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App Layering full user layer bindings

Corey Stewart


Are App Layering full user layers tied to the original OS layer the layered image was created from?  Or, are they tied to the Windows OS version used to created the layered image?


We are currently using App Layering full user layers. I suspect I have a corrupt OS image.  If I create a new OS image at the same OS build and publish layered images from it, will the users existing user layer load, or will it created a new user layer?


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Our standard OS layer is based on Win 10 Enterprise 1809 (17763.1935).  I 've been unable to get it to update beyond that build version using Windows updates.  I tried to update manually using LCU and SSU patches, but can only get to build 17763.1971, either by using SSU/LCU manual updates.  When trying to update using SSU/LCU after 17763.1971, it says the update is successful, but always rolls back the update after restart once it gets to 100%, saying "We Couldn’t Complete the Updates, Undoing Changes".


I've exported the entire OS layer version stack to another ELM for testing, and rolled back to each previous version to test versions to see at what version updates got broken.  Spent all weekend testing.  Went back 20 or more versions and behavior is the same. 


I just tried our 1809 base image we used to import into the ELM.  It behaved the same when trying to update using the SSU/LCU, rolled back all changes.  Reverted to snapshot and I am now trying Windows Update to see how far it can get.  


I suspect I am going to be forced to upgrade our 1809 layer to 20H2.  However, I was concerned what happens to the full user layer after the layered image is upgraded with a feature updated OS layer. since the user layer directory structure has the OS build number in the parent directory name.


I created a 20H2 OS layer and platforms for testing.  It obviously caused a new user layer to be created.  


I was hoping just an upgraded OS layer from 1809 to 20H2. I understand that each app layer would have to be updated with the updated OS layer and new images would have to be created, but I was hoping it would not require a new user layer to be created as well.  If it still does I might as well just start over with a new OS layer based on 20H2 instead if upgrading 1809.


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Upgrades are fine for the user layer however they will have some stuff cleaned out of them just like you would if you upgraded on a physical desktop or full clone.  I just upgrade by getting the iso of the new version and running the setup on the packaging machine.  Then you don't need to worry about windows updates.  Its important to not run the cleanup of the windows.old the app layering process will remove that after it copies what it needs out of it.

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