How to Capture Windows 10 Reference Image using WDS?

Create and capture Windows 10 reference image is important because that image serves as the foundation for the devices in your organization. In this topic, you will learn how to capture Windows 10 reference image using WDS.

This image is the core operating system you need on your network environment. The image require all needed software for your Windows 10 clients to be installed. So before capturing Windows 10 image, make sure you update Apps and Windows with latest updates.

Capture Windows 10 Reference Image with WDS

Capture a Windows 10 image with Windows Deployment Services is easy if you would be familiar with Windows Deployment. Before applying this article, you need to have installed WDS on Windows Server. If you lab is ready for deploying Windows follow the article, otherwise read and apply the below articles to create your Deployment Server first.

So let’s begin to capture Windows 10 reference image.

1. Press Windows+R to open run and type Sysprep and run Sysprep. On the Sysprep tool select Enter System Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE) and select Generalize the click OK. 

Systep Preparation

2. Once the Sysprep has complete, system will restart and boot it from Network. You must configure you system to boot from network. Just press F12 to go to Pexe.

Press F12 to boot the system through Network

3. Now select Capture Image to capture Windows 10 reference image or PC.

Capture Windows 10 Reference Image

4. On the Welcome to Windows Deployment Services Image Capture Wizard page click Next.

5. Now select the directory where you want to capture, type image name and image description then click Next.

Directory to Capture Windows 10 Reference Image

6. Select Name and Location or tick the check box of Upload image to a Windows Deployment Services server. When done click Connect and type user credential. Select Image Group name also then click Next. 

Capture Windows 10 Reference Image Location and Server

7. This will take a long time to complete the process of capturing Windows reference PC.

Uploading Image to WDS Server

8. When it has complete click Finish and restart your Windows 10 reference PC. Configure and select the reference PC language, time, user and password, because it has been completely out of box by executing Sysprep

9. Go to Windows Deployment server and check the result of Windows 10 capturing. The Windows 10 captured image should be transferred successfully to WDS server.

Windows 10 Captured Image

OK, that’s all about to capture Windows 10 reference image with WDS and Windows Server 2016 or Server 2012 R2.

Capture Windows 10 Reference Image video tutorial

If you have any question let us know and how can we help you to solve your OS and App deployment problems in your production environment.

How toWindows 10Windows Deployment ServicesWindows Server 2016
Comments (33)
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  • Mukhtar

    Thank you for the uploading Video Dear Admin

    • Shais

      Welcome dear, hope you find it helpful…

  • Bismillah

    Salam sir !
    You have not mentioned what to add on wds before running sysprep on reference pc.
    I had one image in boot image and add another by the name of Capture image, but when booting the reference pc it didn’t work, kindly tell me the solution.
    Thank u………

    • Shais

      Create the capture image from boot image. Then add the created capture to boot image area. The article is pretty clear, read it carefully.

  • Jack

    Thanks for your guides, they’re brilliant.
    I get stuck when I boot into my new image, I fill out the locale, time and keyboard settings but then I get stuck with a message saying “windows could not complete the installation to install windows on this computer restart installation”

    Any idea?


    • Shais

      Hi Jack,

      Once test another image.

  • MervinLVahle

    Excellent post. I found myself checking continuously this blog and I
    am just impressed! Extremely helpful information specifically the closing part :
    ) I maintain such information much. I was seeking this certain info to get a number of
    years. Thanks and better of luck.

  • Jack

    I’m still not getting any joy. Am I missing something?

  • Jason C


    I have sysprepped the C: drive however when I attempt to capture the image I am unable to select the drive in the capture image wizard (Which is at 1:35 on the above video). Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance

    • Shais

      Hi Jason,

      When the sysprep run correctly you can select the drive letter, otherwise it will not work.

  • Jason C

    Thanks Shais,

    I have ran the sysprep several times but no luck. Let me know if you have any other suggestions, I’ll keep looking into it as well.

  • Mehaboob

    Thanks Shais,

    I got successfully created the image but when i try to deploy image in new system its giving me error ” Windows cannot install required files. make sure all files required for installation are available, and restart the installation ”

    Please help me in this

    Thanks in advance

    • Shais

      Hi Mehaboob,

      Your captured image may not work perfectly. Try to capture the image without any errors.



    this is one of simple way to create Windows 10 image thank you for your effort.

    I had already a WDS server running with me, am not getting an option like point number 3, what will be the issue. i can only see my exisitng images of windows 7 and 8.

    • Shais

      Hi VIPINS,

      Create a capture image from boot image on WDS then add it to boot image section.
      On WDS just right click the Boot image and create a capture image. When capture image created successfully, add it to WDS and now you must have option like pint 3 of this article.


    Yes i found that option in another article anway thank you so much…

  • Rahul

    Hi Admin,
    First of all thanks for such a crystal clear manual…May God Bless you for doing such a noble work.
    I just wanted to know the steps that once we have captured a machine image with all the programs, how to deploy new machine with that captured Image with the WDS server.

    • Shais

      Hi Rahul,

      Try to add the captured image to WDS server as install image. Then deploy it on your computers on the network.



    the directory C:\ or D:\ etc… does not appear in the volume capture. so i can’t to capture my system. :'(

    (i m french) 😀

    • Shais


      Try to run sysprep on reference PC before capturing image.


    yes sysprep its ok but its dosen’t work again.

  • Hitesh

    server connection is not working
    what will be done if not connected when asking for upload image.

    • Shams

      Check the server connection and credentials.

  • Luis

    The “Capture Image” option doesn’t appear. What did I miss?

    • Shais

      Hi Luis,

      Create a capture image and add it to WDS then you see the capture image when you boot the system.

  • Dwan B.

    I try to sysprep the same way as demonstrated in the video. During the “Capturing Windows image metadata…” process, the process hangs at 50%, with the error message stating, “The specified image file did not contain a resource section.” I have even tried to save the .wim file on a 1TB hard drive, with more than enough space. What am i doing wrong?

  • Cynic

    Great Article! I was trying to find out if there was a way after the WDS capture completes to automatically have the computer shutdown rather than restart?

  • Alpha Bah

    Dear Admin
    keep recieving an error that windows couldnt complete the installation and i can’t enter into my server inorder to restart installation, probably mty internet was on while doing this!!!

  • John doe

    Thanks, Admin for the helpful guide and video. Thank you so much.

  • Dominic

    How long did WDS take to capture the image?
    Currently capturing, it is at 52% and has been running for about 24hours now.

    • Shais

      Within one and a half hour it should complete the capturing.

      • Dominic

        I greatly appreciate your help!!
        Capturing completed. I reimaged the pc using the captured image to verify its integrity. Booting up, I got this message-
        “Windows could not finish configuring the system. To attempt to resume configuration, restart the computer”
        Some sites say to disable antivirus before sysprep.

        Any Ideas?