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Finalize the Operating System Configuration for Windows 8.1 Deployment with Configuration Manager

Published: May 9, 2014

Applies To: Windows 8.1

This topic walks you through the steps you would take to finalize the configuration of your Windows 8.1 operating deployment, including enabling the optional Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) monitoring for Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, creating the logs folder, configuring the rules, distributing content, and deploying the previously created task sequence.

For the purposes of this topic, we will use two machines: DC01 and CM01. DC01 is a domain controller and CM01 is a machine running Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard. Both are members of the domain contoso.com for the fictitious Contoso Corporation. For more details on the setup for this topic, please see Proof-Of-Concept Environment.

This section will walk you through the process of creating the E:\MDTProduction deployment share using the MDT 2013 Deployment Workbench to enable monitoring for Configuration Manager.

  1. On CM01, using the Deployment Workbench, right-click Deployment Shares and select New Deployment Share. Use the following settings for the New Deployment Share Wizard:

    1. Deployment share path: E:\MDTProduction

    2. Share name: MDTProduction$

    3. Deployment share description: MDT Production

    4. Options: <default settings>

  2. Right-click the MDT Production deployment share, and select Properties. In the Monitoring tab, select the Enable monitoring for this deployment share check box, and click OK.

Figure 31

Figure 31. Enabling MDT monitoring for Configuration Manager.

To support additional server-side logging in Configuration Manager, you create and share the E:\Logs folder on CM01 using Windows PowerShell. Then in the next step, you enable server-side logging by modifying the CustomSettings.ini file used by the Configuration Manager task sequence.

  1. On CM01, start an elevated Windows PowerShell prompt (run as Administrator).

  2. Type the following commands, pressing Enter after each one:

    New-Item -Path E:\Logs -ItemType directory
    New-SmbShare –Name Logs$ –Path E:\Logs -ChangeAccess EVERYONE
    icacls E:\Logs /grant '"CM_NAA":(OI)(CI)(M)'

This section will show you how to configure the rules (the Windows 8.1 x64 Settings package) to support the Contoso environment.

  1. On CM01, using File Explorer, navigate to the E:\Sources\OSD\Settings\Windows 8.1 x64 Settings folder.

  2. Using Notepad, edit the CustomSetting.ini file with the following settings:

    OSDMigrateAdditionalCaptureOptions=/ue:*\* /ui:CONTOSO\*
    Figure 32 Figure 32. The Settings package, holding the rules and the Unattend.xml template used during deployment

  3. Update the distribution point for the Windows 8.1 x64 Settings package by right-clicking the Windows 8.1 x64 Settings package and selecting Update Distribution Points.

Although you have not yet added a distribution point, you still need to select Update Distribution Points. That process also updates the Configuration Manager 2012 content library with changes.

In Configuration Manager, you can distribute all packages needed by a task sequence in a single task. In this section, you distribute packages that have not yet been distributed to the CM01 distribution point.

  1. On CM01, using the Configuration Manager Console, select Task Sequences, right-click the Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64 RTM task sequence, and select Distribute Content.

  2. In the Distribute Content Wizard, add the CM01 distribution point, and complete the wizard.

  3. Using Configuration Manager Trace, verify the distribution to the CM01 distribution point by reviewing the distmgr.log file, or use the Distribution Status / Content Status option in the Monitoring workspace. Do not continue until you see all the new packages being distributed successfully.

This sections provides steps to help you create a deployment for the task sequence.

  1. On CM01, using the Configuration Manager Console, select Task Sequences, right-click Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64 RTM, and then select Deploy.

  2. On the General page, select the All Unknown Computers collection and click Next.

  3. On the Deployment Settings page, use the following settings and then click Next:

    1. Purpose: Available

    2. Make available to the following: Only media and PXE

    Figure 33 Figure 33. Configuring the deployment settings.

  4. On the Scheduling page, accept the default settings and click Next.

  5. On the User Experience page, accept the default settings and click Next.

  6. On the Alerts page, accept the default settings and click Next.

  7. On the Distribution Points page, accept the default settings, click Next twice, and then click Close.

Figure 34

Figure 34. The Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64 RTM task sequence deployed to the All Unknown Computers collections available for media and PXE.

You can have Configuration Manager prompt you for a computer name or you can use rules to generate a computer name. (For more details on how to do this, see Configure MDT 2013 Settings.) This section provides steps to help you configure the All Unknown Computers collection to have Configuration Manager prompt for computer names.

  1. Using the Configuration Manager Console, in the Asset and Compliance workspace, select Device Collections, right-click All Unknown Computers, and select Properties.

  2. In the Collection Variables tab, create a new variable with the following settings:

    1. Name: OSDComputerName

    2. Clear the Do not display this value in the Configuration Manager console check box.

  3. Click OK.

Configuration Manager can prompt for information in many ways. Using a collection variable with an empty value is just one of them. Another option is the User-Driven Installation (UDI) wizard.

Figure 35

Figure 35. Configuring a collection variable.

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