Windows 10 Deployment | SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10

Benoit LecoursSCCM, WINDOWS 1024 Comments

In the fourth post of this blog series about Windows 10 Deployment using SCCM, we will show you how to upgrade a Windows 7 to Windows computer 10 using SCCM task sequence upgrade.

The goal of an upgrade task sequence is to upgrade an existing operating system to Windows 10 without loosing any data and installed software. This post assumes that you are running SCCM 1511 or SCCM 1602 and that you completed the preparation of your environment for Windows 10.

If you are running SCCM 2012 R2 SP1, the product team has release important information about SCCM task sequence upgrade that you can find in this blog post.

In the past, an in-place upgrade scenario was not a reliable and popular option to deploy the latest version of Windows. With Windows 10, it’s now reliable and features an automatic rollback in case something goes wrong. This scenario can also be considered faster than the wipe and reload deployment scenarios, since applications and drivers don’t need to be reinstalled.

When to use In-Place Upgrade Scenario ?

Consider using SCCM upgrade task sequence if :

  • You need to keep all existing applications and settings on a device
  • You need to migrate Windows 10 to a later Windows 10 release (ex: 1511 to 1607)
  • You don’t need to change the system architecture (32 bits to 64 bits)
  • You don’t need to change the operating system base language
  • You don’t need to downgrade a SKU (Enterprise to Pro). The only supported path is Pro to Enterprise or Enterprise to Enterprise)
  • You don’t need to change the BIOS architecture from legacy to UEFI
  • You don’t have multi-boot configuration

Windows 10 is now managed as a service, this upgrade process can also be used to migrate Windows 10 to a later Windows 10 release or you can use the new Windows 10 servicing feature in SCCM 1602 and later.

Possible Upgrade Path when using SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 can use this method to upgrade to Windows 10
  • You can’t upgrade a Windows XP or Windows Vista computer to Windows 10
  • Windows 10 is the only final destination OS (You can’t upgrade a Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 using this method)

Requirements

  • As stated in the start of this blog post, you need at least SCCM 2012 R2 SP1 (or SCCM 2012 SP2) to support the upgrade task sequence
  • You cannot use a custom image for this scenario, you must start from the original WIM from the Windows 10 media
[su_box title=”Device using disk encryption” style=”glass” title_color=”#F0F0F0″]Devices using Bitlocker can be upgraded to Windows 10 using this method. If you are using third-party disk encryption product, it can be done but you need far more effort.[/su_box]

Three major vendors have supported workarounds documented on their support sites :

McAfeehttps://kc.mcafee.com/corporate/index?page=content&id=KB84962&actp=null&viewlocale=en_US&showDraft=false&platinum_status=false&locale=en_US
Symantechttps://support.symantec.com/en_US/article.HOWTO119348.html
CheckPointhttps://supportcenter.checkpoint.com/supportcenter/portal?eventSubmit_doGoviewsolutiondetails=&solutionid=sk106433&partition=General&product=FDE

Understanding the In-Place Upgrade Process

If you want to understand all the phases in the upgrade process, we strongly recommend watching the Upgrading to Windows 10: In Depth video from the last Microsoft Ignite event.

Create SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10

Enough writing, let’s create a SCCM task sequence upgrade for a Windows 7 deployment.

  • Open the SCCM Console
  • Go to Software Library \ Operating Systems \ Task Sequences
  • Right-click Task Sequences and select Upgrade an operating system from upgrade package

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • In the Task Sequence Information tab, enter a Task Sequence Name and Description

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • On the Upgrade the Windows Operating System tab, select your upgrade package by using the Browse button. If you don’t have imported an upgrade package yet, use the step provided in our preparation blog post

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • On the Include Updates tab, select the desired Software Update task
    • All Software Updates will install the updates regardless of whether there is a deadline set on the deployment (on your OSD collection)
    • Mandatory Software Updates will only install updates from deployments that have a scheduled deadline (on your OSD collection)
    • Do not install any software updates will not install any software update during the Task Sequence

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • On the Install Applications tab, select any application you want to add to your upgrade process

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • On the Summary tab, review your choices and click Next

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • On the Competition tab, click Close

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

Edit the SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

Now that we have created the task sequence, let’s see what it looks like under the hood:

  • Open the SCCM Console
  • Go to Software Library \ Operating Systems \ Task Sequences
  • Right-click your upgrade task sequences and select Edit

As you can see, it’s fairly simple. SCCM will take care of everything in a couple of steps :

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • The Upgrade Operating System step contains the important step of applying Windows 10

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

Deploy the SCCM Upgrade Task Sequence

We are now ready to deploy our task sequence to the computer we want to upgrade. In our case, we are targeting a Windows 7 computer.

  • Go to Software Library \ Operating Systems \ Task Sequences
  • Right-click Task Sequences and select Deploy

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • On the General pane, select your collection. This is the collection that will receive the Windows 10 upgrade. For testing purposes, we recommend putting only 1 computer to start

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • On the Deployment Settings tab, select the Purpose of the deployment
    • Available will prompt the user to install at the desired time
    • Required will force the deployment at the deadline (see Scheduling)
  • You cannot change the Make available to the following drop-down since upgrade packages are available to client only

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • On the Scheduling tab, enter the desired available date and time. On the screenshot, we can’t create an Assignment schedule because we select Available in the previous screen

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • In the User Experience pane, select the desired options

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • In the Alerts tab, check Create a deployment alert when the threshold is higher than the following check-box if you want to create an alert on the failures

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • On the Distribution Point pane, select the desired Deployment options. We will leave the default options

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • Review the selected options and complete the wizard

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

Launch the Upgrade Process

Now that our upgrade task sequence is deployed to our clients, we will log on our Windows 7 computer and launch a Machine Policy Retrieval & Evaluation Cycle from Control Panel / Configration Manager Icon

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • Open the new Software Center from the Windows 7 Start Menu
  • You’ll see the SCCM upgrade task sequence as available. We could have selected the Required option in our deployment schedule, to launch automatically without user interaction at a specific time

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • When ready, click on Install

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • The following warning appears

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

[su_box title=”Warning” style=”glass” title_color=”#F0F0F0″]The When you install a new operating system, all the existing data on your computer will be removed warning is not true. This issue will be resolved in future release.[/su_box]
  • Click on Install Operating System
  • The update is starting, the task sequence Installation Progress screen shows the different steps

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • The WIM is downloading on the computer and saved in C:\_SMSTaskSequence

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • You can follow task sequence progress in C:\Windows\CCM\Logs\SMSTSLog\SMSTS.log

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • After downloading, the system will reboot

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • The computer restart and is loading the files in preparation of the Windows 10 upgrade

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • WinPE is loading

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • The upgrade process starts. This step should take about 15 to 30 minutes depending of the device hardware

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • Windows 10 is getting ready, 2-3 more minutes and the upgrade will be completed

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • Once completed the SetupComplete.cmd script runs. This step is important to set the task sequence service to the correct state

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

  • Windows is now ready, all software and settings are preserved

SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade

Windows 10 Deployment | SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10
5 - 3 votes

Founder of System Center Dudes. Based in Montreal, Canada, Senior Microsoft SCCM Consultant, 4 times Enterprise Mobility MVP. Working in the industry since 1999. His specialization is designing, deploying and configuring SCCM, mass deployment of Windows operating systems, Office 365 and Intunes deployments.

24 Comments on “Windows 10 Deployment | SCCM Task Sequence Upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10”

  1. Dear gentlemen.
    could you please your support.

    i tried to deploy Windows 10 enterprise using SCCM 2012 (1702) , during running the task sequence i got the error code 8004005 from most of computers,i tried in one of them many time, finally it success the task sequence. here i need support to find the common problem for all these computers. be noted , i tried many times with others computer but my tried was field. is any root analysis for this case ?

    1. Try running the setup.exe to do the upgrade manually on that machine with this error (you don’t have to actually run the full upgrade) and see if it reports any incompatible software (often times anti-virus will prevent the upgrade if it isn’t in the compatibility database). This is the most common cause of this error in a Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrade task sequence.

      Otherwise, the error is pretty generic and you’ll need to check the log to see exactly what error output is being produced. Make sure all of your content is distributed, and also, make sure that the cache size on the client allows for your upgrade package size if you have the deployment set to download content locally. I’d recommend choosing the “copy package to share” option on your upgrade package and changing the task sequence deployment to “Access all content directly”

    1. No – It must be started from within the running operating system.

      Why would you need to PXE boot to perform an upgrade? PXE booting is for running operations to a system while it’s OS is OFFline, such as formatting the disk and installing a new OS from scratch.

      Performing an upgrade needs to run from within the OS that is to be upgraded, thus it has to be advertised to Configuration Manager.

  2. You mention “You cannot use a custom image for this scenario, you must start from the original WIM from the Windows 10 media”

    The Symantec article instructs you to create a custom wim file for deployment. Does this mean you cannot use SCCM to do an in-place upgrade with Symantec full disk encryption in place?

    Is there any official Microsoft documentation that states a custom wim cannot be used?

    Thanks!

  3. Anyone still seeing “When you install a new operating system, all the existing data on your computer will be removed” warning on ConfigMgr 1610? New Software Center displays that warming while the old Software Center displays correct warning. All clients fully updated to 5.00.8458.1007.

  4. Great article! The upgrade process (Windows 10 version 1511 to 1607) leaves a rather large Windows.old folder at the root of the C: drive. It there a recommended method for removing it if the upgrade is successful? I currently have a script that takes ownership, changes the permissions and the removes the folder but I thought there might be a better way.

  5. Does this migrate User Data or do you need to add this step. I had planned on adding Driver Package for Win10 for specific models to try and avoid install issues.

  6. Hello,
    Do you have instructions to run SCCM MDT Windows 10 Replace scenario using State Migration Point.
    Thanks

  7. I believe this is a typo, “You need to migrate Windows 10 to a later Windows 10 release (ex: 1511 to 1602)” and you meant “1511 to 1607” for Windows 10.

    1. Hi Mark,

      You are totally right. With all the SCCM and Windows 10 version, it gets confusing :p.

      It’s fixed in the article.

      Thanks !

  8. Is there a way to cache the content before the user executes the task sequence? I am looking to improve the experience for the users on slow connections.

    1. Change the task sequence deployment to “Download all content locally before running task sequence”

      You will need to change all of your client settings to increase their cache size though, because the default won’t be big enough to hold it all. 10 GB should be adequate.

  9. Hi Gents,
    Having issues with the Featured Apps(Candy Crush Soda, Minecraft, Twitter, Picsart and Cortana), can’t get rid of them.

    I am facing the same issue, even after trying the Registry modification as shown above.
    Is there any other way to remove/block these apps to show up, this is holding up a huge deployment 🙁

    Any suggestions, will be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Ambar

  10. Can you confirm when the warning message
    “When you install a new operating system, all the existing data on your computer will be removed”
    will be fixed? I have updated to SCCM 1602 and I saw this message come up on the first client I tested it with:
    “This in-place upgrade installs the new operating system and automatically migrate your apps, data, and settings.”

    The issue is that for some reason that message won’t show up on any other machine even though the client version matches exactly. Any thoughts?

    1. If you’re lucky…

      This is why I built a PowerShell module for “live cloning” a computer.

      It uses Volume Shadow Copy to create a WIM file of an entire OS drive for a machine while the user still works on it.

      The WIM file can then be used like any other WIM to deploy that cloned machine anywhere else you need it, plugged into a task sequence where you can install drivers, etc…

      The only caveat is that it no part of a task sequence can run after the image is applied inside the OS because the live-cloned image can’t be sysprepped “offline”.

      But I’m setup now to just type “clone PC_NAME_HERE” and immediately a WIM file begins building of that machine on a network share that can be used just like a Ghost image after, a Ghost image for the future, agnostic of file system format or partition details.

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