SCCM 2012 SP1 – Install Windows 7 to drive letter C:

You are looking for a easy solution, to get a wim-File, copied directly from the Microsoft source, installed to the Computers drive C:? Here you get it!

As we all know, until Windows 7, all wim Files are, when directly applied, installed as System Drive letter D:. No Problem till SCCM 2012. But with SP1, which no longer supports Installations with the Installer Option (e.g. running Setup.exe), for all Windows Builds below Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, only Image deployment will be supported. Using the Installer Source mode is still working in VMs, where no Drivers are needed, or when you Import necessary Drivers into the wim-File.

Only a simple Change to your Task Sequence is needed, that those Image Installations will successfully be applied to the System drive C:.
Just add a “Set Task Sequence Variable” Action to your Task Sequence with Name OSDPreserveDriveLetter and value False. This will ignore the Driver letter stored in the WIM, this Task Sequence Variable is also new to SCCM 2012 SP1.


And with this, you can use your configuration as before. I normally use a variable, which is set, when the harddisc is formatted. Edit the Partition you want to assign the variable:



And in the “Apply Operating System” Action, the variable is then used:


Hope this helps 🙂


28 thoughts on “SCCM 2012 SP1 – Install Windows 7 to drive letter C:

  1. This works, thx. I’ve been stucked with this problem with windows7 installed to D-drive letter
    by SCCM2012SP1, now it installs to C-drive

  2. Hi, wonder if anyone knows how to get round this one!? I want to reinstall windows on 80 laptops that currently have data on it’s D: drive. I have managed to preserve the data on D: but when my Task has completed Windows is on D: drive and the Data is now on C: drive!!

    Any ideas?

      • Hi, yes I have added the preserve letter variable but it didn’t make any difference 😦 the OS is currently on C: and data on D: but when using SCCM it’s installing the OS on D: but preserving the Data but putting on C:! It looks like it’s working and installing the OS on Disc 0 Partition 1 but its assigning that partition to D:?

    • Hiii Dave, I have same case. I have data on D, E and F but i want to install windows 8 only on C drive after formatting it.

      Currently i have windows 7 and windows 8-32bit in those pcs. Also have D, E and F also on some PCs.

      Can you please share how did you managed to preserve data on D drive ?

      • Hi Rishi,
        Sorry for the late reply, been on holiday.
        Yes I have managed to do it now.

        1. Firstly you need to disable the “Format & Partition Disk” step as you can’t just format the C:, It formats the whole drive and then partitions it which is no good.

        2. Then add a “Set Task Sequence Variable” and use OSDPreserveDriveLetter as the Variable name and this time set the value to TRUE

        3. “Apply Operating System” Set Destination to Specific disk & partition Disk: 0 Partition: 2

        Hope that helps


  3. For your step on the Partition Properties that you named “System”. Where is that at or do you create a new one? If you do create a new Variable Task, where does it go?


    • In the Standard Task Sequence Step which Formats and partioning the disk, you can open a specific Partition, and edit the Settings. The second Print Screen “Partition Properties” Shows this menu. There you can set the variable on a spevific Partition.

      • Martin,

        Thanks that fixed it for me. Would you have a Guide for Offline USMT Task Sequence? I created a Task Sequence that works for Online USMT but I cannot find anything for Offline TS. I tried even using MDT 2012 SP1 but it didn’t install on C: and lost the user profiles – good thing it was in my lab and not Prod!!

  4. I’m struggling with this issue using SCCM2007R3. I thought it was due to the reserved BitLocker partition, but the original source wim still installed to D: when I create only one partition. I thought this was an issue with my environment until I read this. For completeness, can you enlighten me as to the solution prior to SCCM2012SP1? Thanks!

    • Yes, you have to create a build and capture Task Sequence. Then you get an Installation with Setup.exe (Windows Installer Option) and from this, it will create a WIM File, in which the System Drive would be C:.

      • Thanks for that option. I didn’t like the idea of doing a Build and Capture just to produce a WIM that installed Windows 7 to C: drive, so I uploaded the Win7 DVD contents as an Operating System Install Package rather than just the WIM as an Operating System Image. This install process may take a little longer (?) but faithfully reproduces an original install from OEM media. I was still able to partition the disk with a BitLocker reserved boot partition, and assigned a custom Unattend.xml made via Windows System Image Manager and applied at the Apply Operation System step. The only thing I had to change was the Apply Network Settings step to join the domain, as the process applies the SCCM recorded computer name after the domain join and this local name change isn’t reflected in AD so the trust relationship ends up broken. Instead I used a Join Domain or Workgroup step after the Setup windows and ConfigMgr step, and now I have a BitLocker’ed Win7 x64 Enterprise image installed to C: without any contamination from using a WIM built on a specific piece of hardware.
        Cheers, Barnaby

  5. Hi,
    I need to create 2 partition ,one is primary in which os is installed and second one for free space.
    How can we do like that?


      • Hi,
        Can you please share some screenshots for the same to make 2 partition in task sequence.

        • Sorry, I’ve never used a Partition Schema like this, so I can’t create any screenshots. Are you sure that you have understand the possibilities of the step which I mentioned?
          Do you Need to preserve an existing Partition? If not, simply create your OS volume with a fixed size, and create a Partition with the 100% of remaining space Option.

  6. […] This blog, this Technet discussion and the Technet article which mentions: “ The build and capture task sequence was updated to apply an operating system image instead of running Setup.exe for installation. You can still run Setup.exe for Windows 8 deployments by editing the task sequence in the task sequence editor.” pointed me to the right direction to workaround this issue. Obviously the deployment method using the unattended setup does not work with Windows 7 anymore, but works only with Windows 8. […]

  7. Many Thanks ,
    Successfully deploy Windows 7 with two fresh partition.
    Now ,I want to make D drive data remains the same and C drive will be fresh installation.
    Please suggest .

  8. Thanks for this – just preserve drive letter false didn’t work for us – this however did. you’re a star!

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