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How can I deploy Windows 8.1 x64 to the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 using MDT 2013 ?



In a previous post I showed you how you can deploy Windows 8.1 x64 to the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 using System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager.



In this post I'll show you how to do the same thing with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013, except this is fully automated, all you have to provide is a server, the operating system files and change a few variables in the script.


Note: As this is fully automated, and as this does install a WDS server role hosting a boot image, you should test it in a lab first and modify the script accordingly.


There are many PowerShell scripts out there to create fully automated labs (hydration kits) from MDT gurus like Johan Arwidmark or Mikael Nystrom or upcoming cool dudes like Nickolaj Andersen, but this script is tailored for one thing only, deploying Windows 8.1 x64 to the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 with all drivers loaded.


You may want to download it and customize it to suit your needs for other hardware because what it does is pretty cool.


This script performs the following actions:-

  • Downloads and then Installs Windows ADK 8.1 (if you have not done so already)
  • Downloads and then Installs MDT 2013 (if you have not done so already)
  • Downloads all required drivers for Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (see screenshot below)

Downloading Surface Pro 3 drivers.png

  • Adds the Windows 8.1 x64 operating system into MDT
  • Adds the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 drivers into MDT (see screenshot below)

Surface Pro 3 drivers in the Deployment Workbench.png

  • Creates Selection Profiles for Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and WinPE x64 (see screenshot below)

selection profiles.png

  • Creates a Deploy Windows 8.1 x64 - Surface Pro 3 task sequence
  • Edits the Deploy Windows 8.1 x64 - Surface Pro 3 task sequence and adds an inject drivers step for Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (see screenshot below)

Surface Pro 3 drivers step.png


in addition, it sets the WMI query for the Surface Pro 3 on that step (see screenshot below)


wmi query.png

  • Injects the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 network drivers into the LiteTouchPE_x64.wim
  • Creates new CustomSettings.ini and BootStrap.ini files
  • Disables the X86 boot wim (not needed for Surface Pro 3)
  • Changes the Selection Profile for the X64 boot wim to use the WinPE x64 selection profile (see screenshot below)

winPE x64 selection profile.png

  • Installs the Windows Deployment Service role
  • Configures the WDS role and adds the previously created LiteTouchPE_x64.wim (see screenshot below)

wds with lite touch windows pe boot wim.png

  • Starts the WDS service so that you can PXE boot (UEFI network boot).

All you have to do is download the script below, then place some files in the right place, PXE boot a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and sit back and enjoy the show. So let's get on with what you need to do...


Step 1. Download the script


This PowerShell script will do all the hard work for you, download it and place it on your server that is designated to be the MDT 2013 server. I've tested it on Server 2012R2 only, if you run it on a different operating system and have issues then post your results below.


Setup MDT 2013 for Microsoft Surface Pro 3.zip


Update: I've updated the script above to include the March 2015 drivers and updates and it's available here.


Step 2. Configure the variables in the script


Once you have downloaded the script, you should configure the variables interspersed throughout the script, the most important of them is the $SourceFolder variable as this decides where to get the content from (if you've copied it already) and where to store it. This variable should point to a valid drive letter, the folder name will be created if it does not exist.


change the SourcePath variable.png


The $FolderPath variable will be the MDT Deployment share root folder eg: E:\DeploymentShare.


There are other variables to configure, scroll down through the script to find them, such as the ones below


configuring variables.png


You will also want to edit the CustomSettings.ini and BootStrap.ini settings within the script to suit your own environment.


Step 3. Copy the Windows 8.1 x64 operating system files


Mount a Microsoft Windows 8.1 x64 Enterprise ISO and copy the contents to $SourceFolder\Operating Systems\ as shown below


copy the Windows 81 iso contents.png


Step 4. Copy MDT 2013, ADK 8.1, Surface Pro 3 drivers (optional)


If you've already downloaded the above files then place them in the source folder, otherwise the script will download them for you. In the screenshot below you can see I'm manually copying the offline ADK 8.1 files, you do not have to do this as the script will download the content for you if it's not found.


copy the Windows ADK 81.png


Step 5. Copy your Applications to the respective folders (optional)


If you have apps like Office 2013, copy them to their respective folders as shown below


Office 2013 Pro Plus.png


If you do add apps, then you'll also need to change the following section of CustomSettings.ini




Step 6. Run the script


On the server that is to be your MDT server, start the script in PowerShell ISE or which method you prefer, below you can see the script in action, it has just created the selection profiles for the Surface Pro 3


the script in action.png


After the script is complete, you are ready to test deploying a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 installation.


script is all done.png


and below you can see the E:\Source folder after the script has run, it has downloaded a bunch of stuff !


source folder.png


Step 7. Sit back and watch the deployment


Take a properly shutdown Surface Pro 3, and power it on using the following sequence


Hold the down volume key and then press the power button while continuing to hold down the volume key, it should PXE boot


Press enter when prompted


PXE boot.png


and then it will load the MDT LitetouchPE_X64 boot wim.




before prompting you for a computername, note that it's currently set to SurfacePro3,


Windows Deployment Wizard shows the SurfacePro3 computername.png


you can change it in the UI itself or automate it via the many methods available such as those that Mikael describes here


click next and off it goes, inject the Surface Pro 3 drivers (oh and of course, you've got working network in WinPE as the network drivers were added to the boot wim already)


drivers injected.png


and after a wee while, it's done.


the finished product.png




If the script has issues starting WDS (and you see the error below)


An error occurred while trying to execute the command.
Error Code: 0x41D
Error Description: The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion.



then restart the server, as you were asked to do at the end of the script ;-).


For deployment issues, you can review the logs found in the following locations depending on what part of the OSD process you are in:-


In WinPE


  • X:\windows\temp\SMSTSLOG


In Windows


  • C:\Windows\Temp\DeploymentLogs
  • C:\Users\Administrator\Appdata\Local\temp\SMSTSLog




Automating the deployment of Windows 8.1 x64 Enterprise to the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is not only possible but relatively easy with MDT 2013 and a custom powershell script like the one above. I must also say a big thanks to Nikolaj who helped me with some issues in the script, you are awesome !


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Hi the task sequence does not get created with the following error


Import-MDTTaskSequence : Cannot bind parameter 'OperatingSystemPath' to the target. Exception setting "OperatingSystemPath": "Cannot find path 'DS001:\Operating Systems\Windows

8.1 Enterprise x64\sources\install.wim' because it does not exist."




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copy the entire contents of your Windows 8.1 with update extracted iso to E:\Source\Operating Systems\Windows 8.1 x64

or whatever your path is, they try running the script again

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I have done this a few times now.


Am i right in thinking once it has imported the OS and then tries to create the TS, the OS Name is what should be in the code line? As this then tells it where the wim is located.


I.E. when i look in the work bench I see “Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation in Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation x64 install.wim” as operating system name.


So the code should be:

import-mdttasksequence -path "DS001:\Task Sequences\Windows 8.1 x64" -Name "Deploy Windows 8.1 x64 - Surface Pro 3" -Template "Client.xml" -Comments "© windows-noob.com" -ID "001" -Version "1.0" -OperatingSystemPath "DS001:\Operating Systems\Windows 8.1 x64\Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation in Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation x64 install.wim" -FullName "windows-noob" -OrgName "windows-noob.com" -HomePage "about:blank" -AdminPassword "Password" -Verbose

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Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation in Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation x64 install.wim

can't be right, look at the path, the wim will generally always be called install.wim

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