I worked with a firm recently that is using Windows 7 as a desktop portal to access to access their VDI and XenApp. In my attempt to create a new capture of the OS I found myself staring at 191 updates just for Windows 7, and every time I would run the capture it would fail. If I ran the same System Center Configuration Manager task sequence without updates, there wouldn’t be issues. I went as far as looking up updates that required multiple reboots and removed those from Software Update Groups in System Center, and still no luck.
After fiddling with this via the System Center Configuration Manager task sequence, I recalled that I had generated a WIM for internal use that included the OS and its respective updates only. The big difference was that this one was created using an MDT task sequence to generate only the WIM. After importing the WIM into SCCM I found that the imaging and patching process had no issues. The total number of updates needed for my WIM was 37, which is much more manageable than 191.
This entire process reminded me of a few things. First, I can’t wait until we are done with Windows 7. There are so many updates. If we need to do another I will definitely use a capture generated with MDT. I’ve learned that it will save a lot of time. Second, this has proved again what leaders in OSD have been saying: less is more when it comes to SCCM versus MDT for generating WIM files. MDT is faster, stronger, and more consistent. MDT has better results in the baseline capture of WIMs for OS deployments, which have many updates, as was proven to me at this client. Lastly, this will get easier with Windows 10 as Microsoft is improving patching by using more cumulative updates, so hopefully the days of having 191 updates will not return as new OS versions are released. Yet another reason to accept the future and go with Windows 10 and beyond.