 2010 by default uses hardlinks.
I suggest the following read on USMT with MDT 2010 by Tim Minter.
Additionally, MDT 2010 Documentation: