I know that within a task sequence you can select a boot image for that task sequence to use. However, before you even get that far, when the computer first starts up, the SCCM/WDS server picks an image to give to that computer. How does SCCM/WDS select the image to use?

For example, we've got an image, call it SIT00001, and it is assigned to a task sequence. When a PC starts up, it gets this boot image. Now, you want to add support for a new device, so you take the original image, add the drivers, and create a new image to test, call it SIT00002. When you boot the PC, before you select a task sequence, which image will that PC get? And is there a way to say "this PC should get this image, and that PC gets that image"?

There seems to be lots of info out there about how to create a new boot image and assign it to a task sequence, but they all seem to skip over the initial boot image selection process. Or at least, my search skills haven't been able to find it. Can anyone shed some light?


1 Answer 1


It picks the most recently distributed boot image that the system being booted could use.

If you choose a task sequence that requires a different image it will automatically reboot to that image. If the task sequence uses the one it booted from it will just continue from that point.

  • So it's most recently distributed, not created? I had assumed our most recently created image was also the most recently distributed, but your answer has pointed out to me that that was only an assumption, I'll have to ask about that. When you say "could use", do you mean as per the hardware detection that's done earlier, or do you mean as per the boot images assigned to the task sequences it could run? And yeah, I knew the second part. But thanks anyway. :-)
    – DarkMoon
    Oct 31, 2014 at 3:05
  • @DarkMoon If you redistribute an old image it will get used. and by it could run, I mean from boot images used in sequences available to that PC.
    – Grant
    Oct 31, 2014 at 12:29
  • @Grant, do you have a Microsoft source for this? I'm trying to find a better understanding of why the last boot image wins.
    – FoxDeploy
    Jan 14, 2016 at 22:26
  • @FoxDeploy I don't recall if I had a source or figured it out through testing.
    – Grant
    Jan 15, 2016 at 0:15

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