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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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Working With The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013 – Part 6: Boot Media


In our last post we created a Task Sequence to build and capture a Windows image.

Now we are going to create the Boot Media that will be used to build and capture a Windows image.

Start by launching the Deployment Workbench.

MDT Install 07

Create Boot Media

We are going to create Boot Media to demonstrate using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to build and capture a reference system. An alternative to using the boot media is to use Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) booting, but that requires having a Windows Deployment Services (WDS) server setup and configured, along with a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server. I may document how to do this later, but for now, we’re going to use Boot Media.

Expand the Deployment Share that was created, and right-click on the Deployment Share folder and choose Update Deployment Share. This will initiate the Update Deployment Share Wizard.

MDT Generate Boot Media 01

On the Options screen, choose “Optimize the boot image updating process” option, and then click Next.

Update Deployment Share Wizard 01

On the Summary screen, click Next.

Update Deployment Share Wizard 02

The Progress screen will display information on each step it is performing. Please note that this may take some time to complete, so be patient.

Update Deployment Share Wizard 03

On the Confirmation screen, click Finish.

Update Deployment Share Wizard 04

Now if you navigate to your Deployment Share directory, you will see a directory labelled Boot. Within there you will see the Boot Images created, labelled “LiteTouchPE_x86.iso” and “LiteTouchPE_x64.iso”.

MDT Generate Boot Media 02

You now have the Boot Images created, and we can use them to build and capture a reference system.

Here is a video walk through:

Working With The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013 – Part 5: Create A Task Sequence


In our last post we imported an Application’s source files to begin using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) for building and capturing a Windows image.

Now we are going to create the Task Sequence that will be used to build and capture a Windows image.

Start by launching the Deployment Workbench.

MDT Install 07

Create A Task Sequence

Now that we have our Operating System files, along with an Application source files, we can demonstrate using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to build and capture a Windows image.

Expand the Deployment Share that was created, and right-click on the Task Sequence folder and choose New Task Sequence. This will initiate the New Task Sequence Wizard.

MDT New Task Sequence 01

On the General Settings screen, give the Task Sequence a unique ID and Name, then press Next.

New Task Sequence Wizard 01

On the Select Template screen, choose a template to work from, then click Next. In this example (building and capturing a Windows image), we are going to choose “Standard Client Task Sequence”.

New Task Sequence Wizard 02

On the Select OS screen, choose an Operating System you want to deploy, and then click Next.

FYI, this is the Operating System entry from the source files we imported (see Working With The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013 – Part 3: Import Operating System Source Files).

New Task Sequence Wizard 03

On the Specify Product Key screen, choose an applicable option for your need, then click Next. In my lab example, I will choose “Do not specify a product key at this time”.

New Task Sequence Wizard 04

On the OS Settings screen, enter information for all 3 fields, and then click Next. Although it doesn’t explicitly say “Required”, you will not be permitted to move on from this screen until all 3 fields are filled in.

New Task Sequence Wizard 05

On the Admin Password screen, you can choose to provide a password for the local Administrator account or not, 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.

New Task Sequence Wizard 06

On the Summary screen, review the information displayed, and then click Next.

New Task Sequence Wizard 07

On the Confirmation screen, after the Task Sequence is generated, click Finish.

New Task Sequence Wizard 08

When you return to the Deployment Share, within the Task Sequence folder you will now see an entry for the Task Sequence that we just created.

MDT New Task Sequence 02

However, we need to modify this Task Sequence before we can use it to build and capture a Windows image.

Here is a video walk through:

Customizing The Task Sequence

Since, for the purpose of demonstration, we want to include an application within our captured Windows image, we need to make some changes to the Task Sequence before we can use it.

To modify the Task Sequence, right-click on the Task Sequence we created and choose Properties.

MDT New Task Sequence 03

On the Task Sequence Properties dialog, click on the Task Sequence tab. This will show you all of the steps in the sequence.

MDT New Task Sequence 04

Select the “Install Application” step, which is between the “Windows Update” tasks. On the Properties tab, ensure that “Install a single application” is selected, then click Browse.

MDT New Task Sequence 05

On the Select An Item dialog, choose the application you want to install, and then click OK.

FYI, this is the Application entry from the source files we imported (see Working With The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013 – Part 4: Create An Application Package).

MDT New Task Sequence 06

Back on the Task Sequence Properties dialog, click OK to apply the changes we have made.

Our Task Sequence is now ready to use for building and capturing a Windows image, we just need to create the Boot Media.

Here is a video walk through:

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