Build to order: Use online servicing to make final updates to individual PCs

By using online servicing, you can update a Windows image by logging onto the built-in administrator account and manually perform tasks in the Windows environment. This helps you:

  1. Perform tasks that can be difficult or impossible during offline servicing.

  2. Perform final testing and customizations for individual PCs; for example, on a factory floor.

After making edits, you can either recapture the changes into a new image file or prepare the PC for immediate deployment.

Deploy the image to a reference PC

  1. Use the same procedure and script that you used in Apply Windows images to boot up a test PC to Windows PE and deploy the new image:

    diskpart /s E:\Deployment\CreatePartitions-<Firmware>.txt
    E:\Deployment\ApplyImage-<Firmware> E:\Images\ModelSpecificImage.wim
  2. If the PC boots to OOBE, press Ctrl+F3 to enter Audit mode. The PC reboots to the Start screen.

Update the image

In this step, you install additional drivers that require manual installation, and manually modify user profile settings.


By default, user profile settings are removed during the generalization process. This section shows you how to maintain some of the user profile settings by using the CopyProfile setting.

Manually install drivers

  • Manually install any additional drivers for the model-specific PC.

Modify user profile settings

  1. Change PC settings, such as the date and time. Example:

    • Windows 8.1: Click Start, and type Date and time.

    • Windows 8: Click Start, and type time. Select the Settings search scope, and then select Date and time. Click Change Time Zone.

  2. Set the time zone to (UTC-7:00) Mountain Time (US & Canada), click OK, and click OK.

Generalize an image while retaining user profile settings

In this step, you generalize the model-specific image so that you can capture it and deploy it to other PCs.

This step also demonstrates how to retain user profile settings in the default user profile. To do this, you create a new answer file that includes the CopyProfile setting.

By default, user profile settings are removed during the generalization process. The CopyProfile setting retains some profile settings by copying them into the default user profile. These settings include some environment and preference settings.


Many settings cannot be configured by using CopyProfile.

Create an answer file to help you retain user profile settings

  1. Either use the CopyProfile-x64 sample answer file from Windows Deployment sample answer files

    - or -

    Create a new answer file using the same procedure from Update Windows settings and scripts: Create your own answer file, and add the setting: Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup\CopyProfile = true.

  2. Save this new answer file to the external USB hard drive, with the name E:\AnswerFiles\CopyProfile-x64.xml.

Prepare the PC to boot back to the OOBE screens

  1. Connect the external USB hard drive to the model-specific reference PC.

  2. On the reference PC, if the System Preparation Tool is open, close it.

  3. Click Start, type Command Prompt. Right-click Command Prompt, and click Run as administrator.

  4. Use Sysprep to prepare the PC to boot to OOBE. Use the unattend file that you created to retain your user profile settings:

    C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\sysprep /oobe /shutdown /unattend:"E:\AnswerFiles\CopyProfile-x64.xml" /generalize

    Where E is the drive letter of the external USB drive.


If you don't plan to continue customizing the image, you can save time by leaving off the /generalize option. However, you'll still want to capture the image one more time so that these final changes are also included in your PC's recovery image file.

The Sysprep tool prepares the Windows installation for capture to an image file. This process can take several minutes. After the process completes, the PC shuts down automatically.

Capture a model-specific image

In the following steps, you boot Windows PE on the model-specific reference PC to recapture the Windows image.


  1. Boot the PC to Windows PE.

  2. On the reference PC, at the Windows PE command prompt, use Diskpart to list the current drive letters:

    list volume
  3. Capture the image of the Windows partition:

    Dism /Capture-Image /CaptureDir:D:\ /ImageFile:"D:\ModelSpecificImage-Updated.wim" /Name:"Model-specific image with Updates"

    where D is the drive letter of the Windows partition.

    DISM captures the model-specific image. This process might take several minutes.

  4. Copy the .wim file from the Windows partition to the external USB hard drive:

    copy D:\ModelSpecificImage-Updated.wim E:\Images\

    where D is the drive letter of the Windows partition and E is the drive letter of the external USB hard drive.

    This process might take a few minutes.

Compare your image

See how your new drivers and apps affect system performance by using Windows Assessment Tools. For more info, see the Windows Assessment Console Step-by-Step Guide.

See Also


OEM Windows Deployment and Imaging Walkthrough