Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit

The Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10 contains essential tools for automating a large-scale deployment of Windows 10. Regardless of whether you use MDT or SCCM as your deployment manager, you’ll need parts of the ADK to complete the deployment.
If you’ve used the ADK with previous Windows deployments, you should definitely evaluate the latest version. The new ADK includes some significant improvements:

■ Provisioning support Using this capability, you can create special packages for customizing new Windows 10 devices, “provisioning” them for use in your enterprise without having to wipe the preinstalled OEM image and load a custom image of your own creation.

■ System file compression You can run Windows 10 directly from compressed files. The effect is similar to WIMBoot, a feature that was introduced in the Windows 8.1 Update. The new process is more elegant (and much more efficient) because it uses individual files instead of a static Windows Image (WIM) file. When updating system files, Windows 10 replaces the old files instead of keeping both copies.

In addition, the ADK contains documentation for two useful features that are part of Windows 10:

■ Push-button reset This feature, available since Windows 8, now incorporates system updates by default. When a user needs to use the Reset option to recover from a problem, the new image is fully up to date and there’s no need to reinstall new updates.

■ Partial language packs Instead of adding full language packs (which can consume excessive disk space), you can add just the base user-interface files for a language. Windows will download the full language packs via Windows Update if needed when enabling features such as handwriting or voice recognition.

If you’re familiar with previous releases of the ADK, you’ll find some interesting additions in this release, including the Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer, the Windows Assessment Toolkit, the Windows Performance Toolkit, and several new and improved deployment tools. The latter group includes an updated Windows Driver Kit (WDK), Hardware Lab Kit (HLK), Software Development Kit (SDK), and Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK).

Beginning with this release, the Windows ADK documentation is available on the MSDN Hardware Dev Center, at https://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/hardware/dn927348(v=vs.85).aspx.

The following list describes some crucial pieces of the ADK and how they’re useful for deployment tasks, including management of custom images:

■ Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) This tool is used to mount and service Windows images. Using this tool, you can customize an offline image and add drivers, enable or disable Windows features, add or remove packages and Universal Windows apps,
and upgrade the Windows edition. DISM also includes PowerShell cmdlets.

■ Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) This is the (very) small operating system that typically resides on a boot device such as a USB flash drive or DVD. It’s used to boot a computer that doesn’t already have a Windows version installed. Windows PE is also used for data recovery and repair operations.

■ Windows System Image Manager Use this tool to create and customize answer files that change Windows settings and run scripts during installation.

■ Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (Windows ICD) New in Windows 10,
this tool allows you to create provisioning packages that can be used to customize Windows 10 devices of any type without re-imaging. You also can use it to build and deploy an image for Windows 10 desktop editions. I discuss this in more detail later in this section.

■ User State Migration Tool (USMT) The purpose of this venerable tool is to migrate user profiles from an old operating system to a new one, typically as part of a wipe-and-load deployment.

■ Windows Assessment Toolkit and Windows Performance Toolkit These tools are intended primarily for OEMs to assess the quality and performance of systems or components.

Source of Information : Microsoft Introducing Windows 10 For IT Professionals

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