Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM Task Sequence | Best Guide

In this post, you will learn the detailed steps to perform Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM In-place upgrade Task Sequence. There are various Windows 10 deployment scenarios available to install the latest version of Windows 10 21H2.

The simplest path to upgrade PCs currently running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 is through an in-place upgrade to automate the process completely with the SCCM upgrade task sequence.

In order to upgrade an existing Windows 10 to Windows 21H2, you have different options: You can use an Inplace upgrade Task Sequence, Servicing Plans, Feature Update with a task sequence, or deploy using an Enablement Package.

You can upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using the enablement package if you are already on any of the following Windows 10 Versions – 2004, 20H2, or 21H1. You will also need to make sure that Windows 10 devices have installed the 2021-09 or later Cumulative Update (KB5006670).

Patch My PC

If you are looking for deploying a new device, or wipe an existing device and deploy with a fresh image (Bare metal) – Deploy Windows 10 21H2 Using SCCM Task Sequence | ConfigMgr | Step by Step Guide

Prerequisites – Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade

Download Windows 10 21H2 (business edition) ISO from MSDN or VLSC (Volume Licensing Service Center).

Supported SCCM (ConfigMgr) Version – Review the support matrix and ensure you are running with the latest supported version of Configuration Manager 2107.

To successfully deploy the latest operating system and choose among these scenarios, It’s important to understand the capabilities and limitations.

Here are the minimum requirements it takes to upgrade to Windows 10 on your PC –

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 800 x 600

You can perform an upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or a later operating system. Migrating from one edition of Windows 10 to a different edition of the same release is also supported. 

You cannot upgrade directly from Windows 8.0 to Windows 10. To upgrade from Windows 8.0, you must first install the Windows 8.1 update. Check out the Summary of the available Windows 10 upgrade paths.

Note – In-place upgrade from Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 General Availability Channel to Windows 10 LTSC is not supported.

Why Considering an In-Place Upgrade?

Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM
Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

Upgrade Task Sequence Requirements and Limitations

Review the following requirements and limitations for the task sequence to upgrade an OS to make sure it meets your needs:

  • Only add task sequence steps that are related to the core task of upgrading the OS. These steps primarily include installing packages, applications, or updates. Also use steps that run command lines, PowerShell, or set dynamic variables.
  • Review drivers and applications that are installed on computers. Before you deploy the upgrade task sequence, make sure the drivers are compatible with the target version of Window

The following tasks aren’t compatible with the in-place upgrade –

  • You can’t use a captured or custom image for an upgrade.
  • Implementing a fundamental change on the computer, such as:
    • Changing disk partitions.
    • Changing the system architecture (x86 to x64 bits).
    • Implementing UEFI. 
    • Modifying the base OS language.
    • When we have dual or multi-boot systems.
  • Changing the computer’s domain membership or updating the local Administrators group.
  • Outdated device drivers.
  • WinPE Offline operation and third-party disk encryption.

Add Operating System Upgrade Packages

You need to import the complete Windows 10 installation media for creating upgrade packages. We will use this upgrade package to upgrade an existing Windows version to Windows 10 21H2.

Launch Configuration Manager Console, Go to Software Library > Operating Systems > Operating System Upgrade Packages.

Right-click Operating System Upgrade Packages and select Add Operating System Upgrade Packages. (you can create a custom folder for selection).

Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM Task Sequence | Best Guide 1
Add Operating System Upgrade Package – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

In Data Source, click Browse and specify the network shared path of the Windows 10 Source directory where you extracted the source of an ISO file.

Starting in Configuration Manager version 2107, review and agree to the license terms for this OS media on behalf of your organization.

Select the option to Extract a specific image index from the specified WIM file. Then select the Image index from the drop-down list. Click Next.

Extract a specific image index from the specified WIM file – You can now automatically import a single Image index rather than all image indexes in the file. Using this option results in a smaller image file.

Important – Configuration Manager overwrites the existing install.wim in the OS upgrade package. It extracts the image index to a temporary location and then moves it into the original source directory. Make sure to back up the original source files.

Data Source - Add Operating System Upgrade Packages
Data Source – Add Operating System Upgrade Packages | Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

On the Pre-cache settings page, select Architecture and Language of the image, click Next. You can leave this option as default.

Pre-cache settings - Add Operating System Upgrade Packages
Pre-cache settings – Add Operating System Upgrade Packages

In the General tab, provide information for the upgrade package NameVersion, and Comment. Click Next.

Specify General Information - Add Operating System Upgrade Packages
Specify General Information – Add Operating System Upgrade Packages

Review the provided information, click Next to complete the wizard.

Summary - Add Operating System Upgrade Packages
Summary – Add Operating System Upgrade Packages

Please wait for a moment while exporting is in progress. After successfully completion, click Close to exit the wizard.

Export of a single image is in progress.
Export of a single image is in progress – Add Operating System Upgrade Packages

The new Operating System Upgrade Package now appears in the Operating System Upgrade Packages node of the Configuration Manager console.

Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM Task Sequence | Best Guide 2
Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Package – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

Distribute Operating System Upgrade Packages

Before deploying the task sequence, distribute the OS upgrade package to at least one distribution point. Let’s follow the steps to distribute the OS image to distribution points –

Right-click Operating System Image and select Distribute Content.

Select Distribute Content - Distribute Operating System Upgrade Packages
Select Distribute Content – Distribute Operating System Upgrade Packages

Review the selected content for distribution. Click Next.

Review Selected Content - Distribute Operating System Upgrade Packages
Review Selected Content – Distribute Operating System Upgrade Packages

Add the Distribution Point to distribute the content. Review the selected distribution points, groups. Click Next.

Add Distribution Points or Groups - Distribute Operating System Upgrade Packages
Add Distribution Points or Groups – Distribute Operating System Upgrade Packages

On the Summary page, review the settings. Click Next.

Once the content is processed to distribute, you will get a successful confirmation box. Click Close to complete the Distribute Content wizard.

You can monitor the content status. If it’s showing the yellow color, distribution is in progress. If the content distribution were successful, it would appear with Green color as shown.

Distribution Content Status Sucess - Operating System Upgrade Packages
Distribution Content Status Success – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

Create Upgrade SCCM Task Sequence

In the Configuration Manager console, Go to the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, right-click Task Sequences and select Create Task Sequence.

Select Upgrade an operating system from an upgrade package, and then select Next.

Note – The wizard adds the task sequence steps to upgrade the OS, apply software updates, and install applications

Create Upgrade SCCM Task Sequence for Windows 10 Computers
Create Upgrade SCCM Task Sequence – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

On the Task Sequence Information page, specify the following settings and click Next.

Create Upgrade SCCM Task Sequence for Windows 10 Computers
Specify Task Sequence Information – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

On the Upgrade, the Windows Operating System page, specify the following settings and click Next.

  • Upgrade package: Specify the upgrade package that contains the OS upgrade source files. Click on the Browse option to select the source file. Verify that you’ve selected the correct upgrade package by looking at the information in the Properties pane.
  • Edition index: If multiple OS edition indexes are available in the package, select the desired edition index. By default, the wizard selects the first index if you already extracted the index while adding upgrade OS Package.
  • Product key: Specify the Windows product key for the OS to install.
Select Operating System Upgrade Package - Create Upgrade SCCM Task Sequence for Windows 10
Select Operating System Upgrade Package – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

On the Include Updates page, specify whether to install required, all, or no software updates. Then select Next.

If you specify to install software updates, Configuration Manager installs only those updates targeted to the collections of which the destination computer is a member.

Include Software Updates - Create Upgrade SCCM Task Sequence for Windows 10
Include Software Updates – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

On the Install Applications page, specify the applications to install on the destination computer, and then select Next.

If you select more than one application, also specify whether the task sequence should continue if the installation of a specific application fails. I’m leaving it default. You can also add it later to the task sequence if needed.

Install Applications - Create Upgrade SCCM Task Sequence for Windows 10
Install Applications – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

Review the task sequence details, click Next. After completion successfully, Click Close to complete the wizard.

Create Upgrade SCCM Task Sequence Wizard completed successfully
Create Upgrade SCCM Task Sequence Wizard completed successfully – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2

The new Windows 10 21H2 upgrade task sequence now appears in the Task Sequences node of the Configuration Manager console. You’ve finished creating an Inplace upgrade task sequence.

Task Sequences - Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade
Task Sequences – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

Edit Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence

Use the following procedure to modify an existing upgrade task sequence 

Under Software Library > Operating Systems > Task SequencesRight-click on task sequence and select Edit.

Edit Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence - Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM
Edit Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

An In-place upgrade task sequence will give you more granular control to –

  • Perform pre-deployment checks
  • Pre-Upgrade –
    • Manage drive encryption state
    • Uninstall known problematic drivers and apps
    • Battery/Network Connection Checks
  • Upgrade the Operating System
  • Post-upgrade –
    • Install additional drivers and apps
    • Manage drive encryption state
    • Configuration

Edit the Task Sequence to add or remove settings – The Task Sequence uses these phases to determine which tasks must be completed.

  • Add or remove steps and groups from the task sequence.
  • Change the order of the steps of the task sequence.
  • Set step options like whether the task sequence continues when an error occurs.
  • Add conditions to the steps and groups of a task sequence.

You can refer to the following post to modify an existing upgrade task sequence –

Review other settings added in Task Sequence, you have made any changes here click Apply and OK.

Validate Upgrade Task Sequence Steps - Edit Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence
Validate Upgrade Task Sequence Steps – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

Deploy Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence

Let’s follow the steps to deploy a task sequence to the computers in a collection.

In the Task Sequence list, select the upgrade task sequence that you have created, Right-click, and select Deploy.

Select Deploy - Deploy SCCM Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence
Select Deploy – Deploy SCCM Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence

On the General page, click Browse to select your device collection to perform the deployment and click Next.

Note⚠️– When you target a deployment, the Select Collection window only displays collections that include fewer than 100 clients. If you clear the setting to Hide collections with a member count greater than the site’s minimum size configuration (100), the window displays collections that include fewer than 1000 clients. Let’s check more collection size limits in deployment verification site settings.

Select Collection - Deploy SCCM Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence
Select Collection – Deploy SCCM Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence

On the Deployment Settings, select the Purpose of the deployment and click Next.

Available – The task sequence will appear in software center, Process will start only when users initiates.
Required - Configuration Manager automatically runs the task sequence according to the configured schedule. If the task sequence isn't hidden, a user can still track its deployment status.

To use a Upgrade OS deployment, For the Make available to the following setting, Only Configuration Manager clients is already selected. 
Deployment Settings - Deploy SCCM Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence
Deployment Settings – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

On the Scheduling tab, you can specify the schedule for this deployment. Click Next.

Specify Schedule - Deploy SCCM Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence
Specify Schedule – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

On the User Experience tab, leave the default selected options. Click Next.

User Experience - Deploy SCCM Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence
User Experience – Deploy SCCM Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence

On the Alerts page, leave it default. Click Next.

On the Distribution Points page, you can specify how clients interact with the DPs to retrieve content from reference packages. The default deployment option is to download content locally when needed by the running task sequence. Click Next.

NOTE! To understand the available options in the Distribution Points tab during task sequence deployment – SCCM Task Sequence Available Deployment Options in Distribution Points Tab | ConfigMgr

Deployment Options - Deploy SCCM Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence
Deployment Options – Deploy SCCM Windows 10 21H2 Upgrade Task Sequence

Review the selected settings and click Next. Please wait to successfully deploy the upgrade Windows 10 21H2 task sequence to the targeted collection. Click Close to exit the wizard.

End Users Experience – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM Task Sequence

Log in to the client computer, Initiate the Machine Policy Request & Evaluation Cycle to speed up the inventory, SCCM client action Machine Policy Request & Evaluation Cycle “immediately” trigger the re-evaluation of the machine policy process from Windows 10 client.

Launch the Software Center. The Operating Systems tab shows the Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 Task Sequence as Available. Select the Upgrade Task Sequence deployment.

End Users Experience – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM
End Users Experience – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

Important – If multiple users are signed into the device, package and task sequence deployments may not appear in Software Center.

Confirm you want to upgrade Windows 10 21H2 on this computer by clicking Install again.

End Users Experience – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM
End Users Experience – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

Note – To provide maximum information to your end-users about task sequences deployment in Software Center. Check out this article to create a Custom Software Center User Notification for SCCM Task Sequence Deployment | ConfigMgr

The task sequence progresses now, firstly it will validate the minimum requirements to upgrade Windows 10 21H2, and the Windows 10 upgrade files will be downloaded to the computer. The upgrade process will take around 60-90 minutes, depending on the environment and configuration.

Allow the Upgrade Task Sequence to perform an automated upgrade. The target computer has started to apply an in-place upgrade and apply your added steps.

End Users Experience – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM
End Users Experience – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM

During the upgrade process, your system may restart several times. After the task sequence completes, the computer will be upgraded to Windows 10 Version 21H2. You can validate the Build Information and perform all post-upgrade checklists.

How to Find the Latest Windows 10 Version Number? Windows 10 Version Numbers Build Numbers Major Minor Build Rev

Success - Upgrade Windows 10 21H2
Success – Upgrade Windows 10 21H2

Troubleshoot Windows Upgrade Task Sequence

The first step is to locate the log file to find details, and Here you will get more details of log files for the Windows 10 Windows 11 Upgrade Process. Depending on the deployment or failure scenarios, the Windows upgrade troubleshooting logs are located in different folders. 

These log files are essential for troubleshooting upgrade problems. By default, the folders that contain these log files are hidden on the upgrade target computer. To view the log files, configure Windows Explorer to view hidden items.

C:\Windows\Panther\Setupact.log
C:\Windows\panther\setuperr.log
C:\Windows\inf\setupapi.app.log
C:\Windows\inf\setupapi.dev.log
C:\Windows\panther\PreGatherPnPList.log
C:\Windows\panther\miglog.xml
C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources\Panther\setupact.log
C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources\Panther\setuperr.log

Starting in Configuration Manager version 2103, if the task sequence fails because the client doesn’t meet the requirements configured in the Check readiness step, the user can now see more details about the failed prerequisites.

If a task sequence fails because the client doesn’t meet the requirements of this step, the user can select an option to Inspect. This action shows the checks that failed on the device.

Check Readiness For Upgrade - Troubleshoot Windows Upgrade Task Sequence
Check Readiness For Upgrade – Troubleshoot Windows Upgrade Task Sequence

You may encounter an issue where a Configuration Manager Windows 10 or Windows 11 in-place upgrade task sequence fails to install in the client computer, SCCM Software Center shows Unable to make changes to software Error Code 0x4005(16389)

Let’s see how to FIX Windows Upgrade Failed Error Code 0x4005(16389)

When deploying Windows Feature Update using SCCM, you may encounter Error 0xC1900208 while executing the upgrade installation from Software Center to the client computer.

FIX Windows Upgrade Failed Error 0xC1900208

Author

About Author – Jitesh, Microsoft MVP, has over five years of working experience in the IT Industry. He writes and shares his experiences related to Microsoft device management technologies and IT Infrastructure management. His primary focus is Windows 10 Deployment solution with Configuration Manager, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), and Microsoft Intune.

4 thoughts on “Upgrade Windows 10 21H2 using SCCM Task Sequence | Best Guide”

  1. Hello,

    I have questions regarding the task sequence that I wish to use the built-in steps for the following.
    – Prepare ConfigMgr Client for Capture
    – Prepare Windows for Capture
    As far as I know, using these two steps would properly remove the ConfigMgr Client and if I select the “Shutdown the computer after running this action” would shut down the computer, and next time you restart computer, it would start OOBE with Autopilot when they turn on for the first time.

    The results I got are the following:

    1. If the shutdown is selected, the computer shut down but the ConfigMgr Client is not removed (causes issue with Intune)
    2. If the shutdown option is not selected, therefore computer remains on and is able to continue on with the Autopilot process.

    I want to have it properly shutdown after these steps and ConfigMgr properly removed so we can have the computer ship out to end-users. The user will then power on and continue with the Autopilot setup.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/mem/configmgr/osd/understand/task-sequence-steps#BKMK_PrepareConfigMgrClientforCapture

    Thanks,
    Bob

    Reply
  2. Thank you for your nice guide.

    I have a problem though to schedule an inplace upgrade to 1000 users.

    I want to make available the deployment to all, notify them clearly that they need to upgrade the computer and that their deadline is at a specified date. They should have the option to postpone until the deadline. How do i set that deadline on an in-place upgrade Task sequence?

    Thank you in advance

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.