How MDT Litetouch does partitioning

Someone recently posted a question on how to dynamically change the partition configuration during a Litetouch Deployment. The short answer is: “Don’t do that”, the longer answer is: “Yes it’s possible with some custom work”.

By default MDT does not include a wizard pages during installation to allow you to modify the partition configuration. Typically this is for a couple of reasons:

  1. We, as MDT administrators want to keep these details from our customers, who for the most part are uninterested in such details.
  2. For most client scenarios, keeping a single large partition is a “Best Practice”. MDT will automatically create the necessary Windows Boot, uEFI, and recovery partitions.
  3. For server configurations that require some standardized configuration, MDT provides a wizard that can be configured on the MDT console. This is similar to the interface that SCCM-OSD provides.

I know of several people who like to partition their Disk 0 into several large partitions, C: for the OS, and D: for data. I won’t get into all the details, but I’ve generally considered this to be a “Bad Practice” especially for corporate managed machines.

MSIT

I did come across one customer who insisted that their users be allowed to create multiple large partitions during a MDT Litetouch New Computer configuration. That customer was Microsoft’s own IT department.  There are many people at Microsoft who install a new OS on their machines on a *daily* basis, and keeping a 2nd partition for data (or another OS) is still the quickest way to ensure an easy migration to a new OS.

For that client I created a wizard web page that would allow the end user to override the OSDPARTITIONS0SIZE Variable. This value is set to 100% by default, however if the user changes that value in the wizard, it overrides the value set by the Administrator in the Task Sequence.

DiskSize

for example:

Size of Windows drive (partition): <input value="100" Name=OSDPARTITIONS0SIZE size=3 value=100 onpropertychange=ValidatePartitionSize />%
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;(100% is best for most users)<br/>

During the New-Computer scenario, the PC owner can then go into the Disk Management console to configure the remainder of the partitions as they require. We didn’t get into the scenarios of installing a 2nd Operating System on a machine and kept the scenario simple, we always install to the 1st disk, 1st large partition.

Keith

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One thought on “How MDT Litetouch does partitioning

  1. Pingback: Creating a second large partition on a single drive machine | Keith's Consulting Blog

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