Start a "New Computer" deploment via MDT without wiping partitions and data.


  • When I boot the computer with a MDT bootable media to install OS on it, the MDT task sequence wipes the disk, creates one partition for OS and data. When OS fails and needs reinstall the OS. I disable the "format and partition disk" in MDT. This works for disks that were partitioned with diskpart from windows 7 installation disk. However it doesn't work if the old disk was partitioned by symantec ghost (disk clone) and/or some other third party disk utilities in which case all contents in drive c: were put in folder windows.old and kept untouched while drive e: that contains important user data gets wiped.

    I have two questions:

    Is there a way to completely reserve all partitions and data on the target disk?

    If there isn't, can I get to know which partition MDT task sequence decide to wipe? (In the task sequence it says disk 0 part 1, However the MDT actually wiped disk 0 part 3.)


    Thursday, June 02, 2011 12:20 AM

All replies

  • This might be of help.  I don't know what OS your computers are running before the windows 7 deployment, but this guide explains how to retain the current files / partitions while doing a Win 7 deployment:
    Thursday, June 02, 2011 2:13 PM
  • It does not matter to me what OS they were running. When the OS fails which is always the case I will be dealing with, there is no way that I can boot into the system and start a refresh deployment. If I boot from a windows 7 installation disk, the installation put everything in windows.old and install a new OS so that I can recover user data from windows.old\Users\username\*  (not settings though) on drive c:, everything in drive d: or e: or whatever other partitions there are gets untouched. But when I boot from a MDT media it always wipe everything or in my case, randomly wipe drive c: or drive e:.Wiping drive c: is expected while wiping drive e: means there is a compatiblity issue with MDT and third-party partition/image software other than diskpart.

    What is the best way for me to deploy OS in my organizations? Each of our users has hundreds of gigabytes of very small office documents, pictures and stuff like that. The performance of copying/moving small files with file-based software is unfortunately miserable, somewhere between 1MBytes/s to 20MBytes/s (the former most of the time). If I partition the disk with a single drive c:, upon OS failure it would take several frustrating hours to backup user data to somewhere before I can even start MDT "New Computer" deployment, let along another several hours to restore user data. So it does not make sense to me to use MDT anyway.

    Any suggestions?
    Friday, June 03, 2011 1:18 PM
  • Try setting this property:


    Or you could also disable the Format and Partition Task Sequence Step

    Friday, June 03, 2011 10:53 PM
  • Thanks. I will give it a try sometime. I wonder what it is like to start a Refresh deployment in winPE environment. Does MDT boot into winPE and start offline USMT from disk 0 part 1 that has a currupted windows OS and went on refresh?

    Saturday, June 04, 2011 7:24 AM
  • If you want to keep the data and the partions you should use the REFRESH scenario or REPLACE scenario. You dont need to modify anthing at all.


    Start the machine with the current OS, log on with local admin rights and run from a command prompt \\<YOUR-SERVER-NAME>\<YOUR-DEPLOYMENT_SHARE>\Scripts\litetouch.vbs and follow the wizard. This will use USMT to stire the data using hardlinks


    Create a new Task Sequence using the Repalce Task Sequence Template, run that sequence the same as the example above and store the data on a external disk or on a networkshare. You will do this on the OLD machine. On the new machine (or on the same if you just want to repartition the drive on to one drive, which is something you should consider) boot on the media and and select a Task Sequence that will install the OS and on the Wizard pane for data restore, type in the location where you did the backup to.

    The ONLY time you boot from media is when you really, really dont want to keep any data at all. Booting from media is NEW COMPUTER Scenario.


    MCP, MCDST, MCT, MVP Windows Server - Setup/Deployment
    Saturday, June 04, 2011 2:10 PM
  • I am truly grateful for all the detailed instructions out there. However as I have mentioned in EVERY post, I will be dealing with a bad OS which I have no chance booting into. Let's just be frank and save us all some time here. Are you suggusting MDT is only for depolying windows, new installation or fresh upgrade. It is NOT designed to fix a bad windows that has useful user data on it?
    Sunday, June 05, 2011 2:53 AM
  • Hello,  

    I wonder, do you have any progress? Unfortunately, I have exactly the same problem and USMT is not a preferable solution. Thousands of XP clients deployed with ghost and now while deploying Windows 7 with MDT, cleaning the old OS process(without format) MDT is deleting the user data on other partitions. I guess it mixes the OS data and User data then deletes all

    I there a way to prevent the "Cleaning off old operating system"  operations ? 

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 7:36 AM
  • I found a workaround for my issue. Before OS Installation task, added a run command task and removed the drive letters with diskpart from volumes which contained user data. Then Cleaning off old operating system process couldn't delete the user data. If anyone interested, I can share the details.  

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012 10:06 AM
  • i am intrested at this solution @erdem gulhan

    To be successful in life, you need to work smarter and not harder, and dont forget to drink your milk and say your prayers

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012 11:33 AM
  • <gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="fd187640-8826-4b49-a753-85ab03e9b900" id="586c7ab0-ae54-4204-bc0f-7a2a1dd211cf">could</gs> you please send me the workaround 
    Tuesday, December 15, 2015 12:54 AM