Manage OS upgrade packages with Configuration Manager

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)

An OS upgrade package in Configuration Manager contains the Windows setup source files to upgrade an existing OS on a computer. This article describes how to add, distribute, and service an OS upgrade package.

Note

OS upgrade packages can also be used for new installations of Windows. However it is dependant on drivers being compatible with this method. When performing new installations of Windows from an OS upgrade package, drivers are installed while still in Windows PE versus simply being injected while in Windows PE. Some drivers are not compatible with being installed while in Windows PE. If drivers are not compatible with being installed while in Windows PE, then use an OS image, such as install.wim, instead.

Add an OS upgrade package

Before you can use an OS upgrade package, first add it to your Configuration Manager site.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, go to the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then select the Operating System Upgrade Packages node.

  2. On the Home tab of the ribbon, in the Create group, select Add Operating System Upgrade Package. This action starts the Add Operating System Upgrade Wizard.

  3. On the Data Source page, specify the following settings:

    • The network Path to the installation source files of the OS upgrade package. For example, \\server\share\path.

      Note

      The installation source files contain setup.exe and other files and folders to install the OS.

      Important

      Limit access to these installation source files to prevent unwanted tampering.

    • If you want to pre-cache content on a client, specify the Architecture and Language of the image. For more information, see Configure pre-cache content.

  4. On the General page, specify the following information. This information is useful for identification purposes when you have more than one OS upgrade package.

    • Name: A unique name for the OS upgrade package.

    • Version: An optional version identifier. This property doesn't need to be the OS version of the upgrade package. It's often your organization's version for the package.

    • Comment: An optional brief description.

  5. Complete the wizard.

Next, distribute the OS upgrade package to distribution points.

Distribute content to a distribution point

Distribute OS upgrade packages to distribution points the same as other content. Before you deploy the task sequence, distribute the OS upgrade package to at least one distribution point. For more information, see Distribute content.

Apply software updates to an image

Note

This section applies to both OS images and OS upgrade packages. It uses the general term "image" to refer to the Windows image file (WIM). Both of these objects have a WIM, which contains Windows installation files. Software updates are applicable to these files in both objects. The behavior of this process is the same between both objects.

Each month there are new software updates applicable to the image. Before you can apply software updates to it, you need the following prerequisites:

  • A software updates infrastructure
  • Successfully synchronized software updates
  • Downloaded the software updates to the content library on the site server

For more information, see Deploy software updates.

Apply applicable software updates to an image on a specified schedule. This process is sometimes called offline servicing. On this schedule, Configuration Manager applies the selected software updates to the image. It can then also redistribute the updated image to distribution points.

Important

While you can select any software update that's applicable to the image based on version, DISM can only apply certain types of updates to the image. The OfflineServicingMgr.log file shows the following entry: Not applying this update binary, it is not supported.

The site database stores information about the image, including the software updates that were applied at the time of the import. Software updates that you apply to the image since it was initially added are also stored in the site database. When you start the wizard to apply software updates, it retrieves the list of applicable software updates that the site hasn't yet applied to the image. Configuration Manager copies the software updates that you select from the content library on the site server. It then applies the software updates to the image.

Servicing process

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, go to the Software Library workspace, expand Operating Systems, and then select either Operating System Images or Operating System Upgrade Packages.

  2. Select the object to which to apply software updates.

  3. On the ribbon, select Schedule Updates to start the wizard.

  4. On the Choose Updates page, select the software updates to apply to the image. It may take some time for the list of updates to appear in the wizard. Use the Filter to search for strings in the metadata. Use the System architecture drop-down list to filter on X86, X64, or All. You can select one, many, or all updates in the list. When you're finished selecting updates, select Next.

  5. On the Set Schedule page, specify the following settings, and then click Next.

    1. Schedule: Specify the schedule for when the site applies the software updates to the image.

    2. Continue on error: Select this option to continue to apply software updates to the image even when there's an error.

    3. Update distribution points with the image: Select this option to update the image on distribution points after the site applies the software updates.

  6. Complete the Schedule Updates Wizard.

Note

To minimize the payload size, the servicing of OS upgrade packages and OS images removes the older version.

Servicing operations

In the Configuration Manager console, in either the OS Images or OS Upgrade Packages node, add the following columns to the view:

  • Scheduled Updates Date: This property shows the next schedule that you've defined.
  • Scheduled Updates Status: This property shows the status. For example, Successful or In Process.

Select a specific image object, and then switch to the Update Status tab in the details pane. This tab shows the list of updates in the image.

Select a specific image object, and select Properties in the ribbon. The Installed Updates tab shows the list of updates in the image. The Servicing tab is a read-only view of the current servicing schedule and the updates that you've scheduled to apply.

When the status is In Process, you can select Cancel Scheduled Updates on the ribbon. This action cancels the active servicing process.

To troubleshoot this process, view the OfflineServicingMgr.log and dism.log files on the site server. For more information, see Log files.

Specify the drive for offline OS image servicing

Starting in version 1810, specify the drive that Configuration Manager uses during offline servicing of OS images. This process can consume a large amount of disk space with temporary files. This option gives you flexibility to select the drive to use.

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, go to the Administration workspace, expand Site Configuration, and select the Sites node. In the ribbon, click Configure Site Components and select Operating System Deployment.

  2. On the Offline Servicing tab, specify the option for A local drive to be used by offline servicing of images.

By default, this setting is Automatic. With this value, Configuration Manager selects the drive on which it's installed.

If you select a drive that doesn't exist on the site server, Configuration Manager behaves the same as if you select Automatic.

During offline servicing, Configuration Manager stores temporary files in the folder, <drive>:\ConfigMgr_OfflineImageServicing. It also mounts the OS image in this folder.

Optimized image servicing

Starting in version 1902, when you apply software updates to an OS image, there's a new option to optimize the output by removing any superseded updates. The optimization to offline servicing only applies to images with a single index.

When you schedule the site to apply software updates to an OS image, it uses the Windows Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) command-line tool. During the servicing process, this change introduces the following two additional steps:

  • It runs DISM against the mounted offline image with the parameters /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase. If this command fails, the current servicing process fails. It doesn't commit any changes to the image.

  • After Configuration Manager commits changes to the image and unmounts it from the file system, it exports the image to another file. This step uses the DISM parameter /Export-Image. It removes unneeded files from the image, which reduces the size.

Microsoft recommends that you regularly apply updates to your offline images. You don't have to use this option every time you service an image. When you do this process each month, this new option provides you the greatest advantage by using it over time. For more information, see Recommendations for Install Software Updates step.

While this option helps reduce the overall size of the serviced image, it does take longer to complete the process. Use the wizard to schedule servicing during convenient times. It also requires additional storage on the site server. You can customize the site to use an alternate location. For more information, see Specify the drive for offline OS image servicing.

Process to optimize image servicing

  1. Start the servicing process.

  2. On the Set Schedule page, select the option to Remove superseded updates after the image is updated. This option isn't automatically enabled. If the image has more than one index, you can't use this option.

  3. To schedule image servicing, complete the wizard.

Validate and monitor the process using the OfflineServicing.log.

Next steps

Create a task sequence to upgrade an OS