Performing Windows 10 in-place upgrades with ConfigMgr TP3

by [Published on 15 Dec. 2015 / Last Updated on 15 Dec. 2015]

This article demonstrates how to use System Center Configuration Manager Technical Preview 3 to perform an in-place upgrade of a Windows 7/8 computer to Windows 10.

As described in the previous article here on WindowsNetworking.com, System Center Configuration Manager is a member of the Microsoft System Center suite of management solutions that is widely used in mid- and large enterprises for deploying operating systems and applications, ensuring compliance, and managing servers, desktops, laptops and mobile devices. While the current versions of Configuration Manager 2012 SP2 and Configuration Manager 2012 R2 SP1 can be used for performing in-place upgrades to Windows 10 for computing devices running earlier versions of Microsoft Windows including Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, the next version of Configuration Manager (variously referred to as ConfigMgr vNext and ConfigMgr 2016) makes such upgrades even easier, and that's what this present article is about.

Once again I've asked my colleague Chris Shilt to provide us with a step-by-step walkthrough for performing in-place upgrades to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr vNext, similar to the walkthrough he provided for the previous article which showed how to do an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr 2012. For the purposes of this present article Chris has used the latest version of ConfigMgr vNext which is called System Center Configuration Manager Technical Preview 3. If you'd like to follow along and perform Chris's walkthrough you will first need ConfigMgr TP3, and you can download it from this page on the TechNet Evaluation Center. For more information on the improvements to ConfigMgr vNext in the various Technical Previews that have been released you can see this TechNet page. And if you want to read more about the new features specifically introduced in TP3 you should read this post on the System Center Configuration Manager Team Blog.

To introduce Chris again, he's a Premier Field Engineer (MFE) with Microsoft and has been working with System Center Configuration Manager in one iteration or another for over 12 years. Prior to working at Microsoft, he managed software updates for a major command with the U.S. Air Force. I previously worked with Chris as the Series Editor for the free ebook Microsoft System Center Software Update Management Field Experience (Microsoft Press, 2015) which he co-authored with Andre Della Monica, Russ Rimmerman and Rushi Faldu and which you can download from this page on the Microsoft Virtual Academy site. Let's now hear from Chris as he explains what's involved in performing in-place upgrades to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Introduction

In my last article, I showed you how easy it is to deploy Windows 10 with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. With this article I hope to show you that the process is even easier with the new version of System Center Configuration Manager. Read on to see how to create and deploy a Windows 10 in-place upgrade task sequence using the latest version of Configuration Manager.

Pre-requisites

For this step-by-step guide, you'll need to have the latest Technical Preview installed. The newest version, simply called System Center Configuration Manager, makes use of a built in task sequence to deploy an upgrade to an existing operating system. You can review the process on the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Technical Preview TechNet Library.

Add the Windows 10 Media as an Operating System Upgrade Package

Navigate to Software Library then Operating Systems then Operating System Upgrade Packages. Right-click and select Add Operating System Upgrade Package:

Image
Figure 1: Step 1 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

I have previously copied the Windows 10 installation media to a network share. On the Data Source page, enter the network path to where the installation source files are located. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 2: Step 2 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

On the General page, enter the appropriate information to help identify the package in the console. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 3: Step 3 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 4: Step 4 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Click Close to complete the Add Operating System Upgrade Package Wizard:

Image
Figure 5: Step 5 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Distribute content to distribution points. Right-click on the newly created package and select Distribute Content:

Image
Figure 6: Step 6 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

The Distribute Content Wizard opens. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 7: Step 7 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Add the appropriate distribution points. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 8: Step 8 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 9: Step 9 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Click Close to complete the Distribute Content Wizard:

Image
Figure 10: Step 10 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Create the Upgrade Task Sequence

Navigate to Software Library then Operating Systems then Task Sequences. Right-click Task Sequences and select Create Task Sequence:

Image
Figure 11: Step 11 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

The Create Task Sequence Wizard opens. Select the Upgrade an operating system from upgrade package radio button. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 12: Step 12 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Name the task sequence. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 13: Step 13 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Select the upgrade package created earlier. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 14: Step 14 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Choose the appropriate software update option. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 15: Step 15 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Choose additional applications to install. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 16: Step 16 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 17: Step 17 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Click Close to complete the Create Task Sequence Wizard:

Image
Figure 18: Step 18 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

To view the details of the task sequence, right-click and select Edit:

Image
Figure 19: Step 19 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

The Check Readiness for Upgrade task ensures that the target system meets minimum requirements for performing the upgrade:

Image
Figure 20: Step 20 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

The Upgrade Operating System task specifies the Upgrade package:

Image
Figure 21: Step 21 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

The Restart Computer task restarts the system and provides a notification message to the user:

Image
Figure 22: Step 22 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Install Updates task (optional):

Image
Figure 23: Step 23 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Deploy and Monitor

Navigate to Assets and Compliance then Device Collections. Right-click and select Create Device Collection:

Image
Figure 24: Step 24 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Name the collection and choose a limiting collection. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 25: Step 25 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Add a membership rule. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 26: Step 26 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 27: Step 27 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Click Close to complete the Create Device Collection Wizard:

Image
Figure 28: Step 28 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Deploy the Windows 10 In-Place Upgrade task sequence:

Image
Figure 29: Step 29 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Click OK on the warning:

Image
Figure 30: Step 30 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Select the collection. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 31: Step 31 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Configure the Deployment Settings. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 32: Step 32 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Set the Scheduling options. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 33: Step 33 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Select the User Experience options. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 34: Step 34 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Configure the Alert options. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 35: Step 35 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Configure the Distribution Points options. Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 36: Step 36 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Click Next to continue:

Image
Figure 37: Step 37 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Click Close to compete the Deploy Software Wizard:

Image
Figure 38: Step 38 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

When the client system receives the deployment policy, we are notified by the New software is available notification:

Image
Figure 39: Step 39 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Open Software Center to view the deployment. Click Install to begin the installation:

Image
Figure 40: Step 40 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Click INSTALL OPERATING SYSTEM to confirm that you want to install the operating system:

Image
Figure 41: Step 41 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Installation progress:

Image
Figure 42: Step 42 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

You can monitor the running task sequence in the smsts.log file:

Image
Figure 43: Step 43 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3

The client reboots and begins upgrading to Windows 10:

Image
Figure 44: Step 44 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Task sequence progress:

Image
Figure 45: Step 45 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Restart task:

Image
Figure 46: Step 46 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Install Updates task:

Image
Figure 47: Step 47 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

All done:

Image
Figure 48: Step 48 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

Examining the folders after the installation reveals a Windows.old folder:

Image
Figure 49: Step 49 of performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 using ConfigMgr TP3.

One month after you upgrade to Windows 10, your previous version of Windows will be automatically deleted from your PC. However, if you need to free up disk space, and you're confident that your files and settings are where you want them to be in Windows 10, you can safely delete it yourself. Keep in mind that you'll be deleting your Windows.old folder, which contains files that give you the option to go back to your previous version of Windows. Deleting your previous version of Windows can't be undone. Here is the procedure:

  1. Go to Start, enter Settings in the search box, and then select Settings.
  2. Select System then Storage then This PC and then scroll down the list and select Temporary files.
  3. Under Previous version of Windows, select Delete previous versions and then select Delete.

Conclusion

The latest version of Configuration Manager provides the best support going forward for Windows 10, so start planning now if your organization is planning on supporting the OS. The good thing is that you'll be able to perform an in-place upgrade from System Center 2012 Configuration Manager to the current branch of the new System Center Configuration Manager product. Check out the TechNet Library for the latest on what's new with System Center Technical Preview 3 here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn997272.aspx.

See Also


The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch avatar

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.