The Configuration Manager team at Microsoft have been busy and have released a new Technical Preview release, this time version 2311. This release has several new features but the one I find most interesting is the addition of ARM64 support for OSD.
Configuration Manager first provided client support for ARM64 in Configuration Manager 2107 with the update rollup.
ARM based devices running Windows are increasing. Microsoft have previously released ARM based hardware such as the Surface Pro X or Windows Developer kit 2023. I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft pushes out their own ARM64 chips soon, and having the support to re-image these ARM based hardware from Configuration Manager is a bonus.
So what’s possible with this new ability in Configuration Manager ?
Configuration Manager operating system deployment support is now added on Windows 11 Arm64 devices. Currently Importing and customizing Arm64 boot images, Wipe and load Task Sequence, Media creation Task sequence and WDS PXE for Arm64 is supported.
To test it out you’d need ARM based hardware, which I don’t have, but I can at least download the ISO from Microsoft Volume License Servicing center (or from here) and then add it to TP2311.
Install Windows 11 ADK (september 2023)
But before doing that it was time to update Windows ADK to the latest version which is Windows 11 ADK (updated September 2023). This version of the ADK isn’t perfect as there are some known issues with OSD but it’s required for getting ARM64 OSD support to work. Previous versions can be imported but will fail to PXE boot.
Download Windows 11 ADK here. After installing both that and the Windows PE environment, reboot the server.
Update existing boot images
After that, update your boot media and choose the option to reload the existing boot images with Windows PE from the installed ADK.
Add ARM64 boot image
Now it’s time to add the ARM64 boot media and for that you need to use the boot WIM file from the newly installed Windows 11 ADK.
I copied the winpe.wim file from my ADK path shown above to my OSD sources folder and added that as the ARM64 boot image.
after importing the boot image, don’t forget to make it available to your PXE environment.
and review the SMSPXE.log file to see all goes well.
Adding the Windows 11 ARM64 media
Next, I downloaded the Windows 11 23H2 ARM64 ISO and added it to ConfigMgr.
After importing the WIM file you can review its properties by clicking on the Images tab to verify that it’s ARM64 architecture.
after importing the image it’s ready to be distributed to your dp’s and added to a task sequence.
Modify task sequence
Finally, modify an existing task sequence to use the ARM64 boot image
and modify the Apply Operating System step to use the ARM64 Install.wim file. Finally you can test PXE boot. Unfortunately I currently don’t have any of that hardware available yet but once I do, i’ll give it a twirl and update this blog post.