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Windows Server 2012 R2 Generation 2 VMs and x86 MDT Boot Media = Boot Failure!

I came across this scenario today, when creating a video walk through on using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013, which can be found on my MiCloud YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/SCMiCloud.

When using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to build and capture a reference image, part of the process is to create Boot Media. To use MDT to build and capture an image, you need to mount the boot media ISO to your Virtual Machine (VM).

Normally, when creating and using boot images (with MDT or SCCM), I usually use the x86 version of the media and not the x64. Why, you might ask? This is because x86 is more versatile and more widely compatible than x64 media. 

However, in Windows Server 2012 R2, when you create a new Virtual Machine, you can choose a Generation for the VM.

VM Generation

In my case, I was trying to build and capture a Windows 8.1 reference image. Therefore, I choose the Generation 2 option. Note that it states: “Guest operating systems must be running at least Windows Server 2012 or 64-bit versions of Windows 8”. Therefore, you would think that you could use x64 bit boot media with these systems.

So, as stated above about x86 versus x64 boot images, I mounted the x86 version of the MDT Boot Media, and started the Virtual Machine, preparing to build and capture an image. Except, no deal! Boot Failed! Weird.

VM Boot Fail

After trying many different things, including re-creating the VM, changing the network adapter (from current to legacy), re-generating the Boot Media, etc.

Then, for reasons I cannot recall, I decided to try the other Boot Media. I mounted the x64 version of the Boot Media, restarted the VM, and bam! The MDT boot media started to load without issue.


I am not 100% sure why this is, but apparently if you are using Hyper-V, and in particular a ‘Generation 2’ Virtual Machine for building and capturing a reference image (either through MDT or SCCM), you will need to use 164-bit Boot Media instead of the x86.

Hope this helps someone if they encounter this issue.

Working With The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013 – Part 7: Build And Capture A Reference System

In our last post we finished creating the Boot Media to use when building and capturing a Windows image.

Now we are going to create use the Boot Media and (finally) build and capture a Windows image.

Build And Capture A Reference System

Take the Boot Image that we created (found in \Boot). We are going to use the “LiteTouchPE_x86.iso” because the x86 media is more widely compatible (not everything is compatible with x64).

We are going to use a Virtual Machine (VM) for the reference system.

Start by mounting the ISO to a blank Virtual Machine, then start the Virtual Machine. You will be presented with the following prompt. Press any key so the Virtual Machine (VM) will boot from the Boot Media.

Build And Capture 01

Eventually, though it may take a while depending on your network, the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit wizard will appear. When it does, click on the “Run the Deployment Wizard to install a new Operating System” option.

Build And Capture 02

You will be presented with a dialog for User Credentials. These credentials must be able to access the MDT server, as this is where the image file will be captured to. Supply the credentials and then click OK.

NOTE: If you MDT Server is in a domain, you can use domain credentials, but what if it isn’t? What if your MDT server is in a Workgroup (like mine is)? In that case, in the “Domain” field, you would just use the server’s name.

Build And Capture 03

On the Task Sequence screen, choose the appropriate task sequence to run, then click Next. In our case, this is the Task Sequence we created (see Working With The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013 – Part 5: Create A Task Sequence).

Build And Capture 04

On the Computer Details screen, you can provide a Computer Name (though it is not required) but do NOT choose “Join a domain”; just accept the default of “Join a workgroup“, and then click Next.

Build And Capture 05

On the Move Data and Settings screen, since we are not migrating any user’s data, choose the “Do no move user data and settings” option, and then click Next.

Build And Capture 06

On the User Data (Restore) screen, again since we are not migrating users, choose the “Do not restore user data and settings“, and then click Next.

Build And Capture 07

On the Product Key screen, you can supply a key if required, then press Next. This depends on your environment/organization, and if you have a Multiple Activation Key (MAK), or if your organization uses a Key Management System (KMS). For this lab example, we are going to choose “No product key is required.”

Build And Capture 08

On the Locale and Time screen, make the appropriate adjustments required, and then click Next.

Build And Capture 09

On the Administrator Password screen, provide a password for the LOCAL Administrator account, then click Next.

IMPORTANT: I need to emphasize that this is for the LOCAL Administrator account. This is the local non-domain account. This means that if you are using this image in a domain environment, and the system looses its trust with the domain, your IT department can use this local account to log into the system and re-join/re-add it to the domain.

Build And Capture 10

On the Capture Image screen, choose the “Capture and image of this reference computer“, give the file a unique name, and then click Next.

Build And Capture 11

On the Ready screen, review the information displayed, and then click Begin.

Build And Capture 12

The process will begin by installing the Operating System we specified in our Task Sequence. Time to sit back and watch.

Build And Capture 13

Eventually the Operating System will be installed. However, it may look like nothing else is happening (at least in reference to capturing Windows 8). Navigate to the Desktop.

Build And Capture 14

On the Desktop you will see that the Task Sequence is continuing, and installing the Application (in this example Microsoft Office) we specified.

Build And Capture 15

Once all the steps in the Task Sequence have completed, the final capturing piece will initiate. This starts with SysPrep being executed on the reference system.

Build And Capture 16

Eventually the process will get to the point where it shows “Create WIM”. This may take a while depending on your hardware/network, but will eventually result in the captured image.

Build And Capture 17

Once the capture has completed, click Finish.

NOTE: The Virtual Machine (VM) will automatically restart. We are done our work with it, so you can shut it off.

Build And Capture 18

Back on the MDT Server, navigate to \Captures. In that directory you will now see your captured .WIM file with the name we supplied in the wizard.

Build And Capture 19

Now that we have captured image in a .WIM file, you can use it with your Operating System Deployment tool(s)/process.

Here is a video walk through:

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