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May 2011 - Posts

Modifying the Lite Touch Wizard in MDT 2010 – Sample 2

The Deployment Bunny has posted another great blog post on Modifying the Lite Touch Wizard. 

Read the full post here.

This is the second part of a story around the MDT Wizard and the Wizard editor and the saga continues, but this time it’s going to be a bit more tricky since we need to add information to the wizard that does not exist by default in MDT. Last post was easy in the way that we just created a new page in the wizard that displays existing environment information, now the game has changed and my customer wants to have some hardware information, something like this:

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The reason of having this page is to be sure that the machine has the correct hardware configuration, things like correct BIOS version, memory, CPU configuration but also to see that it has the Mac address that we “assume” it have. Also, we want to know if the model alias user exit script works correct and sets the correct model alias since we use that as a part of the driver group.

……………..

Denver User Group Meeting (MEMUG)–Friday May 27th, 2011

Join me this Friday at the Denver Microsoft Office in the Denver Tech Center.  I’ll be talking about anything and everything related to Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Configuration Manager. 

Topics sure to be covered are:

  • MDT Integration with ConfigMgr
  • UDI: User Driven Installations
  • P2V for Software Assurance
  • ConfigMgr 2012 and MDT 2012

Date: Friday May 27nd, 2011
Time: 3PM – 5PM MST
Location: Microsoft Office in the Denver Tech Center
Address: 7595 Technology Way, Suite 400 Denver, CO 80237 (Microsoft Live Map)

Hope to see you there!

Posted: May 25 2011, 02:00 PM by cnackers | with 1 comment(s)
Filed under:
MDT 2010: User State Migration (Lite-Touch)

Andrew Barnes has created a really great post explaining USMT for MDT LTI. 

Read the full post here.

In order to automate the User State Capture and Restore task sequence steps in MDT 2010 you will need to configure your deployment share so it knows where to store the data. MDT 2010 installs the User State Migration Tool for usage prior to capture and restore tasks.

If you’re currently using Windows Easy transfer to migrate user settings and files during deployments then this post will help you to advance to the next level using the User State Migration Tool in MDT 2010.

YAHK – Yet Another Hydration Kit – This one for ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2

Johan Arwidmark has yet another fantastic post. This time he’s created a hydration kit for ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2. 

Read the full post here.

Here is a download for deploying a complete ConfigMgr 2012 SP2 Beta 2 infrastructure – Two domain controllers and one ConfigMgr 2012 SP2 Beta 2 member server – Including all pre-requisites like .Net Framework, SQL 2008 and IIS - All fully automated.

How To - System Center Updates Publisher 2011 Installation

New in System Center Updates Publisher 2011

  • Simpler setup with no database installation
  • An improved user interface that allows better control of managing software updates
  • Improved applicability rule authoring experience
  • Improved performance when importing and managing software updates
  • The ability to create software update bundles
  • The ability to define prerequisite and superseded updates as part of a software update definition
  • A new “Automatic” publication type with which Updates Publisher 2011 can query Configuration Manager to determine whether the selected software updates should be published with full content or only metadata
  • A new Software Update Cleanup Wizard that you can use to expire software updates that exist on the update server, but are not in the Updates Publisher 2011 repository

Download SCUP 2011 here.

Required pre-req: Microsoft .Net Framework 4

Required pre-req: WSUS-KB2530768

After installing the required .Net Framework 4 and KB2530768, launch the installation.

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Accept the license agreement and select “Next”.

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Change the installation path, or accept the defaults, click “Next”.

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Click “Next” to start the installation.

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Once the installation has finished, click “Finish” to close the installation program.

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Once installed, you will have a new SCUP 2011 program group.

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Here we can see the new 2011 console successfully launched.

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Things you should know: – Undocumented Properties in MDT 2010 Update 1

The Deployment Bunny has a fantastic post over on his blog. 

Read the original post here.

Once again, at 33000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean on my way back from TechEd NA in Atlanta I started to think about all the different properties in MDT 2010 Update 1 that I use which are not really documented, trust me there are “some”. Some of them is, well, not really so useful, but some of them I really use and so should you. So this post is solely made for the purpose of giving you the same “relaxed” life that I have. Hmm, that did not really came out right I think, anyway, You know what I mean, right…

Now, since I not work on that team, I just happen to know them a bit. This is NOT any kind of official description and/or documentation, hopefully someone@microsoft.com will update he documentation sometime around this, especially when virtualization is getting to be more of the standard.

New Hotfix: Task sequence does not run if it has lots of Install Software steps in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2

Read the original link here.

Consider the following scenario:

  • You create a task sequence on a Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) site server.
  • You add lots of Install Software steps to the task sequence.
    For example, you add more than 100 Install Software steps to the task sequence.
  • You create an assignment that makes the task sequence mandatory when you advertise the task sequence to a client computer.
In this scenario, the task sequence does not run on the client computer.
Note This issue does not occur if the task sequence is assigned as an optional advertisement.

This issue occurs because the large number of Installing Software steps in the task sequence creates a heavy workload for the location service.
When the location service has a heavy workload, it cannot process all the callbacks for the location requests in a 10-minute window. Therefore, the issue that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section occurs.

The following hotfix package resolves this issue in client roles. To resolve this issue, you must install the following hotfix package on the System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 site server, and then you must deploy the generated packages to clients. After you install the following hotfix package, the hardcoded time-out is changed to 50 minutes.
For more information about how to deploy a hotfix package to the System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 site server, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

2477182 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2477182/ ) System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Hotfix Installation Guidance

Note The following hotfix package can be installed on a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 site server that is running an x86-based or x64-based version of an operating system:

SCCM2007-SP2-2516517-X86-ENU.msi

Hotfix information
A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing the problem described in this article. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.
If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.
Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support (http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support)

Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

Prerequisites
To apply this hotfix, you must have System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) installed.
Restart requirement
If you close the Configuration Manager administrator console before you install this hotfix, you do not have to restart the computer.
Hotfix replacement information
This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.
File information
The English (United States) version of this hotfix installs files that have the attributes that are listed in the following tables. The dates and the times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The dates and the times for these files on your local computer are displayed in your local time together with your current daylight saving time (DST) bias. Additionally, the dates and the times may change when you perform certain operations on the files.

Note Some other files might be updated because of dependencies. However, their binaries are not changed.

Creating a fully-patched image using MDT 2010 Lite Touch

Michael Niehaus has a new post up over on his blog.

Read the full post here.

I’ve always been a fan of the thinnest image possible.  Taking that to an extreme, that means using the original image straight off the Microsoft media.  But over time if you did this you’d find that the time required to apply patches to that image becomes unmanageable.  (Case in point:  I started up a new laptop for the first time with an OEM-installed image that had hooks to require all patches be applied before first logon.  It took three hours for that to happen.)

I’ve also been a fan of doing “just in time” patching, which is something that MDT can do too:  Instead of patching the image in advance, you can inject updates offline after the image has been applied to the disk but before it boots for the first time.  That does often improve the time required, but it doesn’t eliminate it – it adds time when initially injecting the updates offline, and then more time on first boot as the “online actions” for those “offline patches” are completed (you’ll see the messages on the screen during the first boot showing a percentage complete while this is happening).

So reading between the lines, that means I would suggest always creating your own master image containing at least all the current service packs and patches.  (Don’t try to install the OS service pack yourself – just download “slipstreamed” media from the Microsoft licensing website, as that’s the ultimate time-saving technique.)  So how should you do this?  Well, there are a few ways:

  • Mount the existing WIM image and just inject the updates offline with DISM.  This is certainly doable, but there are three challenges:
    • The online actions for these updates will still take some time
    • It introduces a “human touch” into the process, unless you go through the effort of automating this to make it a repeatable process.
    • It only works for operating system updates.
  • Build a new image and install all the updates into that image before sysprepping and capturing the image using a completely automated process.  This is my preferred approach, because it’s a consistent process for any other type of update being made to the image.

Not surprisingly, MDT 2010 Lite Touch provides a way to implement my preferred method above – and actually multiple methods that can be used.  Let’s go through those methods.

………….

How-To: – Finding drivers for Dell and HP

The Deployment Bunny has put up a new post with some great links to finding drivers for Dell/HP systems.

Read his original post here.

When deploying Windows OS for clients you need drivers, and you can of course go to the vendors home page and find them and download them one by one, but that is kind time consuming, there are other methods

For Dell Inc.

Dell have made it simple for us, they have driver packs for basically every business model on there FTP site, just go here to download them

http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/Dell+Business+Client+Operating+System+Deployment+-+The+.CAB+Files

For HP.

They have just started doing this, so I’m not sure they have fixed them all “yet”, anyway here is one example

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=12454&prodSeriesId=4098422&swItem=vc-84605-1&prodNameId=4098499&swEnvOID=4054&swLang=13&taskId=135&mode=4&idx=0

For HP you can also use HP SoftPaq Downloader, download install and select the models you have, then just click and download them. SoftPaq downloader is available here

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=US&swItem=ob-83731-1&mode=5&prodTypeId=12454&prodSeriesId=4098422

Just remember this, “less is more” that means that you should always install drivers to make the Device Manager happy, but you should ONLY install driver you really need, here is a nasty example. The TPMchip driver in Windows works perfect, but for some HP models there is a HP version of that, so you of course think that driver is much better, well if you install that river Bit Locker does not work anymore, why? Well that drivers is modified so that it now require you to also install the HP Security toolkit… So, Less Is More, only install the drivers you really need and skip the rest..

/mike

Beginners Guide to Writing SCCM Reports

John Marcum has created a nice blog post for how to get started creating your own SQL based web reports. 

Read his full post here.

There are often questions on the forums about writing reports and SQL queries for SCCM. These are often people who have no SQL experience at all. There’s no easy way to learn to write these reports but I’m going to show you how I learned to do it and how I still do many of my reports today.

Software Updates KB2509007 for Configuration Manager 2007

In addition the KB article, I wanted to just post a few things to show what you can look for to verify that the update has been successfully installed on your clients.

Once the update is installed, you will see an additional hotfix located in your client source files.

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Once the update is installed on your clients, you will see that the Software Updates Agent has been updated to 4.0.6487.2188

softwareupdates

As of this blog post, the KB lists that the updateshandler.dll version should be Feb 01 2010, this is actually incorrect and will be fixed soon. Your updateshandler.dll will actually stay the same with a version of 9/18/2009.

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Posted: May 18 2011, 11:58 AM by cnackers | with no comments
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Advanced Format Hard Drives – The “Low-Down” (Summary of Resources)

The new advanced format drives are coming and there has been a lot of confusion on what steps are needed to support them. I’m going to try and present the information available in the simplest way possible. I will also update the resources on the bottom of the post as new information is presented or relayed to me.

Hope it helps.

WinPE

WinPE 3.0: Apply 982018

WinPE 3.1: Support already present

Windows

Windows 7 RTM: Apply 982018

Windows 7 SP1: Not required, but recommended to apply 982018, it’s a “recommended” update via Windows Update.

Resources:

KB982018 Windows PE/Windows 7 hotfix

KB2510009 Information about Microsoft support policy for large sector drives in Windows (XP is NOT supported)

The Dell guys have done a really nice job of putting together a bunch of really good information. Be sure to check out this link, they are adding new content as it's available!  Deploying Dell systems with Advanced Format Hard Drives

Xtreme Consulting: New Tool: Advanced Format Drives

Dell TechCenter: Are you ready for Advanced Format (AF) Hard Drives?

Michael Niehaus: MDT 2012 Beta 1: UEFI Support

HP - Preparing Advanced Format hard drives for Microsoft Windows installations on HP Business Notebook PCs and Desktop PCs

Phil Schwan: Quickly Update WinPE 3.0 Boot Images to support AFHD (script)

Chris Nackers: Automatically Patching WinPE 3.0 with MDT 2010

Task sequence that installs many updates stops responding on a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 client

Read the original KB here.

SYMPTOMS

Consider the following scenario: You create a task sequence on a Microsoft Syste...

Consider the following scenario:

  • You create a task sequence on a Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) site server to install many updates.
    For example, the task sequence installs 80 updates.
  • You advertise the task sequence to a client computer.
In this scenario, the task sequence stops responding when the "Download <sequence number> of <total number> updates" message is displayed on the screen of the client computer.
Notes
  • <sequence number> is a placeholder that represents the update number for the update that is currently being downloaded.
  • <total number> is a placeholder that represents the total number of updates that are scheduled to be downloaded.

CAUSE

This issue occurs because a deadlock occurs when the task sequence retrieves con...

This issue occurs because a deadlock occurs when the task sequence retrieves content locations for the updates.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, you must install the following hotfix package on the site...

To resolve this issue, you must install the following hotfix package on the site server, and then you must deploy the generated packages to the client computer.
Note You can install this hotfix package (Sccm2007-sp2-2509007-x86-enu.msi) on a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 site server that is running an x86-based or x64-based version of a Windows operating system.
For more information about how to install a hotfix, you can click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

2477182 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2477182/ ) System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Hotfix Installation Guidance

Hotfix information
A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem.
If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, submit a request to Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.
Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support (http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support)

Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

Prerequisites
To apply this hotfix, you must be running System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2).
Registry information
To use the hotfix in this package, you do not have to make any changes to the registry.
Restart requirement
You do not have to restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.
Note Before you install this hotfix package, you have to close the Configuration Manager administrative console.
Hotfix replacement information
This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.
File information
The English (United States) version of this hotfix installs files that have the attributes that are listed in the following tables. The dates and the times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The dates and the times for these files on your local computer are displayed in your local time together with your current daylight saving time (DST) bias. Additionally, the dates and the times may change when you perform certain operations on the files.

Set screen resolution in WinPE 2.x/3.x

Johan Arwidmark has a great simple post on setting the screen resolution in WinPE.

Read his full post here.

Posted: May 12 2011, 10:01 PM by cnackers | with no comments
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Incorporating KB2028749 Into Your Microsoft Deployment Toolkit Reference Image Build Process

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2028749

A "Set Network Location" dialog box appears when you first log on to a domain-joined Windows 7-based client computer

First download the KB from the above link.  Once you have the files extracted out, we will need to import those updates into the Deployment Workbench.

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Open up your deployment share, and then expand to the packages node.  Right-click and select “Import OS Packages”.

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Point the package source directory to the location containing the 2 hotfixes.

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Once you have imported the updates.  Create a new folder called “Windows 7”.

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Move the updates into the Windows 7 folder.

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Expand Advanced Configuration, then right click on Selection Profiles and select “New Selection Profile”.

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Create a Selection Profile called “Windows 7 Hotfixes”.

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Select the Windows 7 folder that we previously created.

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Next we need to open our Windows 7 Task Sequence and expand “Preinstall”. Click on the “Apply Patches” step.

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We need to change our selection profile to match the new “Windows 7 Hotfixes” Selection Profile that we created.

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Now you can rebuild your reference image to include KB2028749 and eliminated the “Set Network Location” prompt.

Hope that helps.

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