MDT 2010: Backup, Capture and P2V explained

One of the advantages that MDT gives over the traditional ghosting is the ability to backup your volumes during the task sequence. This, like everything requires planning. Backup, Capture and P2V can use some the some of the same settings so it makes sense to explain them together.

Performing Backups

There’s a task sequence script that takes care of this in MDT called ZTIBackup.wsf. As a starting point for most situations use the following default settings in your customsettings.ini.


ComputerBackupLocation=AUTO will use the network locations provided if the image can’t be backed up locally. You can change this to NETWORK to always backup to the network or NONE to disable backups.

ZTIBackup.wsf will target disk 0 partition 1 by default.  You can change this behaviour like in this example to backup all local volumes:


You can also target a specific volume by selecting it’s letter eg:


To Capture a WIM file

Use the default starting point settings described above in the following scenarios:

Standard Client Task Sequence – When build and capturing a reference image the above settings will capture the WIM file to the network using the settings specified in the BackupShare, BackupDir and BackupFile lines. DoCapture=YES must be used as a property in the customsettings.ini, a task sequence variable or capture selected manually during the Lite-Touch wizard panes. The flags are set automatically during the capture sequence. Also if the same WIM file is targeted then the original is appended not overwritten.

Sysprep and Capture – In this situation the WIM file will be captured to the network in the same way as above.

Performing P2V Migrations

As before the settings specified in the BackupShare, BackupDir and BackupFile lines will need to be set first(as above). Then for each scenario follow these instructions below:

Standard Client Task Sequence(with P2V) A P2V migration will use the script ZTIRetro.wsf and will capture in a VHD format so the BackupFile setting will need to have a .vhd suffix like this:


Replace Computer (inc P2V) – The image will be backed up to the network just as above.

Restoring a P2V image – When returning a captured VHD to a new machine, edit command line of the RESTORE VHD task sequene to include the following


If this is not set, the task will look for the VHD in the locations specified in the UserDataLocation and ComputerBackupLocation variables. You should add the task sequence variable ComputerBackupLocation=NONE to the task sequence used for your VHD restores.

The best approach I find to get all the scenarios working together is to use common backup locations and set task sequence variables when the default settings don’t suit my purpose.


About Andrew Barnes

A Scripting and Deployment Specialist.
This entry was posted in Deployment, MDT 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to MDT 2010: Backup, Capture and P2V explained

  1. Julian C says:

    Excelent. One question, how to make backup of partition C and D?


  2. Julian C says:

    With BackupDrive=ALL make backup to all partion and all disk, I like make backup only C and D, as i do?


  3. Very Nice! It helped me a lot!


  4. Kenneth Isaksen says:

    Very Nice 🙂 But where do i find customsettings.ini?


  5. Rama says:

    Hi All,
    How to capture (create) the image with User state data from all users from windows 2008 server from MDT.Please let me know Can we use sysprep and capture Task sequence OR Standard srver task sequence?– Thank you advance.


  6. Rama says:

    Hi All,
    Please let me know how can i capture image of winodows 2008 server in MDT 2013. my file and printer server is corrupted. so i want to capture the its image with all user data and c drive data. Is it possible to capture its image using standard server Task sequence. -Thank you in advance


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s