Windows Deployment with MDT – Part 1: Setup

Microsoft 365, InTune and Windows AutoPilot have made Windows deployment at the enterprise level easy. Although that scenario is an easy solution for smaller businesses, too, the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) still remains a viable and practical alternative for smaller networks or domains. It is also a good solution for home networks with multiple Windows computers.

According to Microsoft, “Microsoft Deployment Toolkit provides a unified collection of tools, processes, and guidance for automating desktop and server deployments“. In this series, I will show how to set up MDT and use its Lite-Touch Installation (LTI) feature in workgroup or domain environments to deploy and update Windows 10. For advanced users and IT pros, it might occasionally look like something for beginners only, my intention being to make instructions as clear and easy to follow as possible. However, I think that there might be a tip or two also for you advanced geeks. This Part 1 installment will show how to set up your “Deployment Lab“.

Let’s start!


The Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) and Windows PE add-on for the ADK must be installed before you can use MDT. Download and install both, installing ADK first:

Notice that you can click screenshots in this post to open them enlarged in a new tab.

In ADK setup, only the Deployment Tools and User State Migration Tool features are required. In any case, I recommend that you accept its defaults, as shown here:

Unfortunately, you have to accept the whole 5GB+ package when installing the Windows PE add-on. Just accept those defaults and install.

When the ADK and the Windows PE add-on have been installed, download and install the MDT:

If you use a Windows Server as your MDT deployment server, you are good to go. To use Windows 10 machines as deployment servers, enable (activate) your Windows 10 built-in administrator account, and set a password for it. Press WIN + R to open Run prompt, type lusrmgr.msc, and hit Enter. Open Users, right click Administrator and set a password:

Now double click Administrator to open its Properties. Unselect (clear selection) Account is disabled, and click OK:

Create first Deployment Share

Run the MDT Deployment Workbench. It can be found in Start > M > Microsoft Deployment Toolkit. On left pane, select Deployment Shares, then in the Actions pane at the right, select New Deployment Share to open the New Deployment Share Wizard:

By default, the shared folder will be created as C:\DeploymentShare. You can of course select any drive / partition, and name the folder as you wish. I recommend accepting all defaults:

Click Next when done. Then, you will be asked to name the share. The default is DeploymentShare$, but again you can name it as you like:

Click Next, accept all defaults on the following pages. Click Finish on the Confirmation page:

Done! In Part 2, we will import some operating systems into your Deployment Lab, create a Task Sequence to deploy Windows 10 on a target machine, and deploy it. Later on in this series, we will look at how to capture a custom deployment image and other advanced features of MDT. Stay tuned!


All posts in this series:
Windows Deployment with MDT – Part 1: Setup
Windows Deployment with MDT – Part 2: Deploying Windows
Windows Deployment with MDT – Part 3: Customize Deployment
Windows Deployment with MDT – Part 4: Capturing WIM, In-place Upgrade
Windows Deployment with MDT – Part 5: Add Disks and Partitions

Author: Kari Finn

A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site