Everything you wanted to know about Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Deployment with MDT 2013 but were afraid to ask…

MDT 2013 just came out this week, and I’m sure you’re wondering if you really need it?

If you’re still using a sector based disk cloning system, any version of MDT is going to be an upgrade over what you’re currently using, so ask a better question instead…

The question you really need to ask yourself is what Operating Systems you plan on supporting from here on out. If you’re completely and unequivocally off WindowsXP and Vista, and on Windows 7 and/or 8 you can move off MDT 2012 Update 1 and run MDT 2013. MDT 2013 only works with WADK 8.1 and does NOT work with the legacy WAIK tools.

Remember, MDT 2012 U1 still runs either AIK and ADK, but understand that since XP’s going down for good in April on “Judgment Day”, this only makes sense. Note: ADK 8.1 no longer supports XP as OS to pull settings from, but see the bottom of this article for a technet article on a workaround.

If you haven’t kicked WinXP/Vista like a bad smack habit, you’re going to need to keep MDT 2012 Update1 around. Now, if you’re like most people and using Win7 exclusively, YOU CAN RUN MDT 2013 and WADK 8.1 to deploy Windows 7 with NO PROBLEMS.

Confused? Yeah, It’s simpler than it sounds, the table below is from Neihaus’ presentation in New Zealand last month and helps illustrate the key differences between 2012 and 2013.


Furthermore, SCCM 2012 R2 can still deploy XP, and MDT 2012 U1 will still be supported for another year. So again, If you’re unfortunately still supporting XP and looking to possibly migrate from that OS to Windows 8.1, check out this article here.