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How to Deploy Windows 10 quickly in 2023?

How to Deploy Windows 10 quickly in 2023?

The MD-100 Windows 10 exam focuses on how to install Windows 10 efficiently and with the least amount of administrative effort. You need to understand how to plan and prepare the Windows 10 installation, along with the installation process itself, activation, and any blockers along the way. You’ll be expected to know how to perform an in-place upgrade from another version of Windows and how to migrate user data, configure hardware devices, how to manage device drivers, and how to perform post-installation configuration. For users who operate Windows 10 using a different language, you also will be expected to know how to configure additional languages and regional settings.

Deploy Windows 10

Devices will be shipped with a ready-to-use version of Windows. For a number of reasons, you may want to replace it with a newer version of Windows. In a corporate environment, you may need to install Windows 10 on many devices, which requires careful consideration, planning and preparation. This skill explores the requirements and preparations necessary for the deployment of Windows 10.

It is important to select the appropriate edition of Windows 10 for your users. Windows 10 is available across many device types, including tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. Also, also it is available in multiple editions and in both 32-bit and 64-bit architecture versions. You need to choose the appropriate edition and version to provide the necessary capabilities that your users require.

After determining which edition you want to install, consider how best to deploy Windows 10. You can choose between simple interactive installations using local Windows 10 media, or you can deploy Windows 10 to your organization’s devices by using one of several deployment technologies.


  • Select the appropriate Windows edition

  • Perform a clean installation

  • Perform an in-place upgrade

  • Migrate user data

  • Configure Windows for additional regional and language support

  • Implement activation

Select the appropriate Windows edition

Windows 10 is available in several different editions and you should choose the most appropriate version for your personal or business needs. The specific editions of Windows 10, listed in Table 1-1, are designed to address the varying needs of this diverse user base.

Table 1-1 Windows 10 editions



Windows 10 Home

Designed primarily for home users and includes similar features to those found in Windows 8.1 Home, plus:

  • Microsoft Edge

  • Continuum Tablet Mode for touch-capable devices

  • Cortana

  • Windows Hello

  • Virtual Desktops

  • Projecting To his PC

  • Activity History

  • Windows Ink

  • A number of built-in universal Windows apps, such as Photos, Maps, Mail, Calendar, Music, and Video

  • Supports maximum 128 GB of RAM

Note that in Windows 10 Home, you cannot control Windows feature and quality updates as was possible on earlier Windows versions; these are received and installed automatically.

Windows 10 Pro

Includes the same features as in Windows 10 Home but additionally provides:

  • Domain Join And Group Policy Management

  • Microsoft Azure Active Directory Join

  • BitLocker Drive Encryption

  • Enterprise Mode For Internet Explorer 11

  • Client Hyper-V

  • Storage Spaces

  • Remote Server Administration Tools For Windows 10

  • Microsoft Store For Organizations

  • Windows Information Protection (WIP)

  • Support for 2 CPUs and maximum 2 TB of RAM

In Windows 10 Pro, updates are provided by Windows Update for Business. This provides control over when and how devices can receive Windows feature and quality updates.

Windows 10 Pro for Workstations

Includes the same features as in Windows 10 Pro but additionally provides:

  • SMB Direct using RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access)

  • Resilient File System (ReFS)

  • Licensed for installation on PCs using server-grade Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron processors

  • Persistent Memory using NVDIMM-N hardware

  • Support for 4 CPUs and 6 TB of RAM

  • Ultimate Performance power plan for desktop devices

In Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, you can utilize powerful PC hardware with up to 4 CPUs and 6 TB of memory.

Windows 10 Enterprise

Windows 10 Enterprise builds on the features of Windows 10 Pro, providing additional features of relevance to larger organizations, including:

  • Always On VPN

  • DirectAccess

  • Windows To Go Creator

  • AppLocker

  • BranchCache

  • Start Screen Control with Group Policy

  • Managed User Experience

  • Windows Defender Credential Guard

  • Windows Defender Device Guard

  • Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection

  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure enhancements

  • Application Virtualization

In addition to the ability to manage updates to Windows with Windows Update for Business, Enterprise customers can also access the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) deployment version of Windows 10 Enterprise.

Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC

This specialized edition of Windows 10 Enterprise receives security and other important updates in the normal way but does not receive feature updates. This enables organizations to know that their environment does not change over time. Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC does not include built-in apps that are subject to change including:

  • Microsoft Edge

  • Microsoft Store client

  • Cortana

  • Many built-in universal Windows apps

Windows 10 Education

Provides the same features as Windows 10 Enterprise but does not offer support for LTSC. Windows 10 Education is only available through Academic Volume Licensing.

Windows 10 Mobile & Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise

Designed for phones and smaller tablets, with broadly the same feature set as the Windows 10 desktop edition. It includes many of the same universal Windows apps as well as a touch-optimized version of Microsoft Office. Microsoft has ended development of the Windows 10 Mobile platform, and the most recent version released in October of 2017, is scheduled to have support end on December 10, 2019.

Following the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, the Windows 10 S edition was replaced with Windows 10 in S mode. This is a mode of Windows 10 and not an edition. It is designed to be the safest and most stable version of Windows ever. Windows 10 in S mode is a limited, locked-down version of Windows 10. To reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) you can only install applications from the Microsoft Store and browse the Internet using the Microsoft Edge browser.

  • Microsoft Edge only.

  • Bing search engine.

  • Microsoft Store apps only.

  • Not able join Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain.

  • Azure AD Domain Join is available in Windows 10 Pro in S mode and Windows 10 Enterprise in S mode.

PCs ship with one of three versions of Windows 10 in S mode:

  • Windows 10 Home in S mode

  • Windows 10 Professional in S mode

  • Windows 10 Enterprise in S mode

Users can freely opt to leave S mode—for example, to switch to Windows 10 Pro—by installing the Switch out of S mode app from the Microsoft Store. This action is a one-time decision—once you’ve taken the PC out of S mode, it cannot be put it back into S mode.

Also, Microsoft has released Windows 10 Internet of Things (IoT) editions—Windows IoT Core and Windows IoT Enterprise. These can be used to operate small industrial devices, such as control devices and specialist industrial computing systems.

For businesses that require a long period of support for their IoT installations, Microsoft has released Windows 10 IoT Core Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) together with Windows 10 IoT Core Services, which provides a subscription with access to 10 years of support for the IoT releases.

Choose 32-Bit or 64-Bit Versions

You can choose between 32-bit and 64-bit versions of all desktop editions of Windows 10. Nowadays, you should choose 64-bit versions unless there is a compelling reason to use 32-bit versions, such as your hardware does not support the 64-bit architecture.

The various edition features described in Table 1-1 are applicable for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. However, 64-bit versions of Windows 10 do provide a number of advantages, including:

  • Memory The 64-bit versions of Windows 10 can address more physical memory than 32-bit versions. Specifically, 32-bit versions are physically limited to just under 4 GB of RAM, whereas 64-bit versions of Windows are limited by the edition of Windows 10 installed.

  • Security Features such as Kernel Patch Protection, mandatory kernel-mode driver signing, and Data Execution Prevention (DEP) are available only in 64-bit versions of Windows 10.

  • Client Hyper-V This feature is only available on 64-bit versions of Windows 10. Your hardware must also support second-level address translation (SLAT).

  • Performance The 64-bit processors can handle more data during each CPU clock cycle. This benefit is only realized when running a 64-bit operating system.

Determine Windows 10 Edition requirements for particular features

A number of general and security features available in some editions of Windows 10 require specialist hardware or software configuration that you should know. This section covers how to

  • Identify hardware and configuration requirements for general Windows 10 features

  • Identify hardware and configuration requirements for Windows 10 security features

General Features

These features provide for general usability and functional improvements and include:

  • Client Hyper-V Enables you to create, manage, and run virtual machines that you can install with different guest operating systems to support, perhaps, earlier line-of-business (LOB) apps that will not run natively on Windows 10. Requirements of the Client Hyper-V feature are:

    • A 64-bit version of either the Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Enterprise edition.

    • A computer that supports SLAT.

    • Additional physical memory to support running the virtual machines. A minimum of 2 GBs of additional memory is recommended.

  • Cortana You can use Cortana as a digital assistant to control Windows 10 and perform tasks such as writing email, setting reminders, and performing web searches. Because Cortana is voice-activated and controlled, your Windows 10 device requires a microphone.

  • Continuum Windows 10 is available on a variety of devices types and form factors. With Continuum, Microsoft endeavors to optimize the user experience across device types by detecting the hardware on your device and changing to that hardware. For example, Windows 10 determines when you are using a non-touch desktop computer and enables traditional interaction with the operating system by use of a mouse. For users of hybrid devices, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro, when you disconnect a keyboard cover, Windows 10 switches to Tablet Mode.

  • Miracast Windows 10 uses Miracast to connect your Windows device wirelessly to an external monitor or projector. You will need a Miracast-compatible external monitor or projector to use this functionality. If your display device doesn’t support Miracast, you use a Miracast adapter, such as a Microsoft Wireless Display adapter.

  • Touch Windows 10 is a touch-centric operating system. Although you do not need touch to use Windows 10, some features are made more usable through the use of touch. To use touch, your tablet or display monitor must support touch.

  • OneDrive Users of OneDrive are entitled to 5 GB free online storage. OneDrive provides this storage. OneDrive functionality is built into the Windows 10 operating system and it is easy to use. You must have a Microsoft account to use OneDrive.

  • Sync your settings When you use more than one Windows 10 device, it is convenient for your user settings to move with you to the new device. You can use the Sync Your Settings feature of Windows 10 to ensure that settings such as theme, Internet Explorer and Edge settings (including favorites), passwords, language, and ease of access are synchronized between your devices. You must have a Microsoft account to use this feature.

Security Features

Windows 10 also includes a number of features that can help make your device more secure, including:

  • BitLocker Drive Encryption A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 1.2 or higher works with BitLocker to store encryption keys. This helps protect against data theft and offline tampering by providing for whole-drive encryption. Requirements for BitLocker include:

    • A device installed with either Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Enterprise.

    • Optionally, you should use a TPM. Using a TPM with BitLocker enables Windows to verify startup component integrity. You do not require a TPM in your computer to use BitLocker, but using a TPM does increase the security of the encryption keys.

  • Device health attestation With the increase in use of users’ own devices, it is important to ensure that Windows 10 devices connecting to your organization meet the security and compliance requirements of your organization. Device health attestation uses measured boot data to help perform this verification. To implement device health attestation, your Windows 10 devices must have TPM version 2.0 or higher.

  • Secure Boot When Secure Boot is enabled, you can only start the operating system by using an operating system loader that is signed using a digital certificate stored in the UEFI Secure Boot signature database. This helps prevent malicious code from loading during the Windows 10 start process. Requirements for Secure Boot include

    • Computer firmware that supports Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) v2.3.1 Errata B, and for which the Microsoft Windows Certification Authority is in the UEFI signature database.

  • Multifactor authentication (MFA) This is a process that provides for user authentication based on at least two factors: something the user knows, such as a password; and something the user has, such as a biometric feature (fingerprint or facial features), or a device, such as a cell phone. Requirements for two-factor authentication include:

    • Biometric devices that support the Windows Biometric Framework, such as a fingerprint reader, a smartphone, or an illuminated infrared camera using Windows Hello.

    • A biometric attribute, such as facial recognition, iris detection, or a fingerprint.

  • Virtual Secure Mode This feature moves some sensitive elements of the operating system to trustlets that run in a Hyper-V container that the Windows 10 operating system cannot access. This helps make the operating system more secure. Currently, this is only available in the Windows 10 Enterprise edition.

  • Virtual Smart Card This feature offers comparable security benefits in two-factor authentication to that provided by physical smart cards. Virtual smart cards require a compatible TPM (version 1.2 or later).

Perform a clean installation

Although most computers are purchased preinstalled with Windows 10, many organizations prefer to reinstall the operating system to avoid the additional software that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) often include with their computers. This software is often referred to as bloatware and can include utilities and tools or trial versions of software such as Microsoft Office or anti-spyware software that are unwanted.

As shown in Table 1-2, there are several methods of installing Windows 10 on a device, and you should familiarize yourself with each prior to taking the exam.

Table 1-2 Windows installation methods

Installation Method


Install from DVD

Windows 10 is no longer shipped on DVDs. You can use the downloadable media obtained from the Microsoft Windows 10 website, Microsoft Volume Licensing Service (MVLS), or Visual Studio Subscriptions and burn it to DVD media.

Install from USB

Use this method to install the operating system on one computer at a time. Installation from a USB device is quicker than using a DVD. You must modify BIOS or UEFI settings to enable booting from USB.

Install from Windows Deployment Services

Requires Windows Deployment Services (WDS), which is a role installed on Windows Server 2019. WDS also requires Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) on the network. The target computer network card must support Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE). Using WDS allows automated installation of system images and deployment of Windows to multiple computers simultaneously by using multicast.

Install an image from Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)

Boot the device by using Windows PE, and then use one of the following deployment options.

  • Use Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) to apply the Windows image.

  • Use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) deployment solution.

  • Use the System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch) deployment solution (Configuration Manager).

Both MDT and Configuration Manager are enterprise-level solutions that enable you to deploy Windows to hundreds or thousands of devices at once and configure lite-touch installation (LTI) or zero-touch installation (ZTI) for either minimal user interaction or no user interaction, respectively, during the deployment.

Install over the network

Start the computer by using Windows PE and connect to a copy of the installation files stored on a shared network folder. You would use this method when you are unable to use a USB device, WDS, MDT, or Configuration Manager.

If you intend to start your PC from your installation media, such as a USB drive, you may need to configure your BIOS or UEFI to allow this. This can be achieved by modifying the BIOS or UEFI setting or choosing a custom boot order during the startup process.

During a clean installation on a new hard drive, perform the following steps to install Windows 10.

  1. Insert your installation media and start your computer.

  2. At the Windows Setup screen, choose the appropriate language and regional settings and then click Next.

  3. In the Windows Setup window, click Install Now.

  4. On the Applicable Notices And License Terms page, accept the License Terms and click Next.

  5. On the Which Type Of Installation Do You Want? page, choose Custom: Install Windows Only (Advanced).

  6. On the Where Do You Want To Install Windows? page, select Drive 0 Unallocated Space and click Next.

The installation begins. To install Windows 10 for personal use, perform the following steps:

  1. On the Let’s Start With Region. Is This Right? page, select the regional settings.

  2. On the Is This The Right Keyboard Layout? page, select the keyboard layout settings.

  3. On the Want To Add A Second Keyboard Layout? page, add a layout, or select Skip.

  4. On the Let’s Connect You To A Network page, select a network connection.

  5. On the How Would You Like To Set Up? Page, choose Set Up For Personal Use and click Next.

  6. On the Sign In With Microsoft page, create a local offline account by selecting Offline Account. Or enter your Microsoft account and password or select Create Account.

  7. On the Create A PIN page, click Create PIN and enter a PIN.

  8. On the Link Your Android Or iPhone To This PC page, enter your phone number and click Send and then click Next. Or click Do It Later to skip this step.

  9. On the Protect Your Files With OneDrive page, click Next. Or click Only Save Files To This PC to skip this step.

  10. On the Make Cortana Your Personal Assistant? page, choose whether to enable Cortana.

  11. On the Do More Across Devices With Activity History page, choose whether to enable the timeline feature.

  12. On the Choose Privacy Settings For Your Device page, choose the privacy settings that you require.

  13. The remainder of the setup process will continue.

  14. You are now signed in.

Depending on your hardware performance, Windows should complete the clean install process within 10–15 minutes, and the machine will restart several times. A device with a solid-state drive (SSD) will outperform slower traditional hard drives with spinning platters. During the final stages of installation, the Getting Ready notification appears while Windows installs device drivers specific to the hardware.

Identify an installation strategy

You can choose from among a number of methods when considering how best to install Windows 10. Generally, the size of your organization and the number of devices that you must install will determine the strategy that you select. The available strategies have different prerequisites, and some might require additional software components and configuration before you can begin installing Windows 10. Table 1-3 describes the strategies available.

Table 1-3 Windows 10 installation strategies

Deployment Option


High-touch retail media deployment

Suitable for small organizations with few devices to install with Windows 10. Requires no specialist IT skills or additional services or components. All that is required is one or more copies of the Windows 10 installation media, which can be provided on a DVD, or on a USB storage device, or even from a shared folder on a network file server.

Low-touch deployment

Suitable for larger organizations that intend to install a few hundred devices, using limited installer intervention. Because the strategy relies on the use of image deployment and additional services, such as Windows Deployment Services (WDS) and, optionally, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), some specialist IT skills are also required.

Zero-touch deployment

For very large organizations with thousands of devices. Requires a considerable investment in IT skills to facilitate this strategy. Also requires the use of MDT and System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch) to deploy Windows 10, using no installer intervention.

Determine the appropriate installation media

Windows 10 uses an image-based installation and deployment model with the Windows operating system installation files packaged inside an image file that is used as an installation source during the installation process.

A default installation image, Install.wim, is provided on the installation media in the \Sources folder. Although you can choose to use this default image, you can also configure it to create custom installation images that better suit the needs of your organization. Customizations might include:

  • Selecting a particular edition of Windows 10.

  • Choosing which Windows features are enabled.

  • Including Wi-Fi profiles and virtual private network (VPN) profiles.

  • Adding universal apps or desktop applications.

The Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) contains a number of tools that you can use to create and manage Windows 10 images to support your installation needs. These are:

  • DISM The Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) command-line tool enables you to capture, deploy, and manage Windows images. You can use the tool to install, uninstall, configure, and update Windows features, packages, drivers, and international settings in a .wim file or VHD, which can be either online or offline.

  • Windows Configuration Designer This tool, as shown in Figure 1-1, enables you to provision Windows 10 features and runtime settings by using provisioning packages (.ppkg) to quickly configure a Windows 10 device without having to install a new image.

Figure 1-1 Windows Configuration Designer

You can then deploy these custom images and packages to target computers within your organization that require Windows 10. You can perform this deployment in a number of ways and by using a variety of deployment technologies and tools, depending on the installation strategy you previously selected. Options include:

  • DVD installation You can create installation DVD media, or you can use a customized image that you created. The device you are installing to requires an optical drive.

  • USB installation You can use the default or custom Windows images. This method is quicker than DVD, and although it does not require an optical drive, you might need to reconfigure your computer’s BIOS or UEFI firmware settings to support startup from USB.

  • WDS deployment To use this method, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) must be available to network clients on your network, and your target computers running Windows 10 must support Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE). Combined with unattended answer files and custom images, you can use this method to deploy multiple images to multiple computers at the same time by using multicast.

  • Image-based installation By starting your computer into Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE), you can use DISM to apply an image locally to the target computer. Alternatively, you can use MDT and System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch) to deploy the image and desktop apps to the target devices.

  • Shared network folder installation You can use Windows PE to start your computer and map a network drive to installation files and images on a network file shared folder. This is a comparatively inefficient method and has been replaced by the other methods previously described.

  • Windows SIM The Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM) shown in Figure 1-2 enables you to create installation answer files for use in automated deployments. These answer files contain the configuration options used to install Windows 10. You can then associate these answer files with a local copy of the installation media, perhaps on a USB memory stick to provision Windows 10 using a semi-automated interactive installation.

Figure 1-2 Windows System Image Manager

  • Windows PE Windows PE (WinPE) is used to start a computer that is being deployed with Windows 10. It enables access to Windows file systems and is, in essence, a small Windows operating system. You can use the generic Windows PE provided on the product DVD, or you can create your own using tools found in the Windows ADK to address your specific deployment needs. You can then launch Windows PE from a DVD or a USB memory stick or across the network using PXE.

Perform an in-place upgrade

The most efficient method of installing Windows 10 on existing computers is to perform an in-place upgrade. This method is fully supported and recommended by Microsoft.

It is important to understand the terminology used when describing the process of upgrading to Windows 10. Upgrade is often used generically to explain the licensing process of upgrading from an earlier version of Windows to a later version. You can also upgrade the edition of Windows which replaces an existing operating system, such as Windows 7 Home edition to Windows 10. On a semi-annual basis, Windows 10 will automatically perform an in-place upgrade of Windows 10 to the latest version of Windows 10.

When manually upgrading to Windows 10, you update the existing operating system and perform what is called an in-place upgrade on existing hardware. All user data and settings are retained. For most users, this is now the recommended procedure.

Supported upgrade paths

Performing an in-place upgrade can be the simplest option, especially when you have only a few computers to upgrade. However, you cannot perform an in-place upgrade on computers running a Windows version that does not share the same feature set as the edition of Windows 10 that you want to install.

Table 1-4 lists the supported upgrade paths based on the Windows edition.

Table 1-4 Supported upgrade paths to Windows 10

Earlier Windows Edition

Windows 10 Home

Windows 10 Pro

Windows 10 Enterprise

Windows 8/8.1




Windows 8/8.1 Pro




Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise




Windows 7 Starter




Windows 7 Home Basic




Windows 7 Home Premium




Windows 7 Professional




Windows 7 Ultimate




Windows 7 Enterprise




You will notice from Table 1-4 that direct upgrades between different editions are not supported. That is, you cannot upgrade directly from Windows 7 Home to Windows 10 Enterprise.

After you have determined whether your upgrade path is supported, choose how to perform the process of upgrading to Windows 10.

Considerations for Performing an In-Place Upgrade

When determining whether to use the in-place upgrade method to upgrade to Windows 10, consider the following factors.

  • It is a simple process and is ideal for small groups of computers.

  • It provides for rollback to the earlier version of Windows.

  • User and application settings and user data files are retained automatically.

  • Installed applications are retained; however, retained applications might not work correctly after upgrading from an earlier Windows version.

  • You do not need to provide for external storage space for data and settings migration.

  • It does not allow for edition changes and is available only on supported operating systems (see Table 1-4).

  • It does not provide the opportunity to start with a clean, standardized configuration.

Perform an in-place upgrade to Windows 10

As you have seen, there are three ways to upgrade to Windows 10. The recommended method by Microsoft is to use an in-place upgrade. This is the method that will be utilized for all future upgrades of Windows 10 using Windows Update. Using an in-place upgrade enables you to retain all the users’ applications, data files, and user and application settings. During the in-place upgrade, the Windows 10 setup program automatically retains these settings.

You perform an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 when your users will continue to use their existing computers. To perform an in-place upgrade, complete the following procedure.

  1. Evaluate the user’s computer to determine that it meets minimum hardware requirements for Windows 10 and that Windows 10 supports all hardware.

  2. Verify that all applications work on Windows 10.

  3. Optionally, back up the user’s data files.

  4. Run the Setup.exe program from the root of the Windows 10 installation media.

  5. Choose Upgrade when prompted and complete the setup wizard.

The in-place upgrade process works well and is now the recommended deployment method Microsoft suggests for upgrading devices that run Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10.

Upgrade using installation media

An enterprise will normally obtain Windows 10 media through the volume licensing channel and can download it from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) at VLSC media use either a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) or Key Management Service (KMS) which is used during the installation process and is tied to the enterprise license agreement with Microsoft.

Alternatively, purchased retail media can be used, which is supplied on a USB thumb drive or by a direct download from the online Microsoft Store.

Another option is to use the Media Creation Tool (MCT), which generates a ready-to-use, bootable USB flash drive. You can also download an ISO file that can be used for the installation, which would need to be burned to a writeable DVD. Media created with the MCT cannot be used for upgrading a Windows Enterprise edition client. When you run the MCT, when prompted, on the What Do You Want To Do? page, click Create Installation Media and then click Next.

If you encounter issues while upgrading to Window 10, you should inspect the installation log file found at C:\Windows\Panther\UnattendGC\SetupAct.log. If you are trying to use the wrong media or if you are trying to upgrade from an unsupported operating system, there should be an entry such as the following:

Info [windeploy.exe] OEM license detected, will not run SetupComplete.cmd

With all upgrades, you must ensure that you understand the requirements for a successful upgrade, such as having at least 2 GB RAM and enough disk space. In the exam, you might face scenarios in which you are asked to upgrade from one architecture to another architecture which is not supported. You may be presented with the current system drive having insufficient disk space. To resolve disk space issues, you could attempt one of the following resolutions to complete the upgrade:

  • Run Disk CleanUp Wizard, remove any unwanted files, and empty the Recycle Bin.

  • Uninstall apps, files, and language packs that you do not need.

  • If possible, expand the volume by using the Disk Management tool.

  • Move personal files off the system drive and onto another drive or external drive.

If the system fails during the upgrade due to a compatibility issue, you can troubleshoot the cause by reviewing the setupact.log found at: C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources\panther\setupact.log. Some of the most common codes are shown in Table 1-5.

Table 1-5 Setuperr.log errors relating to upgrading

Error Code


CsetupHost::Execute result = 0xC1900200

PC not meeting the system requirements for Windows 10.

CsetupHost::Execute result = 0xC190020E

Insufficient free hard drive space.

CsetupHost::Execute result = 0xC1900204

Migration choice (auto upgrade) not available—wrong Windows 10 SKU or architecture.

CsetupHost::Execute result = 0xC1900208

Compatibility issues found (hard block).

CsetupHost::Execute result = 0xC1900210

No issues found.

If you want to check the system for compatibility only, you can run Setup.exe with a command-line switch, which will check for compatibility but not perform the actual upgrade.

An example command is:

Setup.exe /Auto Upgrade /Quiet /NoReboot /DynamicUpdate Disable /Compat ScanOnly

Windows 8.1 supports mounting an ISO disk image directly in File Explorer. You can download the Windows 10 ISO and upgrade Windows 8.1 without first having to create installation media such as a DVD or bootable USB. For Windows 7, you must use bootable media, extract the files contained in the ISO, or use a third-party tool to mount the ISO.

A major advantage of upgrading rather than performing a clean installation (sometimes referred to as a wipe-and-load scenario) is that all the applications, settings, and data on the PC are retained during an upgrade. This often results in a much quicker process, and the device can be returned to the user in the shortest possible time.

As part of the pre-upgrade checks, Windows 10 will validate the following.

  • Whether UEFI is used (UEFI v2.3.1 or later is required for Secure Boot).

  • System Host is not configured to boot from VHD.

  • The system is not installed as a Portable Workspace (for example, using Windows To Go).

Details of the setup compatibility checks can be reviewed in the log file found at C:\$WINDOWS.~BT\Sources\Panther\setupact.log. The installation process proceeds in the same way as the in-place upgrade using Windows Update.

Migrate user data

With the rapid adoption of Office 365, more data than ever before is now stored in cloud-based storage such as OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. Despite this trend, file server-based shared storage and local storage is still the most common data storage location for businesses.

Both cloud-based and server-based storage data storage backup and migration are outside of the scope of this exam, but you need to know how enterprises can migrate both user data and Windows settings from an earlier version of Windows to Windows 10. The procedure for migrating user data has not changed over the years, but you will be expected to understand the process.

Migrate from previous versions of Windows

The amount of user affinity with their devices is often overlooked by support professionals. If allowed, users can invest significant time and effort to customize and personalize their working environment, and this can include the Windows operating system and applications. When upgrading from an older operating system, it is very common for the user to be presented with a new device running the new version of Windows after the old device is removed. This can sometimes cause significant loss of productivity while the user becomes familiar with the updated operating system and reconfigures settings to their preferences.

The level of user personalization of the device can include the following.

  • Desktop appearance, sounds, themes, and backgrounds

  • Start-menu customization

  • Icons and file associations

  • Files and folders stored locally

  • Device and power settings

  • Application settings, such as autotype and template locations

Migration strategies

You perform a migration to Windows 10 when your users have new computers on which to install Windows 10 and you want to preserve settings and data from their old computers. During the process, you perform the following high-level procedures.

  1. Verify that all existing required applications work on Windows 10.

  2. Ensure that the appropriate edition of Windows 10 is installed on the user’s new computer.

  3. On the new computer, install the required applications.

  4. Back up the user’s data files and settings from the old computer using USMT (User State Migration Tool).

  5. Restore the user’s data files and settings on the new computer using USMT.

You can use either a side-by-side migration or wipe-and-load migration strategy to perform a migration. These migration scenarios are summarized as follows.

  • A side-by-side migration In this scenario, the source and destination computers for the upgrade are different machines. You install a new computer with Windows 10 and then migrate the data and most user settings from the earlier operating system to the new computer.

  • A wipe-and-load migration In this scenario, the source and destination computer are the same. You back up the user data and settings to an external location and then install Windows 10 on the user’s existing computer. Afterward, you restore user data and settings.

Perform a Side-by-Side Migration

When you opt to use the side-by-side migration strategy, illustrated in Figure 1-3, use the following procedure to complete the task.

  1. Either obtain a computer with Windows 10 preinstalled or install Windows 10 on a new computer. When Setup.exe prompts you, choose Custom (Advanced). This is the destination computer.

  2. Install the same applications on the destination computer as are presently on the source computer.

  3. Create an external intermediate storage location, such as a file server–shared folder or an external hard drive, for the storage of user data and settings. This storage must be accessible from both the source and destination computers.

  4. Use the USMT to collect the user’s data and settings from the source computer and store them to the external intermediate store.

  5. Use the USMT to collect the user’s data and settings from the external intermediate store and install them in the destination computer.

Figure 1-3 Side-by-side migration to Windows 10

Perform a Wipe-and-Load Migration

When you opt to use the wipe-and-load migration strategy, illustrated in Figure 1-4, use the following procedure to complete the task.

  1. Create an external storage location, such as a file server-shared folder or an external hard drive, for the storage of user data and settings.

  2. Use the USMT to collect the user’s data and settings and store them in the external location.

  3. Install Windows 10 on the existing computer. When Setup.exe prompts you, choose Custom (Advanced).

  4. Reinstall the applications on the computer.

  5. Use the USMT to restore the user’s data and settings from the external location.

Figure 1-4 Wipe-and-load migration to Windows 10

Considerations for Performing a Migration

When determining whether to use one of the two migration methods outlined to upgrade to Windows 10, consider the following factors.

  • You have an opportunity to create a clean installation, free from remnant files and settings.

  • You can reconfigure the existing disk partitions.

  • You can upgrade to any Windows 10 edition, irrespective of the earlier Windows edition.

  • Migration is a more complex process, and you must use migration tools such as User State Migration Tool (USMT) to migrate user data and settings.

  • You need to provide storage space for user settings and files to be migrated.

  • Applications are not retained, and you must manually reinstall these.

Perform a user state migration

When computers are being replaced or refreshed on a large scale, the loss of user productivity can be significant. In this scenario, you can use the User State Migration Tool version 10 which is available as part of the Windows ADK.

The Windows ADK is available from the following Microsoft website at:

User state migration is performed in two phases as follows.

  1. Settings and data are captured (collected) from the source computer and stored in a secure migration store using the ScanState tool.

  2. Captured settings and data are restored on the destination computer, using the LoadState tool.

USMT is a collection of three command-line tools that can be scripted to capture and migrate data efficiently and securely and is intended for performing large-scale automated deployments.

  • ScanState.exe

  • LoadState.exe

  • UsmtUtils.exe

You choose which data is captured, and these settings are stored in migration XML files as follows.

  • MigApp.xml

  • MigDocs.xml

  • MigUser.xml

  • Custom XML files that you can create

The XML files provide the migration rules that USMT needs to process.

You can also create a Config.xml file that is used to specify files or settings, which will be excluded from the migration.

As part of both migration strategies, you must migrate user data and settings to the destination computer. Consequently, it is important to determine where these data and settings reside. The types of data that USMT can capture and migrate are shown in Table 1-6.

Table 1-6 Data types accessible by USMT

Data Type



User data

Documents, Video, Music, Pictures, Desktop files, Start menu, Quick Launch settings, and Favorites

Folders from each user profile.


Shared Documents, Shared Video, Shared Music, Shared Desktop files, Shared Pictures, Shared Start menu, and Shared Favorites

Folders from the Public profiles.



USMT searches fixed drives, collecting files that have any of the file name extensions that are defined in the configuration XML file.


Access control lists (ACLs)

USMT can migrate the ACL for specified files and folders.

Operating system components

Mapped network drives, network printers, folder options, users’ personal certificates, and Internet Explorer settings.

USMT migrates most standard operating system settings.

Supported applications settings

Microsoft Office, Skype, Google Chrome, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Apple iTunes, and more

USMT will migrate settings for many applications, which can be specified in the MigApp.xml file.

Version of each application must match on the source and destination computers.

With Microsoft Office, USMT allows migration of the settings from an earlier version of an Office application.

The following settings are not migrated when you use USMT.

  • Local printers, hardware-related settings

  • Device drivers

  • Passwords

  • Customized icons for shortcuts

  • Shared folder permissions

  • Files and settings, if the operating systems have different languages installed

After you have installed the USMT included in the Windows ADK, you have the following components as described in Table 1-7.

Table 1-7 USMT components




Scans a source computer and collects files and settings, writing them to a migration store. (The store file can be password protected and can be compressed and encrypted if required, although you cannot use the /nocompress option with the /encrypt option.) You can turn off the default compression with the /nocompress option.


Migrates the files and settings from the migration store to the destination computer.


Compresses, encrypts, and validates the migration store files.

Migration XML files

MigApp.xml, MigUser.xml, or MigDocs.xml files, and custom XML files USMT uses to configure the process.


Used with /genconfig to exclude data from a migration.

Component manifests

Controls which operating system settings are to be migrated. These manifests are specific to the operating system and are not modifiable.