Create a [Mostly] Automated Reference Image in MDT – Part 2: MDT Setup

Now that you have MDT and the ADK installed, we need to set up a deployment share in MDT.  Regardless of whether this is a clean install of MDT on a dedicated box or your existing MDT server, we’re going to start off by creating a new Deployment Share that will be dedicated to reference image creation.

Start by opening the Deployment Workbench.  Once you’re in, right-click on Deployment Shares and choose New Deployment Share.


Run through the wizard and you should end up with something like this:

  • Location – D:\MDTReferenceBuild
  • Share Name – MDTReferenceBuild$
  • Share Description – MDT Reference Build Share

When you get to Options, feel free to just click Next since we’re going to make some changes later that replace those settings.

06-mdt_configOnce you’re done, you should end up with something that looks like this:


When working with multiple Deployment Shares (especially if they’re going to be on the same box), I highly recommend making sure that the LiteTouch Windows PE WIM and ISO images have a customized names.  To do this, right-click on the Deployment Share in the Deployment Workbench and choose Properties.  Click on the Windows PE tab.  In that tab, you can change the name of the WIM and ISO images from the defaults.  Make sure to note the Platform pulldown at the top of the window; you’ll need to change the names in both x86 and x64.


Next, we need to import some operating systems.  Right-click on Operating Systems and choose Import Operating System.  Run through the wizard with the default settings and import the ‘Full set of source files’ for your operating system(s).

10-mdt_configAfter importing your operating systems, we’ll need to create a Task Sequence.  Right-click on Task Sequences and choose New Task Sequence.

24-mdt_configRun through the wizard and set the following (note that the entries below are for Window 7 Enterprise x64):

  • Task sequence ID:  Win7x64 [I recommend setting this to something that indicates which OS you’re using (Win7, Win8, etc.) and the bitness (x86 or x64) because we’ll use this value later in the automation process.]
  • Task sequence name:  Windows 7 Enterprise x64
  • Task sequence comments:  [whatever you would like]
  • Task Template:  Standard Client Task Sequence
  • Operating System:  Select the Windows 7 Enterprise x64 that was imported earlier
  • Specify Product Key:  Do not specify a product key at this time.
  • OS Settings
    • Full Name:  [whatever you would like]
    • Organization:  [whatever you would like]
    • Internet Explorer Home Page:  [whatever you would like]
  • Admin password:  Do not specify an Administrator password at this time.

After creating the Task Sequence, right-click on the new Task Sequence and choose Properties.  In the Task Sequence Properties, click on the Task Sequence tab and find the State Restore folder.  In that folder, you’ll find two Windows Update tasks:  Windows Update (Pre-Application Installation) and Windows Update (Post-Application Installation).  By default, both tasks will be disabled.  To enable them, click on each task and go to the Options tab.  Uncheck the “Disable this step” checkbox.  Click OK once you’ve enabled both.


Now you have the basic infrastructure in place to create reference images.  In Part 3 of this series, I’ll cover the customizations you’ll need to make to the CustomSettings.ini and the Bootstrap.ini in MDT.

Series Navigation<< Create a [Mostly] Automated Reference Image in MDT – Part 1: PrerequisitesCreate a [Mostly] Automated Reference Image in MDT – Part 3: CustomSettings.ini and Bootstrap.ini >>

4 thoughts on “Create a [Mostly] Automated Reference Image in MDT – Part 2: MDT Setup

  1. Manoj March 22, 2014 / 2:14 PM

    I would like to build a virtual MDT2013 server to run inside my VMware workstation even possible on a Win8 Hyper-V enabled laptop to use for quick deploy of a new demo VMs in customer environments.

    In the past I have used Altiris to do Server auto deployments. Being quite new with WDS/MDT I was wondering if it is at all possible to configure a standalone MDT server in a Workgroup and still be able to auto deploy new VMs and make them join say the customers domain and utilize their AD for setting GPO etc.

    Could this be done by manipulating the Customsettings.ini and or Bootstrap.ini with the customer domain name and user credentials etc?


    • Kyle Beckman March 22, 2014 / 8:23 PM

      I haven’t personally done it, but I don’t know why it wouldn’t work. Just make sure you’re in compliance with licensing.

      • Al Berardinelli May 6, 2015 / 12:48 PM

        This is a great article! Helped me a lot.

        Just one question. When creating the reference image, where in the task sequence template does the Sysprep get executed or does this need to be done manually? There is a template called “Sysprep and Deploy” and it includes the task.


  2. Al Berardinelli May 6, 2015 / 2:43 PM

    Never mind. I figured it out. Its in part 4 of the series of articles.


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