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Create a Task Sequence with Configuration Manager and MDT

Published: May 9, 2014

Applies To: Windows 8.1

In this topic, you will learn how to create a Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager task sequence with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) integration using the MDT wizard. Creating task sequences in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager requires many more steps than creating task sequences for MDT 2013 Lite Touch installation. Luckily, the MDT wizard helps you through the process and also guides you through creating the needed packages.

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 of which 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 a System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager task sequence for production use.

  1. On CM01, using the Configuration Manager Console, in the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, right-click Task Sequences, and select Create MDT Task Sequence.

  2. On the Choose Template page, select the Client Task Sequence template and click Next.

  3. On the General page, assign the following settings and then click Next:

    1. Task sequence name: Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64 RTM

    2. Task sequence comments: Production image with Office 2013

  4. On the Details page, assign the following settings and then click Next:

    1. Join a Domain

    2. Domain: contoso.com

      1. Account: CONTOSO\CM_JD

      2. Password: Passw0rd!

    3. Windows Settings

      1. User name: Contoso

      2. Organization name: Contoso

      3. Product key: <blank>

  5. On the Capture Settings page, accept the default settings, and click Next.

  6. On the Boot Image page, browse and select the Zero Touch WinPE 5.0 x64 boot image package. Then click Next.

  7. On the MDT Package page, select Create a new Microsoft Deployment Toolkit Files package, and in the Package source folder to be created (UNC Path): text box, type \\CM01\Sources$\OSD\MDT\MDT 2013. Then click Next.

  8. On the MDT Details page, assign the name MDT 2013 and click Next.

  9. On the OS Image page, browse and select the Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64 RTM package. Then click Next.

  10. On the Deployment Method page, accept the default settings and click Next.

  11. On the Client Package page, browse and select the OSD / Configuration Manager Client with Hotfixes package (PS10000A). Then click Next.

  12. On the USMT Package page, browse and select the OSD / Microsoft Corporation User State Migration Tool for Windows 8 6.3.9600.16384 package. Then click Next.

  13. On the Settings Package page, select the Create a new settings package option, and in the Package source folder to be created (UNC Path): text box, type \\CM01\Sources$\OSD\Settings\Windows 8.1 x64 Settings. Then click Next.

  14. On the Settings Details page, assign the name Windows 8.1 x64 Settings and click Next.

  15. On the Sysprep Package page, click Next twice.

  16. On the Confirmation page, click Finish.

After you create the task sequence, we recommend that you configure the task sequence for an optimal deployment experience. The configurations include enabling support for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), dynamic organizational unit (OU) allocation, computer replace scenarios, and more.

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

  2. In the Initialization group, select the first Format and Partition Disk (UEFI) action, and in the Volume list, delete the first three volumes.

    Figure 27 Figure 27. The partitions removed from the first Format and Partition Disk (UEFI).

  3. Now repeat the same action, but this time for the second Format and Partition Disk (UEFI) action.

  4. In the Initialization group, select the second Format and Partition Disk (UEFI) action, and in the Volume list, delete the first three volumes.

    noteNote
    Without these two changes in the Initialization group, the default task sequence will fail when deploying to UEFI machines.

  5. In the Install group, select the Set Variable for Drive Letter action and configure the following:

    1. OSDPreserveDriveLetter: True

    noteNote
    If you don’t change this value, your Windows installation will end up in E:\Windows.

  6. In the Post Install group, select Apply Windows Settings and configure the following:

    1. Select the Enable the account and specify the Local Administrator option, and assign a password of Passw0rd!.

    noteNote
    The default task sequence template assigns a blank administrator password that we recommend changing. You need to set a password for the User-Driven Installation (UDI) components to work. This change was introduced in MDT 2012 Update 1 when the standard client task sequence was merged with the UDI task sequence. This change was carried over to MDT 2013.

  7. In the Post Install group, select Apply Network Settings, and configure the Domain OU value to use the Contoso / Workstations OU (browse for values).

    noteNote
    For dynamic allocation of organizational units (OUs) using the CustomSettings.ini file, this value needs to be set.

  8. In the Post Install group, select Setup Windows and Configuration Manager, and in the Installation properties text box, type the following (remember that the Package ID for the Configuration Manager Client with Hotfixes is PS10000A in our example):

    PATCH="C:\_SMSTaskSequence\OSD\PS10000A\Hotfix\x64\Configuration Manager2012ac-r2-kb2910552-x64.msp"

    noteNote
    If you also create task sequences for x86 editions of Windows 8.1, you need to change the PATCH property to use the x86 update (Configuration Manager2012ac-r2-kb2910552-i386.msp).

    Figure 28 Figure 28. The PATCH property configured.

  9. In the Post Install group, disable the Auto Apply Drivers action. (Disabling is done by selecting the action and, in the Options tab, selecting the Disable this step check box.)

  10. After the disabled Post Install / Auto Apply Drivers action, add a new group name: Drivers.

  11. After the Post Install / Drivers group, add an Apply Driver Package action with the following settings:

    1. Name: HP EliteBook 8560w

    2. Driver Package: Windows 8.1 x64 - HP EliteBook 8560w

    3. Options: Task Sequence Variable: Model equals HP EliteBook 8560w

    noteNote
    You also can add a Query WMI condition with the following query: SELECT * FROM Win32_ComputerSystem WHERE Model LIKE '%HP EliteBook 8560w%'

    Figure 29 Figure 29. The driver package options.

  12. In the State Restore / Install Applications group, select the Install Application action.

  13. Select the Install the following applications option, and add the OSD / Adobe Reader XI – OSD Install application to the list.

    Figure 30 Figure 30. Adding an application to the Configuration Manager task sequence.

  14. In the State Restore group, after the Set Status 5 action, add a Request State Store action with the following settings:

    1. Restore state from another computer

    2. If computer account fails to connect to state store, use the Network Access account

    3. Options: Continue on error

    4. Options / Condition:

      1. Task Sequence Variable

      2. USMTLOCAL not equals True

  15. In the State Restore group, after the Restore User State action, add a Release State Store action with the following settings:

    1. Options: Continue on error

    2. Options / Condition:

      1. Task Sequence Variable

      2. USMTLOCAL not equals True

  16. Click OK.

noteNote
The Request State Store and Release State Store actions need to be added for common computer replace scenarios.

While creating the task sequence with the MDT 2013 wizard, a few operating system deployment packages were created. To move these packages to the OSD folder, take the following steps.

  1. On CM01, using the Configuration Manager Console, in the Software Library workspace, expand Application Management, and then select Packages.

  2. Select the MDT 2013 and Windows 8.1 x64 Settings packages, right-click and select Move.

  3. In the Move Selected Items dialog box, select the OSD folder, and click OK.

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