Windows 8.1 update does not work properly



  • Hello,

    currently I work on fog deployment of Windows XP/7/8.1/10 and came across a problem with updates for Windows 8.1.

    Details:
    I prepare reference computer for sysprep on Windows 8.1. The system installed Ok, but windows update process does not work properly – the system looks for updates and never finishes the process of identifying required updates.

    I’ve attempted a few potential solutions ‘found on internet’ for this problem and none of them produce desired result.

    At this moment I could not find anything better than to use WSUS for offline updates – instruction.

    Is there more ‘elegant’ solution to this problem?

    I would like to keep an image of system in the state before running sysprep, so that I could easily install updates and then run sysprep to get ‘golden’ image with autounattend.xml.
    (autounattend.xml file added to sysprep as an option works properly and been tested and in VM as in real computer)

    Thank you for your help,
    Polar Bear



  • @george1421

    Thank you George,

    I only can say ‘Busy Busy Busy’ as Twiki – I need to absorb the information.

    When I mentioned ‘the installation continues as from local media (DVD)’ – I meant that as files was made available from network resource the process will continue in same way as if it was run from local media (I meant that process will not be different, except that files be accessed from network and not from local computer media).

    Thank you again George
    Polar Bear


  • Moderator

    @Polar-Bear said in Windows 8.1 update does not work properly:

    through MDT you get boot.iso image with WinPE which holds all updates

    No. With MDT you create the boot.iso. It is a custom Win10PE image. Its single function is to connect the target computer to the MDT server. The MDT server then shows different task sequences. A task sequence is a step to do during imaging. Once you install MDT and create your first task sequence you will understand a bit more. MDT comes with standard task sequences like deploy image. Once that standard task sequence is created you can then add your own task steps like install microsoft office, or copy files to the reference image, change or add windows features, or instruct the reference image to connect to your WSUS server and install updates. The task sequences is where the actions happen. The Deployment Share on the MDT server is where all of the files live that get copied into or interact with the reference computer.

    you boot VM with this image (in my case WMware Workstation)

    Yes in the case of vmware workstation, you would just mount the MDT iso image to the cdrom of the VM. Then boot the VM.

    booted image has an idea how to connect MDT server and access ‘distribution’ folder with rest of the files

    Yes because you setup MDT and the deployment share first, then create the boot image. MDT puts the settings into the boot image on how to find the MDT server. At this point I should explain, in MDT there is a section for Out Of Box Drivers. This is where hardware specific drivers can be injected into the reference image. In my case I only install the Dell WinPE10 drivers into the Out Of Box Drivers folder. This will give the reference image and eventually the basic network and disk controller drivers needed to install Windows in the WinSetup WinPE mode. The Win10PE drivers I get from here: https://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/sln312414/dell-command-deploy-driver-packs-for-enterprise-client-os-deployment?lang=en Now during FOG image deployment I push the hardware specific CAB files to the computer. I get those cab files from that dell site too.

    process continues as if it was run from local media (DVD)

    No, the DVD/CDROM is only used to deliver the boot image to the reference computer. Once the MDT WinPE environment boots on the reference computer you can remove the CDROM since WinPE runs out of RAM.

    you push drivers out (please clarify how this process works)

    https://forums.fogproject.org/topic/11126/using-fog-postinstall-scripts-for-windows-driver-injection-2017-ed



  • @george1421

    Thank you George,

    your explanation cleared some my questions but not all of them (I was not ready to ask them as my knowledge/understanding of MDT is still limited).

    For clarification:

    • through MDT you get boot.iso image with WinPE which holds all updates
    • you boot VM with this image (in my case WMware Workstation)
    • booted image has an idea how to connect MDT server and access ‘distribution’ folder with rest of the files
    • process continues as if it was run from local media (DVD)
    • you push drivers out (please clarify how this process works)

    Ok, somehow I missed that MDT shares a folder with distribution files and generated WinPE (iso file) has some script which accesses (mounts) shared folder with distribution files make them available on installed computer and continue installation process.

    Please confirm that my understanding is correct.

    Then I try understand why in articles I read they mentioned WDS.

    On side note: a few years ago I learnt about iPXE and tried diskless installation of Windows 7 which was successful (diskless Windows 10 installation did not work at that time – at least I could not find any reference).

    Thank you again,
    Polar Bear


  • Moderator

    @Polar-Bear said in Windows 8.1 update does not work properly:

    where do you install MDT - is it reference computer or some other computer.

    No MDT should be installed on a windows server or in my case my MDT “server” is a windows 10 1809 box. Within MDT once you setup the deployment share you create a boot image. In my case I take the MDT boot iso image and copy it over to my ESXi infrastructure and then boot the vm from the iso image to start the MDT process. I can also take the MDT boot iso and pxe boot it using FOG. So there is two ways to get the MDT boot image to boot. The MDT boot image is just a WinPE10 base image that has enough brains to connect to the MDT server and then it loads the task sequences.

    Then I run sysprep with a shutdown and set a task to capture sysprep image (which can be installed on any platform – but really as you mentioned we need two images BIOS and EFI).

    In my case I use the same task sequences for both uefi and bios, the only thing different is the VM. I have one VM that is bios based and one VM that is UEFI based. I just boot the appropriate VM and run the install task sequence.

    I have a sample unattend.xml file I use. Its the same one for both Win7 and now Win10. I’ll link it in here as soon as I find it again. ref: https://forums.fogproject.org/topic/11920/windows-10-1803-sysprep-problem/7

    As I see from information on the screen, FOG deployment restores two partitions for BIOS and I believe we already passed stage where installation recreates partitions (otherwise installation would wipe the disk with deployed image).

    In my unattend.xml file I removed the section about creating partitions since FOG already does that for us.

    n this case when we capture the image we will have MDT installed in each computer?

    Again in my cast MDT only installs to the ESXi VM. MDT never really touches the hardware computer. It could and for a few specific use cases I have let MDT build the reference image right on the target computer. But that was an exception not the norm. Just for a point of reference. MDT will take about 1hr to build a reference image on real hardware (bare metal to ready to move to worksite). With FOG I can push a 25GB image in less than 4 minutes and have a complete workstation ready to move to a worksite in about 20 minutes, but that’s mostly OOBE running.

    I do understand that WSUS offline repository can be stored on shared network disk/folder and it will not get captured into reference image.

    Right no reason to download it every time, just store it on a shared drive then have a MDT task sequence install it onto the reference image.

    There is also a great resource site for setting up MDT, its called deployment research https://deploymentresearch.com/ . They have a lot of step by step processes in setting up MDT and tips on building your reference image.



  • @george1421
    George, thank you for quick reply. I still try to find ‘head and tails’ if my process of creating gold image correct.

    Just for clarification:

    • where do you install MDT - is it reference computer or some other computer.

    Through the reading I mentioned earlier they use WDS (Windows Server is required) instead FOG.

    In our case we need to prepare reference computer with all updates installed and ready to be sysprep applied.

    I do take an image at this stage before sysprep run (just in case if I have to return to this point).

    Then I run sysprep with a shutdown and set a task to capture sysprep image (which can be installed on any platform – but really as you mentioned we need two images BIOS and EFI).

    Prior this moment I used ‘Windows System Image Manager’ to create autounattend.xml file for both BIOS and EFI partition layout (again here we have x86 and amd64). In Windows System Image manager I specify that at early stage WinPE wipes hard drive and recreates partitions (for BIOS and UEFI) and then specify what partition to install the image into.

    Now as we capture syspreped image with FOG and then deploy it into real computer I have obscure understanding what really happening at early stage WinPE (1).

    As I see from information on the screen, FOG deployment restores two partitions for BIOS and I believe we already passed stage where installation recreates partitions (otherwise installation would wipe the disk with deployed image).

    Now I try to understand how you use MDT to deploy image on reference computer. At the moment I only see it possible if MDT installed into reference computer itself. And all those updates will unnecessary inflate sysprep image.

    In this case when we capture the image we will have MDT installed in each computer? Can you clarify this part of the process?

    I do understand that WSUS offline repository can be stored on shared network disk/folder and it will not get captured into reference image.

    I try to understand how to refine the whole process of preparing, capture and deployment of images.

    Thank you again,
    Polar Bear


  • Moderator

    @Polar-Bear said in Windows 8.1 update does not work properly:

    At some paragraph in articles mentioned above they mentioned ISO files and it is not clear if updates can get slipstreamed into ISO file which latter will be used for installation.

    In the case of MDT you load the ISO image into MDT and it copies the files to a local directory called a deployment share.

    Do you have any information using WSUS to download updates which then copied to MDT to slipstream them into ISO image?

    I have never had MDT download and slipstream into the ISO image. I’ve taken the iso image and installed it into MDT, then went into the deployment share grabbed the wim file and taken it someplace else to slipstream the updates into it downloaded from wsus-offline. Once I have a patched wim file, I’ll take the original and rename it then slide the slipstream wim file back in place.

    Realize we are talking about FOG deployments here. But in my case I build a platform independent reference image using MDT onto a virtual machine. I then sysprep and capture with FOG. I use FOG to deploy the reference image and just after the image push I push the hardware specific drivers to the target computer, where WinSetup/OOBE finds them and loads them during WinSetup. I have 1 (well really 2) reference images for 15 different hardware devices. I need 2 reference images, with 1 for bios and 1 for uefi based hardware. I have examples of how to setup a FOG post install script on how to copy the dell drivers over to the target computers.



  • @george1421

    Thank you George,

    I did some reading on MDT, WDS and WSUS…

    Deploy Windows 10 with MDT 2013 and WDS
    https://theitbros.com/deploy-windows-10-on-windows-server-2012-r2/

    Capture Windows 10 Image using MDT 2013
    https://theitbros.com/capture-windows-10-reference-image/

    Integrate WSUS Offline Updater with MDT 2013 to Deploy Windows 10
    https://theitbros.com/integrate-wsus-updater-with-mdt-2013-to-deploy-windows-10/

    I understand that MDT can ‘embed’ upgrades into wim file for installation.

    At some paragraph in articles mentioned above they mentioned ISO files and it is not clear if updates can get slipstreamed into ISO file which latter will be used for installation.

    Do you have any information using WSUS to download updates which then copied to MDT to slipstream them into ISO image? This section was not completely ‘transparent’ if such procedure possible.

    In the past I was slipstreaming SP3 into Windows XP, then using additional software to slipstream updates (but unfortunately not all of them, some left behind) and on top of it using slipstreaming (really embedding) drivers for most hardware.

    Well, yes it still was time consuming process to build installation DVD but all this time was recovered during installation (at time I was employed with University and on positive side I embedded installation key so that graduate students could install Windows without IT group help on their lab computers).

    Otherwise to install a computer with all required software would require a whole day – not best way to use work time.

    George, I would appreciate if you could share in very short form what best works for you with mentioning your ‘hardware base’ (how many computers, how different computers).

    For example, yesterday I tested Windows 8.1 gold image on Dell G31 mainboard with GMA3100 video card which is not supported. I have downloaded driver from Intel for G31 video, but it refused to copy files. I have downloaded video driver for Dell Vostro 530 and attempted to install it – again installation failed. And as last resort I did video driver update through Device Manager by pointing to Dell’s driver directory. After about a minute Device Manager somehow picked up the video driver (although driver is for Windows 7).

    How do you handle drivers installation for old equipment which is not supported in Windows release?

    In my case I use IObit Driver Booster on reference computer to install it into the image, and if the reference computer is not virtual machine then through it I update drivers (Driver Booster does pretty good job).

    The deployment of such gold image on same hardware as rule does not require any update for drivers and in most cases the only update required is Defender or Essential security update (I got an impression that these updates sometimes released a few times a day).

    Thank you for all your input,
    Polar Bear


  • Moderator

    @Polar-Bear Well MDT is a complete build environment. So its almost like starting new. But one of the task sequences you can tell it go update your reference computer using your local WSUS server or use the Microsoft WSUS online servers as long as your reference computer can reach the internet.

    I have my deployment setup for lite touch method. Once I start the task sequence I go away and let MDT build the reference image. When I come back MDT is done and I can sysprep the system and then capture with FOG for deployment. Understand it took me about 4 days of going from not knowing MDT to getting my first image out, and then about another week to perfect the image. Building your reference image with a virtual machine is a must to make your life easier. Once MDT is done then sysprep and capture with FOG. I will not go back to building images by hand anymore.



  • george1421,

    How well works MDT?

    I never tried it before and I do not mind to give it ‘a shot’ if it works well.

    Thank you,
    Polar Bear



  • Hi george1421,

    what did you use to slipstream updates into wim file? How much time did it take?

    I found that it is much easier to update reference computer with Windows 7 than with Windows 8 (I spent a few days to find a way to update Windows 8 – without WSUS it just did not work).

    Yesterday I did a run test with Windows 8.1 – I have reimaged with gold image a real computer. Then I found that it detected a few updates – but attempt to install them failed (through windows updates check).

    Thank you,
    Polar Bear


  • Moderator

    Before I switched over to MDT to build my reference images I used WSUS offline to install the windows updates on the reference image. Understand this was with Windows 7 towards the end there was 178 updates that would need to be applied, doing that from Windows update on line it would take forever to build the reference computer. The other thing we work with was slip streaming the updates directly into the wim file used to create the reference image. That seamed to work well too. We even did the slip streaming route while using MDT because it would take between 4 and 6 hours to build a reference image with MDT in fully automated mode.

    In your case for Win8.x having the updates already downloaded and on a local share (in the case of wsus off-line) will help speed up the installation process for you.


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