New ADK for Windows 8.1 Now Available

Organizations that have deployed System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager or System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 and have downloaded and installed the ADK 8.1 before 10/18/2013, now need to download and install the updated version. The previous version does not need to be uninstalled as all that is required is to simply run the ADK setup which will then update the previous install. The User State Migration Tool (USMT) package also requires an update which is created by the Configuration Manager and contains fixes to the USMT binaries.
The following changes that are included with the Windows ADK and Windows 8.1.

  • Windows ADK Documentation - Covering both Assessment and Performance Analysis
  • Changes in Out-Of-Box (OOBE) Experience - Oobe.cmd and Setupcomplete.cmd are disabled if an OEM product key is used. This is to ensure that end-users reach Start as quickly as possible. If any tools or services use this infrastructure, they must be changed to tasks that occur after the OOBE.  
  • Catalog files are no longer included with Windows - Catalog files (.clg) are no longer included in the  /sources folder. You must create catalog files by using Windows System Image Manager (SIM).
  • Windows 8 and SkipRearm - The SkipRearm setting is no longer required to reset the Windows Product Activation clock when running Sysprep. In Windows 8, the SkipRearm setting is used to specify the Windows licensing state. If a product key is specified, Windows is automatically activated allowing the Sysprep command to be run an unlimited number of times.

The following steps are required to complete the update:

  1. Download the new ADKSETUP.EXE and execute it.  (If an error occurs stating that an older version is installed, then version of the ADK for Windows 8.1 running is not RTM and would require to be uninstalled manually before continuing.)
  2. Select the option to Install new or updated features

  3.  Accept the license agreement, then select from the list of updated components of which the newer ones are marked with red asterisks

  4. Click Install to install the updated components.

While there are updates shown to all the components listed above, the only ones changed are the User State Migration Tool (USMT), Deployment Tools (containing WIMGAPI), and Windows Assessment Services.

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