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What's new in the Windows 10 ADK (Technical Preview)

Jan 30 2015

Earlier this morning the technical preview of Windows 10 ADK was released. A nice little 6 GB install if you install features or 2.7 GB you only download the bits (Yes I know the UI says 3.6 GB, but no… The download is only 2.7 GB :)

Here is the download: Windows 10 ADK Technical Preview

Note: Before you even try, this version is NOT compatible with MDT 2013 (6.2.5019.0) or ConfigMgr 2012 R2.


In this post you learn about the following features in Windows ADK 10 (January Technical Preview)

  • The Windows ADK 10 Installer and help file
  • Windows PE 10.0.9933
  • Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (Windows ICD)
  • New features in DISM 10.0.9933


Installing Windows ADK 10

The new Windows ADK installer is pretty much the same as the previous versions. It still support the /features switch to install features unattended, and the /layout switch to specify a folder for offline download. In addition to the adksetup.exe, there is also a new documentation file, the ADK.chm file.

Note: If you don’t see any content when opening the ADK.chm file, make sure to unblock it (right-click, select Properties, click Unblock, and OK. Or use the streams utility from Sysinternals if you are running Windows 10 build 9926 where the unblock features is broken (The syntax is streams –d <filename>).

Unblocking the ADK.chm file.

The Windows 10 ADK installer.


The downloaded content, all of it.


Windows PE 10.0.9933

The Windows 10 ADK (January 2015) includes a new WinPE version, build 9933 (10.0.9933), and includes the same optional components as you are used to have in Windows ADK 8.1 (WinPE 5.x).

Creating a custom boot image follows the same process as in Windows 8.1 ADK, you start an elevated Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment command prompt, and type the following:

copype and64 C:\WinPE10_x64

Creating a custom WinPE 10 boot image.

Booting on the Windows 10 WinPE image.


WinPE seems to have same components as Windows ADK 8.1


Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer

Windows ICD can be used to build a customized Windows image, as well as provisioning packages for customizing Windows machines with re-imaging. The provisioning package can be install either from a normal file-share, USB media etc. or embedded in the operating system image. For most folks this utility will be used to create provisioning packages that are then deployed using deployment solutions like MDT 2013 and/or ConfigMgr 2012 R2.

Note: If you even remotely think about using WICD as a deployment solution, think again. It would be about as intelligent as climbing with scissors. WICD is primarily a configuration tool, that happens to know about imaging. It’s like WDS which also knows about imaging, but never ever should be used for imaging (unless you really like to waste your time).

The provisioning packages you create, the PPKG files, are really just WIM files with a few XML files in them. For example this XML file:

Answer file from a provisioning package.

Anyway, examples on what you can configure / customize using Windows ICD are:

  • First run experience
  • Applications (both Windows Store apps as well as normal Windows Desktop apps)
  • Enterprise policies (Security Settings etc.)
  • Enterprise profiles (WiFi, VPN and email)
  • Certificates
  • Offline content
  • Create Images (please don’t)

Creating a provisioning package

Creating provisioning packages can be done either using Windows ICD (UI) or the Windows ICD command-line interface (icd.exe).

The Windows ICD command-line interface.

If you want to do it via the UI, simply create a new project, select to create a provisioning package, and then select the Windows version.

Note: Make sure to select the right version since that will control the settings available in the project.


In this example I’m setting the wallpaper in Windows.

Setting wallpaper in my provisioning package.

Note: Still debugging an issue of actually deploying these packages, will update post when I know more.


DISM 10.0.9933

There are indeed some new cool features to DISM in this release:

Support for the Full Flash Update (FFU) which captures and deploys an entire drive, including partition information. This for Windows Phone deployments.

Support for capabilities, a new package type that allows you to request components like .NET or languages without specifying the version. DISM can search multiple sources like Windows Update or your own servers to find and install the latest version.

Compressed OS support, you can run Windows from a compressed file (replaces the WIMBoot features from Windows 8.1).


/ Johan

Happy deployment, and thanks for reading!

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