Windows 11

Deploy Windows 11 with MDT Download

Learn how to deploy Windows 11 with MDT Download and see how you can use MDT to install Windows 11 step-by-step

Highlights

  • Create the Windows 11 operating system folderImport the Windows 11 operating system filesCreate a new Windows 11 task sequenceBuild and capture using the Windows 11 task sequenceDeploy the Windows 11 image captured with MDT.
  • In the lab environment, I have been playing around with Windows 11 deployments and have started updating a few methods I use in the lab to deploy images of Windows 11.
  • However, in this post on how to deploy Windows 11 with MDT, you will see how you can easily use MDT for installing Windows 11 on your workstations in a test or lab environment.

In the lab environment, I have been playing around with Windows 11 deployments and have started updating a few methods I use in the lab to deploy images of Windows 11. These tools include Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT). As a note, currently, MDT is not supported for Windows 11. However, in this post on how to deploy Windows 11 with MDT, you will see how you can easily use MDT for installing Windows 11 on your workstations in a test or lab environment.

Why use Microosft Deployment Toolkit (MDT)?

Why should you use MDT to deploy Windows 11 or any other operating system for that matter? I have covered this in previous blog posts. However, the main reason I see is organizations that have already invested in MDT and are currently using MDT to deploy client and server operating systems today.

Most, in this case, will be well-versed in MDT and the time to get up and running quickly is going to be short. MDT also provides the GUI approach to image-based deployments without much coding or other syntax worries that are necessary with other deployment solutions such as Terraform. So, between the time-to being productive with existing MDT infrastructure, and the easier approach to an image-based deployment, MDT is a great choice for many organizations.

I personally do think there is a greater benefit to migrating to more DevOps approaches such as with Terraform as it is aligned with modern infrastructure as code approaches, whereas MDT – not so much. However, this post is not a comparison, but rather a look at MDT in general deploying Windows 11.

Deploy Windows 11 with MDT

MDT uses a build and capture approach to deploying images. First, MDT installs the operating system from source Windows media, and then it captures the installation to a .wim image. With MDT, even though it isn’t really supported with Windows 11 as of yet, I was able to successfully build and capture Windows 11 and then deploy it using the captured .wim file without any issues. I was a bit surprised that MDT made it through the new mini-setup wizard and other new screens with Windows 11, but it did.

My deployment of Windows 11 using MDT looks like the following:

  1. Create the Windows 11 operating system folder
  2. Import the Windows 11 operating system files
  3. Create a new Windows 11 task sequence
  4. Build and capture using the Windows 11 task sequence
  5. Deploy the Windows 11 image captured with MDT

1. Create the Windows 11 operating system folder

This is a small step. However, first, let’s create the folder containing the Windows 11 operating system files. You can do this by right-clicking the Operating Systems parent folder and selecting to create a new folder.

Create the Windows 11 operating system folder in MDT
Create the Windows 11 operating system folder in MDT

2. Import the Windows 11 operating system files

Beginning the import of the Windows 11 operating system process
Beginning the import of the Windows 11 operating system process

This begins the Import Operating System Wizard where we will choose Full set of source files. For this to work, you need to have the ISO for Windows 11 downloaded and mounted in Windows. You can’t just point directly to the ISO file. It must be mounted.

Choose the type of operating system to add
Choose the type of operating system to add

Select the drive letter where the ISO is mounted.

Choose the drive letter where you have Windows 11 mounted
Choose the drive letter where you have Windows 11 mounted

The source directory is selected and ready to move forward with the import of Windows 11.

Drive letter is chose and ready to move forward for Windows 11 source files in MDT
Drive letter is chose and ready to move forward for Windows 11 source files in MDT

Select the destination of the imported files.

Name the destination directory for the Windows 11 import
Name the destination directory for the Windows 11 import

On the summary screen, click Next.

Import Windows 11 operating system summary screen
Import Windows 11 operating system summary screen

The confirmation screen displays the Windows 11 images that are imported. As you note below, since MDT isn’t really supported with a release that understands Windows 11, you will see the Windows 10 naming displayed in front of the image. However, the install.wim images are named with the appropriate Windows 11 names.

Import of Windows 11 source files completes successfully
Import of Windows 11 source files completes successfully

After clicking Finish, you see the images listed in the Windows 11 folder after the import.

Viewing the imported Windows 11 images imported with the import process in MDT
Viewing the imported Windows 11 images imported with the import process in MDT

3. Create a new Windows 11 task sequence

To build and capture the Windows 11 image imported into MDT, we have to create a task sequence. If you use the defaults for the task sequence process, this is a fairly simple next, next, finish type operation, where you basically just point the task sequence to the Windows 11 image you want to deploy (imported in step 2).

Creating a new task sequence for Windows 11 deployment in MDT
Creating a new task sequence for Windows 11 deployment in MDT

Set the task sequence ID and task sequence name.

Beginning the new task sequence wizard for Windows 11
Beginning the new task sequence wizard for Windows 11

Select the Standard Client Task Sequence.

Select the template to use for the Windows 11 task sequence
Select the template to use for the Windows 11 task sequence

On the Select OS screen, select the Windows 11 image you want to use for the deployment.

Select the OS to deploy in the task sequence
Select the OS to deploy in the task sequence

Configure your product key settings. Here I am leaving at the Do not specify a product key at this time.

Specify the product key options for deploying Windows 11
Specify the product key options for deploying Windows 11

Configure the OS settings.

Configure Windows 11 OS settings
Configure Windows 11 OS settings

Configure admin password settings.

Specify the administrator password for Windows 11 deployment
Specify the administrator password for Windows 11 deployment

Review the settings listed on the summary screen.

Review the summary screen for the Windows 11 task sequence
Review the summary screen for the Windows 11 task sequence

On the confirmation screen, click Finish.

Windows 11 task sequence confirmation screen
Windows 11 task sequence confirmation screen

4. Build and capture using the Windows 11 task sequence

Now that we have the task sequence in place, we can boot a machine from the MDT Lite touch image and perform the steps to build and capture Windows 11 to a .wim image for deploying using MDT. Below, I am booting a virtual machine using PXE and selecting the MDT lite touch image.

Boot from PXE and choose your MDT lite touch boot image
Boot from PXE and choose your MDT lite touch boot image

Select the newly created Windows 11 task sequence.

Select the Windows 11 task sequence
Select the Windows 11 task sequence

If you don’t have this configured in your MDT Build share rules, you can configure the computer details on the next screen.

Select the computer details of the Windows 11 build and capture
Select the computer details of the Windows 11 build and capture

On the Capture image screen, here we select Capture an image of this reference computer since we want MDT to first build the Windows 11 workstation and then capture an image of it.

Build and capture an image of the Windows 11 reference computer
Build and capture an image of the Windows 11 reference computer

The build and capture process begins.

The MDT build process of Windows 11 begins
The MDT build process of Windows 11 begins

After building, it begins creating the Windows 11 wim file.

After building MDT captures the Windows 11 image
After building MDT captures the Windows 11 image

At this point, I had no issues with the MDT build and capture. It will save the WIM file which will take a few minutes and then it will power off the VM.

5. Deploy the Windows 11 image captured with MDT

Once the image build and capture of Windows 11 is created, we can now boot the target VM or workstation from PXE boot, select the MDT lite touch image and then again select the Windows 11 task sequence.

Choosing the Windows 11 task sequence
Choosing the Windows 11 task sequence

Configure the computer details.

Select the computer details
Select the computer details

Since this go around we are deploying, we select the Do not capture an image of this computer option. This tells MDT to simply deploy the image and not capture a new one.

Deploy Windows 11 with MDT
Deploy Windows 11 with MDT

After deploying the Windows 11 workstation begins to boot.

Windows 11 boots from the MDT deploy
Windows 11 boots from the MDT deploy

I was pleasantly surprised to see the image successfully made it past the mini setup wizard and begins checking for updates. While the screens are not that much different from Windows 10 if any (just new styling), it is able to bypass these I’m guessing.

Windows 11 checks for updates
Windows 11 checks for updates

After a few more minutes after checking for updates, the Windows 11 workstation boots to the login screen and is ready to use.

Windows 11 deploy using MDT is successful
Windows 11 deploy using MDT is successful

Concluding thoughts

The process to deploy Windows 11 with MDT Download is straightforward. Even though MDT is not yet supported with Windows 11, as shown it does work for a basic deployment of Windows 11. I suspect if you get more into the advanced task sequence features, these will probably not work with Windows 11. MDT provides a great way to deploy both client and server operating systems with a more GUI-based approach.

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Check out my other MDT articles here:

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Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee is the Senior Writer, Engineer and owner at Virtualizationhowto.com and has over two decades of experience in Information Technology. Having worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as in various industries, Brandon has extensive experience in various IT segments and is a strong advocate for open source technologies. Brandon holds many industry certifications, loves the outdoors and spending time with family.

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