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Windows 10 Capture: considerations for best practice

(Last updated on August 2, 2018)

In this blog post, we will provide some best practice considerations when creating a Windows 10 image with Specops Deploy. We will walk-through the process using Specops Deploy, and include some terminology to help you follow along.

First, you need to know what your existing Windows platform looks like. My environment has upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. You will also need to think about what you want in your Windows 10 image. In previous images, I had Windows OS + patches with .NET enabled (on Windows XP, I had .NET 1.0 and 1.1 installed in a task sequence with MDT; Windows 7 had .NET 3.5 installed by default; WSUS would patch the image and upgrade .NET to the latest version).

Since Windows 8, .NET 4 or newer installs by default, but I want older version (.NET 2-3.5) also installed for backward compatibility in my environment. You can do this using this blog.

Next, I want to use Windows update to create a thin Image (operating system + windows updates only). I want to use a thin image because third party applications, and new universal apps can cause problems when you want to do a sysprep – what we in Specops deploy call capture. You can read more about the problem here.

Now that we have a plan for a thin Image with Windows 10, we need to set it into action. However, before we continue – remember to use this golden image blog as reference to prepare for capture in your environment.

  1. Upgrade Specops Deploy to the latest version: https://specopssoft.com/support-docs/specops-deploy-os/download/.
  2. Download the latest Current Branch Media from Microsoft – as of today it is version 1607 updated January 2017.
  3. Import your image with the Specops Deploy OS admin tool.
  4. Create a new policy for capturing Windows 10.
  5. Apply the latest Current Branch Media to the GPO.
  6. Add .NET 2-3.5 to the policy. Read this blog on how to do so.
  7. Create a virtual machine, pre-stage, and deploy Windows 10 to the machine.
  8. Login to the virtual machine as local administrator. Make sure .NET 2-3.5 is in Program and Features. Make sure the Windows update is complete. It is important here not to login as a domain user/admin as the profiles will remain upon capture, which you do not want spread on all machines upon deployment.
  9. Reboot machine and capture the machine from the Specops Deploy OS admin tool.
  10. Import image from the Specops OS admin tool, and publish the new image to your deployment servers.

Create a test Windows 10 GPO and apply the newly created image to it. Deploy this image to a virtual machine and verify that it is fully working. Be sure to test this on a physical machine with newly imported drivers for Windows 10 in the correct make/model/OS structure. Read this blog on how the make/model/os structure works in Specops, and how to ensure drivers are added to the correct location.

Happy Deployment!

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Written by

Johan Soderstrom

Product Specialist, Specops Software

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