OK well it’s not completely true to claim it’s a Zero Touch MDT solution however it is a fully automated Lite-Touch solution for upgrading your Windows XP computers to Windows 7 using MDT 2012 Update 1.
Some of you would be aware of the issue that occurred if you upgraded to Systems Centre Configuration Manager 2012 R2 – Basically the bootsect.exe included in the Windows ADK 8.1 isn’t compatible with Windows XP so you can’t stage a 2012 R2 boot file to a computer running a Windows XP Operating System. This basically meant no way to refresh XP systems with that version of Config Manager.
Microsoft has released a hotfix for this issue recently: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2910552
However there is an alternative to applying this update. You can still fall back to using MDT 2012 Update 1 and have a fully automated solution for upgrading any Windows XP instances you still have out in the wild using USMT to migrate the user data as part of the refresh process.
Here are the steps I followed so I didn’t have to apply this hotfix. I have small environment, only 1500 seats, so going down this path made more sense than messing with my production Configuration Manager 2012 R2 instance just to get back support for XP.
- Build up a fully patched Windows Server 2012 R2 instance (or your preferred supported OS). This can be running on your choice of hypervisor if you prefer.
- Install the Windows ADK 8.1 (http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/download/details.aspx?id=39982) and install the Deployment Tools, User State Migration Tool (USMT) and the Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) options. Note there was a new version released so make sure you re-download if you have an older copy.
- Install MDT 2012 Update 1 (http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/download/details.aspx?id=25175). Note that you cannot use MDT 2013 as it doesn’t support Windows XP.
- Create your Deployment Share and import your drivers, any applications, packages, OS wim files etc.
- Update your boot images with any required drivers.
- Update your Unattend.xml if required (I just re-used my Config Manager copy which saves a fair amount of time).
- Enable MDT Monitoring and create your Log folder and share.
- Test your refresh process before attempting any automation to ensure the upgrade process runs smoothly without any base problems such as missing drivers.
- Once you have your refresh Task Sequence working as expected we can look at updating our CustomSettings.ini file to automate the refresh process.
- Update your ini file – you can use my ini file settings as a guide.
ScanStateArgs=/v:5 /o /c /ue:administrator /ue:%yourdomain%\adm* /uel:45
LoadStateArgs=/v:5 /c /lac
TimeZoneName=Tasmania Standard Time
Test your fully automated MDT Refresh scenario by running litetouch.vbs from the MDT Deployment Share. If working you should see the upgrade to your OS progress without any dialogue box prompts.
There are quite a few ways of actually kicking off the execution of the litetouch.vbs script, however I will leave this mechanism up to you.
Here’s a video of the finished refresh process which shows MDT processing the answers provided by CustomSettings.ini. I have also shown that the USMT hard-linking process is working. The TS then stages the boot image and reboots into WinPE and begins to overlay my Windows 7 corporate wim.