SCCM Step by Step Guide to Update Windows ADK and WinPE Versions

In this post, you will see what the ADK and WinPE changes concerned for SCCM admins are. I also share the best practices to update Windows ADK and WinPE to the latest version on the SCCM server.

The Windows 11 ADK version released now is for Windows 11 21H2. The next version of Windows 11 is expected to be in Oct 2022, and that version must be called Windows 11 22H2. The Windows 11 build version details are also available with HTMD community posts.

The Windows 10 ADK upgrade process won’t impact your custom boot images and OSD process. Another ADK installation process guide that you can refer to is SCCM Step by Step Guide to Update Windows ADK and WinPE Versions.

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Introduction

Starting from Windows ADK 1809, Microsoft has changed Windows Preinstallation Environment(WinPE) tool is released separately from the Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK).

Download the latest version of Windows 10 ADK 1903 from here. You can follow this guide to install Windows 1903.

You will also learn some best practices which you need to follow as part of Windows ADK and WinPE update on the SCCM server:

1E Nomad
  • When to update the Windows ADK version (Is it OK to be in backward compatibility mode)
  • What is the best method to update Windows ADK and WinPE
  • Do you need to update ADK before SCCM CB upgrade? (Before or After SCCM upgrade?)

So first, you need to install the ADK  and then the Windows PE add-on in the SCCM server. Following are the Windows ADK and WinPE components that you need to add or install.

  • Application Compatibility Tools
  • Deployment Tools
  • Imaging and Configuration Designer (ICD)
  • Configuration Designer
  • User State Migration Tool (USMT)
  • Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT)
  • Windows Performance Toolkit
  • Windows Assessement Toolkit
  • Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) Template
  • Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) Sequencer
  • Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) Auto Sequencer
  • Media eXperience Analyzer
  • Windows PE add-on to supports post-RTM updates to tools in the ADK

Note: Microsoft announced a change with WindowsADK starting with Windows 10 1809; Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) is released separately from the (ADK. SO you need to add Windows PE to your ADK installation by downloading the Windows PE Addon and run the included installer after installing the ADK.

NOTE! – Windows 10 1809 ADK Known issue highlighted by a Twitter user Pierre. More details are in the Tweet.

Best Practices – Update Windows ADK

I have seen many forum and social media questions about ADK update and boot image update during SCCM upgrades.

NOTE! I recommend testing the latest version of Windows ADK in your lab environment and staging environment before upgrading it on your SCCM server.

Ideally, if you use a customized version of the boot image, the SCCM upgrade won’t change the custom boot image. But the default boot images will get updated automatically with the latest version of ADK and WinPE add-on installed on the server.

NOTE! – Before Upgrading the Windows ADK version, make sure to note down the client version and OS version of the existing boot images as per the environment.

  • Perform a backup of the existing USMT Configuration XML files
  • Determine the existing installation path of Windows 10 ADK in the server. (whether it is default C:\ drive or any other alternative drives)

Always check the compatibility of the SCCM version and Windows ADK version before upgrading Windows ADK and WinPE. You can refer to the following link to get more details.

SCCM Windows ADK and WinPE Upgrade

Let’s walk through a step-by-step guide on how to install the ADK and Windows PE add-on tools. Before Upgrading the ADK version, ensure the client and OS version of the existing boot images as per the environment.

  • OS Version – 10.0.17134.1
  • Client Version 5.00.8692.1509
SCCM Step by Step Guide to Update Windows ADK and WinPE Versions 2
SCCM Step by Step Guide to Update Windows ADK and WinPE Versions 28

Uninstall Existing Version of ADK

To continue with the up-to-date version of Windows ADK and WinPE, you need to uninstall the existing or older version of Windows ADK.

Important!: note the existing installation path of Windows ADK.

  • Open the control panel in the SCCM server
  • Select the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit-Windows and select Uninstall
Windows ADK Upgrade
Uninstall Windows ADK
  • Click Yes to continue the uninstall of Windows ADK
  • Uninstallation is in progress
  • Uninstallation is completed, Click Close
  • Restart the Server

How to Install the Latest Version of Windows ADK

There are two ways to install the ADK. You can see both the details below.

NOTE! – Best Practice is to download Windows 10 ADK Offline files and install them on the server.

  1. Install the ADK directly from Internet
  2. Download the offline files and install it.
Update Windows ADK
Update Windows ADK
  • Following the first method, to install the ADK from direct Internet
  • Select adksetup.exe and install with administrator mode.
Run as Administrator - Upgrade Windows ADK ADKSetup
Run as Administrator – Update Windows ADK – ADKSetup
  • Select “Install the Windows Assortment and Deployment Kit – Windows 10 to this computer

Note! : Use the previous ADK installation path

  • Click Next
Specify the folder location - Update Windows ADK
Specify the folder location – Update Windows ADK
  • Select ‘No‘ for Send anonymous usage data to Microsoft for the Windows 10 Kits
  • Click Next
Windows Kits Privacy - Update Windows ADK on SCCM Servers
Windows Kits Privacy – Update Windows ADK on SCCM Servers
  • Click Accept
Accept License Agreement - Upgrade Windows ADK on SCCM Servers
Accept License Agreement – Upgrade Windows ADK on SCCM Servers
  • Select the required features. I recommend to select the least minimum required components.
    • Deployment Tools
    • User State Migration Tool (USMT)
  • Click Install

NOTE! – WinPE is missing in the core Windows ADK components. You need to add WinPE as an add-on. More details are below.

Select the Features you want to install - Upgrade Windows ADK on SCCM Servers
Select the Features you want to install – Upgrade Windows ADK on SCCM Servers
  • Installing the selected features on SCCM server
  • Click Close

NOTE! – Windows Assessment and Deployment Kits are installed now on your SCCM server.

SCCM Windows ADK Upgrade is Completed NOW!
SCCM Windows ADK Upgrade is Completed NOW!
  • Restart the Server

How to Install Latest WinPE on SCCM Server

NOTE! – Since WinPE is not part of Windows ADK 1809 or later, you need to install WinPE as an add-on as part of the upgrade process of Windows ADK.

Following is the first method to install the Windows PE add-on from direct Internet. I would recommend doing with offline option wherever possible.

Run ADKWINPESETUP.EXE as Administrator
Run ADKWINPESETUP.EXE as Administrator
  • Select “Install the Windows Assortment and Deployment Kit Windows Preinstallation Environment Add-ons-Windows10 to this computer”

Note!: Use the same installation path of Windows ADK (shown in the above – Update Windows ADK steps).

[Optional Step] Select the Second option to download the files WinPE add-on files Offline, and that is recommended method for the SCCM WinPE upgrade process

Click Next

Specify the location for Update Windows ADK add-on WinPE
Specify the location for Update Windows ADK add-on WinPE

Select ‘No‘ for Send anonymous usage data to Microsoft for the Windows 10 Kits

  • Click Next
  • Click Next
Accept License Agreement Upgrade Windows ADK add-on WinPE
Accept License Agreement Update Windows ADK add-on WinPE

Select Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)

Click Next

NOTE! – It’s a bit surprising to see the Disk space requirement as 5 GB for the WinPE add-on. It includes Windows PE(x86) and Windows PE (AMD64).

Select the WinPE feature -  Upgrade Windows ADK add-on WinPE
Select the WinPE feature – Upgrade Windows ADK add-on WinPE
  • Installing features….
SCCM Step by Step Guide to Update Windows ADK and WinPE Versions 3

NOTE! – Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE – Windows PE) Add-on is installed on SCCM Server now.

  • Click Close
Complete the WinPE upgrade  - Upgrade Windows ADK add-on WinPE
Complete the WinPE upgrade – Upgrade Windows ADK add-on WinPE
  • Restart the server

How to Update the SCCM Boot Image

In this section, you will see how to update the SCCM boot images after Windows ADK and WinPE upgrade.

  • Open SCCM Console from Start Menu
  • Navigate to Software Library – Operation System – Boot Images to select the boot image which you want to update
  • Select the Boot images, right click and select Update Distribution Points
Update SCCM Boot Images - Update Windows ADK add-on WinPE
Update SCCM Boot Images – Update Windows ADK add-on WinPE
  • Select Reload this boot image with the current Windows PE version from the Windows ADK
  • Click Next
Select the Reload this SCCM boot Image Update Windows ADK add-on WinPE
Select the Reload this SCCM boot Image Update Windows ADK add-on WinPE
  • Click Next
SCCM boot Image Update - Upgrade Windows ADK add-on WinPE on SCCM Server
SCCM boot Image Update – Upgrade Windows ADK add-on WinPE on SCCM Server
  • Boot image update is progress
SCCM boot Image Update 2 - Upgrade Windows ADK add-on WinPE on SCCM Server
SCCM boot Image Update 2 – Upgrade Windows ADK add-on WinPE on SCCM Server
  • Boot image is updated, Click Close
SCCM boot Image Update Completed - Update Windows ADK add-on WinPE on SCCM Server
SCCM boot Image Update Completed – Update Windows ADK add-on WinPE on SCCM Server

NOTE! – Do you have some SCCM Boot Image Update issues? If so, I would recommend reading the following SCCM package distribution troubleshooting guide.

Validation – Update Windows ADK and WinPE

You can confirm the success of the WinPE, Windows ADK, and Boot Image Upgrade from SCCM Console!

NOTE! – Post boot image with Windows ADK upgrade; it will start distributing the updated boot image file to the distribution points.

The OS Version is updated for all the Boot images.

  • OS Version after Windows 10 ADK & WinPE upgrade – 10.0.17763.1
  • Client Version after Windows 10 ADK & WinPE upgrade – 5.00.8692.1509
 10.0.17763.1  Client OS Version
10.0.17763.1 Client OS Version

Conclusion & Best Practices

I would always recommend doing the following:

  • When to update the Windows ADK version (Is it OK to be in backward compatibility mode)
    • I will always recommend to go with N-1 version of ADK whenever it’s ok with you. Where N is the latest version of ADK
  • What is the best method to update Windows ADK and WinPE
    • I would recommend going through this guide and my recommended way of upgrading Windows 10 ADK is explained in the guide.
  • Do you need to update ADK before SCCM CB upgrade? (Before or After SCCM upgrade?)
    • I would recommend to upgrade the Windows ADK before the SCCM CB upgrade process. I been doing it for many organizations. It works just fine.
  • Any Impact with SCCM OSD Boot images and Windows 10 ADK and WinPE upgrade?
    • I have done many Windows 10 ADK and WinPE upgrades without impacting any existing boot images (MDT boot image and custom boot image).

NOTE! – When you upgrade the ADK version and then use updates and servicing to install the latest version of SCCM, the site regenerates the default boot images. This update includes the new WinPE version from the updated Windows ADK, the latest version of the SCCM client, drivers, and customizations. The site doesn’t modify custom boot images.

Resources

11 thoughts on “SCCM Step by Step Guide to Update Windows ADK and WinPE Versions”

  1. Thanks for a great guide.

    I was also add that it is important to check what components on WADK you have installed before you uninstall it and install the new version

    Reply
  2. It’s nice post Kannan.
    Looking for more detailed step by step guides and best practices from you.
    Nice presentation of the content.

    I’m wondering whether there is any plans for SCCM Application Creation or package creation step by step guide?

    Reply
    • Kannan got great experience in enterprise device management with SCCM. .

      To answer your question – The drivers will stay in you MDT boot image if you have any. I have seen it many times. No impact there. I don’t recommend to use default boot image for OSD Task Sequence.

      Reply
  3. Hi Anoop,

    Have you had any reports of Windows 10 1803 task sequence deployments failing on installing Windows updates after upgrading the ADK/WinPE to 1809 and SCCM to 1902?

    Thanks,
    Sean.

    Reply

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