Deploy push-button reset features using Auto-apply folders

Push-button reset features are included with Windows 10 for desktop editions (Home, Pro, Enterprise, and Education), though you'll need to perform additional steps to deploy PCs with the following customizations.

  • Windows desktop applications
  • Windows settings, such as customized OOBE screens or Start Menus.
  • Customized partition layouts.

These steps also show you how to add your own scripts during a reset to capture logs or perform other cleanup tasks.


To complete these procedures, you'll need a technician PC which has Windows 10 and the following Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10 components installed. Note that starting with Windows 10, version 1809, WinPE is an addon to the ADK, and isn't included in the ADK installer:

  • Deployment Tools
  • Imaging and Configuration Designer (ICD)
  • User State Migration Tool (USMT)
  • Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)

You'll also need:

  • A destination PC with drive size of 100 GB or larger
  • A Windows 10 for desktop editions image (install.wim)
  • A Windows RE boot image (Winre.wim) (You'll extract this from a Windows 10 image).

For an overview of the entire deployment process, see the Desktop manufacturing guide.

Use the follow steps to prepare the ScanState tool to capture Windows desktop applications after they have been installed:

Step 1: Prepare the ScanState tool

  1. On the technician PC, copy the Windows ADK files from Windows User State Migration Tool (USMT) and Windows Setup to a working folder. You'll need to match the architecture of the destination device. You don't need to copy the subfolders.

    md C:\ScanState_amd64
    xcopy /E "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\User State Migration Tool\amd64" C:\ScanState_amd64
    xcopy /E /Y "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Setup\amd64\Sources" C:\ScanState_amd64
  2. Copy the contents of the working folder to a network location or USB flash drive.

Use the following steps to customize your Windows RE boot image if additional drivers and language packs are needed.

Step 2: Extract and customize the Windows RE boot image (optional)

  1. On the technician PC, click Start, and type deployment. Right-click Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment and then select Run as administrator.

  2. In Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment, create the folder structure to store the Windows image and its mount point.

    Mkdir C:\OS_image\mount
  3. Create the folder structure to store the Windows RE boot image and its mount point.

    Mkdir C:\winre_amd64\mount
  4. Mount the Windows image (install.wim) to the folder \OS_image\mount by using DISM.

    Dism /mount-image /imagefile:C:\OS_image\install.wim /index:1 /mountdir:C:\OS_image\mount

    where Index:1 is the index of the selected image in the Install.wim file.

  5. Copy the Windows RE image from the mounted Windows image to the new folder.

    xcopy /H C:\OS_image\mount\windows\system32\recovery\winre.wim C:\winre_amd64 
  6. Unmount the Windows image. Tip: If you haven't made any other changes in the Windows image, you can unmount the image faster by using the /discard option.

    Dism /unmount-image /mountdir:C:\OS_image\mount /discard
  7. Mount the Windows RE boot image for editing.

    Dism /mount-image /imagefile:C:\winre_amd64\winre.wim /index:1 /mountdir:C:\winre_amd64\mount

    where Index:1 is the number of the selected image in the Winre.wim file.

    Once the Winre.wim file is extracted from the Install.wim file, you can customize the Windows RE boot image.

  8. Add language packs, boot-critical device drivers, and input device drivers to the Windows RE boot image. To learn more, see Customize Windows RE.

  9. Commit your customizations and unmount the image.

    Dism /unmount-image /mountdir:C:\winre_amd64\mount /commit 

If you are planning to customize only the settings common to all editions of Windows 10 (including Windows 10 Mobile), use the following steps to create a provisioning package which specifies settings to be restored during recovery:

Step 3: Create a provisioning package with settings to be restored (optional)

  1. On the technician PC, start Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (ICD).
  2. Click File > New Project.
  3. Enter a project name and description, and then click Next
  4. In the Select project workflow step, select the Provisioning Package option, and then click Next.
  5. In the Choose which settings to view and configure step, select the Common to all Windows editions option, and then click Next.
  6. In the Import a provisioning package (optional) step, click Finish to create the new project.
  7. Use the Available customizations pane to add settings and specify the defaults which should be restored during recovery. The settings will appear in the Selected customizations pane.
  8. Click Export > Provisioning package.
  9. In the Describe the provisioning package step, click Next.
  10. In the Select the security details for the provisioning package step, click Next.
  11. In the Select where to save the provisioning package step, enter a location to save the package (such as a network share) and then click Next.
  12. Click Build to create the provisioning package.
  13. After the provisioning package is created, click Finish.

If your customizations include settings specific to editions of Windows 10 for desktop editions, use the following steps to create an unattend.xml which specifies the settings to be restored during recovery:

Auto-apply folders are new in Windows 10, version 1809. These folders make it easier for you to restore common settings, including unattend, OOBE, and taskbar layout during PBR. You can use Auto-apply folders or extensibility points, but not both. If Auto-apply folders and extensibility points are configured, Windows will use the extensibility points.

  1. Create a folder in your Windows image called C:\Recovery\AutoApply

    MkDir C:\Recovery\AutoApply
  2. Copy configuration files and any related asset files into the Autoapply folders:

    Description Files to be copied Where to put it During a restore, where does it go?
    Start menu LayoutModification.xml C:\Recovery\AutoApply\ %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell
    Taskbar pins TaskbarLayoutModification.xml C:\Recovery\AutoApply\ C:\Windows\OEM\TaskbarLayoutModification.xml
    OOBE.xml %windir%\System32\OOBE\info C:\Recovery\AutoApply\OOBE %windir%\System32\OOBE\info
    Unattend file unattend.xml C:\Recovery\AutoApply\ C:\Windows\Panther\Unattend.xml
    Other asset files C:\Recovery\AutoApply\CustomizationFiles C:\Windows\OEM\CustomizationFiles

    Note, don't worry about restoring link (.lnk) files used by the Start menu and Taskbar. These are saved and restored using provisioning packages.

Step 5: Deploy and customize Windows

  1. On the destination PC, boot to Windows PE.

  2. At the Windows PE command prompt, run the script to create the recommended hard drive partitions.

    Diskpart /s N:\CreatePartitions.txt

    where N:\CreatePartition is the location of the file.

  3. Apply the Windows reference image to the Windows partition.

    Dism /Apply-Image /ImageFile:N:\Install.wim /Index:1 /ApplyDir:W:\

    Optional: You can also specify the /compact option so that the files written to disk are compressed. For example:

    Dism /Apply-Image /ImageFile:N:\Install.wim /Index:1 /ApplyDir:W:\ /Compact:on

    This is useful if you are deploying Windows onto PCs with limited storage capacity, but is not recommended on PCs with rotational storage devices.

  4. Configure the system partition by using BCDboot.

    W:\Windows\System32\Bcdboot W:\Windows
  5. Create a folder in the Windows RE tools partition, and copy your custom Windows RE boot image to it.

    Mkdir T:\Recovery\WindowsRE
    xcopy /H N:\Winre.wim T:\Recovery\WindowsRE

    where T:\ is the Windows RE tools partition.


    You must store Winre.wim in \Recovery\WindowsRE.

  6. Register the Windows RE boot image together with the Windows image.

    W:\Windows\System32\Reagentc /setreimage /path T:\Recovery\WindowsRE /target W:\Windows
  7. Use Diskpart to conceal the Windows RE tools (T:\) partition from Windows Explorer.

    For UEFI-based PCs:

    select disk 0
    select partition 4
    set id=de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac
    gpt attributes=0x8000000000000001

    For BIOS-based PCs:

    select disk 0
    select partition 3
    set id=27
  8. Customize the Windows image on the destination PC:

    1. Perform offline customizations to the Windows image, such as installing INF-based driver packages specific to the destination PC, installing OS updates and language packs, or provisioning additional Windows apps.
    2. Boot the destination PC to audit mode. This can be accomplished by using an answer file with the Microsoft-Windows-Deployment | Reseal | Mode = audit setting, or by first booting the PC to OOBE, and then pressing CTRL+SHIFT+F3.
    3. Perform any remaining customizations such as installing applications and device software packages that are specific to the destination PC.
  9. If you have installed OS updates, clean up the superseded components and mark the updates as permanent so that they will be restored during recovery:

    DISM.exe /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup

Step 6: Capture and deploy customizations for recovery

  1. Use the ScanState tool to capture the installed customizations into a provisioning package. Use the /config option to specify one of the default configuration files included with the ADK, and save the .ppkg file in the folder C:\Recovery\Customizations.

    N:\ScanState_amd64\scanstate.exe /apps /config:<path_to_config_file> /ppkg C:\Recovery\Customizations\apps.ppkg /o /c /v:13 /l:C:\ScanState.log

    where N:\ is the location of the ScanState tool installed in Step 1.

  2. If you have used Windows ICD to create additional provisioning packages with customizations which should be restored during recovery, copy the packages to the destination PC. For example:

    xcopy N:\RecoveryPPKG\*.ppkg C:\Recovery\Customizations

    where N:\ is the location where the additional provisioning packages are located.

  3. Copy any Push-button reset configuration file (resetconfig.xml) to the destination PC, and then configure permissions to write/modify them. For example:

    mkdir C:\Recovery\OEM

    where N:\ is the location where the configuration file and scripts are located.

  4. Restrict the Write/Modify permissions of the customizations, and hide the root folder. For example:

    icacls C:\Recovery\Customizations /inheritance:r /T
    icacls C:\Recovery\Customizations /grant:r SYSTEM:(F) /T
    icacls C:\Recovery\Customizations / grant:r *S-1-5-32-544:(F) /T
    icacls C:\Recovery\OEM /inheritance:r /T
    icacls C:\Recovery\OEM /grant:r SYSTEM:(F) /T
    icacls C:\Recovery\OEM /grant:r *S-1-5-32-544:(F) /T
    icacls C:\Recovery\AutoApply /inheritance:r /T
    icacls C:\Recovery\AutoApply /grant:r SYSTEM:(F) /T
    icacls C:\Recovery\AutoApply /grant:r *S-1-5-32-544:(F) /T
    attrib +H C:\Recovery
  5. Use the Sysprep tool to reseal the Windows image without using the /generalize option.

    Sysprep /oobe /exit

    Note  Important: You must configure the image that you are shipping to the customer to boot to OOBE.

  6. (Optional) To save space, you can also convert your installed Windows desktop applications into file pointers referencing the customizations package. To do so, boot the destination PC to Windows PE and run the following:

    DISM /Apply-CustomDataImage /CustomDataImage:C:\Recovery\Customizations\USMT.ppkg /ImagePath:C:\ /SingleInstance
  7. Shut down the destination PC for packaging and shipment. When the user starts the PC for the first time, it will boot to OOBE.

Step 7: Verify your customizations

Verify that your customizations are restored after recovery, and that they continue to function by running the Keep my files and Remove everything features. To start, check the following entry points:

  • Settings: From the Start Menu, select Settings > Update & security > Recovery > Reset this PC: Get started. Follow the on-screen instructions.

  • Windows RE: From the Start Menu, select Settings > Update & security > Recovery > Advanced startup: Restart now. After Windows RE boots, select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC and then follow the on-screen instructions.

To test more recovery options, see validation scenarios.

ScanState Syntax

Bare metal reset/recovery: Create recovery media while deploying new devices

Deploy push-button reset features using ScanState