Living Table of Contents
- MDT Tutorial: Prologue & Requirements
- MDT Tutorial Part 1: Installation
- MDT Tutorial Part 2: Initial Configuration
- MDT Tutorial Part 3: Imaging
- MDT Tutorial Part 4: CustomSettings.ini
- MDT Tutorial Part 5: Bootstrap.ini
- MDT Tutorial Part 6: Customizing Boot Media
- MDT Tutorial Part 7: Customizing Base MDT Template & ADK WinPE Template WIM
- MDT Tutorial Part 8: Unattend.xml
- MDT Tutorial Part 9: Logging
- MDT Tutorial Part 10: CustomSettings.ini Validation Testing & Troubleshooting Part 1
- MDT Tutorial Part 11: Troubleshooting Part 2: Windows could not parse or process unattend answer file [C:\windows\Panther\unattend.xml] for pass [specialize]. The answer file is invalid.
- MDT Tutorial Part 11: Troubleshooting Part 3: Windows could not parse or process unattend answer file [C:\windows\Panther\unattend.xml] for pass [specialize]. The answer file is invalid.
- MDT Tutorial Part 11: Troubleshooting Part 4: Task Sequence Variable is Being Overwritten
- MDT Tutorial Part 11: Troubleshooting Part 5: Invalid DeploymentType value “” specified. The deployment will not proceed.
- MDT Tutorial Part 11: Troubleshooting Part 6: Unable to mount the WIM, so the update process cannot continue
- MDT Tutorial Part 11: Troubleshooting Part 7: Non-Fatal OSD Errors & Warnings
Today’s agenda: Image All The Things!
- Image a machine with the Build Task Sequence
- Image a machine with the Build, Sysprep & Capture Task Sequence
- Copy the bootable ISOs from the Boot directory in the Deployment Share Share (e.g.: \\MDTServer01\DeploymentShare$\Boot) to your Hyper-V server
- Add the ISO to your VM
- Set the DVD Drive as the first boot device
- Boot your VM
- Press any key to boot the media.
Build Task Sequence
Once the WinPE environment loads, you’ll be greeted by this window.
Click ‘Run the Deployment Wizard to install a new Operating System‘ and it will prompt you for credentials. If you created a dedicated MDT account, good on you – use those. In my lab (torn down & rebuilt regularly) I just use the local Administrator account.
Assuming you entered the proper credentials, you’ll see the available Task Sequences.
Choose the Task Sequence you created and click next.
On the ‘Computer Details’ step feel free to enter in a computer name and workgroup name; Or don’t – that’s fine too.
On the ‘Move Data and Settings’ step you can leave the default, ‘Do not move user data and settings.‘, since there’s nothing to backup/move.
On the ‘User Data (Restore)’ step leave the default, ‘Do not restore user data and settings.‘ because there’s nothing to restore from.
On the ‘Locale and Time’ step, adjust the settings accordingly.
On the ‘Capture Image’ step you can leave the default, ‘Do not capture an image of this computer.‘ Right now we’re just looking to lay down the OS and the B&C will come later.
On the ‘BitLocker’ step you can leave ‘Do not enable BitLocker for this computer.‘
The ‘Ready’ step is really just a summary of the configuration you set above.
Give it a once over to make sure it’s correct and click begin.
Will run, doing the steps listed in the Task Sequence. I like to follow along with the VM on one side of the screen and the Task Sequence on the other to ensure things are executing as I expect. A number of steps take place in WinPE, like laying down the WIM on the disk.
Afterwards the machine will reboot and boot into Windows
Eventually you’ll see the desktop and you might think ‘it’s done’ or that ‘it stalled’ and be tempted to start playing around with it but please don’t!
Give it a minute and you’ll see the process continue.
After a sigh of relief it’ll move on and finish up very quickly after that.
Mid Boss Battle Complete!
This is the halfway mark and if this goes smoothly the next step should be just as easy.
Build, Sysprep & Capture Task Sequence
If you didn’t already guess, the Build, Sysprep & Capture – or B&C for Build & Capture because it’s assumed you’re going to sysprep the machine since you don’t want to be in an unsupported situation – process is the same as the above.
- Add the ISO to your B&C VM
- Boot from the media
- Click ‘Run the Deployment Wizard to install a new Operating System‘
- Enter your authentication credentials
This time you want to select your B&C Task Sequence
The screens that follow are identical to what you had before, and for the most part everything is the same…
…EXCEPT when you get to the ‘Capture Image’ step!
This time we are going to select ‘Capture an image of this reference computer.‘ so that we can capture an image of this machine. You’re welcome to adjust the Location and File name but the defaults are fine for our purposes.
Again, review your configuration to ensure it’s correct before clicking ‘Begin’
For the most part, it’s exactly the same as before: A number of steps take place in WinPE before rebooting into the OS.
Once in the OS, MDT will start up again, finish up the normal tasks
Stage the boot media
Reboot into WinPE
Initialize the WinPE environment
Capture the WIM
Display a summary when complete
A High Five is in Order: Your First B&C via MDT!
Seriously, this is a big deal so request the highest of fives from someone.
The Importance of MDT in a WaaS World
I do not like doing the same thing over and over again, and the idea of building a physical machine that I need to patch, load software onto and configure is not how I want to spend my day. You can expect a feature update release for Windows 10 twice a year which means you could be asked to perform a B&C twice a year.
So instead of spending days:
- installing Windows 10
- thumbing through a 40 page build document
- locating build change notes scattered across sticky notes scattered throughout desk and emails
I would much rather spend a few hours or a couple of days:
- cataloguing the OS level configurations required for the organization
- packaging applications & testing them to ensure they’re complete and work
- putting it all together in scripts
- loading all these into MDT
This way I can have reliable, repeatable process for building machines & capturing images.
I promise, once you get this going you’ll never look back.
Good Providence to you!