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Loading custom Windows OS image on Mesa

19 Jul 2017

Updated - Jan 2020

Note: This information is provided as a reference and does not imply that Juniper Systems will provide full support for any custom or alternative operating system edition being used on the Mesa 3 and/or Mesa 2.

If you are using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to create an operating system image that you would like to load on the Mesa 3 and/or Mesa 2, you will need to include our latest drivers package as linked near the bottom of this article.

It is technically possible to switch the edition of the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system on the Mesa from the default Windows 10 Pro edition, such as to an Enterprise LTSB edition. Some possible methods to do so are as follows, even just for test as described at this web page.

https://www.howtogeek.com/250503/how-to-upgrade-to-windows-10-enterprise-without-reinstalling-windows/

Similar to as mentioned at the bottom of that web page, the simplest method would be to just overwrite the pre-installed Windows 10 Pro license with a license for the edition that you want installed. Once a license for another edition has been entered, such as for Enterprise, the Windows 10 operating system will automatically switch to that edition (some automatic downloads may occur). This will save a lot of effort such as from having to try to install and enable custom drivers which are required for hardware in the Mesa, since these will remain installed from previously. The Windows license key can be viewed and changed by tapping and holding on the bottom-left Windows logo (Start) button, selecting System, and scrolling down to Windows activation then tapping on "Change product key". Or this can be done using a utility as briefly described at the top of the web link below.

Another method is to create a provisioning package as described at the following web page.

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/askcore/2015/11/23/how-to-convert-windows-10-pro-to-windows-10-enterprise-using-icd/

Other methods are listed at this web page.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/upgrade/windows-10-edition-upgrades

One of the most technical methods is to load a full custom ISO (or now more commonly split WIM) image. This can be extremely difficult due to needing to apply all custom drivers, utilities, and registry keys needed on the Mesa. We offer drivers package installers which may simplify the process, but the installers are not guaranteed to be compatible with your custom OS image and/or be allowed with your system security privileges in the custom operating system. The drivers packages are described and available at this web page.

Windows Drivers packages for Mesa 3 and Mesa 2

A USB flash drive being used to load a custom OS image must be FAT32 format or else the firmware (UEFI or BIOS) will not recognize it. To boot from USB, you may need to plug in a USB hub with a keyboard and the FAT32 USB device with boot files on it. You can hold the Windows (Start) button on the keypad or hold the ESC key on the attached keyboard and then press the power button on the device to turn it on. Keep holding the Windows keypad button or ESC keyboard button. You should get to a Boot Menu with options such as Boot Manager. Let go of the ESC key and use the touchscreen or keyboard arrow buttons to navigate to and select the desired boot source. For additional details, see the following web page.

WinPE: Store or split images to deploy Windows using a single USB drive