MDT 2013 Troubleshooting Guide

Like many of you I was underwhelmed by the lack of new features in MDT 2013. In many regards, the biggest change is not what it adds in functionality, but more of what’s been removed. MDT 2013 has no support for the legacy WAIK tools and hence, no more support for Vista and XP. I was however then pleasantly surprised to find then that the optional MDT Documentation contained a much needed Troubleshooting Reference complete with LTI and ZTI flowcharts which can be downloaded here…


Topics Include:

  • Log Files
  • Error Codes
  • Advanced Troubleshooting

Make sure to sit down and spend some time trying to understanding this material. Its one of the best things to come out with MDT 2013. Note it also has some pretty awesome flowcharts as well, I do love me some flowcharts…


Repent! The end is near! (For Windows XP at least…)

It’s hard to believe, I know, but the end of days for Windows XP is near. In less than six months now, Microsoft’s pulling the plug on the four generations old Operating System. If you’re looking to move from XP to Windows 7 or perhaps even Windows 8, better get privy to MDT 2012 or 2013 here pretty soon, as the end of days are near!

How To: Create a MDT 2013 Deployment Share in Windows 8.1

Last week I did a quick and dirty guide on how to install MDT 2013 Preview in Windows 8.1. Today’s a quick guide on creating a Deployment Share in MDT 2013.

Just like in previous releases, creating a share is easy. Right Click Deployment Shares and select New Deployment Share. The New Deployment Share Wizard will start.






Once you’ve created a share, populate it with an OS then create a task sequence. Add apps, drivers, and  then update your share.

Don’t forget: MDT 2013 Preview and ADK 8.1 Preview do NOT support XP or Vista. If you’re still trying to deploy these OSs, you need to use MDT 2012.

Mark It Dude! Win 8.1 is due Oct. 18th.

You know what this means? MDT 2013 will be available around that time. If you’re still deploying that archaic OS known as XP, don’t bother. MDT 2013 does NOT support it or Vista for that matter. The Win ADK 8.1 release doesn’t support either, and MDT 2013 will only support ADK 8.1. If I had to guess, I would expect MDT 2013 either the week before, or shortly after the new OS is shipped. If you remember however, 8.1 Preview and MDT 2013 Preview were released on the same day, so we’ll see.

The Greatest MDT CustomSettings.ini Example Ever Written

No, I didn’t write this example, it’s from a set of samples written by the legendary Mikael Nystrom of TrueSec, and Co – Author of “Deployment Fundamentals”. A few weeks back I published a MDT CustomSettings.ini guide with some tips and tricks geared towards more intermediate MDT 2012 users. However, if you’re just getting started learning about the glory that is the MDT customsettings.ini file, then you need to read Mikael Nystrom’s guide, Back to basics – Customsettings.ini explained. In it, he explains how this file really works, and how to simplify your testing of it. It’s pretty much required reading for anybody who works with MDT.

However, I was reminded of some of his better examples not on that site, I thought I’d share one with you guys.

Last March’s TrueSec Newsletter was loaded with even better examples from Mikael, and my favorite is below.


The beautiful thing about this example is that it’s really doing several things, and creating a set of several rules based on location and device type. Note how the computername is being generated based on Location, Device Type and Serial. Pretty slick huh?

For all of his scrubbed customsettings.ini samples click here:

Much respect to Johan and Mikael, those two guys are my personal heroes! Check out my links page to read their Blogs!

Again, as always if you have any questions, e-mail me.

How to: Install MDT 2013 Preview in Windows 8.1

Here’s a quick & dirty walkthrough on installing MDT 2013 Preview in Windows 8.1. Don’t forget MDT 2013 Preview does NOT support AIK or WinXP. So make sure you have the ADK 8.1 installed.

First, you need to download MDT 2013 Preview from Microsoft’s Connect Program.

Nothing really new here, click next.

Accept, and move on with your life, again by clicking next.

Defaults are good here.

To join or not to join?

That’s it, click Install and you’re on you’re way.

MDT 2013 Preview Version.

What’s new in MDT 2013? Check out this article.

Download MDT 2013 Preview

If you’re like me, you like to live on the bleeding edge of technology, and you’re one of those people who absolutely has to be testing the latest and greatest. So here is the link to download MDT 2013 Preview. Remember, this is the first version of MDT that DOES not support WAIK or WinXP. If you’re in a hurry to test Win8.1 deployment, this release of MDT and ADK just is for you.

MDT 2013 provides a common console with comprehensive tools and guidance for every organizational role-making it the recommended process and toolset to automate large-scale desktop and server deployments.

•Support for the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 8.1 Preview •Deploy Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 families

•Support for deployment of Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview
•Support for zero-touch integration (ZTI) with System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Preview

And of course, I do have to remind you this pre-release software, NOT intended for production, so use at your own risk.