Simulate a Windows 8.1 Deployment in a Test Environment

Applies To: Windows 8.1

This topic will walk you through the process of creating a simulated environment on which to test your Windows 8.1 deployment using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013. When working with advanced settings and rules, especially those like database calls, it’s most efficient to be able to test the settings without having to run through a complete deployment. Luckily, MDT 2013 enables you to perform a simulated deployment by running the Gather process by itself. The simulation works best when you are using a domain-joined machine (client or server). In the following example, you use the PC0001 Windows 8.1 client.

For the purposes of this topic, you already will have either downloaded and installed the free Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Toolkit, or copied Configuration Manager Trace (CMTrace) if you have access to the System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager media. We also assume that you have downloaded the sample Gather.ps1 script from the TechNet Gallery.

  1. On PC0001, log on as CONTOSO\Administrator using the password P@ssw0rd.

  2. Using Computer Management, add the CONTOSO\MDT_BA user account to the local Administrators group.

  3. Log off, and then log on to PC0001 as CONTOSO\MDT_BA.

  4. Using File Explorer, create a folder named C:\MDT.

  5. Copy the downloaded Gather.ps1 script to the C:\MDT folder.

  6. From the \\MDT01\MDTProduction$\Scripts folder, copy the following files to C:\MDT:

    1. ZTIDataAccess.vbs

    2. ZTIGather.wsf

    3. ZTIGather.xml

    4. ZTIUtility.vbs

  7. From the \\MDT01\MDTProduction$\Control folder, copy the CustomSettings.ini file to C:\MDT.

  8. In the C:\MDT folder, create a subfolder named X64.

  9. From the \\MDT01\MDTProduction$\Tools\X64 folder, copy the Microsoft.BDD.Utility.dll file to C:\MDT\X64.

    Figure 6. The C:\MDT folder with the files added for the simulation environment.

  10. Using an elevated Windows PowerShell prompt (run as Administrator), run the following commands. Press Enter after each command:

    Set-Location C:\MDT
  11. Review the ZTIGather.log in the C:\MININT\SMSOSD\OSDLOGS folder.


Warnings or errors with regard to the Wizard.hta are expected. If the log file looks okay, you are ready to try a real deployment.

Figure 7. The ZTIGather.log file from PC0001, displaying some of its hardware capabilities.