Planning for Operating System Deployment Interoperability

 

Updated: August 8, 2016

Applies To: System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP2, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1

When different Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager sites in a single hierarchy use different versions, some Configuration Manager functionality is not available. Typically, functionality from the newer version of Configuration Manager is not accessible at sites or by clients that run a lower version. For more information, see Interoperability between Different Versions of Configuration Manager.

Consider the following when you upgrade the top-level site in your hierarchy and other sites in your hierarchy run Configuration Manager with a lower service pack version:

  • Client installation package

    • The source for the default client installation package is automatically upgraded and all distribution points in the hierarchy are updated with the new client installation package, even on distribution points at sites in the hierarchy that are at a lower version.

    • Clients that run the new version cannot be assigned to sites that have not yet been upgraded to the new version. Assignment is blocked at the management point.

  • Boot images

    • When you upgrade the top-level site to a newer version of Configuration Manager, the default boot images (x86 and x64) are automatically updated to Windows ADK-based boot images that are associated with the version of Configuration Manager. The files that are associated with the default boot images are updated with the updated version of the files.

      System_CAPS_noteNote

      Configuration Manager 2012 R2 SP1 supports both the Windows ADK for Windows 8.1 and Windows10.

    • Avoid the use of dynamic media when your site hierarchy contains sites with different versions of Configuration Manager. Instead, use site-based media to contact a specific management point until all sites are upgraded to the same version of Configuration Manager.

    • Verify that the latest Configuration Manager boot images contain the desired customization, and then update all distribution points at the sites with the latest version of Configuration Manager with the new boot images.

While you are actively upgrading sites in your hierarchy, use the following sections to help you with operating system deployments.

When you upgrade a site to latest version of Configuration Manager, task sequences that reference the default client installation package will automatically start to deploy the latest Configuration Manager client version. Task sequences that reference a custom client installation package will continue to deploy the version of the client that is contained in that custom package (likely a previous Configuration Manager client version), and must be updated to avoid task sequence deployment failures. When you have a task sequence that is configured to use a custom client installation package, you must update the task sequence step to use the latest Configuration Manager version of the client installation package or update the custom package to use the latest Configuration Manager client installation source.

System_CAPS_importantImportant

Do not deploy a task sequence that references the latest Configuration Manager client installation package to clients in an older Configuration Manager site. When clients assigned to an older Configuration Manager site are upgraded to the newer Configuration Manager client version, Configuration Manager blocks the assignment to the older Configuration Manager site. Therefore, the client is no longer assigned to any site and will be unmanaged until you manually assign the client to the newer Configuration Manager site or reinstall the older Configuration Manager version of the client on the computer.

When you have upgraded your central administration site to a newer version of Configuration Manager, you must take the following steps to ensure that operating system deployment task sequences that you deploy to clients assigned to an older Configuration Manager site (not yet upgraded to the newer version of Configuration Manager) do not leave those clients in an unmanaged state.

  • Create a task sequence that you will use to deploy to clients only in the older Configuration Manager  site. Likely, you will make a copy of a task sequence that you use to deploy to clients in the newer Configuration Manager site and then modify the task sequence so you can deploy it to clients in the older Configuration Manager site. Then, configure the task sequence to reference a custom client installation package that uses the older Configuration Manager client installation source. If you do not already have a custom client installation package that references the older Configuration Manager client installation source, then you must manually create one.

  • Beginning in Configuration Manager SP1, a deployment option to make task sequence deployments available to only media and PXE was added. This option is not recognized by Configuration Manager clients with no service pack. Therefore, those clients will still run any deployments that are configured to use this option as long as they are included in the collection that is targeted by the deployment. Avoid using this deployment option if you have any clients in your hierarchy that run Configuration Manager with no service pack.

    System_CAPS_importantImportant

    Failure to understand the implications of this interoperability consideration could result in data loss.

  • Deploy a task sequence that references a Windows AIK-based boot image at Configuration Manager with no service pack sites. You can only create or modify a Windows AIK-based boot image at a Configuration Manager with no service pack site. Verify that the Configuration Manager with no service pack boot images contain the desired customizations, and if required, update all distribution points in your Configuration Manager with no service pack sites with the manually updated boot images.

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