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How can I deploy Windows 8 X64 to the Microsoft Surface Pro using Configuration Manager 2012 SP1

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Now that the Microsoft Surface Pro is available organizations are buying it and re-imaging the default Windows 8 Professional installation with their own corporate install (usually means installing an Enterprise edition of Windows 8). In this post I'll show you how to install Windows 8 X64 Enterprise in UEFI mode, with BitLocker enabled using USB based Standalone media created using Configuration Manager 2012 SP1.




Note: Use this guide with care, it is provided to assist you with imaging your Surface Pro in an automated way. windows-noob.com will not be held responsible for any problems that may arise as a result of deploying Windows 8 X64 to your Surface Pro using the methods described below.


First of all, re-imaging the Surface Pro is not that straight forward given the fact that the device has no external facing network card (RJ-45), however it does however have a USB 3 port so you can connect USB devices and use them accordingly.


Secondly, the Surface Pro is UEFI only and 64 Bit so you can only install a 64bit UEFI capable operating system on it.


Thirdly, the Surface Pro has only got one USB 3 port, and we are going to use this port to do our imaging, however we want to connect both a USB flash key and a USB network dongle at the same time, as a result we will use a USB 4-port hub to split one USB port into many.


Lastly, and more importantly there is no ability in the current Surface Pro firmware to boot over the network, (it's rumored to be available in a later firmware release from Microsoft, no ETA on that however) therefore we'll use USB Standalone media to install our corporate image. (Update, see the note below about PXE boot).


For the purpose of this guide i've used some additional hardware listed below:

  • USB network dongle model dlink Dub E-100
  • 8GB USB key
  • USB 4-port hub

So, in the photo below you can see the Surface Pro is connected to a USB 4-port hub, and that hub has a USB key and USB Network dongle attached, that is in turn connected to my Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 Server environment running on HyperV (it's a LAB).


Surface Pro connected to 4 port USB hub.JPG


Update: After writing this guide, Microsoft have released a PXE capable Network adaptor for the Surface Pro available from here. I don't have access to one but if you'd like me to test it, feel free to send one my way.


Step 1. Create the task sequence


In the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 console navigate to Software Library, select operating systems and right click on task sequences, select Create Task Sequence


Create Task Sequence.png


The Create New Task Sequence wizard appears, choose Install an existing image package


Install an existing image package.png


On the Specify Task Sequence information screen give the task sequence a suitable name like Deploy Windows 8 X64 Enterprise - Surface Pro and choose the X64 boot image (this is very important as it will not boot with the x86 boot image)


Note: For UEFI deployments, you must use the boot image matching the architecture of the system being deployed. So for x86 only hardware it must be an x86 boot image and for x64 hardware it must be an x64 boot image. The Surface Pro is X64 hardware therefore you must use a 64 bit boot image.


Specify Task Sequence information.png


for the Install the windows operating system step click on Browse


Install the windows operating system.png


and select the Windows 8 Install.wim file (from the sources folder on your Windows 8 media) which has been previously added as an Operating System Image and distributed to your distribution points,


install wim from the sources folder.png


fill in the product key and change the administrator password so if your deployment fails for any reason and it's not domain joined you'll at least be able to login and troubleshoot. Note that the BitLocker ability is now available and you can select or deselect it if you wish, if you do select it then keep in mind that you may need to extend the Active Directory Schema to support Bitlocker.


Install the windows operating syste details.png


fill in the domain join details in the Configure the Network step and verify your domain join account settings by clicking on verify before continuing


Configure the Network.png


point to your Configuration Manager Client package in the Install the configuration manager client step


Install the configuration manager client.png


if you want to migrate users data then make your appropriate choices in the Configure State Migration step


Configure State migration.png


on the include software updates screen, it's not selected by default so leave it like that


include software updates.png


and then add some applications by clicking on the Yellow starburst and selecting your application, to continue installing applications if one fails, select the appropriate checkbox


Install Applications.png


and click next through to completion





Step 2. Import drivers for the Surface Pro into Configuration Manager


We need to install drivers for the Surface Pro during installation of Windows 8 otherwise certain functionality won't work (like wireless for example), you could use something like Driver Genius to extract the drivers stored on your Surface Pro before you wipe it or use the drivers that someone else has already extracted, I like using ready made drivers so head on over to this site, and download those drivers and extract them to your Configuration Manager server somewhere like \\sccm\sources\os\drivers\source\W8\Surface


Update: Microsoft has released a driver pack for the Surface Pro here.


The extracted drivers should look something like this:


Surface Driver package source.png


Once done, create a new empty driver package by right clicking on Driver Packages and choose Create Driver Package


Create Driver Package.png


give the package a suitable name like Microsoft Surface Pro - Windows 8 X64 and note that the path is for the driver package itself and not the drivers we extracted above, so keep them separate, in this case use \\sccm\sources\os\drivers\packages\w8\Surface


Microsoft Surface Pro - Windows 8 X64.png


Next wee need to import the drivers (into the package), so In the configuration Manager console select Drivers, right click and choose Import driver


Import Driver.png


point to the UNC path where you copied the extracted files eg: \\sccm\sources\os\drivers\source\w8\surface


import all drivers in the following network path (unc).png


on the specify the details for the imported driver step click on Categories


specify the details for the imported driver.png


and click create, give the category a name like Microsoft Surface Pro - Windows 8 X64


category created.png


so our driver details now looks like this


driver details.png


on the Add drivers to packages screen select our Microsoft Surface Pro - Windows 8 X64 package


select the packages to add the imported driver.png


we will not be adding any drivers to any boot images so click next through that step


select drivers to include in the boot image.png


and click next through the wizard and it will start importing the drivers (warning, can take some time....)


importing driver 5%.png


After a (long) while the driver import should complete


The import new driver wizard completed successfully.png


Lastly, don't forget to select the Driver Package and distribute it to your distribution points by right-clicking the driver package and choosing Distribute content.


distribute content.png



Step 3. Edit the Task Sequence


Now we want to edit the task sequence to change how it applies drivers, so right click on the Task Sequence and choose Edit


Edit Task Sequence.png


Disable the Apply Device Drivers step by selecting it, clicking on the options tab and selecting disable this step


disable this step.png


once done, click on Add then Drivers then Apply Driver Package like in the screenshot below


apply driver package.png


select the Microsoft Surface Pro - Windows 8 X64 driver package by clicking on browse


apply driver package step.png


then click on the Options tab and click on add condition then query wmi, use the following WMI query

SELECT * FROM Win32_ComputerSystem WHERE Model Like "%Surface with Windows 8 Pro%"

wmi query.png


Tip: If you want to set the DPI (dots per inch) on the Surface Pro display then please see this post.



Step 4. Create the Task Sequence standalone media


Now everything is in place to create the Standalone media, so insert a USB key into your computer running a Configuration Manager console and browse to Task Sequences in the Operating System Deployment section.


In the ribbon click on Create Task Sequence media


Create Task Sequence Media.png


when the Select the type of media screen appears, choose Stand-alone media


select the type of media.png


on the Specify the media type screen select USB (first option) and select the drive letter corresponding to your USB key


specify the media type.png


answer yes to the format prompt


The device will be formatted and all the files will be erased.png


enter a security password (to ensure that no one accidently wipes a device)


select security settings for the media.png


and click on browse to select our previously created Task Sequence


select the task sequence.png


next you'll see what packages are on distribution points, select the ones appropriate for your environment (if you forgot to distribute a package exit the wizard and fix that, then start this process again), in the example below i've clicked on Add and added 8 of 8


select the distribution points for the media.png


next you can add any computer variables or a prestart command, i've covered those elsewhere but for this task sequence i'll add the OSDComputername variable and leave it blank to forcefully prompt for a computername during deployment otherwise we'll get the MININT-xxxxxx name.


customize the task sequence media.png


click next at the summary and accept any UAC prompt, it will begin creating the USB media


creating the usb media.png


and after a while it will complete.


create task sequence media wizard completed successfully.png



Step 5. Boot from the USB stand-alone media


Shutdown the Surface Pro and when it is powered off, make sure the USB 4 port hub with the USB stand-alone media and USB Network dongle is connected, then press and hold the volume down key on the left side of the Surface Pro and press the power button once. If you do the combination correctly, the system will attempt to boot from the USB stand-alone media.


Below you can see the boot process (YouTube video with no narration sorry) and I also enter the ComputerName as part of that process, yes you can even see one of our cats, called Trauma in the background.


usb boot surface.png


Ok once the process kicks off you can sit back and admire the automation via Configuration Manager 2012 SP1, it will install all the drivers included in your Driver Package and join the domain,


Surface Getting Ready.JPG


then it will Setup windows and Configuration Manager, reboot and enable BitLocker install your Applications and eventually present you with the login screen.


Surface - Configuration Manager.JPG


Login and you'll see the Surface Pro is installed with Windows 8 X64 Enterprise, it has BitLocker Enabled, it's paritioned for UEFI and it's managed by Configuration Manager 2012 SP1.


Now is that cool or what ? oh yeah ! some more screenshots below


Screenshot (1).png

Screenshot (2).png


Screenshot (3).png


Screenshot (4).png



Troubleshooting notes


  • You can enter the bios/firmware screen by shutting down the OS, then press and hold Volume UP and then press the power button. The bios/firmware screen allows you to enable or disable secure boot amongst other things. Secure Boot is a feature that helps prevent unauthorized firmware, operating systems, or UEFI drivers (also known as Option ROMs) from running at boot time. For further details please see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh824987.aspx


  • You can bring up the command prompt during the task sequence deployment provided that you've enabled command support in the boot image and press the FN key plus the Settings key (which corresponds to F8)





Imaging the Surface Pro does present some technical challenges given it's current firmware and lack of a physical RJ-45 network port, and the fact that it is 64 bit hardware in UEFI mode, however it's possible to image the Surface Pro with an UEFI compatible 64bit Operating System using standalone media from Configuration Manager 2012 SP1.


Update. PXE boot has become available since the time of writing this guide but only if you use the official network adapter supplied from Microsoft.

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Hey once again thank you for this great article. How in the world did Microsoft forget about PXE?


Anyway quick question and it's probably dumb but with this setup are their any prompts for user customization before they reach the login screen? Or should I build an answer file and plug it in here so that it goes striaght to the login screen?

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i don't see any prompts for user customization you can configure GPO's to hide most of that like so http://www.niallbrady.com/2012/09/24/how-can-i-disable-the-while-we-are-getting-things-ready-animation-for-all-users-in-windows-8/

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Did you see a prompt about selecting a wireless network? Or since SCCM connects it to a domain it pulls policy and ignores all the OOBE stuff? Sorry about the noob question about I'm new to this stuff. Leaving Symantec Ghost. While there are lots of steps here I find it much more powerful.

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I was struggling to image the Surface Pro until I found this guide. Worked great, thank you.

I wasn't able to boot to the USB drive using the volume down key and power button. The advanced startup to USB drive didn't work either. But, I was able to run the TSMBAutorun file manually and it worked.

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I was struggling to image the Surface Pro until I found this guide. Worked great, thank you.


I wasn't able to boot to the USB drive using the volume down key and power button. The advanced startup to USB drive didn't work either. But, I was able to run the TSMBAutorun file manually and it worked.




did you shutdown prior to attempting to boot from USB ? what happened when you did try to boot from USB ?

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did you shutdown prior to attempting to boot from USB ? what happened when you did try to boot from USB ?


Yes, I made sure to shutdown. I held the volume down key while I pressed the power button and kept the volume down key pressed while it booted up. It seemed to just boot like normal. I also tried letting up on the volume down key after I noticed the USB flashing. But no luck so far. Using the advanced startup option, then booting to the USB drive also didn't work and booted up like normal as well.


I'll keep trying it out because from what I've read it shouldn't be difficult.

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