How to Update Windows ADK on a SCCM Server

Jonathan LefebvreSCCM34 Comments

See our updated post if you are installing Windows ADK 1809 or later

With each major release of Windows 10, comes a new release fo the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit. This means yet another product to keep up-to-date in your environment. In this post, we will cover how to update an existing installation of a Windows ADK on an SCCM server. If you are looking for a history of Windows ADK versions, see our post here.

The following steps can be applied no matter what version of the ADK is already installed or will be installed.

Why the Windows ADK must be updated?

  • Stay supported for SCCM and Windows 10 OS deployment
  • Microsoft recommend matching the Windows 10 version deployed
  • New setting in WinPE or in the Unattend.xml for the latest Windows 10 build
  • Windows ADK has not a history of bug-free releases. You should hold on the update for a couple days/weeks to see bug reports
  • It’s not mandatory to update the Windows ADK in order to deploy the latest Windows 10 build. An earlier version of the Windows ADK should work just fine, even if unsupported when a new Windows 10 release comes out.

Windows ADK Compatibility Chart

Here’s the table for Windows ADK compatibility with SCCM Current Branch, as the time of posting.

With the release of Windows 10 1803, Microsoft changed to game a bit regarding the supported version of SCCM. Only SCCM Current Branch 1802 support Windows 10 1803. See our blog to upgrade SCCM to 1802

For the latest compatibility chart, check this Technet documentation.

Consideration before updating Windows ADK
  • If you modified the default USMT configuration XML, they should be backed up before starting the update of Windows ADK
  • Boot images will require more or less work, depending on your setup.

How to update Windows ADK

The process of updating the Windows ADK is pretty straight forward:

  • Download the latest version of the Windows ADK
  • Execute ADKSetup.exe

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Select Download and provide a path. This will allow to pre-download Windows ADK content prior to the installation

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Select Privacy level for the download

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Accept the License Agreement

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Download will take some time as the Windows ADK is about 4.4GB

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Download completed

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Once ready for the update, the old version of the Windows ADK must be uninstalled
  • Open Program and Features, select Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit – Windows 10 and click on Uninstall

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Once the previous Windows ADK is uninstalled, reboot the server
  • Once rebooted, run ADKsetup.exe in the download folder you specified in the previous step

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Select the installation path, click Next

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Select Privacy level wanted. Click Next

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Accept license agreement

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Select the following mandatory features. You can select more if you need others. Click Install
    • Deployment Tools
    • Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)
    • User State Migration Tool (USMT)

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Once completed, verify in the Program and Feature that Windows ADK has been updated to the latest version

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Reboot the server once again

Updating Boot images

After the Windows ADK update is completed,  boot images must be updated in order to use the latest bits for Windows PE.

There are 2 scenarios for you boot images:

Default boot image and updated ADK prior of an SCCM upgrade

If you updated the ADK prior to an in-place upgrade of SCCM to a latest Current branch release, the upgrade of SCCM will automatically regenerate the default boot images as part of the upgrade.

This is not clearly stated as part of an SCCM upgrade. After an upgrade, look at the OS version of the default Boot images, if it is matching your installed version of the Windows ADK, you are good!

SCCM Update Windows ADK

Some times, the automatic update of the default boot images doesn’t work. This is often caused by old driver that are added to boot images.

This will be possible to catch by having a previous version on the boot images

Custom boot image or updated Windows ADK after an SCCM Upgrade

If you are in one of those situation, boot images must be taken care of in a more manual fashion.

  • If you use custom boot images
  • If you already did the SCCM upgrade prior to the Windows ADK update

Wilhelm Kocher and Herbert Fuchs, from Microsoft Premier, created a powershell script to help with this matter

  • Download the powershell script here
  • Execute a Powershell command as administrator
  • Run the script

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Provide Boot Image name. This is the WIM file name

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Provide Boot Image Console name. This is the Name field used for the boot image in the SCCM console

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Provide BootImageConsoleDescription. This is the comment. Can be blank.

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Provide the BootImageConsoleVersion. This is the Version field for the boot image in the SCCM console

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Provide the OSArchitecture. Possible value X86 or AMD64

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Choose to EnableDebugShell. Possible value True or False

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Select if PXEEnabled. Possible value True or False

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Select OverwriteExistingImage. Possible value True or False

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • Select UpdateDistributionPoints. Possible value True or False

SCCM Update Windows ADK

  • The script will now update the boot image with the latest source, while adding all your customization selected from SCCM.

 SCCM Update Windows ADK

Using this script will inject the latest WinPE and also update distribution point when done


A new feature is available in the Technical Preview 1704 of SCCM.

When we hit Update Distribution Point on a boot image (custom or default), it will be possible to Reload this boot image with the current Windows PE version from the Windows ADK

This will actually do the exact same thing as the script used!

SCCM Update Windows ADK

Unattend.xml consideration

Unattend.xml files are used to pass configuration to Windows while the installation is going on. With a new release of Windows 10, new settings could become available at the installation time.  XML files are configured using Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM). Windows SIM is part of the ADK.

That said, new or modified unattend.xml files could be needed along with new Windows 10 releases. They should be modified or created with Windows SIM, after the Windows ADK as been updated.

34 Comments on “How to Update Windows ADK on a SCCM Server”

  1. What are the implications of updating the Boot wim that’s referenced elsewhere? Say we have USB media deployed to techniciansm, will the WinPE environment update the new boot wim cleanly?

  2. Hi
    I needed to update CB1802 today, there is also CB1806 is avaible to download

    What Windows ADK version should I use, the version for 1802 or the latest ?

    // Sokoban

  3. So I was in the situation where my ADK was update AFTER SCCM got in-place upgraded to 1802 with the latest hotfix.

    To refresh by bootimage all I did was click on “Update Distribution Points” and there’s an option to reload the bootimage from the ADK installation directory.

    Both x64 and x86 are now 10.0.171134.1.

    Is there anything additional that powershell script adds?

    1. Hi Eric,

      nope!, you are good to go with the check box to reload the boot image!


  4. When I updated to ADK 1802 on my SCCM site server, it created a folder named Fake Product with many other folders inside, here
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Fake Product\Dev Root\
    Why and what is this?
    thank you

  5. FYI, the boot image script doesn’t seem to like the AMD64 variable you state, rather it wants x64. Your screenshots are right, but the text is wrong.

  6. Hi Jonathan!

    Thank you for the post.

    The highlighted step, ‘Reload boot image with the current Windows PE…’, do you check it off or not?
    Last time I upgraded to latest ADK (10.1.16299.15) and CB from 1702 to 1709, I did check it off. However, we were not able to pxe boot and had to recreate boot images from scratch.

  7. Hi Jonathan!

    Thank you for the post.

    The highlighted step, “Reload boot image with the current Windows PE…”, do you check it off or not?
    Last time I upgraded to latest ADK (10.1.16299.15) and CB from 1702 to 1709, I did check it off. However, we were not able to pxe boot and had to recreate boot images from scratch.

    1. Hi Andrews,
      as said, ADK should match the latest build of Windows 10 you are deploying, in order to be supported. However, using an older version is likely to work just fine.


  8. Pingback: SCCM CB upgrade from 1610 to 1706 Stand-alone primary and secondary | System Center Configuration manager

  9. Hi- I am fairly new to SCCM and noticed that our console ver was a bit out of date. I went ahead and updated it to the latest 1706 release and performed all hotfixes and updates in order. I then realized that I had to update the ADK as well, and have done so to allow all new win 10 OS deployments /imaging to work properly. All of the installations were successful but now I am having an issue creating boot images and updating existing images.

    We were imaging our devices via pxe to win 10 OS 1607. I have tried to update the boot by re-distributing the existing ones and check the ADK option but it is greyed out. When I try to create a new boot image it gives me an error stating that the specified file is invalid and only maximum compression type is supported. I am not sure what steps I need to take at this moments as I have tried to update the existing ones and have tried to create new boot images and cannot get past these errors.

    I am running SCCM on a 2012 R2 box and the version details are Ver 1706 console version 5.00.8540.1600 / site version 5.0.8540.1000

  10. We plan on upgrading to SCCM 1710, but currently we are only deploying Windows 10 1703. At some point in the next few months we will start to test and deploy Windows 10 1709. Should we install ADK 1703 now and then upgrade it to ADK 1709 once we decide to deploy the newer version of windows? Or should we just install ADK 1709 now? Also, we have a requirement to deploy LTSB 2016, which is technically windows 10 1607. How can we keep the ADK version the same as the Windows 10 version if we have to support two different versions? Thanks.

    1. Hi Damon,

      great question. I was not able to find an official statement, but ADK is supposed to be backward compatible for Windows 10. Therefore, the recommended approach would be to have it match the latest version of Windows 10 you are using while being supported on the SCCM side also.

      If you are current on the SCCM side, but 2 versions late for the ADK, you might be in an unsupported setup. It doesn’t mean it won’t work.


  11. After installing the latest Windows ADK, Right click on your Boot Image and click on “update distribution points” Select “reload this boot image with the current Windows PE version from the Windows ADK”

  12. Same question as Rob posted. Updated the ADK, did the reboots. I regenerated my boot images and picked off to use the new ADK (It sees it there as the newer version number for 1709) but the “version” of the boot image remains 10.0.15063.0 and does not change to the OS version 10.0.16299.15). Does this need to just be changed manually to reflect the new OS?

  13. Question, I just installed Windows ADK 1709 I used your script to update the Boot (x64) The Version stayed as 10.0.15063.0 which is ADK 1704 which was the old boot image, and the OS Version 10.0.16299.15 which is ADK 1709, how can I tell if the Boot image is using ADK 1709?. Also if you put Do not overwrite to False the script bombs.

  14. Thanks for the post followed it to the letter to upgrade my ADK and Boot.wim

    though After booting it crashes and forces a restart. Do you have any idea where to start with fixing this?

    1. We’re having the same problem as John (and seeing several other oddities). We used the built-in feature to update using the version from the ADK. It said the current version was 15063.0 but after running it the boot image does actually reflect 16299.15. However, if we run the wizard again, it still shows the old number as the “current” version.

      Now WinPE won’t load on any of our devices. Starts to load and then TSBootShell just seems to die. If we get a command prompt open in time it prevents the reboot, but all activity has ceased.

      1. Same thing here. I’m on SCCM 1610, MDT 2013 Update 2, and was on ADK 1607. I decided to do the updates one a time (ADK -> MDT -> SCCM) to reduce variables since we historically have bad experiences with SCCM-related updates. I updated from ADK 1607 to 1709, and now we can’t deploy bare metal b/c WinPE restarts after “preparing network connections.”

        If I F8 and open a cmd window, it prevents the restart. So far, ipconfig shows a good IP, it can see the local hdd, and there’s only one log file – smsts.log. The only error in there is PxeGetPxeData Failed with 0x80070005.

        1. Got it solved. We updated from SCCM 1606 to 1706 and the problem went away. Boots into WinPE fine now.

  15. hi Jonathan,

    In the Script has an option “PXEEnabled”, I our environment we are using PXE boot options, do I need to select TRUE ?

    Can you elaborate this options please.

  16. Hi,

    We need to upgrade ADK 1511 to 1607.
    Will custom boot images with ADK 1511 will continue to work during imaging after ADK upgrade or
    we need create new custom boot image with ADK 1607 for imaging to work in our environment ?

    1. Hi Nishant,
      If need to upgrade ADK to 1607, you should update boot images also.

      But yes, you 1511 boot images will still work after the upgrade of ADK.


  17. Hm. I tried updating the exisiting boot images by running Update Distribution Points, but the version did not change…

    1. Hi Par,
      I’ve reviewed the post. Take a look at the Boot image section for updated instruction.
      sorry about that

    1. Thank you for your comment Anthony! I’ve adjusted the post with your comment!

      We can’t be right 100% of the time 😉

      Look at the last note about a new feature in TP1704… I think the script will be done when this goes to production builds 🙂


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