Refresh an existing computer with a new version of Windows using System Center Configuration Manager

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)

This topic provides the general steps in System Center Configuration Manager to partition and format (wipe) an existing computer and install a new operating system on the computer. For this scenario, you can choose from many different deployment methods, such as PXE, bootable media, or Software Center. You can also choose to install a state migration point to store settings and then restore them to the new operating system after it is installed. If you are unsure that this is the right operating system deployment scenario for you, see Scenarios to deploy enterprise operating systems.

Use the following sections to refresh an existing computer with a new version of Windows.


  • Plan for and implement infrastructure requirements

    There are several infrastructure requirements that must be in place before you can deploy operating systems, such as Windows ADK, User State Migration Tool (USMT), Windows Deployment Services (WDS), supported hard disk configurations, etc. For more information, see Infrastructure requirements for operating system deployment.

  • Install a state migration point (required only if you transfer settings)

    When you are going to capture settings from the existing computer, and then restore the settings to the new operating system, you must install a state migration point. For more information, see State migration point.


  1. Prepare a boot image

    Boot images start a computer in a Windows PE environment (a minimal operating system with limited components and services) that can then install a full Windows operating system on the computer. When you deploy operating systems, you must select a boot image to use and distribute the image to a distribution point. Use the following to prepare the boot image:

  2. Prepare an operating system image

    The operating system image contains the files necessary to install the operating system on the destination computer. Use the following to prepare the operating system image:

  3. Create a task sequence to deploy operating systems over the network

    Use a task sequence to automate the installation of the operating system over the network. Use the steps in Create a task sequence to install an operating system to create the task sequence to deploy the operating system. Depending on the deployment method that you choose, there might be additional considerations for the task sequence.


    In this scenario, the task sequence formats and partitions the hard disks on the computer. To capture user settings, you must use the state migration point, and select Save user settings and files on a State Migration Point on the State Migration page of the Create Task Sequence wizard. If you save the user settings and files locally, they will be lost when the hard disk is formatted and Configuration Manager will be unable to restore the settings. For more information, see Manage user state.