SCCM Express Installation Files for Windows 10 Updates

Jonathan LefebvreSCCM, WINDOWS 1015 Comments

One of SCCM Current Branch 1702 new feature is to support Express installation files for Windows 10 Cumulative Updates. This new features will enable a Windows 10 client to download only differential files from the previous month Cumulative Update. This should limit the size of Windows 10 Cumulative Updates as they tend to get bigger from months to months.

In this post, we will cover how to configure SCCM and Windows 10 in order to benefit from express installation files.

Prerequisites for SCCM Express Installation Files

Note

This feature is also supported with Windows Update, WSUS and Windows Update for Business.

Enable Express Installation Files in SCCM

New settings for server and client are needed in order to manage Express installation files.

A modification must be done to the Software Update Point component:

  • Open SCCM console, go to Administration / Site Configuration / Sites / Configure Site Components and select Software Update Point

SCCM Express installation files

  • On the Update Files tab, a new setting is available. Download both full files for all approved updates and express installation files for Windows 10

SCCM Express installation files

Client settings

Enabling this option also require a modification on the client side by modifying the client settings:

  • Go to Administration / Site Configuration / Client Settings

SCCM Express installation files

  • Edit your client setting, click Properties

SCCM Express installation files

  • Under Software Update scroll to Enable installation of Express installation files on clients

SCCM Express installation files

  • Another setting must be set, Port Used to download content for Express installation files.

SCCM Express installation files

Note
Microsoft as only provided this small explanation on the port.

This creates a new HTTP listener that listens for requests to download express installation files on the port that you specify. Once you deploy client settings to enable this functionality on the client, it will attempt to download the delta between the current month’s Windows 10 Cumulative Update and the previous month’s update (clients must run a version of Windows 10 that supports express installation files).

The port configuration is not required to be open in any firewall, as this is for local computer traffic only.

The actual download of updates still uses the Distribution Point process, which is port 80 by default.

Express installation files download

When the Software Update Point is configured to download Express installation files, the download will be done just as any other updates.

  • If we take a closer look inside a Software Update Package, we can see a new folder with Express at the beginning

SCCM Express installation files

  • Inside, we can see the difference between the Express files and the full KB below. The size is roughly 3 times bigger for the Express file. This specific KB3150513 is pretty small. There is no Express file so far for the big cumulative update. Will be interesting to follow in the next months.

SCCM Express installation files

  • Under the Properties/Content Information of the KB, we can see the Express information.

SCCM Express installation files

  • On the client side, as stated above, we were not able to “use” the Express file. It’s the client that determine to use it or not.

We will update this post when we have more information on the client side impact.

More details can be found in Microsoft documentation.

Contributor of System Center Dudes. Based in Montreal, Canada, Senior Microsoft SCCM consultant, working in the industry for more than 10 years. He developed a strong knowledge of SCCM and MDT to build automated OS deployment solution for clients, managed large and complexe environment, including Point of Sale (POS) related projects.
SCCM Express Installation Files for Windows 10 Updates
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15 Comments on “SCCM Express Installation Files for Windows 10 Updates”

  1. Any idea on how to clear out the express files? I disabled it in ConfigMgr but when my ADR runs it seems to re-download them again. Its killing our storage…

    1. Sorry, I should clarify, It doesn’t redownload – rather it add’s these back in my software package.

  2. Hey.
    I will upgrade our Production from 1610 to 1706. If i enable Express update, do you know if it will only download the express for NEW updates not for allready downloaded updates?

  3. Hi, I have a problem with a client that have C: (1TB) drive full.
    After some researches I check that the folder C:\Windows\CCM\Temp is 479GB big!
    In this folder there are 2-3 folders with the name express_****.
    I have deleted these but after some minutes they are recreated with 2GB size files inside ad grow up.

    Do you think is better to disable express update from SCCM?
    This can resolve the issue of big file size?

    Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Luca,

      Wow!! that’s a lot of data under the CCM/Temp…
      After the test I’ve done, I recommend to my client to stay away of Express Installation files… so I don’t have that kind of field experience with this feature.

      If you have time, try to report this here : https://connect.microsoft.com/ConfigurationManagervnext

      this for sure will be investigated!

      Thanks
      Jonathan

  4. Hey!
    with enabled express: 4-5 hours to download.
    after disable client setting: 1-2 minutes…..

    Does anyone get good result?

  5. Was there any update on this? I tried this feature and the download speeds were super slow. In the deltadownload log i could see the download constantly fetching 65k chunks of data at a time?

    Turned the feature off and the download came down immediately.

      1. Having same issue, looking at the DeltaDownload.log on the local client shows that the client is downloading the update in 65 Kilobyte Segments.

        Is there a setting to speed this up? I realize the idea around express files is to reduce traffic between client and site system but this crazy slow.

        1. I think at that point, where everyone gets the same result, it was designed that way…
          Haven’t read anything confirming that, but that’s my belief.

          Requiring updates to download quickly might not be an issue for many.
          For now, I haven’t activated this at any client sites, as there was no gain over regular update download/distribution.

          Jonathan

  6. After enabling this on our SCCM 1702 installation we are having with issues clients, tested on Windows 10 1703, not downloading the file(s), it just show 0%. Disabled the installation of Express installation files on clients again and the clients successfully downloaded and installed the update, KB4016240. Anyone else seen this?

    1. Hi Lysemose,
      I think I might have the same issue. KB4016240 was downloaded, deployed, even required as per Software update Compliance. But I was unable to make it show up in Software Center(available deployment).

      As soon as I changed the client setting to disable the Express installation file, the KB showed up in the Software center.

      Simply after a machine policy, didn’t had to run Scan Cycle or Deployment cycle.
      I’ll try to report this.
      Thanks!
      Jonathan

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