WVD Custom Image Creation using Windows 10 non Multi-User SKU?

The Azure Virtual Desktop image building process is essential to understand for an AVD IT Pro. I cover AVD custom image creation-related steps & questions in this post. I had a bit of trouble getting Windows 10 Enterprise and multi-user custom version working with AVD host pool.

Related PostAVD Troubleshooting Options Tips Tricks – Windows Virtual Desktop


We were trying to build a master image for AVD. You can create a custom image with the Windows 10 Enterprise/multi-user template available in Azure.

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Following are the Windows OS versions available apart from custom image options from the managed custom image and blob storage custom images.

  • Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session with Office 365 ProPlus
  • Windows 10 Enterprise Multi-Session
  • Windows 10 Enterprise Version
  • Windows Server 2016 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2019 Datacenter (Coming Soon?)
AVD Custom Image - Default Azure WVD ARM template Options - WVD Master Image
AVD Custom Image – Default Azure AVD ARM template Options – AVD Master Image

NOTE! – Windows 10 or Windows 11 Pro version is not supported to build an AVD custom image.

How to Create AVD Master Images

You have many options to create custom master images. You can use SCCM to create custom master images for AVD host pool. If you don’t have SCCM infra and SCCM master images, then you can Azure VM to build custom images.

The following are AVD master images using the automation mechanism:

  • The Azure VM Image Builder (AIB) lets you start with a default Windows VM template or custom VM images in Azure to add your own customization.
  • Another option of AVD custom image process is explained https://jrudlin.github.io/2019-09-02-windows-virtual-desktop-azure-devops-ci-cd-packer-build-and-release/
WVD Custom Image  - Azure VM Image Builder
AVD Custom Image – Azure VM Image Builder

How Did I Create AVD Custom Image?

As part of manual testing, I started using the Azure OS template and created VM in Azure to test the master image.

  • Login into the Azure portal.
  • Create a new Azure Windows VM with win 10 Enterprise template.
  • Run a Sysprep and shutdown.
  • Click on capture button and create a managed image (Managed Image).
WVD Custom Image - Create Managed Image - WVD Master Image
AVD Custom Image – Create Managed Image – AVD Master Image
  • Created a new AVD Host Pool using AVD ARM (Azure portal) template using the managed image.

Do We Need to Build Install RD Client & Boot Loader to AVD Custom Image?

The answer is NO, in case you are using the AVD ARM template (AVD Host Pool Creation Guide With New Template) to build Host Pools. Let’s see what makes AVD VM different from any other Azure Windows VM?

RD Agent and Boot Loader are the two agents that make any Azure Windows VM an AVD VM. And of-course registration token to join the AVD host pool.

AVD Custom Image - WVD RD Agent is installed by default on Azure Windows 10 Multi-user and Enterprise Templates - WVD master image
AVD Custom Image – AVD RD Agent is installed by default on Azure Windows 10 Multi-user and Enterprise Templates – AVD master image
  1. The current AVD ARM template installs the agent and boot loader.
  2. The current AVD ARM template for a new session host pool can use a custom image without agent and boot loader pre-installed.
  3. Installing the RD agent and the bootloader in the AVD master image is one option for custom images still does not solve the registration piece.
    • Unless you use the following PS command to generate code registration code and use that code while installing RD agent:
      • New-RdsRegistrationInfo -TenantName $tenant -HostPoolName $hostpoolname -ExpirationHours 100

TipsAVD Master Image

I don’t recommend adding an AVD agent and Boot loader while making a master image. This point is valid for both Windows 10 enterprise and multi-user versions.

NOTE! – Whenever I followed #3 to make the custom image with Windows 10 Enterprise & Windows 10 Multi-Session versions. The VM didn’t get added to Host Pool.

We tried many combinations, it never worked. The new RDS pool deployment is completed successfully. The host pool icon is not appearing in the web portal https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/webclient/index.html  and AVD RD client console.

Also, I couldn’t see any RDS Session Hosts when I run the following PS command to find out the AVD VMs registered to a host pool.

Get-RdsSessionHost -TenantName $tenant -HostPoolName $hostpoolname


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