Deploy Windows 11 using SCCM / MEMCM

Benoit LecoursSCCMLeave a Comment

Windows 11 has been released by Microsoft on October 5th, 2021. If you are planning to deploy and manage Windows 11 using SCCM or Configuration Manager, this post has you covered. Like any other Windows version, you need to do a couple of tasks before you can do an SCCM Windows 11 Deployment.

In a previous blog post, we listed everything you need to know about SCCM and Windows 11. You can read the whole post but here’s the important part: SCCM is ready to support Windows 11 starting with version 2107. You need to run at least 2106 and your device needs specific requirements. Let’s get started to Deploy Windows 11 using SCCM / MEMCM !

Table of Content

Prerequisite SCCM Windows 11 Deployment

Before the SCCM Windows 11 Deployment, we’ll make sure that all our tools are updated :

SCCM Version

You need at least SCCM 2107 in order to support it as a Windows 11 client. See the following support matrix if you’re running an outdated SCCM version and make sure to update your site.

Windows ADK

Before capturing and deploying a Windows 11 image, make sure that you’re running a supported version of the Windows ADK. Windows recommends using the Windows ADK that matches the version of Windows you’re deploying. If you’re already running an ADK version on your SCCM server, see our post on how to install a new version.

SCCM Windows 11 Deployment

Windows 11 Hardware Requirements

Here are Microsoft official requirements needed for Windows 11. This would be the major reason if you’ll upgrade your devices or not.

Processor:1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
RAM:4 gigabyte (GB)
Storage:64 GB or larger storage device
System firmware:UEFI, Secure Boot capable
TPM:Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
Graphics card:Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
Display:High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel

If you need to identify which machines are ready in your organization, you can use our free Windows 11 Readiness report :

Free Readiness MEMCM / SCCM Windows 11 Report (systemcenterdudes.com)

SCCM Windows 11 Report

Download Windows 11 ISO

In order to deploy Windows 11 using SCCM to a new device, we need to download the .ISO file. To get the ISO file, you can either download it from MSDN or VLSC.

  • In the portal, find Windows 11 (business editions)
  • Select the architecture and language, Click on Download
SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • Save the ISO file on your SCCM file repository

Mount and Extract Windows 11 ISO

Before you can import the Operating System into SCCM, mount and extract the Windows 11 ISO to a folder on your SCCM File repository.

We like to save all the ISO content in one folder for the full operating system (Ex: Win11-FullMedia) and extract the Install.wim file from the \Sources folder to another directory. (Ex:Win11-Wim). You’ll understand why later in this guide.

Import SCCM Windows 11 Operating System

We will now import the Windows 11 WIM file for Operating System Deployment. You should have downloaded the ISO file in the first step of this guide.

We will be importing the default Install.wim from the Windows 11 media for a “vanilla” Windows 11 deployment. You could also import a WIM file that you’ve created through a build and capture process.

This WIM file will be used for new computers, to upgrade an existing Windows 11, you need to import an Operating System Upgrade Packages. We will cover this in the next section.

  • Open the SCCM Console
  • Go to Software Library / Operating Systems / Operating System Images
  • Right-click Operating System Images and select Add Operating System Image
SCCM Windows 10 1803 Upgrade
  • On the Data Source tab, browse to your WIM file. The path must be in UNC format
  • You can now select to import only a specific index from the WIM file. We selected the Windows 10 Enterprise index. ** At the time of this writing, Microsoft hasn’t renamed the Wim file

SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • Select your Architecture and Language and click Next
  • In the General tab, enter the Name, Version and Comment, click Next
SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • On the Summary tab, review your information and click Next
  • Complete the wizard and close this window
  • The import process will take about 5 minutes to complete

Distribute your SCCM Windows 11 Operating System Image

We now need to send the Operating System Image (WIM file) to our distribution points.

  • Right-click your Operating System Image, select Distribute Content and complete the Distribute Content wizard

Add Operating System Upgrade Packages

We will now import the complete Windows 11 media in Operating System Upgrade Packages. This package will be used to upgrade an existing Windows 10 device to Windows 11 using an Upgrade Task Sequence.

  • Open the SCCM Console
  • Go to Software Library / Operating Systems / Operating System Upgrade Packages
  • Right-click Operating System Upgrade Packages and select Add Operating System Upgrade Packages
SCCM Windows 10 1803 Upgrade
  • In the Data Source tab, browse to the path of your full Windows 11 media. The path must point to an extracted source of an ISO file. You need to point at the top folder where Setup.exe reside
  • You can now select to import only a specific index from the WIM file. We selected the Windows 10 Enterprise index. ** At the time of this writing, Microsoft hasn’t renamed the Wim file
  • Select your Architecture and Language at the bottom and click Next
SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • In the General tab, enter the Name, Version, and Comment, click Next
SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • On the Summary tab, review your information and click Next and complete the wizard

Distribute your Operating System Upgrade Packages

We now need to send the Operating System Upgrade Package to your distribution points.

  • Right-click your Operating System Upgrade Package, select Distribute Content and complete the Distribute Content wizard

Create an Upgrade SCCM Task Sequence for existing Windows 10 Computers

Let’s create an SCCM task sequence upgrade for a computer running a previous version of Windows 10.

  • Open the SCCM Console
  • Go to Software Library \ Operating Systems \ Task Sequences
  • Right-click Task Sequences and select Upgrade an operating system from upgrade package
SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • In the Task Sequence Information tab, enter a Task Sequence Name and Description
SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • On the Upgrade the Windows Operating System tab, select your upgrade package by using the Browse button
  • Select your Edition Index depending on the edition you want to deploy. If you select just 1 index as per our indication in previous steps, you’ll see just 1 index to select from.
SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • On the Include Updates tab, select the desired Software Update task
    • All Software Updates will install the updates regardless of whether there is a deadline set on the deployment (on your OSD collection)
    • Mandatory Software Updates will only install updates from deployments that have a scheduled deadline (on your OSD collection)
    • Do not install any software updates will not install any software update during the Task Sequence
SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • On the Install Applications tab, select any application you want to add to your upgrade process
SCCM Windows 10 1803 Upgrade
  • On the Summary tab, review your choices and click Next and click Close

Create a Task Sequence for new Windows 11 Computer

  • Still in Software Library \ Operating Systems \ Task Sequences
  • Right-click Task Sequences and select Install an existing image package
SCCM Windows 10 20H2
  • In the Task Sequence Information tab, enter a Task Sequence Name, Description and select your X64 Boot Image
SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • On the Install Windows tab, select your image package by using the Browse button
  • Select the Image Index and enter a product key. If you have a valid KMS server, you can skip the product key
SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • In the Configure Network tab, select the Domain and OU in which the computer account will be created. Also enter valid credentials to join the domain.
SCCM Windows 10 20H2
  • In the Install Configuration Manager tab, select your Client Package
SCCM Windows 10 20H2
  • On the State Migration tab, select if you want to capture user settings and files. For our example, we’ll turn it off
  • On the Include Updates tab, select the desired Software Update task
    • All Software Updates will install the updates regardless of whether there is a deadline set on the deployment (on your OSD collection)
    • Mandatory Software Updates will only install updates from deployments that have a scheduled deadline (on your OSD collection)
    • Do not install any software updates will not install any software update during the Task Sequence
SCCM Windows 10 20H2
  • On the Install Applications tab, select any application you want to add to your upgrade process
SCCM Windows 10 20H2
  • On the Summary tab, review your choices and click Next and click Close

Edit your Windows 11 Task Sequences

Now that we have created the upgrade and new computer task sequences, let’s see what it looks like under the hood.

  • Open the SCCM Console
  • Go to Software Library \ Operating Systems \ Task Sequences
  • Right-click your upgrade or new computer task sequences and select Edit

As you can see, it’s fairly simple. SCCM will take care of everything in a couple of steps :

SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • The Upgrade Operating System step contains the important step of applying Windows 10
  • Ensure to choose the right Edition

Deploy the SCCM Windows 11 Upgrade Task Sequence

We are now ready for our SCCM Windows 11 Deployment. Deploy the task sequence to the computer we want to upgrade. In our case, we are targeting a Windows 10 computer that is running Windows 10 21H2.

  • Go to Software Library \ Operating Systems \ Task Sequences
  • Right-click Task Sequences and select Deploy
SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • On the General pane, select your collection. This is the collection that will receive the Windows 10 upgrade. For testing purposes, we recommend putting only 1 computer to start
SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • On the Deployment Settings tab, select the Purpose of the deployment
    • Available will prompt the user to install at the desired time
    • Required will force the deployment at the deadline (see Scheduling)
  • You cannot change the Make available to the following drop-down since upgrade packages are available to clients only
SCCM Windows 10 1803 Upgrade
  • On the Scheduling tab, enter the desired available date and time. On the screenshot, we can’t create an Assignment schedule because we select Available in the previous screen
  • In the User Experience pane, select the desired options
SCCM Windows 10 1803 Upgrade
  • In the Alerts tab, check Create a deployment alert when the threshold is higher than the following check-box if you want to create an alert on the failures
SCCM Windows 10 1803 Upgrade
  • On the Distribution Point pane, select the desired Deployment options. We will leave the default options
SCCM Windows 10 1803 Upgrade
  • Review the selected options and complete the wizard

Launch the Upgrade Process on a Windows 10 computer

Everything is now ready to deploy to our Windows 10 computers. For our example, we will be upgrading a Windows 10 21H2 to Windows 11.

  • Log on your Windows 10 computer and launch a Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle from Control Panel / Configuration Manager Icon
SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade
  • Open the new Software Center from the Windows 10 Start Menu
  • You’ll see the SCCM upgrade task sequence as available. We could have selected the Required option in our deployment schedule, to launch automatically without user interaction at a specific time
  • When ready, click on Install
  • On the Warning, click Install
SCCM Windows 10 1803 Upgrade
  • The update is starting, the task sequence Installation Progress screen shows the different steps
  • The WIM is downloading on the computer and saved in C:\_SMSTaskSequence
  • You can follow task sequence progress in C:\Windows\CCM\Logs\SMSTSLog\SMSTS.log
  • After downloading, the system will reboot
  • The computer restart and is loading the files in preparation for the Windows 11 upgrade
SCCM Windows 10 1803 Upgrade
  • WinPE is loading
SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade
  • The upgrade process starts. This step should take between 60-90 minutes depending on the device hardware
  • Windows 11 is getting ready, 2-3 more minutes and the upgrade will be completed
SCCM Windows 11 Deployment
  • Once completed the SetupComplete.cmd script runs. This step is important to set the task sequence service to the correct state
SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade
  • Windows is now ready, all software and settings are preserved. Validate that you are running Windows 11 21H2 (Build 22000.194)
SCCM Windows 11 Deployment

Launch the SCCM Windows 11 Deployment on a new Windows 10 computer

To install Windows 11 on a new computer, the process is fairly the same except on how we start the deployment.

For my test, I’m booting a new VM. PXE boot the VM and press Enter for network boot service.

  • On the Welcome to task sequence wizard screen, enter the password and click Next
  • Select your Windows 11 Task Sequence and click Next
  • The process will start and if everything goes right, should be fully automated.

If you encounter any issues, please see our troubleshooting guide.

Create Windows 11 Software Update Group

After your SCCM Windows 11 Deployment makes sure that your Software Update Point is configured to synchronize Windows 11 patches.

Prepare your Software update point to include Windows 11 as a product to synchronize.

  • Adminsitration / Site / Configure Site Component (top Ribbon)
  • Select Software Update Point
  • In the Product tab, select Windows 11 and initiate a synchronization

Once Windows 11 is added to your Software Update Point, we will create a Software Update Group that will be deployed to our Windows 11 deployment collection. This way, all patches released after the Windows 11 media creation (or your Capture date) will be deployed during the deployment process.

To create a Windows 11 Software Update Group :

  • Open the SCCM Console
  • Go to Software Library / Software Updates / All Software Updates
  • On the right side, click Add Criteria, select Product, Expired and Superseded
    • Product : Windows 11
    • Expired  : No
    • Superseded: No
    • Title contains 20H2
  • Select only the latest Cumulative Updates that apply  (x64 or x86) and select Create Software Update Group
  • Once created, go to Software Library / Software Updates / Software Update Groups
  • Right-click your Windows 11 SUG and deploy it to your OSD deployment collection

Import ADMX File

After your SCCM Windows 11 Deployment, If you’re responsible for managing group policy in your organization. Ensure that you import the latest Windows 11 ADMX file on your domain controller.

Bonus Resources

After your SCCM Windows 11 Upgrade, need a report to track your Windows 11 devices? We developed a report to help you achieve that. The report was built for Windows 10 but it will list Windows 11 devices also.

Asset – Windows 10 SCCM Report

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