(Re)Install RSAT during a Windows 10 1809 Feature Update Task Sequence in ConfigMgr/SCCM

If you’re an IT admin who works with Microsoft technologies, I hope you are familiar with the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT). With previous versions of Windows 10, installing these tools required downloading a separate .MSU package:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=45520

This changes with 1809. The tools are now available as “features on demand” and can be installed via DISM or PowerShell:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/features-on-demand-non-language-fod#remote-server-administration-tools-rsat

If you’ve installed a Windows 10 feature update and gone from 1607 to 1709 for example, you may have noticed that the tools get removed. Perhaps one of your fellow IT admins got annoyed because you didn’t automatically handle this scenario for them (sometimes they can be the most difficult customers to please 🙂 )

Well, here’s a method for making sure the tools get reinstalled during a feature update task sequence if they were installed previously.

The first part is to add a pre-processing step to check for RSAT installation and set a task sequence variable if installed. Gary Blok already has a blog post explaining how to do that, so I won’t reinvent the wheel:

https://garytown.com/windows-10-in-place-upgrade-task-sequence-auto-re-install-rsat

The second part is to add some post-processing steps to reinstall the tools.

Add a new group named “Reinstall RSAT if Previously Installed” and set a task sequence variable condition to only run the group if RSATInstalled equals true:

RSAT1

The next part requires some explanation. Since I’m doing this in the context of a ConfigMgr environment, the clients are configured to use a SUP, and thus an internal WSUS server. When you try to run the command for installing RSAT via “features on demand”, it will reach out to the WSUS server. Typically, a WSUS instance in a ConfigMgr environment will not have any “features on demand” content synced, so this causes an error (0x800f0954). It might be possible to get it to work that way somehow, but I opted to make a configuration change that allows the system to sidestep WSUS and check for the content directly from Windows Update (which, of course, requires an active Internet connection during the task sequence). I do this by configuring the following policy via a registry value:

https://gpsearch.azurewebsites.net/#10616

Create a “run command line” step with the following command:

reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Servicing" /v RepairContentServerSource /d 2 /t REG_DWORD /f

Now we’re ready for the step that actually installs the tools. Martin Bengtsson has a great blog post explaining how to do this with PowerShell and wrote a script that can be used with ConfigMgr:

https://www.imab.dk/deploy-rsat-remote-server-administration-tools-for-windows-10-v1809-using-sccm-system-center-configuration-manager/

That’s a great option, but I decided to just go with a one-liner that installs all the tools. Create another “run command line” step with the following command:

powershell.exe -NoProfile -Command "Get-WindowsCapability -Online | Where-Object {$_.Name -like 'Rsat*'} | Add-WindowsCapability -Online -LogPath %TEMP%\Add-WindowsCapability-RSAT.log"

RSAT4

RSAT5

Notice that I added logging to %TEMP% which in this context will be written to C:\Windows\Temp

I’ve tested this successfully with 1607 -> 1809 and 1709 -> 1809 (not with 1703 or 1803 -> 1809, but I’m assuming it works just the same.) If you’ve pinned any shortcuts to the Start Menu or taskbar, they still work after the update! It adds about 10 minutes to the overall update time, but it’s worth it for those special admins in your life that just need RSAT to work 🙂

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.

 

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