Windows ADK Overview

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

The Windows ADK is a collection of tools and documentation that OEMs, ODMs, and IT Professionals use to customize, assess, and deploy Windows operating systems to new computers. The Windows ADK enables two key scenarios: Windows deployment and Windows assessment.

Installation instructions are available in Installing the Windows ADK.

Features included in the Windows ADK

Feature Description

Application Compatibility Toolkit

The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) helps customers understand their application compatibility situation by identifying which applications are compatible with the new versions of the Windows operating system and which require further testing. ACT helps customers lower their costs for application compatibility testing, prioritize their applications, and deploy Windows more quickly.

By using ACT, you can become involved in the ACT Community, including sharing your risk assessment with other ACT users. You can also test your Web applications and Web sites for compatibility with new releases and security updates to Internet Explorer.For more information, see Application Compatibility Toolkit.

Deployment Tools

Deployment tools enable you to customize, manage, and deploy Windows images. Deployment tools can be used to automate Windows deployments, removing the need for user interaction during Windows setup. Includes:

  • Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool

  • Windows System Image Manager (SIM)

  • OSCDIMG, BCDBoot, DISMAPI, WIMGAPI, and other tools and interfaces

For more information, see Deployment Tools.

Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)

Minimal operating system designed to prepare a computer for installation and servicing of Windows.

For more information, see Windows PE Technical Reference.

User State Migration Tool (USMT)

USMT is a scriptable command line tool that IT Professionals can use to migrate user data from a previous Windows installation to a new Windows installation. By using USMT, you can create a customized migration framework that copies the user data you select and excludes any data that does not need to be migrated. Includes:

  • ScanState tool

  • LoadState tool

  • USMTUtils tool

For more information, see User State Migration Tool.

Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT)

The Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) enables IT professionals to automate and centrally manage the activation of Windows, Windows Server, Windows ThinPC, Windows POSReady 7, select add-on product keys, and Office for computers in their organization. The VAMT can manage volume activation using retail keys (or single activation keys), multiple activation keys (MAKs), or Windows Key Management Service (KMS) keys.

For more information, see Volume Activation Management Tool.

Windows Performance Toolkit (WPT)

Tools to record system events by using Event Tracing for Windows, and a tool to analyze performance data in a graphical user interface. Includes:

  • Windows Performance Recorder

  • Windows Performance Analyzer

  • Xperf

For more information, see Windows Performance Toolkit.

Windows Assessment Toolkit

Tools to discover and run assessments on a single computer.Assessments are tasks that simulate user activity and examine the state of the computer. Assessments produce metrics for various aspects of the system, and provide recommendations for making improvements. Includes:

  • Windows Assessment Console

  • Assessments

For more information, see Windows Assessment Toolkit.

Windows Assessment Services

Application to remotely manage settings, computers, images, and assessments in a lab environment where Windows Assessment Services is installed.This application can run on any computer with access to the server that is running Windows Assessment Services.

For more information, see Windows Assessment Services.

Windows Deployment Overview

This scenario models the work of OEMs and IT professionals who customize and automate the large-scale installation of Windows, such as on a factory floor, or across an organization. The deployment tools in the Windows ADK help you to perform the following tasks:

  • Create a customized Windows PE environment that you can use to deploy Windows to computers.

  • Customize aspects of Windows and add your own branding, applications, and settings by using Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM).

  • Keep Windows up to date with the latest updates, language packs, and drivers by using Deployment Imaging Servicing and Management Tool (DISM).

  • Identify application compatibility issues by using the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT).

  • Migrate user data between Windows installations by using User State Migration Tool (USMT).

  • Manage volume activation of Windows by using Volume Activation Management Toolkit (VAMT).

For more information about deployment, see the Deployment and Imaging Tools Technical Reference.

Windows Assessment Overview

This scenario models the work of OEMs, IHVs, and IT professionals who measure the operational characteristics of a computer, including its performance, reliability, and functionality. Assessments help you make these measurements, diagnose problems, and determine how to make improvements. Assessments can help reduce costs by identifying potential issues as you create your hardware and software experiences. By using these tools, you can help ensure that the hardware and software that you develop are responsive and of high quality.

Assessments help you perform the following tasks:

  • Assess performance aspects of a single computer using the Windows® Assessment Console.

  • Assess performance aspects of multiple computers in a networked or lab environment using Windows® Assessment Services.

The Windows Assessment Console and Windows Assessment Services tools help you measure the following characteristics:

  • Manufacturing and deployment readiness

  • System start-up and shut-down performance

  • The out-of-box end user experience

  • Media streaming and photo file browsing

  • System idle and overall energy efficiency

For a complete list available assessments, see the Windows Assessment Toolkit Technical Reference.

See Also


Windows ADK Quickstart
Installing the Windows ADK