Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a stack of Microsoft Surface Pro tablets that I would like to setup with a base image, and some software for the company I work for. I know on Desktop machines I can go into Audit mode, make changes, then SYSPREP and clone the drives to all the new systems, but what would be the process on Windows 8 Pro tablets?

share|improve this question
Exactly the same process. Surface Pro devices are just like any other Windows x86-64 device. – Ramhound Jul 10 '13 at 21:29
@Ramhound So I can use a netbook to deploy the image? Or do I need to plug in to each one? – Canadian Luke Jul 10 '13 at 21:48
You can deploy the image however you NORMALLy do it the Surface Pro has no limitations in that regard – Ramhound Jul 10 '13 at 23:39
up vote 2 down vote accepted


  1. Update firmware to at least May 2013 revision to get PXE boot support
  2. Plug in the Surface Pro USB Ethernet Adapter (note: it is unlikely that any ethernet adapter other than the Microsoft one will work, because the boot firmware probably only supports Microsoft's own USB ethernet adapter) and connect it to a network with a WDS server
  3. Press and hold the volume down button and then press the power button, continue to hold the volume down button until the Surface starts to boot from the USB key.
  4. A dialog box will appear that states that it is “Checking Media Presence……”. Then it will “Start PXE over IPv4”.
  5. When prompted press Enter for network boot service.

From here the instructions are identical to doing a PXE install of Windows on any other Windows desktop/laptop device

share|improve this answer

Use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 and use USB Media, it might be faster and cheaper than using the Ethernet adaptor. USBs are cheap. As long as your image is fresh, they won't need to get updates, but joining to the domain could be tricky...

Building images for 8 is no different than images for 7.

  1. Install MDT 2012 & ADK 8.0
  2. Build Two Shares, one for building images, and another for deployment.
  3. Build your reference image using an MDT task sequence and a VM. (Keep drivers out of your image
  4. PXE is great and all, but USB may be easier, and works just as well. Export your deployment media to USB in the MDT 2012 workbench.
  5. Deploy the images using a the second deployment share and push all the drivers, apps, and updates during the task sequence.

This way you don't have to worry about PXE, NIC drivers, server setup, WDS, or anything, boot to USB and away you go. The MDT Media export will create a ISO you need to convert to USB.

Export Media in MDT 2012

Export Media to USB w/ MDT 2012 Update 1 and boot to USB. Its that easy.

share|improve this answer
You know, obviously you know your stuff about MDT... Do you got a quick list of all the applications I need for standard Microsoft tools? – Canadian Luke Jul 12 '13 at 22:27
@Luke, I'm assuming you mean WDS, ADK, MDT? – MDT Guy Jul 12 '13 at 22:36
Yup. I would like a full list, then I can look up details – Canadian Luke Jul 13 '13 at 2:44
Really all you need is MDT 2012 and ADK 8.0 WDS is really optional. Unless you have a copy of Server 2008 or 2012, its not worth messing with. Check out my blog if you really wanna know more. – MDT Guy Jul 13 '13 at 3:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .