Capturing and Deploying Windows 11

Update SmartDeploy

Windows 11 images can be captured and deployed using SmartDeploy version 3.0.1020 or later.

Check your hardware for Windows 11 compatibility

Microsoft has new hardware requirements for Windows 11, and these apply to both your reference VM and any endpoints that you plan to deploy to. Before you begin, it’s important to confirm that your endpoints meet the hardware requirements for Windows 11.

You can review the official Windows 11 specifications at Windows 11 Specs and System Requirements | Microsoft.


Build your Windows 11 Reference VM

To create your reference VM for Windows 11, keep in mind our Best Practices to Create your Virtual Reference Machines, and follow this additional platform-specific guidance.

Microsoft Hyper-V has the best compatibility and ease of use when creating a Reference VM to capture your Windows 11 image, and it is the virtualization platform that SmartDeploy recommends for Windows 11. You can enable Hyper-V on any Windows 10 or 11 Professional, Enterprise or Education endpoint by using the Turn Windows features on or off settings. Then create your reference VM in Hyper-V Manager, with the following specifications:

  • Generation 2
  • Allocate at least 2 virtual processors
  • Allocate at least 4GB of RAM
  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM) enabled

Then Gracefully shutdown the VM and capture your image by using the Capture Wizard or a warm capture.

VMware Workstation 16.2.0 (or later) supports Windows 11, but due to the required encryption settings for the virtual machine, capture of your Windows 11 image will require removing the Trusted Platform Module and encryption before capturing your image with SmartDeploy.

Note: If you perform a warm capture, you do not have to remove the TPM and encryption.


The following settings must be set to install Windows 11 on VMware Workstation:

  • Enable UEFI with Secure Boot
  • Allocate at least 4GB of RAM
  • Enable encryption in the Access Control menu
  • Enable the Trusted Platform Module in the hardware menu

VMware ESX and vSphere 6.7 (or later) VMs are subject to the same encryption requirements as for VMware Workstation above, but also require a native key provider. See VMware's documentation for details.

Oracle VM VirtualBox does not have Trusted Platform Module support, and is not recommended for creating a Windows 11 Reference VM, as of this writing. If this changes in a future VirtualBox release, we will update this article.

 

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