In this post I will cover how to deploy Windows 11 using SCCM task sequence. Windows 11 has been officially released on 5th October, 2021 and is available to be downloaded from Volume License Service Center (VLSC) or Visual studio subscription.

Lifecycle of Windows 11

Windows 11 Home, Pro for Workstations, Pro for Education editions will have 24 months of support from the date of availability.

Windows 11 Enterprise and education editions will have 36 months of support.


Download Windows 11 ISO

Once logged in to either of the platform, we can see 2 different ISO’s available for Windows 11:

  1. Windows 11 Business Edition – The name of the ISO is

en-us_windows_11_business_editions_x64_dvd_3a304c08 and it consists of following Operating Systems:

  • Windows 11 Education
  • Windows 11 Education N
  • Windows 11 Enterprise
  • Windows 11 Enterprise N
  • Windows 11 Pro
  • Windows 11 Pro N
  • Windows 11 Pro Education
  • Windows 11 Pro Education N
  • Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
  • Windows 11 Pro N for Workstations
Windows 11 Business Edition
  • Windows 11 Consumer Edition – The name of the ISO is en-us_windows_11_consumer_editions_x64_dvd_bd3cf8df and consists of following Operating systems:
  • Windows 11 Home
  • Windows 11 Home N
  • Windows 11 Home Single Language
  • Windows 11 Education
  • Windows 11 Education N
  • Windows 11 Pro
  • Windows 11 Pro N
  • Windows 11 Pro Education
  • Windows 11 Pro Education N
  • Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
  • Windows 11 Pro N for Workstations
Windows 11 Consumer Edition

Add Operating System Image

We have ISO downloaded, extract / mount the image and navigate to <drive>\sources\install.wim. Copy this wim to a SCCM source location. I renamed the install.wim to Win11.wim

Login to SCCM server and launch Configuration Manager console. Navigate to \Software Library\Overview\Operating Systems\Operating System Images. Right click and select Add Operating System Image.

Add Operating System Image

On Add Operating System Image Wizard page, under Data Source specify the path to the operating system image file in my case it is: \\sccm01\source\OS\OS Images\Win11.wim

Check the box Extract a specific image index from the specified WIM file and select Image index as Windows 10 Enterprise. Selecting this and extract the particular OS image will reduce the WIM file size as in corporate not all images are required to be deployed.

OS images specific index can be extracted manually also, check the link.

Specify the path to the operating system image file

On Pre-cache settings page, select Architecture as x64 and Language English (United Sates), click Next.

Pre-cache settings

On General page, Specify the Image name ie. Windows 11-Enterprise.wim, click Next.

On Summary page, verify the details and click Next to import the image.

Data Source Information

  • Source location: \\sccm01\source\OS\OS Images\Win11.wim

 Index Export Information

  • Image Index: 3
  • Image Index Name: Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Destination Location: \\sccm01\source\OS\OS Images\Win11-3-Windows-10-Enterprise.wim

 Package Information

  • Name: Windows11-Enterprise.wim

We can see OS Image is imported, right click the image and Distribute Content on specified distribution points.

Distribute Content

Create Windows 11 Task Sequence

Navigate to \Software Library\Overview\Operating Systems\Task Sequences, right click and select Create Task Sequence.

Create Task Sequence

This will open Create Task Sequence Wizard page, with following options to select:

  1. Install an existing image package
  2. Build and capture a reference operating system image
  3. Upgrade an operating system from an upgrade package
  4. Deploy Windows Autopilot for existing devices
  5. Create a new custom task sequence
Install an existing image package

We will select 1st option ie. Install an existing image package¸ click Next.

On Task Sequence Information page, Specify Task sequence name as Windows 11 Enterprise, select existing Boot Image and it is also recommended to check the box Run as high performance power plan, click Next.

Specify task sequence information

On Install the Windows operating system page, select Image package, it will automatically select Image index as we have only 1 image with enterprise editon.

Make sure checkbox is selected for Partition and format the target computer before installing the operating system.

Uncheck the box Configure task sequence for use with BitLocker, as I am using Virtual machine. No need so specify Product key here as in big environment KMS server will be responsible to activating the operating system.

Select Enable the account and specify the local administrator password and specify password of your choice for local login if you require this option.

Install the Windows operating system

On Configure the network page, select Join a domain. Browse for Domain and Domain OU, make sure not to Computers container as this not an OU, task sequence will fail at domain joining step if container is selected.

Specify the account that has permission to join the domain. You can set the account and test the credentials to see if it is properly working, click Next.

Configure the network

On Install the Configuration Manager client page, select existing configuration manager client, if you like you can specify additional installation properties for sccm client such as CCMCacheSize, SMSCACHEDIR etc, click Next.

Specify the configuration manager client package

On Configure state migration page, uncheck Capture user settings and files as we are not using USMT, click Next.

Configure state migration

On Include software updates page, select Do not install any software updates and click Next.

Include software updates

On Install applications page, select Next.

Install Applications

On Summary page, verify the details and click Next for completion of Task sequence.

Confirm the settings

Modify the task sequence

Lets make some modification into task sequence, right the TS and edit it.

Click on Add > General > Set Task Sequence Variable and provide following details:
Name: Set Variable TSProgressInfoLevel
Task Sequence Variable: TSProgressInfoLevel
Value: 2

Adding this step will create a new view when running the task sequence with percentage and number of steps completed during progress.

Add another variable:
Name: TS Error Dialog Timeout
Task Sequence Variable: SMSTSErrorDialogTimeout
Value: 86400

SMSTSErrorDialogTimeout

Adding this step will give us 24 hours of window time when the task sequence fails, by default value is 15 mins and if we miss to see the task sequence failure, we will be unable to see the error during TS running progress, hence 24 hours of time gives us enough time to look into the issue live.

Provide restart after Setup Windows and Configuration Manager step, as I have seen sometimes task sequence getting stuck at this step. Make sure to select “The currently installed default operating system” behaviour

On Partition Disk 0 – UEFI step, you will be able to see 4 partitions, we need rename the variable of 3rd partition. Select Windows (Primary) and edit, specify variable as OSPART which will be later used during Apply Operating System phase to use same variable.

OSPART

On Apply Operating System step, select Destination as Logical drive letter stored in a variable and Variable name as OSPART.

Deploy Windows 11 Task Sequence

As the task sequence is ready to be deployed, select the task sequence right click and Deploy.

Deploy Task Sequence

On Deploy Software Wizard page under general information, select Collection as All Unknown Computers, click Next.

On Deployment Settings page, with Purpose selected as Available, we have 4 choices:

Only Configuration Manager Clients
Configuration Manager clients, media and PXE
Only media and PXE
Only media and PXE (hidden)

Select 3rd option, Only media and PXE, click Next.

Only media and PXE

On Specify the schedule for this deployment page, specify the schedule when this deployment will become available and click Next.

On User Experience Page, click Next.

On Alerts page, click Next.

On Distribution Points page, select Deployment options as Download content locally when needed by the running task sequence and click Next.

Verify the summary details and finish the wizard.

Run the task sequence

Its time to run the task sequence either though PXE Boot or Boot Media.

Wait for Boot Image to load, once loaded you will see list of task sequence. Once Task sequence Wizard is loaded with message Welcome to the task Sequence Wizard click Next.

Task Sequene Wizard

Select a task sequence to run with Windows 11 Enterprise, click Next.

Select a task sequence to run

Allow task sequence to run and get completed.

Once Task sequence is completed, we will be on Windows 11 login page.

Windows 11 Login Page

And here we are with Windows 11 fully installed using SCCM task sequence.