Windows ADK Overview

Hello everyone. Today I am going to write a little bit about this amazing set of tools from Microsoft contained in Windows ADK (Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit).

You can use this tool to customize, assess, and deploy Windows Operating Systems to new computers. I will not explain how to install Windows ADK, but instead will just talk what ADK contains inside.

Windows ADK applies to: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

The download page for Windows ADK

The Windows ADK enables two key scenarios: Windows deployment and Windows assessment, which you can get from its name obviously.

To cut the story short, lets talk about tools which Windows ADK contains.

Application Compatibility Toolkit

The Application Compatibility Toolkit helps customers when it comes to their app compatibility with the new versions of Windows OS. It gives them better overview of what is compatible and what needs further testing.

Volume Activation management Tool (VAMT)

This Windows ADK tool enable to automate and centrally manage the activation of Windows, Windows Server, and ThinPCs, to select add-on product keys, and Office for computers. It can manage volume activation using retail keys (or single activation keys), multiple activation keys (MAKs), or Windows Key Management Service (KMS) keys.

Deployment Tools

Deployment Tools (my favorite), enable you to customize, manage, and deploy Windows images. Includes:

User State Migration Tool

USMT is a scriptable command line which you can use to migrate user data from a previous versions of Windows installation to a new Windows installation. Very useful tool which is part of Windows ADK. Contains:

  • ScanState tool
  • LoadState tool
  • USMTUtils tool

Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)

Minimal OS designed to prepare a computer for installation and servicing of Windows.

Windows Performance Toolkit

This tool uses Event Tracing for Windows in order to record system events. This tools is also very useful to analyze performance data in a GUI. Includes:

  • Windows Performance Recorder
  • Windows Performance Analyzer
  • Xperf

Windows Assessment Toolkit

It contains tools to discover and run assessments on a single computers. assessments are tasks that simulate user activity and examine the state of the computer. Includes:

  • Windows Assessment Console
  • Assessments

Windows Assessment Services

This is an application which helps us to remotely manage settings, computers, images, and assessments in a lab environment where Windows Assessment services is installed.


This was just an overview of what actually Windows ADK contains. In my next posts, I will talk about these tools individually, what are they, how to work with those etc.

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