Saturday, 15 March 2014

Create customised reference image with MDT 2013 Lite Touch Build & Capture - 5 easy steps

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MDT 2013 Lite Touch Build & Capture is the preferred method of many administrators for creating customised reference images. I count myself in this number. ConfigMgr 2012 is great for client management and deployment but it is second best when it comes to creating images.

Mitch Tulloch explains this well in the following blogpost. Pay particular attention to the COPYPROFILE reference.

and Johan Arwidmark here

You can create your customised reference image with MDT 2013 in 5 easy steps. Browse the links below for details of each step.

For completeness I have also included details on how to capture a thick image using MDT Sysprep & Capture. This is not the optimal solution but sometimes you have no choice depending on customer requirements. 

Step 1: Install and configure MDT 2013
Step 2: Add content to the deployment share

Step 3: Create Build & Capture task sequence and boot media 
Step 4: Build & Capture reference image 
Step 5: Advanced image customisation
Sysprep & Capture thick image  


  1. Hi please explain bit briefly about setp 4 & 5 like what purpose using & where it's using something you mentioned before & after sysprep now WIM is captured in setp3 so setp 4 customization of existing wim?

  2. Gerry,
    I've installed ADK and MDT 2013 on a server 2012, followed the steps mentioned in the blog to import OS, downloaded dell and WinPE5.0 drivers and imported to the OOBD folder, added all the standard apps, created a task sequence.

    How do I apply windows updates to the image? (WSUS is configured on the same server)
    We have 5 different types of Dell laptops, how does MDT detect the make/model of the laptop and apply drivers pack appropriately?
    We have an MDT server on the test environment, how can I configure it to deploy images over the network?

    Please help
    Thanks for your help in advance

    1. 1. I usually connect directly to the Internet from the reference computer to install the updates.
      2. I use MDT for creating the reference image and then import it to ConfigMgr for the deployments. I use driver packages and WMI queries for the various models.

  3. hi Gerry,

    can you please add some steps on how to import the .wim image to ConfigMgr and how to deploy it?


    1. Have a look at the other sections of my guide (parts 10 -13)

  4. Gerry, I've created an offline media and deployed the image to a laptop/Ran windows update and sysprepd the machine. How do I capture the image using MDT? The test laptop is not connected to the internal network, its an offline deployment.

    1. If you've already built the image machine you just need to capture it. Follow the procedure in "Sysprep & Capture Thick Image" above. Note that you should not sysprep manually. MDT does that for you.

  5. Gerry,

    Presume you don't have a virtual environment and you build the reference image on a physical machine. That exact model will be the only type in the environment. How do I create a 'gold' image of this reference image for later updates? The counterpart is the snapshot in the virtual realm. I would assume I need to capture the image without a sysprep. I feel like there are quite a few hooks to sysprep in MDT, so I wanted to make sure what the recommended process is to do this, and any thoughts on this particular setup? Thanks for your time!

    1. I have a couple of comments here:

      1. I don't accept that you cannot create a virtual environment. You can create one for free on a Windows 8 laptop.
      2. You have to use Sysprep if you want to capture an image.

    2. Well I agree in that *I* can create the virtual environment, but for the sake of argument lets say the final users/admin groups wont have that pre-requisite knowledge to use/maintain it. *sigh-I know, I know..* I was just wondering if there was a viable option to mimic the snapshot you take of the virtual ref image, in the physical realm. Sound like its a no, if you're saying sysprep is a must no matter what... Thanks for getting back to me.

  6. Does this process of capturing a thick image work for windows 8.1?

  7. Hi Gerry, in the whole process of creating a reference image using MDT, you have not discussed about injecting drivers to boot images as well as creating driver packages?