With the release of Windows 11, Microsoft has made it easier than ever to perform an in-place upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 using Windows Update. However, if your organization is using WSUS with restricted update classifications, you may need to deploy Windows 11 using Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager. In this guide, I will show you how to deploy Windows 11 as an in-place upgrade using Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (MECM).

This guide assumes that your environment meets the prerequisites outlined below:

  • ConfigMgr Version 2107: You can download the latest version of MECM from the Updates and Servicing component of MECM.
Updates and Servicing

Updates and Servicing

  • Windows ADK for Windows 11 and Windows PE add-on for the Windows ADK: You can download the latest ADK and Windows PE add-on from Microsoft's website. Remember, you will need to uninstall the current version of the Windows ADK and Windows PE add-on first.
  • Minimum hardware requirements: You can find more information about the system requirements, as well as the feature-specific requirements for Windows 11 on Microsoft's website.
System requirements

System requirements

- Windows 11 ISO: You can download the Windows 11 ISO from Microsoft Development Network (MSDN) or Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). For this guide, I will use the Windows 11 Enterprise ISO from VLSC.

Windows 11 VLSC

Windows 11 VLSC

Once you download the Windows 11 ISO, mount the ISO file, and copy the contents to a file repository that is accessible by MECM. To perform an in-place upgrade, MECM requires two sets of files:

  • Install.wim—for the operating system image.
  • All ISO source files, including install.wim—for the operating system upgrade package.

I recommend that you create two separate directories for each. For this guide, I've copied both sets of files to the following locations:

  • \\...\Operating Systems\Windows_11_Enterprise_21H2_x64 (install.wim)
Install.WIM file

Install.WIM file

  • \\...\Upgrade Packages\Windows_11_Enterprise_21H2_x64 (All ISO source files, including install.wim)
All other source files

All other source files

Launch the MECM Administrator Console. Navigate to Software Library > Operating Systems > Operating System Images. Right-click the applet Operating System Images and select the option Add Operating System Image.

Add Operating System Image

Add Operating System Image

Browse to the path of the operating system image file and check the box to agree with the stated terms of use. Optionally, you may also choose to extract a specific image (i.e., Windows 11 Education, Windows 11 Pro) from the install.wim. For this guide, I will import all images. Note that MECM will read out the image names as Windows 10 editions.

Browse to Data Source OS Image

Browse to Data Source OS Image

Click Next. Select x64 for the Architecture and English (United States) for the language. Click Next.

Select Arch – OS Image

Select Arch – OS Image

Enter a Name, Version, and optionally, a Comment for the operating system image. Click Next.

Set Name and Version – OS Image

Set Name and Version – OS Image

Click Next and then Next again to import the operating system image. Click Close.

Next, navigate to Software Library > Operating Systems > Operating System Upgrade Packages. Right-click the applet Operating System Upgrade Packages and select the option Add Operating System Upgrade Package.

Add Operating System Upgrade Package

Add Operating System Upgrade Package

Browse to the path of the folder that contains the operating system upgrade package (ISO source files) and check the box to agree with the stated terms of use. Optionally, you may also choose to extract a specific image (i.e., Windows 11 Education, Windows 11 Pro) from the WIM. For this guide, I will import all images. Note that MECM will read out the image names as Windows 10 editions.

Browse to Data Source – OS Upgrade Pkg

Browse to Data Source – OS Upgrade Pkg

Click Next. Select x64 for the Architecture and English (United States) for the language. Click Next.

Select Arch – OS Upgrade Pkg

Select Arch – OS Upgrade Pkg

Click Next. Select x64 for the Architecture and English (United States) for the language. Click Next.

Set Name and Version – OS Upgrade Pkg

Set Name and Version – OS Upgrade Pkg

Click Next and then Next again to import the operating system upgrade package. Click Close.

Next, navigate to Software Library > Operating Systems > Task Sequences. Right-click the applet Task Sequences and select the option Create Task Sequence.

Create a task sequence

Create a task sequence

Select the option Upgrade an operating system from an upgrade package.

Select the type of task sequence

Select the type of task sequence

Click Next. Enter a name for the task sequence, and click Next.

Set the name of the task sequence

Set the name of the task sequence

Select the upgrade package and edition to install. For this guide, I will install Windows 11 Enterprise. Optionally, you may also choose to enter a product key. For this guide, I am going to leave the product key blank, as my organization uses Active Directory-Based Activation (ADBA). Click Next.

Select the task sequence upgrade pkg

Select the task sequence upgrade pkg

Optionally, you may choose to include additional software updates. For this guide, I will not include any software updates. Click Next.

Do not include software updates

Do not include software updates

Optionally, you may choose to install additional applications. For this guide, I am not going to install any applications. Click Next.

Do not install applications

Do not install applications

Click Next and then Next again to create the task sequence. Click Close.

Right-click your newly created task sequence and select Properties.

Task sequence properties

Task sequence properties

Under Software Center Properties, check the box next to Restart required.

Restart required

Restart required

Click the tab Advanced. Select Run only on the specified client platforms and check the box next to All Windows 10 (64-bit).

Only run on specified platforms

Only run on specified platforms

Click the tab User Notification. Check the box next to This is a high impact task sequence.

This is a high impact task sequence

This is a high impact task sequence

Click Apply and then OK.

Next, right-click your newly created task sequence and select Edit.

Edit the task sequence

Edit the task sequence

Click the task Check Readiness for Upgrade. Check the boxes next to:

  • Language of current OS: Select English (United States)
  • AC power plugged in
  • Computer is in UEFI mode
Upgrade requirements

Upgrade requirements

Under the task group Remove/suspend third-party security, add a task to Disable BitLocker.

Disable BitLocker

Disable BitLocker

Set the number Windows restarts prior to resuming BitLocker protection to 5.

Enable TPM after 5 restarts

Enable TPM after 5 restarts

Under the task group Upgrade the Operating System, add a task to Set Task Sequence Variable.

Set task sequence variable

Set task sequence variable

Change the name of the task to Accept EULA and set the Task Sequence Variable to OSDSetupAdditionalUpgradeOptions. For the value, enter /eula accept. This is very important, as the task sequence will fail if this variable is not defined, as stated by Microsoft:

This option is new starting with Windows 11. Specifying /EULA accept instructs Windows Setup that the end user license agreement has been accepted. Starting with Windows 11, acceptance of the Windows EULA is required before Windows Setup installation begins. By specifying /EULA accept you are agreeing that when applying this operating system either (1) the applicable Windows license was purchased though volume licensing, or (2) that you are accepting the relevant Microsoft Software License Terms. Windows Setup will return error MOSETUPEEULAACCEPTREQUIRED (0xC190010E) if /EULA accept is not specified and (1) /Quiet is specified, or (2) if Windows Setup is started where user interaction is not supported.

EULA acceptance

EULA acceptance

Click the task Upgrade Operating System.

Check the box next to Dynamically update Windows Setup with Windows Update, and the box next to Override policy and use default Microsoft Update. This will ensure that the setup files are kept up to date.

Dynamically update windows setup

Dynamically update windows setup

Finally, under the task group Install/suspend third-party security, add a task to Enable BitLocker.

Enable BitLocker

Enable BitLocker

Leave all the default settings as they are.

Enable BitLocker settings

Enable BitLocker settings

Click Apply and then click Close.

Finally, right-click your newly created task sequence and select Distribute Content.

Distribute task sequence content

Distribute task sequence content

Click Next and then Next again. Select the distribution point(s) to distribute the content to and click Next.

Specify content destination

Specify content destination

Click Next and then Next again to distribute the content. Click Close.

Now, it is time to deploy the task sequence. Right-click your newly created task sequence and select Deploy.

Deploy the task sequence

Deploy the task sequence

Select a collection to deploy the task sequence to. Click Next.

Specify the deployment collection

Specify the deployment collection

Leave all the default settings as they are and click Next.

Specify the deployment collection

Specify the deployment collection

Leave all the default settings as they are and click Next.

Deployment scheduling

Deployment scheduling

Leave all the default settings as they are and click Next.

Deployment user experience

Deployment user experience

Leave all the default settings as they are and click Next.

Deployment distribution points

Deployment distribution points

Click Next one last time to deploy your newly created task sequence. Click Close.

Shortly after, you should see the task sequence show up in the Software Center.

Software Center deployment

Software Center deployment

Confirm the deployment installation

Confirm the deployment installation

Some important things to keep in mind:

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  • A Windows in-place upgrade can take anywhere from 2–4 hours.
  • End users should be advised to back up their documents and other files prior to running this upgrade.
  • Disconnect all peripherals and other hardware prior to running this upgrade.
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