Use ConfigMgr 2012 for Windows 10 in place Upgrade

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A lot has been made in the lead up to an eventual Windows 10 release later this year about upgrade vs fresh install. Whilst a nice idea in principle, I have always found that a fresh install has more benefit than an upgrade.

The benefits that a working upgrade could provide are huge, applications and setting stay, user data is not impacted significantly to name but a few. We have been able to do this for a while in ConfigMgr 2012 with MDT integration with the user state migration tool, however it would be nice to have a straightforward upgrade scenario with less potential impact on the user. Remember the user is king, no matter what we think!

So I had a look at how we could achieve the upgrade scenario and see if it would be the ‘holy grail’ so to speak. I started to put this together and then found that the Configuration Manager Team had already put something together here:

So rather than recreate the wheel, I will just summarise the process. Simply put you need a basic shopping list:
1. ConfigMgr 2012
2. Clients running Windows 7 or above (I tested with 8.1)
3. Windows 10 ISO – I’m using build 9926 (Jan 2015)
4. Download the Zip archive from the TechNet link above

One done, go to your ConfigMgr console and import task sequence, select the downloaded zip file. This will then create the relevant task sequence and packages.

Go to the Windows vNext Upgrade Media and copy the contents of the Windows 10 ISO. Distribute the packages to your DP.

All you need to do now is create a collection for the clients you wish to upgrade and deploy the task sequence to it as required. Note if you are testing with a VM, make sure you do not have dynamic memory assigned:

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It will fail! If you check step one in your new TS you will see the readiness check, your VM needs to pass this first.

Initial impressions are good, it seems seamless with a windows 8.1 upgrade. I did briefly try windows 7 and it failed straight away, however that’s most likely an issue with my lab machine rather than anything else. All applications carried over and are still active license wise (I have a combination of Adobe and Microsoft products on my machine). Only issue I saw was MS Project reinstalled after the OS upgrade had finished.

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So in all a good starting place with no issues on the one test machine. Interestingly on the VM this happened:

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I tested the Windows Rollback and it worked fine, back to windows 8.1 without any issue. So a nice get-out-of-jail card if you don’t like 10! Takes about 15 mins to roll back.

If you are happy with 10 and want to get rid of this, type cleanmgr into your search bar, cleanup system files and remove previous windows installations.