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Creating a windows 8.1 image containing metro apps

Hello all

I have been doing so research lately into system imaging and deploying said image across multiple devices.

I want to image Surface Pro 3s (about 40 of them) with several dozen apps from the app store. My understanding is that if I want to use an image across multiple devices I have to use sysprep to generalize the image. The problem is any app off the app store is account specific and cannot be generalize. If you try to sysprep with apps installed you will get a Fetal Error, and you cant install apps from the store while in audit mode either.

Are there any options available to me, or will this have to be done manually?

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8.1


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Hi Red Tangent, welcome to the Eight Forums.

Installing Modern Apps to your Windows Image in Audit Mode can be done using DISM. There are two slightly different methods to do this depending on whether you are installing corporate intern apps not submitted to Windows Store or already published apps which are submitted to Windows Store.

To install corporate intern Line-Of-Business apps in Audit Mode using DISM ("sideloading" apps), see this Microsoft TechNet support article: Sideload Apps with DISM

To install signed apps submitted to Windows Store using DISM, see this TechNet article: Preinstall Apps Using DISM

Notice please that as Modern apps do not run in Audit Mode you cannot test them after installing them using either of the above methods. I recommend you image your reference Windows 8 / 8.1 as soon as you have entered Audit Mode, test installing your apps, run Sysprep and capture the image restoring it to a test computer to see everything works. If not you can restore the initial image, be back in Audit Mode in a few minutes and try again. See this tutorial at our sister site on how to create a system image in Audit Mode: New Installation: How to Create a General System Image in Audit Mode - Windows 7 Help Forums (tutorial is for Windows 7 but the procedure is the same in 8 / 8.1). In this case however you have to set the the Sysprep options told in tutorial Step 3 to System Cleanup Action: Enter Audit Mode and Shutdown Options: Quit.

Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP ENVY 17-1150eg
    1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Beats sound system with integrated subwoofer
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" laptop display, 22" LED and 32" Full HD TV through HDMI
    Screen Resolution
    1600*900 (1), 1920*1080 (2&3)
    Hard Drives
    Internal: 2 x 500 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 7200 rpm
    External: 2TB for backups, 3TB USB3 network drive for media
    As Envy runs a bit warm, I have it on a Cooler Master pad
    Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser (bluetooth)
    Logitech MX1000 Laser (Bluetooth)
    Internet Speed
    50 MB VDSL
    Maxthon 3.5.2., IE11
    Windows Defender 4.3.9431.0
    Other Info
    Windows in English, additional user accounts in Finnish, German and Swedish.

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