Prepare Windows 10/11 ISO for MDT

The official downloaded version of Windows 10/11 ISO has an install.esd file that includes all Windows editions but MDT needs a more specific edition of install.wim copy to work with. So, here are the steps to prepare a copy of the Windows image for MDT deployment.

1. Download Windows 10/11 ISO image

Download and run the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to create the installation media in ISO format.

image 8 - Prepare Windows 10/11 ISO for MDT

2. Extract files

Right-click the ISO file we just downloaded, and choose Mount to mount the image into a local drive.

image 9 - Prepare Windows 10/11 ISO for MDT

Now let’s make a copy of the mounted drive to a folder. For me, I copied the whole drive into a Software folder on my computer.

3. Create install.wim from install.esd

Open an elevated Command Prompt window and run the DISM command to locate the right image to convert first.

DISM /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:sources\install.esd
image 10 - Prepare Windows 10/11 ISO for MDT

Since I am preparing for the Pro version, index 6 is what I needed. Now run the following to create the install.wim file.

DISM /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:sources\install.esd /SourceIndex:6 /DestinationImageFile:sources\install.wim /compress:max /CheckIntegrity

This created the install.wim file in the same folder as install.esd.

image 11 - Prepare Windows 10/11 ISO for MDT

4. MDT Setup 1 – Add Image

Now let’s open Deployment Workbench (MDT Console), right-click Operating System and choose Import Operating System.

image 12 - Prepare Windows 10/11 ISO for MDT

Select the entire image folder that contains the install.wim file we just managed to create. Check the Move the files option if needed.

image 14 - Prepare Windows 10/11 ISO for MDT

Given a unique name for the image, and done for the import.

That’s it. Now you can either create a new task sequence that uses the newly created image or modify an existing one.

5 thoughts on “Prepare Windows 10/11 ISO for MDT

  1. Hi,
    it seems to work, but when i add the source i got this error:
    “The source directory specified does not contain an identifiable operating system.”
    I took the 21H2 Version from the Microsoft Mediacreation Tool, just as shown.
    Any ideas?

    1. The key is to create the right version of through step 1 to 3. You may check to make sure the created version is copied back to the folder you will be selecting later on.

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