Windows Deployment
Windows 10 1709 Fall Creators Update Deployment Preview
· ☕ 2 min read
I’ve been testing a preview build of Windows 10 1709 - the Fall Creators Update with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and putting it through a few task sequences. I’m happy to say that I’ve not encountered any issues, which I did with previous updates. Keep reading for more info on my testing below. The main point of this post is just to say that when the time comes to deploy the Fall Creators Update with MDT, you shouldn’t encounter any issues.

Upgrading to Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) with WSUS
· ☕ 7 min read
As Windows is now delivered ‘as-a-service’ with major updates being released biannually, you may want to push out these major updates using WSUS. In previous posts I’ve covered deploying Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) as a clean install with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and also how to perform an upgrade to Windows 10 1703 using MDT. In this post, I’ll walk through the process of pushing out the upgrade to Windows 10 1703 using WSUS.

Upgrading to Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
· ☕ 8 min read
If you’re looking to deploy the latest version of Windows 10 1703 (better known as the Creators Update) as a fresh install, please check out this post. This post is designed to walk through installing and configuring Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and to create a Task Sequence to upgrade to Windows 10 1703 from a previous version of Windows. The Windows upgrade process has come along way in recent years, so in certain circumstances it may be worth while running an upgrade, rather than a wipe-and-load.

Building a Windows Server 2016 Reference Image with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
· ☕ 7 min read
In a previous post I walked through how to install MDT, it’s dependencies, and how to create a reference image to deploy. In this post I’ll be doing the same thing but centred around building a Windows Server 2016 image using a Hyper-V virtual machine. Installing & Configuring Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Dependencies. We’ll be using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) version 8443, which (at the time of writing: 24/07/2017) is the most recent release and fully supports Windows Server 2016.

Building a Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) Reference Image with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
· ☕ 9 min read
Following on from a previous post which covers some queries and issues I had when first deploying Windows 10 1703 (better known as the Creators Update) this post is designed to walk through installing and configuring Microsoft Deployment Toolkit to build a reference image of Windows 10 1703 using a Hyper-V Virtual Machine. Installing & Configuring Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Dependencies We’ll be using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) version 8443, which at the time of writing is the most recent release and fully supports Windows 10 1703.

Delving Into Disabling OneDrive
· ☕ 3 min read
UPDATE 2017-11-07 After testing the method below on Windows 10 1703, I found that it wasn’t working as it did with 1607. To disable One Drive and remove the One Drive folder from the Navigation Pane of Windows Explorer, enable the group policy item: Computer Configuration/Policies/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/OneDrive/Prevent Usage of OneDrive for file storage and also set the following registry key from 1 to 0: 1 2 HKEY\_CLASSES\_ROOT\CLSID\{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6} "System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree"=dword:00000000 Please note that the registry key must be set on a per user basis.

PXE Booting with WDS for UEFI and BIOS Devices
· ☕ 5 min read
UPDATE 2018-04-28: I’ve added the information in this post to a new one completely re-written for Windows Server 2016 here In a previous post (PXE Booting for Microsoft Deployment Toolkit) I mentioned that I would talk about how to set up PXE to deal with VLANs. To be honest I forgot all about it until someone on twitter reminded me - many thanks for the reminder! A lot of what I’m going to go through in this post I learned from this YouTube video from BranchCache Bob, here’s the video.

Some Notes On Building a Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) Reference Image with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
· ☕ 5 min read
With the release of Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) ISO on the Volume Licensing Service Center, I’ve recently been looking into using the “final” code with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to build reference images and discover what issues are present. This post is a round up of differences and issues I’ve found with building and deploying Windows 10 1703 thus far, and some resolutions. For a full walk through on installing MDT and creating a Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) reference image, check out this post.

Windows 10 1607/1703 Start Menu Customisation - Update
· ☕ 3 min read
Here’s a quick update on an option I missed in my previous post about how to customise the Start Menu and Taskbar for new Windows 10 1607/1703 installs. Update 2017-05-02: This also works with Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) The method that I used in my previous post would not be suitable for other environments where you would still want users to have some control over apps that were pinned to the Start Menu.

Quick Tip: Enable server-side log storage in MDT for easier troubleshooting
· ☕ 2 min read
Probably the most important thing about troubleshooting anything is having the data on the process. Troubleshooting Task Sequences in Microsoft Deployment Toolkit can be tricky, and has, in the past stumped me for days because I didn’t have, or couldn’t find the right data on what was going wrong. Luckily MDT does have logs - lots of them! During a task sequence they’re kept on the client and by default they’re deleted when the deployment finishes, even if it’s unsuccessful.

Tales From The Real World: Windows 10 Deployment
· ☕ 4 min read
I’ve been doing a reasonably large scale Windows 10 deployment recently and I thought I’d feedback on performance of my MDT setup, whilst also taking into account the specification and topology of the network. Below is a screenshot of the times of some successfully completed deployments for reference. As you can see, they’re in the vicinity of around 1hr 30m. Let’s delve into the specs of everything. Windows Server 2016 Standard w/ Desktop Experience 4x vCPU 8GB RAM Dynamically expanding VHDX for C:\ Windows Dynamically expanding VHDX for E:\ Deploymentshare 1x vNIC using the Virtual Host network adaptor The config of the VM is really nothing special, and I could have done some extra work to optimise the configuration.

Customising the Start Menu and Taskbar with Windows 10 all versions incl. 1903/1909
· ☕ 3 min read
This week I’ve gone pretty deep down the rabbit hole of automating the Start Menu and Taskbar layouts during an MDT Task Sequence. Update 2017-05-02 This also works with Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) As every device I’m deploying will have the same customisation I wanted to automate it during the build or deploy Task Sequence, rather than applying it via domain Group Policy to reduce limited network bandwidth, keep Group Policy as light as possible and reduce login times as much as possible.

Deploying a Windows 10 1607 Reference Image with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 8443
· ☕ 13 min read
Continuing on from my previous post (Building a Windows 10 1607 Reference Image with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 8443) I’ll be continuing my series of deploying Windows 10 1607 with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit build 8443. In this post we’ll be building a task sequence to deploy the reference image created previously and we’ll also be tackling domain joining, drivers, and post-imaging tasks. Update 02/05/2017: 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.