Building a Custom Windows ISO with MDT 2013

Today i will try to cover a part of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013 and how can create a custom iso of Windows. It's very easy to create an iso of Windows to use it and setup multiple PC'S. Most of the time IT needs a custom iso with basic softwares that use a company or specific drivers from pc's to included in the iso. This can be happened with MDT 2013 and i will explain step by step in this article how can install the MDT 2013 and create a custom iso for your references


Prepare the Environment to use MDT 2013

Before start to use MDT 2013 you must join the Server in the Domain and create a new user in your Active Directory Users and Computers to assign permission for the Deployment Share and the Capture subfolders. If you will install MDT 2013 only in your local environment you must create a local user and assign permissions in Deployment Share.


How to Join the Server in the Domain

One of the first steps before proceed with all the other steps is to join the Server that will use as MDT in the Domain.

  • Right click in Start and select System


  • Click Change Settings


  • Click Change button


  • Check the Domain and type your domain name


  • Click OK and add the domain admin credentials
  • Wait few seconds and click OK


  • Restart the Server 


How to create a user for MDT Deployment Share

One of the requirements in MDT is to create a user in Active Directory that will give permissions in Deployment Share folder of MDT.

  • Open the Active Directory Users and Computers
  • Right click in the OU that you want to create the user and select New - - User


  • Type the name that you want to give. I prefer to give a name like MDT_BA but this is your choice which name you will give in the user.
  • Click Next 


  • Uncheck the User must change password at next logon.
  • If you have a policy in your environment to expired user passwords we don't want to apply in MDT_BA user. For this reason check the User password never expired. Click Next


  • Click Finish


  • The user must be only Member of Domain Users



How to Install Windows Assesment and Deployment Kit.

  • Click Next

  • Click Accept

  • Check only Deployment Tools, Windows Preinstallation Enviroment(PE) and User State Migration Tool(USMT) and click Install.

  • Wait few minutes until finish the installation and click Close.


How to Install Microsft Deployment ToolKit 2013


  • Start the installation and click Next

  • Click Again Next

  • Click Next

  • Don'r change anything except if you want to join in Experience Improvement Program and click Next.

  • Click Install to start the installation.

  • When finish the installation click in Start Button 



How to create the MDT Deployment Share

  • After finish the installation you will find a new App as Deployment Workbench. 
  • Open the Deployment Workbench.
  • Right Click in Deployment Share and select New Deployment Share.

  • Select the Deployment Share Path,click Next

  • If you change the ShareName be carefull to add the $ in the end to be hidden.Click Next

  • Write the Share Description or leave it as it and click Next.

  • Uncheck all the options and click Next

  • Click Next.
  • Wait until Finish and click Finish.

  • After the Deployment Share folder created go in the path which create the Deployment Share folder
  • Right Click and select Properties
  • Go in Tab Security.Click Edit


  • Remove the user Everyone and add the user which create in the beginning. MDT_BA in this scenario.
  • Check the Modify Permissions. Click OK.


  • Go in Tab Sharing
  • Click in Advanced Sharing


  • Click in Permission button


  • Remove the user Everyone
  • Add the user which create in the beginning. MDT_BA in this scenario.
  • Check the Full Control


  • Click OK and OK

If you don't give permissions in the user which create then you will have issues when try to Deploy the Windows ISO.


How to import setup files of Windows

MDT 2013 support adding full source of Windows DVD ISO and custom images that you have created. In this case will create a Reference Image from a source setup files of Windows. If you have an iso file of Windows open the folder which have the iso and right click select Mount. Then you will see a new DVD Drive in My Coputer with the files of Windows iso to import in MDT 2013.

  • Expand the Deployment Shares and the MDT Deployment Share.
  • Right Click in Operating Systems and select Import Operaring System.
  • Select Full set of source files.

  • Browse and find the Directory which included the Source files of Windows and click Next.

  • Change the name of destination directory or use the default and click Next.

  • Verify in the Summary that all the options are ok and click Next.

  • Wait to finish the import and then click Finish.

  • In the right side you can see the Operating System which import.


How to add an Application

Before proceed with the Task Sequence you must decide which applications you want to have it in custom image that you will be created. In this case will add the MS Office.

  • Expand the Deployment Shares and the MDT Deployment Share.
  • Right Click in Applications, select New Application.
  • Don't change anything and click Next.

  • Write in Application Name Office 2013 ProPlus and click Next.

  • Click Browse and select the folder which have the Office setup files

  • Leave the Directory name as it and click Next

  • In the command line type setup.exe and click Next

  • Click Next in the Summary.
  • Wait until Finish.

  • Click Finish


How to create the Task Sequence.

  • Expand the Deployment Shares and the MDT Deployment Share.
  • Right Click in Task Sequence, select New Task Sequence.
  • Fill the Task SequenceID and TaskSequenceName (names that you can identify in the future) , clck Next.

  • Select Standard Client Task Sequence.

  • Select the OS which created before

  • You can specify a product key now or leave it as it to activate the Windows after the installation

  • Fill the Organization with a name.

  • Specify the local Admin Password if you want or select Don't specify an Administrator password at this Time

  • Here is a Summary only , click Next

  • Click Finish


How to add a Custom task in Task Sequence

  • Go in Task Sequence and you will see the Tak Sequence which created in the right side
  • Right click and select Properties
  • Go in Task Sequence Tab

  • Click in Custom Task.
  • Select Add - - > General - - Install Application from the top.

  • Select Install Single Application
  • Click Browse

  • Select the Office 2013 Pro. Click Ok.

  • Change the name in the top instead of Install Application rename like Install - MS Office 2013 (The names in MDT2013 is very important for a clear reference in the future)
  • Click OK.


How to configure MDT Deployment Share Rules​

Understand rules of MDT Deplyment Share is critical to successful using MDT 2013. After finish all the tasks must configure the Rules of Deployment Share

  • Right Click in MDT Deployment Share and select Properties.
  • Go in Rules Tab 
  • Change the default Settings with the following.
  • Here we can explain a lot of things but for now use this one.

TimeZoneName=Pacific Standard Time 

Pls change specific lines with your requirements like SLSHARE and _SMSTSORGNAME

  • Click in button Bootstrap.ini and change the default settings with the following one.
  • Click OK

Settings] Priority=Default [Default] DeployRoot=\\TEST3\MDTBuildLab$ UserDomain=askme4tech UserID=MDT_BA UserPassword=P@ssw0rd SkipBDDWelcome=YES

Pls change specific lines with your requirements like DeployRoot and _Domain

  • Click in Tab Windows PE and change the Paltform from x86 to x64 and click OK


How to update MDT Deployment Share

  • Right Click in MDT Deployment Share and select Properties.
  • Use the Default Settings and click Next

  • Click Next again and wait to finish. Normal takes 10-15 minutes.

  • Click Finish.


How to deploy the custom ISO in VM.

Once the deployment share has been updated the first time, the LiteTouchPE_x64.iso files are created under the \Boot folder in the deployment share.  You can use these ISO files  directly boot physical and virtual machines, or integrated into Windows Deployment Services for PXE booting to deploy MDT images.

In this article i will create a new VM and select to boot from the LiteTouchPE-x64 iso.

  • Create a new VM and configure it to setup from LiteTouchPE_x64.iso
    If you use HYPER-V Read my article Create a Virtual Machine in Window 8.1 with HYPER-V
  • When boot from the ISO it will start the Deployment Wizard
  • Select the W8.1X64 and click Next to start the Installation

  • Wait until Finish 

When finish you will have a Windows 8.1 with MS Office 2013.

We automate the task for the installation of Windows with Office 2013. You must finish a lot of tasks until create a custom ISO but you will do only once and you don't need to do it again. You can use this solution before proceed with an upgrade in your company from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.

If you are ready and you have verify that your Deployment working without problems then you can proceed in next steps to integrate MDT into WDS and Deploy your Windows ISO through the Network

How Deploy Windows image using MDT and WDS in Windows Server 2016 (Part 1)

How Deploy Windows image using MDT and WDS in Windows Server 2016 (Part 2)

I hope my article to be useful. Enjoy it and Have a nice weekend.


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