SCCM Windows 10 Servicing Plans – Upgrade Windows 10 Easily Now

Prajwal Desai
Posted by Prajwal Desai

This post covers the steps to use SCCM servicing plans to upgrade Windows 10 devices. You can create servicing plans in SCCM and deploy them to upgrade Windows 10 devices in your setup.

Using Servicing plans in SCCM, I will show you how to upgrade Windows 10 version 1809 to Windows 10 version 1903. This guide should also work when you want to use servicing plans to upgrade to a higher version of Windows 10.

With Configuration manager servicing plans you can ensure that all the Windows 10 systems are kept up-to-date when new builds are released. If you know the build is stable and wish to roll-out, servicing plan makes it very easy to accomplish the task.

In my previous post, I covered the steps to perform Windows 10 1903 upgrade using SCCM. In addition to that you use SCCM 1902 to deploy updates to Windows 10 version 1903. For more info, read this post.

If you are using SCCM, remember that you cannot use the servicing plans to upgrade Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 machines. So the steps mentioned in this post strictly applies if you want to upgrade Windows 10 to latest builds.

Windows 10 Servicing Dashboard Prerequisites

First of all let’s start with Prerequisites. Note that if all the below prerequisites are not met, you may not see data in Windows 10 Servicing dashboard.

  • WSUS 4.0 with the hotfixes 3095113 and 3159706 must be installed on your software update points and site servers.
  • Both the above hotfixes are applicable if you are using Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2 in your setup.
  • You must enable heartbeat discovery. When you install SCCM, the heartbeat discovery is enabled by default. However go to discovery methods and check once.
  • Ensure the service connection point is installed and configured for Online, persistent connection mode.
  • You must configure software updates to deploy Windows 10 feature updates.

Configure Software Update Point

You must install and configure software update point prior to creating servicing plan. If you want to deploy Windows 10 updates, the product “Windows 10” must be first selected. Here is a guide to install and configure software update point.

  • Launch SCCM Console
  • Go to Administration > Site Configuration > Sites.
  • On top ribbon click Configure Site component and then click Software Update Point.
  • Click Products tab and select Windows 10.

Configure Software Update Point

Click Classifications tab and under Software update classifications, select Upgrades.

You get a Windows 10 Servicing prerequisite box. Those two hotfixes are the ones that are covered in Prerequisites section above.

Click OK.

Configure Software Update Point

Enable Heartbeat Discovery

You only need to check if the Heartbeat discovery is enabled. The data displayed in the Windows 10 servicing dashboard is found by using this discovery.

SCCM heartbeat discoveryA quick note about priority for feature updates. If you are using Configuration Manager 1902, under Default Client Settings > Software Updates you will find a new setting.

You can now adjust the priority with which clients install a feature update through Windows 10 servicing.

SCCM Windows 10 Servicing Plans Snap28

Synchronize Software Updates

After making the changes to Software Update Point, you must sync the software updates.

To synchronize software updates in SCCM

  • Go to Software Library > Overview > Windows 10 Servicing.
  • Right click All Windows 10 Updates and click Synchronize Software Updates.
  • To monitor the synchronization process, open wsyncmgr.log file.

Synchronize software updates

So here is what you see when you complete the updates synchronization. Notice that there are lot of feature updates, as a result you may not see all the updates in just glance.

Windows 10 Updates

In this case, I will filter the updates using a simple search criteria. Click Add Criteria and select Title and Language.

Choose Title contains as 1903 and Language as English. This criteria returns very few and specific updates which I want.

So now that we see Windows 10 version 1903 feature updates, we can go ahead and create servicing plan for Windows 10.

filter Windows 10 1903

Click Windows 10 servicing dashboard. That should show count of machines running Windows 10 versions. In my case all the Windows 10 machines are at version 1809.

SCCM Servicing plans

Create SCCM Windows 10 Servicing Plans to Upgrade Windows 10

To create a new SCCM Windows 10 Servicing Plans

  • In the SCCM console, go to Software Library > Overview > Windows 10 Servicing.
  • Right click Servicing Plans and click Create Servicing Plan.

SCCM Windows 10 Servicing Plans

Specify the name and description for servicing plan. Click Next.

SCCM Windows 10 Servicing Plans

To perform Windows 10 upgrade deployment, click Browse and select Target Collection. Click Next.

SCCM Windows 10 Servicing Plans

Windows 10 Servicing Deployment Rings

When you are creating Windows 10 servicing plans using SCCM, you should have an idea about Deployment Rings.

  • Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) – Targeted deployment refers to the phase immediately following the release of a new Windows version. Choose this when devices across various teams evaluate the major release prior to broad deployment.
  • Semi-Annual Channel – With this channel, With the Semi-Annual Channel, Microsoft releases two Windows Feature Updates, one in March and the other in September. Each of these have 18-month servicing timeline.

For more information on deployment rings for windows 10 updates, read this article.

Since I am deploying the updates in my test lab, I am going to select Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) deployment ring.

Before you deploy updates, you must specify how long you want to wait after MS has published a new upgrade. This is a very important decision and if you are deploying feature updates in an organization, a proper planning is must.

SCCM Windows 10 Servicing Plans

In this step you got some good options to filter upgrades. I have got only 64-bit Windows 10 enterprise machines with English as default langauge. Hence my search criteria looks something like this.

  • Architecture – x64
  • Language – English
  • Title – 1903

Before you click Next, click Preview button.

SCCM Windows 10 Servicing Plans

In the Preview updates window, you now see the updates based on the search criteria that you specified. If you don’t see the desired updates, check your criteria again.

Click Close and then Next.

Windows 10 1903 updates preview

Under Deployment Schedule, specify the time based on which is either UTC or Client Local time.

Specify the Software available time and software installation deadline. Click Next.

Windows 10 1903 updates preview

Specify the user experience for this deployment. Click Next.

Windows 10 1903 updates preview

Create Windows 10 Deployment Package

Select Create a new deployment package. Specify Name and package source. Click Next.

Create a deployment package

Add the distribution points to host the content. Click Next.

Create a deployment package

Select Download software updates from the internet. Click Next.

Create a deployment package

Specify the update languages for the products. Click Next.

SCCM Windows 10 Servicing Plans

On the Summary page, verify the settings. Click Next.

Create a deployment package

On Completion page, click Close.

Create a deployment package

Deploy Windows 10 using SCCM Servicing Plans

The servicing plan that you just created is shown under Servicing plans. Right click Servicing plan and click Run Now. When you click Run Now, the deployment begins to specified Windows 10 collection.

Deploy SCCM Service Plan

Go to Monitoring > Overview > Deployments. Select the deployment and that should show how many machines are compliant.

Deploy SCCM Service Plan

Confirming the Windows 10 Upgrade

After few minutes, in the Software Center, i could see the update getting installed. This was on all the Windows 10 machines in my test setup.

Windows 10 upgrade

The update installation takes good amount of time. In my case it took around 20 minutes before i saw a restart popup.

Windows 10 upgrade

You must restart the computer to complete the upgrade.

Windows 10 upgrade

Log in back to computer and check Windows 10 version. Using SCCM servicing plan, we upgraded Windows 10 1809 to Windows 10 1903 without any errors.

Windows 10 upgradeDuring my testing, Windows 10 upgrade was successful on almost all devices in my lab setup. However the Windows 10 version 1903 wasn’t shown under Windows 10 usage.

Rather I saw the version as “Other” which means Configuration Manager failed to figure out the Windows 10 build. I am checking this with Microsoft team and shall the update the post once i get more info.

Windows 10 servicing dashboard

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Prajwal Desai
Posted by Prajwal Desai
Prajwal Desai is a Microsoft MVP in Intune and SCCM. He writes articles on SCCM, Intune, Windows 365, Windows Server, Windows 11, WordPress and other topics, with the goal of providing people with useful information.