If you are one of the many organisations that is planning on adopting Windows 7 and are wondering whether there are any implications for your vPro systems, then this blog is for you...

 

The implications of Windows 7 on vPro can be summarised as relating to at least one or more of the following areas:

  • 1. Management console
  • 2. AMT Drivers
  • 3. AMT Firmware
  • Let's start with the Management Console...

     

    If you are using Microsoft SMS, for example, as your management console then you should be aware that Microsoft officially doesn't support Windows 7 clients with SMS and therefore if you wish to manage your Windows 7 clients you will need to transition to Microsoft SCCM. Therefore, when planning your vPro migration to Windows 7 you need to actually to migrate to SCCM before hand.

     

    For those that do migrate to SCCM there are some additional implications which are indirect for the Windows 7 migration, but are part of the SCCM with vPro package. As this is not a posting on SCCM, I'll only mention briefly that you need to be prepared to have an Enterprise Certificate Authority, potentially have to make use of the WS-MAN translator (if you have any AMT Firmware that is prior to 3.2.1), you will need to upgrade to latest AMT Firmware versions and you will be integrated with Active Directory.

     

    Regarding AMT Drivers (namely HECI/MEI and LMS/SOL)...

     

    As the drivers are installed at the OS level, it doesn't come as a surprise that there might be a requirement for drivers to be able to install on a new operating system.

     

    1. AMT 2.x based systems - currently no planned official AMT Windows 7 drivers (use compatability mode)
    2. AMT 3.x based systems - official AMT Windows 7 drivers will be available by OEMs in Q1 of 2010 (for now use compatability mode)
    3. AMT 4.x based systems - you will require drivers version number 4.2 (otherwise you could use compatability mode)
    4. AMT 5.x based systems - you will require drivers version number 5.2 (otherwise you could use compatability mode)

     

    If you are not familiar with compatability mode, here is how you do it:

     

    1.      Right click on the driver installation file à Properties à Compatibility tab  (per sample screen shot below):

    untitled.bmp

     

    2.      Select the mode (I guess either Windows Vista or Windows XP SP2 or SP3)

    3.      Click Apply/OK

    4.      Right click installation file and run as Administrator and install the drivers (or alternatively prior to step 3 tick the box of run as administrator)

     

    Btw, the exact same process can be used for AMT 4.x and AMT 5.x drivers – i.e. take existing not 4.2/5.2 level drivers and install them in compatibility mode.

     

    It is useful to know that the 4.2 and 5.2 level drivers are actually available for download fromt the OEM sites; take Dell for example: http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&ServiceTag=&SystemID=LAT_E6400&os=WLH&osl=en&catid=&impid=

    untitled2.bmp

    and

     

    http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&os=WLH&osl=en&catid=&impid=&SystemID=PLX_960

     

    untitled3.bmp

    Lastly, we have the AMT Firmware...

     

    Strictly technically speaking, Windows 7 doesn't require a different kind of AMT Firmware, since the firmware sits underneath the operating system anyway. What is required though is the latest AMT Firmware (4.2 and 5.2) so that it can interoperate with Microsoft SCCM in the best and most stable manner. Therefore what might initially seemed as no need to upgrade AMT firmware to work with Windows 7 actually becomes a recommendation to do so.

     

    Hopefully this has provided some clarity on the technical requirements around vPro and Windows 7. There are some particular compelling points for having vPro systems and leveraging them for a Windows 7 migration deployment, however this is covered by other blogs and materials out there, such as: http://communities.intel.com/docs/DOC-3096