SCCM 2012 and USMT v5 in place refresh

USMT v5 Usage within SCCM 2012 Sp1 Task sequences

USMT allows for multiple scenarios when implementing:

  • In place refresh
  • Offline Mode (USMT running within WinPE)
  • SMP


My obviously favorites are In place and Offline. I like the option of allowing for a streamlined approach to support calls, if for example, a support call takes longer than 30 minutes, REIMAGE the users workstation.


This is possible with an In Place USMT option or a USMT Offline approach.


First off, what are the differences and why would you chose one option over another.


In Place Refresh refers to running the USMT process (Scanstate) “within” Windows. While this seems great and generally works, the “challenge” is educating the USER environment to NOT run applications while the process is run. To this end I have had client forcibly reboot a user’s system to “unlock” those data files that may be in use and thus not backed up.


STILL, I will have users “login” after I forcibly reboot, ignoring all my previous communications conveying otherwise, and USMT will fail or at best not back up in use files.


Offline mode bypasses this issue by booting into WinPE and not allowing the user to do anything destructive (I will pretend the user will not randomly turn their workstation off :)).


So if this is the case why would you NOT choose Offline mode all the time when wanting to do a Image refresh.



Well there were existing limitations in USMT v4. Background images weren’t coming over as well as Network printer information. Both of these limitations were circumvented using the following techniques:






These modifications are generally easy to add to your Offline process but if you were not aware of how to remediate Wall paper and Network printers – you went with the in place refresh option.

USMT In Place:




I am going to skip over the portions of the above TS that don’t necessarily relate to the USMT in place process. In a future blog I will go through the process of Application Mapping WITHOUT using MDT .


Note that the first Task that is run is “Restart computer”. This is done for the sole reason of getting the user out of their applications and data.

For the USMT Scanstate I am taking default settings:




I have not tested the VSS options yet. And for this example I am not checking “Capture in off-line mode”.


Note the chkdsk option(s).


I highly recommend at least adding this task to your TS for the option to run disk repair utilities if refreshing an older workstation.


The Positives are by running chkdsk twice (once to fix and another to fix what didn’t get fixed earlier) you will have a 100% success (if everything else is working) when using the USMT in place option.


The negative is this adds “hours” to the process.


Worst case, add the task and disable it, allowing you the future flexibility to enable when you are aware of potentially refreshing older machines (that haven’t had maintenance run or defrag run in years)


cmd.exe /c x:\windows\system32\chkdsk c: /R






Note that the second Chkdsk will only run if the first task fails:








Regarding the “Apply Operating System” Task the same logic as the Chkdsk applies. At one client we were getting errors during this phase of the process and the errors indicated issues with long file names. By adding an additional task that would ONLY run if the first task failed








Restoring your USMT Data:

I highly recommend restoring your user data after you install applications:




SCCM 2012 USMT v5 in place refresh In place refresh

One Response

  1. Eden Oliveira June 10, 2015

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