MDT 2013 Guide 06: Build Task Sequence

In this post we will set up the build task sequence and configure CustomSettings.ini with some defaults.

 

Create Build Task Sequence

This task sequence will install Windows 8.1 onto the virtual machine, install Office 2013 and all Windows Updates, and then shut down, ready for us to take a snapshot.

Right-click on Task Sequences and choose New Task Sequence. Enter a Task Sequence ID and Task Sequence name.

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Leave the template on Standard Client Task Sequence.

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Choose the Windows 8.1 Evaluation WIM file.

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Do not specify a product key when prompted. Set the Organization Name to anything you like as this will be overridden when deploying the gold image.

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Set an appropriate Administrator password and then complete the wizard.

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Right-click on the new Task Sequence and choose Properties. Select the Task Sequence tab.

To fix a minor bug in MDT 2012 and 2013 we need to disable two steps in the Task Sequence. Click on Restore User State, then on the Options tab and tick Disable this step.

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Do the same and disable the Restore Groups step.

Enable both the Windows Update steps. You will be left with task sequence like this:

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Add the Office 2013 Application

By default, the task sequence adds a step called Install Applications which simply installs all mandatory applications. Mandatory applications have to be specified in the CustomSettings.ini and I try to avoid editing that whenever possible, so I will remove this task and create a separate group for installing applications.

Open up the Task Sequence properties, select Install Applications and click Remove.

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In its place, create a New Group called Install Applications.

Create an Install Application task under that group and name it Install Office 2013. Choose Install a Single Application and choose the Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus application that we created earlier.

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Click OK to save the task sequence.

 

Adding Pause Task

Lastly, we will set up a task to pause the Task Sequence at the end. This will allow us to snapshot the virtual machine before we capture the image.

Open the task sequence again and click on Custom Tasks. Click on Add – General – Run Command Line.

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Change the Name to Pause Task Sequence and enter the following command line:

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Click OK to save again.

 

Update Rules/CustomSettings.ini

In the Deployment Workbench, right-click on MDT Deployment Share and choose Properties. Click on the Rules tab, and in the main body of the window you will see a number of lines arranged in the format of an INI file.

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Although most of the configuration of the deployment process can be done from this file, we will instead use the MDT Database as it is easier to update and query. This file will contain only the entries that we want to configure as defaults for all computers.

The lines already under the [Default] section specify which pages of the MDT wizard to skip. As we want to run this as a zero touch solution, we want to suppress all the pages of the wizard.

By default a few pages are already skipped, so add the following lines to the end of the [Default] section:

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For an explanation of what each line does, check the Deployment Workbench Help, under Toolkit Reference – Properties – Property Definition.

Note: The SkipBDDWelcome=YES property also has to be specified in the Bootstrap.ini file in order for it to work, so click on the Edit Bootstrap.ini button.
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Add the same line to the end of the [Default] section.

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Save the file and exit.

Click OK to save the Rules.

 

Conclusion

We have created the task sequence needed to build the gold image, and adjusted the CustomSettings.ini file with some defaults. Next we will configure the MDT Database.

 

MDT2013 Series:
01 Intro and Active Directory Setup
02 MDT Software Installation
03 Deployment Share and MDT Database Setup
04 Network Access Permissions
05 Application and OS
06 Creating Build Task Sequence
07 MDT Database
08 WDS and PXE Booting
09 Creating the Gold Image
10 Capturing the Gold Image
11 Creating Deployment Task Sequence
12 Deployment Role and Computer Object