PowerShell
Edit|Remove
# Windows RT 8.1 configuration scripts for schools 
# Download edu_config.zip for the complete source.
Surface and similar Windows RT 8.1 devices are great for students and educators: They are ultraportable, sturdy, and inexpensive. Students can use Windows RT devices to watch videos, write reports, and collaborate on group projects. Surface even has a built-in kickstand and integrated keyboard, allowing users to learn and teach the way they want.

Deploying Windows RT devices in schools is different from deploying PCs, though. Windows RT devices are not PCs: They are tablets. You do not deploy them like PCs, and you do not manage them like PCs. A mobile technology similar to Apple iPad and other such tablets, Windows RT devices have limitations about which schools should be aware. You can learn more about these limitations by reading the white paper, Windows RT 8.1 in the Enterprise, at http://aka.ms/windowsrt4enterprise.

The guide Deploying Windows RT 8.1 in education describes how schools can effectively deploy Windows RT devices. It helps them choose the right type of user account and automate much of the configuration process. It also describes these sample Windows PowerShell scripts for both shared and one-to-one scenarios that schools can customize and extend to automate device configuration. You find this guide in the TechNet library.

Microsoft recommends reading Deploying Windows RT 8.1 in education prior to customizing and using these scripts. Additionally, this ZIP file contains a Readme.rtf file that can help you quickly test these scripts in your lab environment.

About the configuration store

The configuration store is where you store the source files and scripts that configure each device. Use the same configuration store for both deployment scenarios. You can locate the configuration store on a USB flash drive or a network share. (You can also keep a master copy of the configuration store on a network share and copy it to USB flash drives to expedite configuration for each installer.) By default, the scripts assume that the configuration store is on a USB flash drive in D:\Store. The scripts in this guide look for files in the following subfolders:

If you store the configuration store on a network share, guest access must be enabled on the configuration store. Otherwise, installers must provide domain credentials when preparing devices. Enabling guest access on the configuration store helps streamline the process. Because Microsoft recommends guest access for the configuration store, Microsoft also recommends creating it on a stand-alone server or PC in the lab, which you can take down after you are done. A laptop or network-attached storage device is perfect for this purpose.

Warning The scripts and source files contain passwords in plain text—for example, the password to use for shared accounts, wireless network passphrases, and the credentials under which to run scheduled tasks. Therefore, you must ensure that students do not have access to the configuration store.

Note The scripts that this guide provides are samples. Schools must customize and test these scripts prior to using them in any Windows RT device deployment. Although Microsoft has tested these scripts and they do work properly, they are not suitable for use as-is without careful consideration.

Stocking the configuration store

You must stock most of the files in the configuration store manually. Copy APPX files to the Apps subfolder, MSU files to the Updates subfolder, and so on. However, Gather-DeviceConfig.cmd and Gather-DeviceConfig.ps1 automatically copy local Group Policy settings and wireless networking profiles from a reference device to the configuration store.

Preparing shared devices for delivery

Apply-SharedConfig.cmd and Apply-SharedConfig.ps1 are working examples that apply the contents of the previously prepared configuration store to the target device.
Store both scripts in the Scripts subfolder of the configuration store so that you can access them from any target device.

In shared-device scenarios, the preparation process is as follows:

  1. Start the device, and complete the OOBE.
  2. At an elevated command prompt, run Apply-SharedConfig.cmd, which launches Apply-SharedConfig.ps1 while bypassing execution policy.
  3. Perform any manual steps required to configure the device (e.g., installing Windows Store apps).
  4. Shut down the device, and deliver it to the classroom.

Preparing personal devices for delivery

When preparing personal devices for delivery, you use the same configuration store you used for shared devices. That includes copying the local GPO and wireless networking profiles from a reference device to the configuration store, adding APPX and MSU files, and so on.

After you have stocked the configuration store, preparing personal devices for delivery can be easier and a bit quicker than preparing shared devices, mainly because you do not have to complete the OOBE when configuring the device. Instead, you start devices in Audit mode. In Audit mode, you can configure and customize devices prior to delivering them to students. After the first time students start their devices, they see the OOBE. For more information about Audit mode, see the article, “Audit Mode Overview,” at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh824891.aspx in the TechNet library.

To prepare personal devices for delivery, complete the following steps:

  1. Start the device, and wait for the OOBE to begin.
  2. Tap the Accessibility icon, tap On Screen Keyboard, and then press Ctrl+Shift+Fn+F3 to start the device in Audit mode, signing in to the local Administrator automatically.
  3. At an elevated command prompt, run Apply-PersonalConfig.cmd which then launches Apply-PersonalConfig.ps1. Because Sysprep cannot finish while restarts are pending, Apply-PersonalConfig.ps1 finishes by copying Exit-AuditMode.ps1 and Unattend.xml to the device and configures the device so that it runs Exit-AuditMode.ps1 the next time the device starts. Exit-AuditMode.ps1 runs Sysprep to reseal the device, exiting Audit mode and shutting the device down.
  4. Deliver the device to the student.