OS deployment of Windows 8.1 Enterprise on tablets best practices

Posted: March 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

Recently i was building a new deployment using SCCM 2012 R2 for Windows 8.1 Enterprise tablets such as the Windows Surface Pro series. These tablets are domain joined and will have a number of business apps installed. Additionally, having Bitlocker enabled is required. Based on test results i found out some critical configurations that should be used to make sure OS deployment will succeed on tablet devices.

1. Disk configuration: Make sure that the Windows RE Tools partition is of the type “Recovery”, the MDT template uses “Primary” by default for the Windows RE Tools partition which will work, however it may prevent you from enabling Bitlocker.








2. Networking: For tablets that don’t have a Ethernet NIC onboard use Microsoft’s Surface Ethernet adapter to deploy an OS deployment task sequence. During testing of OS deployments i used a variety of other USB Ethernet dongles (Sitecom, StarTech.com, etc) however with each of these dongles each deployment failed while downloading the image. Only 10 – 20 % of the download is succeeding until it suddenly stops. Using the F8 command prompt i was able to determine that the USB Ethernet dongle was not working anymore. Sending ping request failed, renewing the IP address failed, etc. Only after re-inserting the dongle it reactivated again. I did not found out (yet) why other Ethernet dongles beside the MS Surface Ethernet adapter are not capable. It will probably have something to do with some of the following features:

10Half = “10 Mbps Half Duplex”
10Full = “10 Mbps Full Duplex”
100Half = “100 Mbps Half Duplex”
100Full = “100 Mbps Full Duplex”
1000Full = “1.0 Gbps Full Duplex”
NetworkAddress = “NetworkAddress”
FlowControl = “Flow Control”
TxRxEnabled = “Rx & Tx Enabled”
WakeOnLinkChange = “Wake on link change”
WakeOnMagicPacket = “Wake on Magic Packet”
WakeOnPattern = “Wake on pattern match”
TCPChecksumOffloadV4 = “TCP Checksum Offload (IPv4)”
UDPChecksumOffloadV4 = “UDP Checksum Offload (IPv4)”
TCPChecksumOffloadV6 = “TCP Checksum Offload (IPv6)”
UDPChecksumOffloadV6 = “UDP Checksum Offload (IPv6)”
IPChecksumOffloadV4 = “IPv4 Checksum Offload”
LsoV1IPv4 = “Large Send Offload Version 1”
ARPOffload = “ARP Offload”
NsOffload = “NS Offload”
AutoDetach = “AutoDetach”
UseEeprom = “Use EEPROM Setting”
WolLinkSpeed = “WOL Link Speed”
10mFirst = “10 Mbps First”
MaskTimer = “Mask WakeUp Event Timer”
SelectiveSuspend = “SelectiveSuspend”
SSIdleTimeout = “SSIdleTimeout

Anyhow, just use the Surface Ethernet Adapter. It will work just fine. Others may work, just make sure to use enterprise capable hardware.

3. DriversUse the appropriate drivers! When it comes to drivers for tablets you must be very careful. Just applying all drivers using the Auto Apply Drivers step without category filtering will not end up in a successful installation. Just add a driver package for each model and apply it using the default Apply Driver Package step. Don’t add newer versions of the drivers to the driver package you use. Only replace a complete driver package by replacing it in the task sequence. For the Surface Pro 2 check for updates for drivers here: http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/support/install-update-activate/pro-2-update-history







I hope that this may be of some assistance!!!



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