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Building a Windows 10 1607 Reference Image with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 8443

Following on from my previous post¬†(Getting Started With Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 8443 and Windows 10 1607),¬†I’ll be continuing my series of deploying Windows 10 with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.

Update 2017-05-02:¬†Please note that this post is also relevant to Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) with a few minor changes, which I’ve posted about here.

In this post I’ll be building a task sequence to create a reference image that would be suitable for a real world deployment on new devices or performing a ‘wipe and load’ on existing devices. I’ll also touch on how to silently install common Microsoft and non-Microsoft products and customising installs.


In this series of posts, here’s what I’ll be using on my demo network:

  • Active Directory Domain Controller running on Windows Server 2016 Standard - DC01.
  • An installation of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 8443 configured as per my previous post,¬†running on Windows Server 2016 Standard - WDS01.
  • A WSUS server (my previous post: Installing WSUS from scratch!) running on Windows Server 2016 Standard - WSUS01.
  • A Hyper-V virtual machine or equivalent - VM01.
  • Office 2010, 2013 or 2016 installation files. For this demo I’ll be using Office 2016, but the method is the same for both 2010 and 2013.
  • Adobe Reader DC offline/full installation files.
  • VLC media player¬†installer.
  • Google Chrome offline installer.

If you’ve followed my previous post, your Microsoft Deployment Toolkit installation should have Windows 10 1607 imported as an Operating System, KB3193494¬†imported as a Package, and a Selection Profile for Windows 10 1607 x64 packages created.

Importing Applications - Microsoft Office 2016

Microsoft Office integrates into MDT very well, let’s take a look:

  1. Go to Deployment Workbench > Deployment Share > Applications.
  2. Right click on Applications and select New Application.
  3. In the New Application Wizard, choose Application with source files.
  4. Give the application the name: Microsoft Office 2016.
  5. Enter the Source directory of the installation files.
  6. Enter the Destination directory: Microsoft Office 2016.
  7. For the Command line enter anything - we’ll revisit this soon.
  8. On the summary page, click Next and after the files are copied click Finish to complete the wizard.

Configure the Application - Microsoft Office 2016

  1. Right click on Microsoft Office 2016, go to the Office Products Tab.
  2. Choose the desired Office Product to Install from the drop down menu.
  3. Check the desired Office language.
  4. To activate Office via KMS leave the Product Key option unchecked.
  5. Check the Customer name option and enter the desired information.
  6. Check the Display level option and select None in the drop down menu.
  7. Check the Accept EULA option.
  8. Check the Always suppress reboot option.
  9. Click Apply.
  10. Go to the Details tab and the Quiet install command should now read: setup.exe /config proplus.ww\config.xml

Microsoft Office is now set up to be installed in an automated fashion by a Task Sequence. If you wish to customise the installation to a greater degree, the Office Customization Tool can be launched from the Office Products tab and you can also add extra Office applications and language packs via the Add button on the same tab.

Importing Applications - Adobe Reader DC

As this is a “real world” demo on creating a reference image, I want to walk through adding common non-Microsoft products. Here we’ll import Adobe Reader DC, VLC media player and Google Chrome.

  1. Go to Deployment Workbench > Deployment Share > Applications.
  2. Right click on Applications and select New Application.
  3. In the New Application Wizard, choose Application with source files.
  4. Give the application the name: Adobe Reader DC.
  5. Enter the Source directory of the Adobe Reader installer file. MDT will copy all files and folders from the specified directory.
  6. Enter the Destination directory: Adobe Reader DC.
  7. For the Command line enter: [adobe reader installer name].exe /sAll.
  8. On the summary page, click Next and after the files are copied click Finish to complete the wizard.

Repeat these steps for other products that you require. The quiet install command that you’ll need can be found in the command line help for the installer or online. Following the same steps for Adobe Reader DC we’ll add VLC media player. The command line will be: vlc-2.2.4-win32.exe /S

Now we’ll add Google Chrome, the command line will be: msiexec /I¬†googlechromestandaloneenterprise64.msi /qn

If you need to customise the Adobe Reader DC installation to a greater degree then you may want to download the Adobe Customisation Wizard, which will enable you to create a transform file which you can call using the command line: [adobe reader installer name\.exe /msi TRANSFORMS="%DEPLOYROOT%\Applications\Adobe Reader DC\TRANSFORM-FILE.mst" /qn

Create the Task Sequence

These steps will create a Task Sequence that will:

  • Format the hard disk.
  • Install Windows 10 1607 with¬†KB3193494¬†included.
  • Check for and install updates from the WSUS server.
  • Install Adobe Reader DC, Office 2016, VLC Media Player and Google Chrome.
  • Check for and install updates from WSUS once again.
  • Suspend the Task Sequence for user profile customisation.
  • Capture the image and copy to the Deployment Share.
  1. Go to Deployment Workbench > Deployment Share > Task Sequences.
  2. Right click on Task Sequences and select New task sequence.
  3. Enter the ID for the Task Sequence: REF-W101607.
  4. Enter the name for the Task Sequence: Build - Reference W101607.
  5. Select the Standard Client Task Sequence template.
  6. Select Windows 10 Enterprise 1607 x64 as the Operating System.
  7. Select Do not specify a product key at this time.
  8. Enter an Organization name.
  9. Select Do not specify an Administrator password at this time.
  10. Click Next > Next > Finish to complete the wizard.

Configure the Task Sequence

  1. Go to Deployment Workbench > Deployment Share > Task Sequences.
  2. Right click on Build - Reference W101607 and select Properties.
  3. On the Task Sequence tab navigate to Preinstall > Apply Patches.
  4. On the Properties tab of the Apply Patches action, change the Selection profile to Windows 10 1607 x64.
  5. Navigate to State Restore > Windows Update (Pre-Application Installation).
  6. On the Options tab of the Windows Update (Pre-Application Installation) action, uncheck Disable this step.
  7. Repeat step 6 for the Windows Update (Post-Application Installation) action below the Install Applications action.
  8. Select the Install Applications action.
  9. In the Properties tab select Install a single application, then click the Browse button and select Microsoft Office 2016 from the list.
  10. Rename the Install Applications action to Install - Microsoft Office 2016.
  11. Copy and Paste the Install - Microsoft Office 2016 action with either CTRL + C then CTRL + P or by right clicking and selecting copy and then paste.
  12. Select the top copy of the Install - Microsoft Office 2016 action.
  13. In the Properties tab of the copied action, click the Browse button and select Adobe Reader DC from the list.
  14. Rename the copied action to Install - Adobe Reader DC.
  15. Repeat steps 11 - 14 for VLC and Google Chrome.
  16. Select the Custom Tasks group under the Windows Update (Post-Application Installation) action.
  17. In the Properties tab, change the name to Suspend for profile.
  18. Click on the Add button at the top of the Task Sequence actions view and go to General > Restart computer, click to add the action.
  19. Click on Add once again and go to General > Run Command Line.
  20. On the Properties tab of the action just created, in the Command line field enter: cscript.exe "%SCRIPTROOT%\LTISuspend.wsf
  21. In the Name field enter Suspend.
  22. Make a copy of the previous Restart computer action and using the Up and Down buttons at the top of the Task Sequence actions view, move it below the Suspend action.
  23. Click Apply.
  24. Go to the OS Info tab of the main Task Sequence window and click Edit Unattend.xml - this will create a catalogue file and may take some time.
  25. When the catalogue has been created, the Windows System Image Manager will open.
  26. Navigate to 7 oobeSystem > Shell Setup_neutral > OOBE.
  27. Select ProtectyourPC in the OOBE Properties window and change 1 to 3.
  28. Save the Unattend.xml by clicking the Save ūüí嬆icon. You may get a prompt about validation errors, these are safe to ignore - click Yes.
  29. Close the Windows System Image Manager and click OK to close the Task Sequence Properties window.

Testing the Task Sequence

Now we’re going to test the Task Sequence using a Virtual Machine. Open Hyper-V or your virtual machine software and create a VM with the following specifications:

  • 2x vCPUs
  • 4GB RAM
  • 40GB minimum Hard Disk
  • Network Adaptor with access to the MDT and WSUS server.
  • The LiteTouch_x64.iso from the \\WDS01\DeploymentShare$\Boot folder added as a boot device.
  1. Start the Virtual Machine and boot into the deployment environment from the LiteTouch_x64.iso.
  2. Select the Build - Reference W101607 task sequence.
  3. Enter VM-REF1 as a Computer name.
  4. In the Capture image section, select Capture an image of this reference computer. The location and file name should be set automatically from the Rules.ini file in the deployment share, which should be configured as in my previous post.
  5. Click Next to start the Task Sequence.
  6. The task sequence should stop when it reaches the Suspend action. This is when you should do profile customisation, such as Start Menu layout and initial application setup.
  7. When you’re ready to continue the task sequence, double click the Resume Task Sequence icon on the desktop.
  8. The VM will boot into the deployment environment and capture the image to \\WDS01\DeploymentShare$\Captures.
  9. When the VM shuts down, the Task Sequence is complete.

Importing the Reference Image

If the Task Sequence has run successfully you should now have a reference image. We will now import it into the Deployment Share as an Operating System in order to deploy it.

  1. Go to Deployment Workbench > Deployment Share > Operating Systems.
  2. Right click on Operating Systems and select Import Operating System.
  3. Select Custom image file.
  4. Browse to \\WDS01\DeploymentShare$\Captures and select the Reference Image to import.
  5. Select Setup files are not needed.
  6. Enter the Destination directory name: REF-W101607.
  7. Click Next > Finish to import the image and complete the wizard.
  8. You’ll notice that the image you just imported has a long unwieldy name. Right click on the image, select Rename¬†and enter:¬†REF-W101607.

The reference image is now ready to be deployed on to physical devices, which I cover in the next post (Deploying a Windows 10 1607 Reference Image with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 8443) along with driver management, domain joining and other post-imaging tasks. If you’d like to contact me, please leave a comment, send me a tweet or DM, or you can join my Discord server.


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