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How to Troubleshoot and Fix Windows 10 Deployment Failures with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit

  • The content is about how to troubleshoot and fix Windows 10 deployment failures using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), a free tool that automates the deployment of Windows operating systems and applications.
  • The content explains the common issues, such as BIOS firmware type, network connectivity, drivers, software, and resources, that may cause the deployment to fail, and how to diagnose them using log files and tools.
  • The content provides the possible solutions for each issue, such as updating MDT, checking network settings, importing drivers, uninstalling software, and freeing up disk space, and also answers some frequently asked questions related to Windows 10 deployment using MDT.

If you’re using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to deploy Windows 10 images on your client computers, you may encounter some issues that prevent the deployment from completing successfully. In this blog post, I’ll explain what causes these issues, how to diagnose them, and how to resolve them. I’ll also provide some frequently asked questions and answers related to Windows 10 deployment with MDT.

What is Microsoft Deployment Toolkit?

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) is a free tool that allows you to automate the deployment of Windows operating systems and applications on your network. You can use MDT to create and customize Windows images, configure deployment settings, manage drivers, capture user data and settings, and perform post-deployment tasks. MDT works with Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) and Windows Deployment Services (WDS) to provide a comprehensive solution for deploying Windows 10.

What are the Common Issues with Windows 10 Deployment using MDT?

Some of the common issues that you may encounter when deploying Windows 10 using MDT are:

  • The BIOS firmware type is incorrectly identified as UEFI, resulting in errors when refreshing an existing computer with a new version of Windows.
  • The deployment fails due to network connectivity issues, such as firewall settings, proxy settings, or DNS settings.
  • The deployment fails due to incorrect or missing drivers, such as network drivers, storage drivers, or graphics drivers.
  • The deployment fails due to incompatible or outdated software, such as antivirus software, encryption software, or third-party applications.
  • The deployment fails due to insufficient disk space, memory, or CPU resources on the target computer.

How to Troubleshoot and Fix Windows 10 Deployment Failures with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit

How to Diagnose Windows 10 Deployment Failures using MDT?

The first step to troubleshoot Windows 10 deployment failures using MDT is to check the log files that are generated during the deployment process. These log files contain detailed information about the actions performed by MDT and the errors encountered along the way. You can use a tool like CMTrace to view and analyze the log files in a user-friendly format.

The main log file that you should look at is smsts.log, which records the execution of the task sequence that performs the deployment. You can find this log file in different locations depending on the stage of the deployment:

  • Before the hard disk is formatted: X:\MININT\SMSOSD\OSDLOGS
  • After the hard disk is formatted: C:\MININT\SMSOSD\OSDLOGS
  • After the operating system is installed: C:\_SMSTaskSequence\Logs\Smstslog
  • After the task sequence is completed: C:\Windows\System32\CCM\Logs\Smstslog
  • After the client agent is installed: C:\Windows\CCM\Logs

You can also access this log file by pressing F8 during the deployment process and using the command prompt to navigate to the appropriate location.

Another log file that you should check is BDD.log, which records the actions performed by MDT scripts and components. You can find this log file in one of these locations:

  • %TEMP%\BDD.log
  • %WINDIR%\TEMP\BDD.log
  • X:\MININT\SMSOSD\OSDLOGS
  • C:\MININT\SMSOSD\OSDLOGS

You can also access this log file by enabling dynamic logging in your customsettings.ini file and specifying a network share where MDT will copy the log files during the deployment.

By examining these log files, you can identify where and why the deployment failed and take appropriate actions to fix it.

How to Fix Windows 10 Deployment Failures using MDT?

Depending on the cause of the failure, there are different solutions that you can try to fix it. Here are some common scenarios and their possible solutions:

Scenario 1: The BIOS firmware type is incorrectly identified as UEFI

This issue occurs when you use MDT build 8456 with ADK for Windows 10 version 2004. The BIOS firmware type is incorrectly identified as UEFI, which causes errors when refreshing an existing computer with a new version of Windows.

The solution for this issue is to download and install an update from Microsoft that resolves this problem. You will need to replace some files in your MDT installation folder and update your deployment share with the new files. You will also need to regenerate your boot image with the correct binaries.

Scenario 2: The deployment fails due to network connectivity issues

This issue occurs when there is a problem with your network settings or configuration that prevents MDT from communicating with your deployment share or other network resources.

The solution for this issue is to check and verify your network settings, such as:

  • Firewall settings: Make sure that your firewall allows inbound and outbound traffic on ports 445 (SMB), 69 (TFTP), and 67/68 (DHCP) for MDT and WDS communication.
  • Proxy settings: Make sure that your proxy settings are configured correctly and that you have bypassed the proxy for local addresses.
  • DNS settings: Make sure that your DNS settings are correct and that you can resolve the names of your deployment server and other network resources.

You can also use tools like ping, tracert, and nslookup to test your network connectivity and troubleshoot any issues.

Scenario 3: The deployment fails due to incorrect or missing drivers

This issue occurs when MDT cannot find or load the drivers that are required for the target computer to function properly, such as network drivers, storage drivers, or graphics drivers.

The solution for this issue is to import and update the drivers in your MDT deployment share. You can use the following steps to do this:

  1. Download the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website or use a tool like Double Driver to backup the drivers from a working computer.
  2. Import the drivers into your MDT deployment share using the Deployment Workbench or the Import-MDTDriver PowerShell cmdlet.
  3. Organize the drivers into folders by model, manufacturer, or operating system.
  4. Create a selection profile to specify which drivers to include in your boot image and task sequence.
  5. Update your deployment share to regenerate your boot image and task sequence with the new drivers.

You can also use the Total Control method to dynamically apply drivers based on the model of the target computer.

Scenario 4: The deployment fails due to incompatible or outdated software

This issue occurs when MDT encounters a software that is incompatible with Windows 10 or that interferes with the deployment process, such as antivirus software, encryption software, or third-party applications.

The solution for this issue is to uninstall or disable any software that may cause problems during the deployment. You can use the following steps to do this:

  1. Identify the software that is causing the issue by checking the log files or using a tool like [Autoruns] to see what programs are running on the target computer.
  2. Uninstall or disable the software using the Control Panel, the command line, or a script.
  3. Restart the deployment process and see if the issue is resolved.

You can also use MDT to install or update any software that is required for Windows 10 after the deployment is completed.

Scenario 5: The deployment fails due to insufficient disk space, memory, or CPU resources

This issue occurs when MDT cannot complete the deployment because the target computer does not have enough disk space, memory, or CPU resources to run Windows 10.

The solution for this issue is to free up some disk space, memory, or CPU resources on the target computer. You can use the following steps to do this:

  1. Check the minimum and recommended system requirements for Windows 10 and compare them with your target computer’s specifications.
  2. Delete any unnecessary files or folders from the target computer’s hard drive or use a tool like [Disk Cleanup] to remove temporary files, system files, or previous Windows installations.
  3. Close any unnecessary programs or processes that are running on the target computer’s memory or CPU or use a tool like [Task Manager] to monitor and end them.
  4. Restart the deployment process and see if the issue is resolved.

You can also use MDT to format and partition the target computer’s hard drive before installing Windows 10.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and answers related to Windows 10 deployment using MDT:

Question: How do I create a custom Windows 10 image using MDT?

Answer: You can create a custom Windows 10 image using MDT by following these steps:

  1. Import a Windows 10 source file into your MDT deployment share using the Deployment Workbench or the Import-MDTOperatingSystem PowerShell cmdlet.
  2. Create a task sequence to capture an image of a reference computer using the Deployment Workbench or the New-MDTTaskSequence PowerShell cmdlet.
  3. Customize your reference computer by installing applications, configuring settings, and applying updates.
  4. Capture an image of your reference computer by running the task sequence from a bootable media or a network boot.
  5. Import the captured image into your MDT deployment share using the Deployment Workbench or the Import-MDTOperatingSystem PowerShell cmdlet.
  6. Create another task sequence to deploy the captured image to your target computers using the Deployment Workbench or the New-MDTTaskSequence PowerShell cmdlet.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Windows 10 deployment using MDT can be a challenging task that requires careful planning, preparation, and troubleshooting. However, by following the steps and solutions provided in this blog post, you can overcome some of the common issues and achieve a successful deployment. You can also use the log files and tools mentioned in this post to diagnose and fix any other problems that may arise during the deployment process.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. The author and the website are not liable for any damages or losses that may result from following the instructions or using the tools mentioned in this post. The user is responsible for their own Windows 10 deployment and should exercise caution and common sense when using MDT.

Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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