• Published:
    July 1, 2013
  • Languages:
    English, German, Japanese, Russian
  • Audiences:
    IT professionals, OEM partners
  • Technology:
    Windows 8
  • Credit toward certification:
    MCP, Specialist

OEM Preinstallation

This exam has been retired

For currently available options, please see the Microsoft Certification exam list.

Skills measured

This exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical tasks listed below. The percentages indicate the relative weight of each major topic area on the exam. The higher the percentage, the more questions you are likely to see on that content area on the exam. View video tutorials about the variety of question types on Microsoft exams.

Please note that the questions may test on, but will not be limited to, the topics described in the bulleted text.

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Prepare deployments
  • Prepare the environment
    • Set up NTFS permissions; set up share permissions; set up the deployment environment server roles; prepare accounts and network shares; deploy Windows with Windows Deployment Services
  • Identify a business strategy for deploying operating system images
    • Identify a build-to-order or build-to-plan approach; select a deployment method; implement end-user upgrade paths and downgrade rights
  • Determine hardware configurations
    • Determine Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) requirements; configure network and storage drivers; configure a boot device
  • Build a Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE or WinPE)
    • Troubleshoot a problematic installation in WinPE; customize a WinPE installation; create a 32-bit or 64-bit WinPE environment; manage Windows PE packages

Preparation resources

Create, capture, and deploy images
  • Create a reference installation
    • Set up and capture a reference PC; preinstall Microsoft and third-party desktop applications; set up a Push Button Restore; evaluate deployment logs; prepare and test Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE)
  • Determine redistribution licensing requirements
    • Determine redistribution rights and technical requirements; select licensed recovery types; determine OEM preinstallation requirements
  • Apply a reference installation
    • Perform drive partitioning, deploy reference and recovery images; set up push button recovery with ReagentC and BCD commands
  • Configure the answer file
    • Design an answer file; create a default user profile; preserve preinstalled OEM drivers

Preparation resources

Manage deployments
  • Manage images
    • Upgrade a Windows edition; perform online or offline servicing; activate grace period timer; manage nested images within Windows Imaging File Format (WIMS); add and remove packages, add and remove drivers; set the multilingual deployment of an operating system; manage application updates
  • Manage Windows PE boot configurations
    • Maintain and update boot critical device drivers; update network scripts; update Windows PE; manage WDS boot images, export boot WIMS
  • Validate an image
    • Validate an image in audit mode; validate push button reset; sysprep an image to OOBE; identify cause of driver failure; finalize installation; validate licensing requirements and components

Preparation resources

Who should take this exam?

Candidates for this exam are IT professionals who are familiar with using the Microsoft Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) to manage and deploy Windows. These candidates install or assemble hardware with genuine preinstalled Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, and other supported Microsoft operating systems and/or additional applications such as Microsoft Office, Skype, and third-party applications. These candidates also create complete images for deployment to customer devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and servers.

Candidates for this exam should have at least one year of experience managing day-to-day issues involving desktop and/or server deployment. Candidates should be familiar with the tools designed to deploy optimized hardware solutions for Microsoft platforms.

The minimally qualified candidate typically:

  • works for an OEM reseller, System Builder, or System Integrator
  • has one year of on-the-job experience
  • has basic networking and operating system administration skills
  • has familiarity with basic OEM licensing requirements
  • has basic hardware configuration skills

More information about exams

Preparing for an exam

We recommend that you review this exam preparation guide in its entirety and familiarize yourself with the resources on this website before you schedule your exam. See the Microsoft Certification exam overview for information about registration, videos of typical exam question formats, and other preparation resources. For information on exam policies and scoring, see the Microsoft Certification exam policies and FAQs.


This preparation guide is subject to change at any time without prior notice and at the sole discretion of Microsoft. Microsoft exams might include adaptive testing technology and simulation items. Microsoft does not identify the format in which exams are presented. Please use this preparation guide to prepare for the exam, regardless of its format. To help you prepare for this exam, Microsoft recommends that you have hands-on experience with the product and that you use the specified training resources. These training resources do not necessarily cover all topics listed in the "Skills measured" section.