Deploying Windows 10 is definitely a simpler and much less labor intensive process than with any previous version of Windows (remember your Windows XP to Windows 7 migration?). A new deployment method was introduced with Windows 10, called an In-Place Upgrade, which can be used to automatically preserve all your apps, settings, and data during the Windows 10 migration process. This new deployment method has allowed more and more organizations to start deploying Windows 10 earlier than any previous version of Windows 10 – but the question becomes, what happens when you are finally on Windows 10?
With the faster releases of new feature builds as part of Windows as a Service, it is time to start thinking about the approach your IT is going to take to keep pace with this rapid schedule. Many IT administrators will tell you that they are satisfied with performing in-place upgrades as part of the new servicing model, but there is another option and in this blog I will discuss setting up Windows 10 Servicing in Configuration Manager to deploy these new feature builds through Windows updates.
Note: If you are running Configuration Manager 1511 or earlier, you may want to consider sticking with the in-place upgrade task sequence until your ready to upgrade to 1602.
- Heartbeat discovery should be enabled to display client data in the new Windows 10 Servicing Dashboard.
- You must have the Software Update Point site system role added and configured to receive updates from a WSUS 4.0 server.
- You need to install both KB3159706 and KB3095113 to enable the servicing features
- The most important prerequisite is to plan and prepare for this new servicing model. Understand the different roles and expectations based on the Windows as a Service model and design a workflow that works best for your organizations. A very good reference for this planning can be found here.
Enable Windows 10 Upgrades in the SUP
From the Configuration Manager Console, browse to Administration > Site Configuration > Sites and from the top ribbon, select Configure Site component > Software Update Point
From the Products tab, make sure you have Windows 10 checked
In the Classifications tab, make sure you have Upgrades checked. Once you make the selection, you will be prompted by the Windows 10 Servicing Prerequisite dialog box. Make sure you have the required hotfixes installed as described above before proceeding, and select OK.
Once you are finished with all the selections, you can select Apply and Ok in the Software Update Point Component Properties.
Now that we finished that, let’s synchronize our Software Updates to make sure we are receiving the Windows 10 feature packages.
Navigate to Software Library > Windows 10 Servicing > Windows 10 Servicing. Right-click All Windows 10 Updates and select Synchronize Software Updates.
It may take some time for the Windows 10 Feature updates to show up. You can watch the progress by monitoring the Wsyncmgr.log found in %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Logs folder.
Once the synchronization is complete you should start seeing the Windows 10 Feature Updates and Upgrades in the All Windows 10 Updates window.
A few things to understand before we continue. As you can see in the screenshot we have two types of Windows 10 releases available – Feature Updates and Upgrades. Feature updates to Windows 10 means that the build is a new release and is still within the boundaries of the Current Branch servicing cycle, while Upgrade to Windows 10 means that the build has been released to Current Branch for Business and has received the servicing patches since the original release. To better understand the differences between Current Branch and Current Branch for Business, you should read the documentation found here. For this example we will be deploying the CB release of Windows 10 1607 to our early adopters.
Create our Servicing Plans
Now that we have the Windows 10 upgrade packages, we can start creating our Servicing Plans. A Servicing Plan is basically an Automatic Deployment Rule (ADR) used to control and automate the deployment of the Windows 10 packages.
Browse to Software Library > Windows 10 Servicing > Servicing Plans, right-click Servicing Plans and select Create Servicing Plan.
For this demo, I will be calling this servicing plan Current Branch | Windows 10 Early Adopters. Name your servicing plan and click Next.
Select the Collection you’d like to use as the container for the devices that will receive this feature update and click Next.
Now this is where you determine what branch release of Windows 10 will deployed and when. For my organization, our early adopters will receive the new builds 10 days after the first release (CB). Set your options to what you desire and click Next.
On the next page you can filter the different builds and languages. For my environment I will only be deploying required Windows 10 1607 Enterprise builds in en-us. Click Preview to ensure your filtering the builds you want to filter and click Next.
Now we will configure our deployment schedule. This is pretty straightforward – set your desired schedule and click Next.
On the User Experience page, select your desired options and click Next.
On the Deployment Package page, select Create a new deployment package and enter your Package Source path and click Next.
On the Distribution Points page, select your distribution points and click Next.
On the Download Location page, select Download software updates from the Internet and click Next.
On the Language Selection page, select your language and click Next.
In the Summary, review your settings and close the Create Servicing Plan wizard.
And there we have it – Windows 10 Servicing through Configuration Manager