MDT 2012 Update 1: ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 CTP support


The MDT 2012 Update 1 release is primarily intended to add support for deploying Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.  For ConfigMgr 2012, it’s the SP1 release that adds similar support.  So if you want to start testing out the Windows 8 deployment process, you’ll want to be using MDT 2012 Update 1 (beta at this point, release version in the coming weeks) with ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 CTP.  See John Vintzel’s posting at http://blogs.technet.com/b/inside_osd/archive/2012/07/20/sp1-setup-changes-system-center-2012-configuration-manager.aspx that talks about some of the changes in ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 related to OSD.

The specific changes that we made in the MDT 2012 Update 1 task sequence templates to support the new functionality in ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 are:

  • New steps for formatting and partitioning UEFI disks.  ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 CTP now supports UEFI deployment, which brings some specific requirements around the disk structure: you must use GPT disks, you should create four partitions, etc.  So we’ve added UEFI-specific steps to the MDT task sequence templates that will automatically run when booting into UEFI, creating the necessary structure.  These are executed conditionally, based on whether UEFI is present or not.
  • BitLocker pre-provisioning.  We’ve added a step that uses the new ConfigMgr “Pre-Provision BitLocker” task sequence action to enable BitLocker while still in Windows PE, telling Windows to only encrypt used space.  This greatly improves the time required to completely deploy a new OS with BitLocker enabled – now the disk can be encrypted while empty (only encrypting used space, but there is little at that point in the process) and then protectors (TPM, PIN, etc.) can be added later.
  • Installation of Windows 8 applications (“Metro” apps) via UDI and the application catalog web service.  (More on that in a future blog posting.)

So try out the combination of MDT 2012 Update 1 Beta 1 (available on http://connect.microsoft.com), ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 CTP (available from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30133), and Windows 8 Release Preview (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/release-preview) today.

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