/Update on Nov. 23, 2020/
This article was originally posted on May 27, 2019 when 1903 was released. It’s now updated for the latest release Windows 10 20H2.
MDT, short for Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, is a wonderful imaging deployment tool Microsoft offers to those who don’t have the full-blown System Center Configuration Manager. It’s free and it works great. If you are using it, here is a quick instruction on how to prepare the new released 20H2 image for MDT to upgrade Windows 10 to October 2020 Update
Usually, preparing a new OS image in MDT is pretty straightforward but since the downloaded version of ISO only has a install.esd which includes all versions of Windows 10 edition we need to a bit more work to get it ready.
1. Download 20H2 ISO image
Download and run the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to create the installation media in ISO format.
2. Extract files
Right-click the ISO file we just downloaded, and choose Mount to mount the image into a local drive.
Now let’s make a copy of mounted drive to a folder. For me, I copied the whole drive into a Software folder on my computer.
3. Create install.wim from install.esd
Open an elevated Command Prompt window and run the DISM command to locate the right image to convert first.
DISM /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:sources\install.esd
Since I am preparing for the Pro version, index 6 is what I needed. Now run the following to create the install.wim file.
DISM /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:sources\install.esd /SourceIndex:6 /DestinationImageFile:sources\install.wim /compress:max /CheckIntegrity
This created the install.wim file in the same folder as install.esd.
4. MDT Setup 1 – Add Image
Now let’s open Deployment Workbench (MDT Console), right-click Operating System and choose Import Operating System.
Select the entire image folder that contains the install.wim file we just managed to create. Check the Move the files option if needed.
Given a unique name for the image, and done for the import.
5. MDT Set up 2 – A New Task Sequence
Right-click Task Sequences and choose New Task Sequence.
Put in a unique Task sequence ID, Name and some description if needed.
Then, select Standard Client Upgrade Task Sequence as the selected Template.
Pick the Operating System image we just imported.
Go through the rest of the steps and provide a local admin password when prompted. And that’s it for creating a new upgrade task sequence.
6. Client Upgrade
Now in a workstation that needs to upgrade, go to the shared deployment location and run LiteTouch.vbs from the scripts folder.
Select the 20H2 Upgrade option and go through the reset without changing anything. If you have any applications that you’d like to update the same time, you can choose them from the Applications section. Click Begin to start.
During the upgrade, you can monitor the process from the Monitoring tab in the MDT console if you like.
And that’s about it. Personally, for feature updates like 1903 and 20H2, I’d prefer upgrading through MDT than WSUS. Yes, it takes a few more steps to get prepared but once everything is in place, the upgrade process is much smoother and faster.
Thank you for making this tutorial. The problem I’m having is getting the option for Enterprise 10. I ran the media creation tool on a workstation with Enterprise 10 and it doesn’t appear to show up as an available index. Any suggestions for this? I can’t seem to run the “DISM /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:sources\install.esd” command on the ISOs I’m downloading from the MS Volume License Portal.
Sorry, I don’t have access to a version downloaded from MS Volume portal…maybe that copy already has the install.wim file in the sources folder. The idea of using DISM is just to extract the right copy of the install.wim. You can skip it if it’s already included in the ISO.
Ah ok that makes sense. Yes the install.wim was already there on the volume license portal ISOs. Do you have any ideas or suggestions as to why the Enterprise index doesn’t show up on the ISO I created myself using the Media Creation Tool? I ran it on an Enterprise workstation. I think this is why my upgrades are failing. I keep seeing that you cannot upgrade from Windows 7 Enterprise to Windows 10 Pro. For some reason all of the ISOs I can download from Microsoft Volume License after 1703 say they’re Education versions.
Why do you use the Media Creation Tool in the first place when you can download ISO right from the portal? I think you can just skip it and mount the ISO you downloaded from VL portal to prepare the image.
Every ISO I can get from volume license after 1709 will not successfully upgrade via MDT. I was hoping to upgrade a workstation to 1903 and run the Media Creation Tool to get an ISO on 1903 that works. For some reason the ISOs on volume license changed after 1709.
“In Windows 10, version 1709 the packaging of volume licensing media and upgrade packages is different than it has been for previous releases. Instead of having separate media and packages for Windows 10 Pro (volume licensing version), Windows 10 Enterprise, and Windows 10 Education, all three are bundled together. The following section explains this change.”
“When using the contents of these ISOs with tools such as the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit or System Center Configuration Manager, make sure you select the appropriate image index in any task sequences that you create or update.”
I’m not sure how to add this index selection to the task sequence itself. If you have an example, that would be great!
Have you tried DISM the install.wim file to find the index info?
DISM /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:sources\install.wim
I was able to run this now. I’m not sure why it was throwing an error. It shows Windows 10 Enterprise as index 11. I’ve extracted it to a separate WIM and imported it in to MDT. Now for some reason when I create a new task sequence and get to the part where I select the WIM, there are no more available operating systems (.wim(s)) to choose from. I think i’m getting closer. I’m not sure why they disappear after importing this. It even breaks my other 1703 upgrade task sequence.
For upgrading OS, I found that I had to replace the install.wim with the extracted version in sources folder and then import the whole folder.
For brand new installation, importing install.wim as a custom image file works for me.
Thank you!! That did the trick. As soon as I deleted the original install.wim and replaced it with my export wim (after renaming it back to install.wim), I imported the whole folder and now I see it in my list of available OSs when creating a task sequence. I’ll give the upgrade a try now and hopefully it will get me directly to 1903. Thanks for your help, Kent!
I am having some trouble while upgrading windows using MDT from 1809 to 1903 anyone faced a issue before
do you have any error message to shed some lights?
Thank you. Just the information I needed after searching through so much waffle and misinformation at last a straight answer. With only the slightest tweaking this worked fantastically for what I needed thank you again.
Would it also be possible to apply a certain update (windows update) so that the WIM file itself gets update/upgraded to a newer version?
Currently I have a 1903 build that is being deployed, then via WSUS upgraded to 1909. Feature enable updates are already installed afaik.
This isn’t really an upgrade, it wipes the OS and installs the new version. So you lose everything.
sorry i think I picked the wrong type of task sequence