In this blog post I will show you how to update Windows 10 from 1909 to 20H2 using SCCM Feature update. Windows 10, version 20H2, which can also be said as Windows 10 October 2020 Update. New version of Windows 10 is called Feature updates.

Feature updates are released twice per year. For the year 2020, we have got the second release as version 20H2, while the previous version is called 2004 (can also be called as 20H1). But I think to avoid any confusion in the future, Microsoft is going with a new approach with naming convention ie. 20H1 20H2, where the first 2 digits indicate the year (20) and H1/H2:

  • H1 indicates as Released first half of year
  • H2 indicates as Released second half of year.

Lifecycle of Windows 10 Release (18 months vs 30 months)

Another important aspect when deploying any update is to consider the which release you are targeting as they have different lifecycle or we can retirement date. Following is the life cycle for last 2 version of Windows 10:

Version 20H2 – 05/09/2023 (End Date) – Lifecycle of 30 months
Version 2004 – 12/14/2021 (End Date) – Lifecycle of 18 months
Version 1909 – 05/10/2022 (End Date) – Lifecycle of 30 months
Version 1903 – 12/08/2020 (End Date) – Lifecycle of 18 months

While all previous versions were having lifecycle of 30 months. This is a recent change occurred where OS version released for first half is 18 months and 2nd half has 30 months from 1903 version onwards.

Servicing support updates tells this in detail about this.

Hence, 2nd release is much more appropriate to be used for mass deployment in production as it gives more time over controlling the deployment phase before it gets expire.

For more details, check for the link Windows 10 lifecycle.

Pre-requisite for updating Windows 10 from 1909 to 20H2

Verify appropriate Products and Classifications are enabled under Software update Point Component.

Launch SCCM Console, navigate to Administration > Overview > Site Configuration >Sites. From the ribbon, click on Configure Site Components and select Software Update Point.

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Under Software Update Point Properties, click on tab Classifications and verify Upgrades is selected.

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Click on tab Products and verify Windows 10, version 1903 or later is selected under subcategory All products > Microsoft > Windows.

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Navigate to Software Library > Overview > Windows 10 Servicing > All Windows 10 Updates. From the ribbon, select Synchronize Software Updates.

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This will initiate WSUS sync with Microsoft catalog and store the newly downloaded updates of metadata in WSUS database, preceding with WSUS sync with SCCM to save in SCCM database. We can monitor the connectivity and sync through wcm.log & wsyncmgr.log

We can see following in wsyncmgr.log as successful sync:

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Download and deploy Feature Update 20H2

Once Sync is completed, navigate back to All Windows 10 Updates, you will be able to see Feature update for Windows 10 version 20H2. Allow some time in your organization to send back the new Software Update scan agent cycle, or you can run it manually by launching the SCCM Client agent and initiating Software Updates Scan Cycle.

We are able to see Feature update to Windows 10 (business editions), version 20H2, en-us x64 required on a couple of systems. Right-click and select download to initiate the download process.

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This will launch the Download Software Updates Wizard, either select an existing package or create a new one. The recommended way is to create a new package as selecting an existing package requires updating the distribution point for such a huge package. Provide a package name along with Package source and click Next.

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Under Distribution Points page, select the DP and click Next.

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Under Distribution Settings page, click Next.

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Under Download Location page, click Next.

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Under Specify the update languages for products page, click Next.

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Under Confirm the settings page, verify the information and click Next.

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This will initiate the download process, wait for a while to get it downloaded.

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You may monitor the downloading through patchdownloader.log located under users %appdata% profile.

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In my case location was C:\Users\<username> \AppData\Local\Temp\2\PatchDownloader.log, however, it can be anywhere in AppData\Local folder, better to search for the log file under this location.

We can see patchdownloader.log showing as successfully downloaded the patch.

Feature update is downloaded and ready to be deployed, right click it and select deploy.

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Under Deploy Software Updates Wizard general page, provide the Deployment name and select collection on which you want to deploy update.

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Under Deployment Settings, change the type of deployment from required to available, as I want to deploy manually in a controlled manner to initiate it.

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Under Scheduling page, specify the Software available time as As soon as possible or provide any time in the future when you want to make this patch available for the user.

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Under User Experience, click Next.

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Under Alerts, click Next.

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Under Download Settings, click Next.

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Under Summary page, confirm the settings and click Next.

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Install update on client

Login to one of the client machine with Windows 10 1909 version. Initiate the Machine policy to download the newly targeted feature update policy. Within a few minutes policy will be updated.

Launch Software Center > Updates and you will be able to see targeted Feature Update with status marked as Available.

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Click on Install to initiate the downloading and installation process.

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You will get the message “Confirm you want to upgrade the operating system on this computer”, click on Install to initiate the process.

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Allow some time to get the feature update installed, you may monitor the installation through UpdatesDeployment.log and Wuahandler.log.

Once the installation is completed which might take 30-40 mins or up to 1 hour depending upon data and applications you have on the system., you will get a message Restart your computer, click on OK to initiate updating the windows.

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This process will take somewhere around 8-10 mins, hence there will be downtime of a very minimal time. The system will go through configuring update and working on updates message during this phase.

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Once the update is completed, you will see the login window, logon to the system, and run winver on run dialog box. You can see the system has been updated to Version 20H2 with OS Build as 19042.572.

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