Full Windows 11 23H2 installation using Autopilot took more than 15 hours. How is that possible?

The full installation took over 15 hours

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Installing Windows 11 using Autopilot took more than 15 hours

Recently, Windows Autopilot became generally available and out of preview. In case you’re not familiar with it, is a self-deploying mode that helps you install Windows automatically on endpoints with little to no user interaction.

Here’s Microsoft’s description on how Windows Autopilot works:

Once the device connects to network, the device provisioning process starts automatically: the device joins Microsoft Entra ID, enrolls in Intune, and syncs all device-based configurations targeted to the device. Self-deploying mode ensures that the user can’t access desktop until all device-based configuration is applied. The Enrollment Status Page (ESP) is displayed during OOBE so users can track the status of the deployment. 

Microsoft Learn

Now, we’ve got a testimonial of a user who actually use the latest available Windows 11 23H2 image and installed it on a PC by using Autopilot.

Windows 11 complete installation took 15 hours!

Although he described the installation went smoothly, without any major issues, the process took more than 15 hours with all the updates in place.

I downloaded the latest Windows11 23H2 image (with 2024-04 CU) from MS. Installed new device with Autopilot. It is amazing how many sw Windows Update agent downloads & installs during the process: 7 Updates 28 Store app updates 35 Drivers

In a later post, the user says that the 30+ updates took about five hours after the installation and still there were some missing such as the new Notepad. Strangely enough, that is caused by the fact that Microsoft didn’t update the OS image to contain the latest versions of the apps to avoid this issue.

After another nine hours, the final Store app updates were downloaded and installed. The user reported that the original Windows 11 install started at 13:00 and the full process ended at 04:30. Of course, that also depends on the system itself, the internet connectivity and the update server accessibility.

But we will still address the elephant on the server: why is the OS image not updated to include the latest version of the apps? We don’t have an answer here and the problem is not present only on that particular image. A commenter on the thread said that the latest Enterprise edition 23H2 comes with a two year old version of Edge.

A reason might be that some users would like to keep the old version of certain apps and block the updates right after the OS installation, and Microsoft want to provide them with that opportunity. However, it might be just the time and effort it takes to actually provide the newest version of the image.

Have you had a similar experience with Windows Autopilot? Write your thoughts in the comments section below.

More about the topics: Windows 11