Windows 10 20H2 October 2020 Update Upgrade via MDT

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

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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.

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1. Download 20H2 ISO image

Download and run the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to create the installation media in ISO format.

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2. Extract files

Right-click the ISO file we just downloaded, and choose Mount to mount the image into a local drive.

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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.

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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:sourcesinstall.esd
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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:sourcesinstall.esd /SourceIndex:6 /DestinationImageFile:sourcesinstall.wim /compress:max /CheckIntegrity
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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.

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Select the entire image folder that contains the install.wim file we just managed to create. Check the Move the files option if needed.

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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.

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Put in a unique Task sequence ID, Name and some description if needed.

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Then, select Standard Client Upgrade Task Sequence as the selected Template.

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Pick the Operating System image we just imported.

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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.

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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.

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During the upgrade, you can monitor the process from the Monitoring tab in the MDT console if you like.

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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.

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