ConfigMgr 2012 SP1: Deploying Windows 8 Enterprise on a tablet device, first impressions…

29 Jul

At one of my current projects, I have the privilege of creating a Task Sequence to deploy Windows 8 on a tablet device. The customer uses a DELL Latitude 10 tablet. Fortunately, they purchased docking stations for these devices as well.

Having a docking station available greatly simplifies the deployment process, especially if the docking station is equipped with a NIC that supports PXE.

I used DELL’s comprehensive guide as a reference for deploying an OS using ConfigMgr 2012 SP1, which is available here:

I noticed a few things after reading the document:

  • DELL assumes that MDT 2012 U1 is not integrated in ConfigMgr 2012 SP1. It forces an administrator to do some manual tasks which are available in MDT 2012 U1, especially regarding the partitioning stuff for UEFI devices. A standard client Task Sequence includes a step for partitioning a disk on a UEFI device
  • DELL assumes an image is built with the drivers included. While this may greatly increase the deployment speed for this tablet, an administrator is forced to manage more images because of the added customization

Readers who visit my blog regularly should know me by now and I try to keep the amount of customization as little as possible, always…

After intensive testing I concluded the following: – To keep customization to a minimum, I create an MDT Task Sequence which will apply an image from an OS Install Package. Yes, it will result into an unattended install of Windows 8 Enterprise (with domain join etc.) – To follow the guide, I added an Apply Driver Package Task which will install all necessary drivers for the device, including the drivers for the docking station – If any applications are required, they will be installed

The only challenge I have is updates, I need to decide on how to process updates as easily as possible. I’m considering to use the Install Updates Offline Package, need to investigate though.

Hope this helps defining your strategy on these tablet devices…


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