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Windows Deployment with MDT – Part 2: Deploying Windows 10

In Part 1, we got MDT installed and set up. Here in Part 2, we will import operating systems to the MDT Deployment Workbench and create a Task Sequence to let us deploy Windows, and finally deploy a default Windows 10 install to a target device.

Import Operating System

To deploy an operating system, it must first be imported to MDT. Mount a Windows 10 ISO (right click, select Mount). Run Deployment Workbench, select Operating Systems in navigation pane, select New folder, name the folder as you wish:

You can click screenshots in this post to open them enlarged in a new tab.

MDT does not work with ESD based ISOs. In case you have created a Windows 10 ISO using the Windows Media Creation Tool, it contains an install.esd file instead of an install.wim. You have two options. One, you can convert the ESD file to WIM (see my tutorial on TenForums). Two, you can re-download a WIM based ISO. To do that, go to the Media Creation Tool page, press F12 to open developer tools, select Emulation tab and change browser user agent string to Safari. Wait for the page to reload. You can now download a WIM based ISO:

Open the folder you created in MDT. Select Import Operating System in Action pane at right, point it to your mounted Windows ISO, and import it. When importing a full ISO, select Full set of source files:

You can also import an operating system from a WIM image. In that case, select Custom image file:

No additional setup files are needed when importing an OS from a WIM file. A Windows 10 install.wim file already contains everything that’s required to deploy WIndows:

When importing an OS from a complete ISO, MDT defaults the directory name to the first edition found in that ISO. In this case, because I imported a full consumer ISO which contains all editions except Enterprise, its first edition (INDEX:1) is named Home. You can accept this default directory name, or change it to whatever you’d prefer:

When importing an OS from a WIM file, the default directory name is INSTALL.WIM. Again, you can accept the default name or change it. When imported, the operating systems found in ISOs or WIM files are listed in MDT:

Create a Task Sequence

To deploy Windows from an imported operating system, we need to create a Task Sequence. For each unique deployment, we will need a unique Task Sequence. Deploying a W10 PRO edition, x64 bit architecture in UK English needs its own Task Sequence. If you’d like to deploy an Education edition from the same imported operating system, you’ll need to create another such Task Sequence.

Expand your deployment share in the left-hand pane, select Task Sequences, select New Task Sequence. Give it a unique ID (required), name (required) and description (optional), click Next:

Select Standard Client Task Sequence and click Next:

All available (imported) operating systems are listed. Select the OS you wish to deploy, then click Next:

Select Do not specify a product key, and click Next. On corporate networks, you can enter your MAK key here instead. For private use, you can enter a product key here, but it is unnecessary because you can always activate Windows later:

Enter name, organization and IE home page (optional). The name and organization will be shown on the target computer as the owner of that device:

Enter and confirm the password for the built-in administrator account. This will be the password for that account on the target computer after Windows has been deployed. You can also select Do not specify an Administrator password at this time, if you want the built-in admin account on the target computer to have no password (not recommended!):

On the Summary page, check that everything is OK and click Next. Your Task Sequence will be created:

Update Deployment Share

Once operating systems are imported and Task Sequences created, we need to create ISO images and scripts for use on the target computers on which we want to deploy Windows. To do that, select the deployment share on the left-hand pane, then select Update Deployment Share. Accept all defaults and click Next:

The deployment share will be updated, and all necessary scripts and ISO files created:

Updating a deployment share for the first time creates the Lite Touch Installation ISO files needed to boot a target computer in the %DeploymentShare%\Boot folder:

Depending on your target device’s bit architecture, create a bootable USB flash drive using either an x64 or x86 ISO. If the target devices are virtual machines, no USB media is required.

Last but not least, enable monitoring for your deployment share. Right click the share, select Properties, then enable monitoring:

Deploy Windows 10

Boot  you target device with LiteTouchPE_x64 or LiteTouchPE_x86 USB or ISO (depending on its bit architecture). Select your preferred keyboard layout and run the Deployment Wizard:

By default, an MDT Deployment Share is shared to user group administrators. However, depending on local networking and sharing settings, you might only be able to use the built-in administrator account which we enabled in Part 1, for which we also set a password. If you want to, you can of course share the Deployment Share with other users or groups on your Deployment Workbench machine:

Enter username, password and domain. In this example I access the deployment share using the built-in admin credentials for my Deployment Workbench machine. As the target machine belongs to a local workgroup, and is not joined to a domain, I use the Deployment Workbench machine’s computer name to fill in the Domain field as shown here:

The target device checks that you have valid access to the share, and lists all of its available Task Sequences. Each deployment scenario requires its own Task Sequence, at this point we only have one to select:

Name the target device, or accept the default name. Select if target device will join a domain or workgroup:

As this is a clean install on a device without any previous operating system, there is no data to be moved. If deploying to a device which already contains an existing Windows 7 or later installation, you can select to move existing user accounts, user data and settings to a temporary folder on Deployment Workbench machine. User data and settings will then be restored to target device during the final phase of deployment. Software will not be moved over to new installation, and must be re-installed:

Notice that if you elect to move user data, moved accounts will be disabled after the deployment, and must be enabled before they can be used:

In Locale and time page, select default keyboard layout and time zone for the target machine:

Select Do not capture image of this computer to do a normal deployment:

Enable Bitlocker on the target device if it’s required:

Click Begin to start deployment:

Deployment starts:

To monitor progress, select Monitor in Deployment Workbench. Notice that monitoring does not auto refresh. To see current status, click Refresh in the Action pane:

That’s it! When it’s ready, the target computer boots to the Windows desktop using its built-in admin credentials. Do not touch anything until the Deployment Wizard tells you deployment is complete:

At this point, the only existing user account is built-in admin account. To start using the computer, create at least one local admin account, sign out from the built-in admin account, sign in to the new local admin account, and disable the built-in admin account.

The version of Windows 10 deployed in this part is the default, original Microsoft Windows 10. In the next part, we will look at how to customize deployment, and how to automate the Deployment Wizard. Stay tuned!

All posts in this series:
Windows Deployment with MDT – Part 1: Setup
Windows Deployment with MDT – Part 2: Deploying Windows
Windows Deployment with MDT – Part 3: Customize Deployment
Windows Deployment with MDT – Part 4: Capturing WIM, In-place Upgrade
Windows Deployment with MDT – Part 5: Add Disks and Partitions


Author: Kari Finn

A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.

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4 Responses “Windows Deployment with MDT – Part 2: Deploying Windows 10”

  1. Prab
    April 3, 2019 at 20:46

    Thanks Kari. When is the next part coming?

  2. Stefan
    April 4, 2019 at 14:28

    Thanks Kari for all these great guides you make:) I was recently ask in a job interview if I could make a installation usb media for a school with 400 students. All have Dell laptop same modell. They want it to be with all drivers and some software preinstalled, and web browser to have som bookmarks. which one of your latest guide do you recomend? This one here if I have access to one of those laptops or one of your other? OS will be Swedish 10 Pro only. Thanks and take care

    • April 4, 2019 at 14:53

      If you can get hands on one of those Dell laptops, the best possible scenario for you would be to customize it as required, then capture a custom WIM image. That will be covered in Part 4 of this series, which I will publish later today, latest tomorrow.

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