We wanted to spend a little bit of time going over the USB disks involved in the solution so that you can get them formatted properly and set up for your solution.

There are two main disks: MDTDATA and MDTDEPLOY (which actually has two partitions itself).

The MDTDATA disk is the main repository of all installation files and remains connected to the "master" system. It is where the MDT deployment share resides as well as sources for applications and installation bits. The disk should be labelled "MDTDATA" in the OS. It is highly recommended to use the NTFS file system and to encrypt the disk using BitLocker-To-Go. You can configure it to auto-unlock on your "master" system, but this will help to secure the disk against accidentally letting usernames and passwords out, in the clear.

The MDTDEPLOY disk is the disk that is used to distribute the operating system to new computers. It contains two partitions: MDTBOOT (about 8 GB) and MDTDEPLOY (the rest of the disk). Like MDTDATA, the MDTDEPLOY partition should be encrypted using BitLocker-To-Go since usernames and passwords are stored on the disk in that partition. The MDTBOOT partition should be formatted as FAT32 and marked Active (don't use NTFS since UEFI systems cannot boot to that in most cases). The MDTDEPLOY partition should be NTFS.

In addition to the two main disks, it is recommended that you have a backup MDTDATA disk (labelled MDTDATA2) to act as a backup. There is a script (available here) that can be used to synchronize the two disks. Although recovery isn't fantastic, it does keep you from losing absolutely everything that you do with this solution.

You may also want to have multiple MDTDEPLOY disks. The quantity is up to you, but we would suggest that the solution owner have one for development and test purposes and then as many disks as are necessary so that each technician responsible for OS deployment has at least one available to them. These disks can be updated by either a) directly attaching them to the "master" system, b) updated over the network from the "master" system, or c) updated side-to-side by attaching a known good drive and a drive that needs to be updated to the same computer. Generally, we've found that users of the system will use the network update for a single drive and then replicate side-to-side for other drives available to them.

MDTDATA Folder Structure

Although you may have additional folders, we recommend the following folders at the root of the MDTDATA disk:

  • \DeploymentMedia1 - This will contain the content to be copied out to the MDTDEPLOY disks
  • \DeploymentShare.ROOT - This is the deployment share folder used by MDT itself
  • \Install.MDT - Location to store installers and other necessary components
  • \Repackage - Location to store repackaged applications for use with Intune deployment
  • \Source.Apps - Master location of installable applications; used as a source for importing into MDT and for repackaging
  • \Source.BIOS - Location of BIOS update files that are copied to the MDTBOOT partition; useful for providing updates to systems that need it
  • \Source.Drivers - Master location of driver files for import into MDT
  • \Source.ISO - Storage location of downloaded ISO images (such as from the Microsoft Volume Licensing site)
  • \Source.LenovoRepository - (optional) Location of Lenovo drivers and software; if you have other hardware-specific driver repositories, create them like this
  • \VMs - Location for the Hyper-V virtual machine used for image testing and development