Chris Nackers Blog

ConfigMgr and MDT Deployment Solutions

Useful Blogs

User Groups

For A Good Cause-Step Out Walk To Stop Diabetes

One of the few non-technical posts I'll make.  I'm walking in the Step Out event to help support a member of my family who has diabetes. 

image

Together we can Stop Diabetes. One step at a time.
I am walking and raising money for the American Diabetes Association's signature fundraising walk, Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, because diabetes is important to me.


Please support me with a donation by selecting the "sponsor me" button.

By making a donation on my behalf, you will be helping the Association provide community-based education programs, protect the rights of people with diabetes and fund critical research for a cure.

No matter how small or large, your generous donation will help us Stop Diabetes.

Did you know that 1 in 3 children in the United States face a future with diabetes?
The Association works everyday to change the frightening future that diabetes has in store, but we need your help. Who else do you know that has diabetes? Please make a donation to my fundraising efforts on their behalf.

Together we can Stop Diabetes.

Posted: Sep 19 2011, 11:21 AM by cnackers | with no comments
Filed under:
Automatically populate the SCCM Client Patch property during OSD

One of my previous posts has been incredibly popular.  I worked with Michael Murgolo on testing a great ConfigMgr hotfix that would automatically apply hotfixes during a ConfigMgr OSD Task Sequence. 

Matt Benninge has created a new version of the hotfix script with some very nice feature adds.  Matt added the following features:

  • Hotfixes are installed in order based one numbers. So my script installs KB2000 after KB98 where Michael’s would do the opposite.
  • I always assume that the OS-disk will end up as C:, Michael’s script would not work if you had a Bitlocker partition during WinPE that was C: and OS as D: which then would become C: only after system had booted into “full OS”.
  • You have the ability to exclude hotfixes with my script
  • Limitation: The Hotfixes must all be located in a folder starting with “KB”, if this is not true that hotfix will be ignored.

My original post on how to install still holds true, and Matt has a post on how to use the script and some of his new features posted here.

Windows 8 Preview - Howto - Creating a WinPE boot image with .NET Framework and PowerShell

Windows 8 preview hasn't even been out 24 hours yet and Johan Arwidmark is already putting up blog posts!

Read his full post here.

Posted: Sep 14 2011, 02:03 PM by cnackers | with no comments
Filed under:
Deployment Mindmaps

Read the original post here.

**************************************************************

This post was contributed by Lutz Seidemann, a Architect with Microsoft Services - APAC.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, confers no rights, and is not supported by the authors or Microsoft Corporation. Use of included script samples are subject to the terms specified in the Terms of Use

"Why deployment is so hard?", “Where can I find all related information?” What else I need to consider?”

Those or similar questions are normal during my customer projects. After getting the same questions again and again,  
I’ve decided to create a Mindmap with all common links you need to know if you in the deployment space.
Since few weeks I’m sharing them now with the project teams and the amount of Questions I get is drastically reduced :-}

Hope this helps.

******************************************************************

Posted: Sep 12 2011, 01:34 PM by cnackers | with no comments
Filed under: ,
Mobile Device Management in ConfigMgr 2012

Jason Sandys has a new post covering mobile device management in ConfigMgr 2012. 

Read the full post here.

Mobile Device Management is a very popular topic in enterprises as of late and so the question of what (exactly) ConfigMgr 2012 will be able to manage has been coming up a lot lately also.

(Note that this information is current to the best of my knowledge for beta 2 of ConfigMgr 2012 and presumably for RTM.)

Basically, there are two types of client management in ConfigMgr 2012: light and native (these aren’t official names just my characterizations).

Posted: Sep 09 2011, 10:32 PM by cnackers | with no comments
Filed under: , ,
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit–Hydrating ConfigMgr Secondary Sites with MDT Lite-Touch

The following solution(s) are provided as-is without any warranty, confers no rights and is not supported by the Author(s). Use at your own risk.

Installing and configuring Configuration Manager Secondary Sites is often a manual and time consuming task. If you have 50 or more sites that can be a significant amount of time spent installing and configuring Secondary Sites. The Hydration approach attempts to resolve that issue by providing an automated way to setup and configure Secondary Sites.

The following Hydration solution can be run on an existing Server 2003 or Server 2008 R2 Operating System and will configure the necessary pre-requisites and install the Configuration Manager Secondary Site.

Assumptions

This document assumes the following:

· You have Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Update 1 installed

· SQL is configured to allow Named Pipes

· You have already created a SQL$ share

· You have the knowledge required to work within the MDT Deployment Workbench

Supported Operating Systems

The Hydration process has been tested on Server 2003 R2 SP1/SP2 and Server 2008 R2 SP1.

Hydration Files

The files are contained in a “HydrationShare.zip” archive. Once these files are extracted, you will need to modify a few of the script files and add the required source files. This section details those required changes.

The files are provided as a self-contained DeploymentShare. You can simply extract this archive out and open the folder with the Deployment Workbench.

Sources files are required for the following items under the Applications directory in the HydrationShare.

Table 1: Required Source Files

Folder

Description

\ConfigMgr 2007 R3\Source

R3 installation files

\ConfigMgr 2007 R3\Hotfix

R3 Pre-req hotfix 977384

\ConfigMgr 2007 SP2 Secondary\PreReqs

ConfigMgr downloaded preq-reqs’s

\ConfigMgr 2007 SP2 Secondary\Source

ConfigMgr installation files

\ConfigMgr 2007 Toolkit V2\Source

ConfigMgr Toolkit MSI

\ConfigMgr Server 2003 IIS\i386

I386 directory from Server 2003 media

Installation

Extract out the HydrationShare

Extract the HydrationShare.zip archive to the location you want the HydrationShare to reside.

Share the HydrationShare

Once the files are extracted out, you need to share out the HydrationShare. A Hidden share is recommended.

clip_image001

Open the HydrationShare

1) Open the Deployment Workbench

2) Right-click on Deployment Shares and select Open Deployment Shareclip_image002

3) Select the path for the extracted HydrationShare filesclip_image004

4) Select Next

5) Select Next

6) Select Finish

Creating the MDT Database

This Hydration solution relies on a “SCRIPTSITECODE” variable. This solution was developed around this information being populated in the MDT database. It is possible to configure and set this variable through other methods, but this guide will not address those.

1) Open the MDT workbench and expand the HydrationShare.

2) Select Advanced Configuration-Database

3) Right-Click on Database and select New Database

4) Input the name of the SQL server and make sure the Network Library is selected to Named Pipes, then select Next

clip_image006

5) Input MDT2010 for the Database Name and select Next

clip_image008

6) Input SQL$ for the SQL Share, then select Nextclip_image010

7) Select Next

8) Select Finish

Extending the MDT database

Provided with the Hydration files are 2 SQL files for extending the MDT database with the SCRIPTSITECODE value and refreshing the views.

Open the “create scriptsitecode.sql” in SQL Management Studio.

Ensure that you are pointing to the MDT database.

clip_image012

Once you are pointed to MDT Database. You can Execute the query.

You should see “Command(s) completed successfully”

clip_image013

Next open the “refresh MDT views.sql” and make sure you are again pointed to correct database.

clip_image015

You should see “Command(s) completed successfully”

clip_image013[1]

If you open up the MDT workbench, go into Advance Configuration – Database- Computers, you will now see a new property called ScriptSiteCode listed on the Settings tab.

clip_image017

Bulk Importing Records Into The MDT Database

A PowerShell script and CSV file are provided for the bulk import of computers into the MDT database. These computers are the servers we want to configure as Secondary Sites.

CSV

The CSV file contains the Description, MacAddress, and ScriptSiteCode values we want to import into the Database.

clip_image018

We use the MacAddress to identify the server and configure the appropriate SiteCode for the ConfigMgr installation. The SiteCode is stored in the ScriptSiteCode variable. The description is just a friendly name so we can identify the server in the database.

PowerShell Script

The provided PowerShell script will do a bulk import of the CSV file into the MDT database. The PowerShell script imports a MDT Module, connects to the MDT database and imports the information from the CSV file.

Edit the PowerShell script to make sure the paths are correct to the source files.

clip_image020

Edit the PowerShell script to make sure the correct SQLServer and Database are specified.

clip_image022

After running the import, you will see the records in the Database based on the information in the CSV.

clip_image024

clip_image026

Configuring the HydrationShare

Once you have opened the HydrationShare with the Deployment Workbench and created the MDT database, there are a few changes that need to be made for the HydrationShare to successfully work.

Under the main HydrationShare properties, make sure the share name is correct and the local path is correct for the location you have put the HydrationShare.

clip_image028

Under the Rules tab, make sure your [CSettings] section has the correct SQLServer and Database name.

clip_image030

Ensure your bootstrap.ini has the correct DeployRoot value.

clip_image032

Under the Rules tab, configure the AdminPassword value to match the local administrator password of the servers you will run the Task Sequence on. This allows the Task Sequence to automatically log in and continue after the required reboots. This is required for the auto-logon to work correctly.

clip_image034

After making the required changes, right click on the HydrationShare and select Update Deployment Share.

clip_image035

Select Next.

clip_image037

Select Next.

clip_image039

Select Finish.

clip_image041

Required Script Modifications

(OPTIONAL) InstallConfigMgr2007SP2.wsf

There is a section of code in this script that allows you to specify existing source files to use, if we can find those, we will use those to install ConfigMgr, otherwise we’ll use the files from the script source files directory.

The following code would need to be changed in the script to match the location you might have local source files. It is located at line 93 in the script.

sFile = "F:\folderpath\smssetup\bin\i386\setup.exe"

ConfigureSvr2003.wsf

There is also logic in the 2003 IIS script that checks for a local copy of the i386 directory. We look for the i386 directory at the root of the C: drive. If we don’t find it then we copy it down from the source files. In addition we set a few registry keys to let Windows know where the source files are located. If you wanted to change this location, you would need to modify the following lines of code.

Line 57 – Check for local i386

sFile = "C:\i386\setup.ex_"

Lines 70-72 – Update registry to point to C:\i386

oShell.RegWrite "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\SourcePath", "C:\", "REG_SZ"

oShell.RegWrite "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\ServicePackSourcePath", "C:\", "REG_SZ"

oShell.RegWrite "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SourcePath", "C:\", "REG_SZ"

CreateConfigMgrSenders.wsf

The sender creation script is coded to the primary site. This will need to be modified to point to your primary site.

Lines 51-52

primSiteCode = "001"

primSite = "2008-configmgr"

Using The HydrationShare Task Sequence

Pre-requisites

Server 2003:

· None

Server 2008 R2:

· UAC is disabled

· Server Manager is not configured to start (R3 will fail if it detects any open MMC)

clip_image042

· Script is launched with administrative rights (careful of “Run” credentials)

Starting the Task Sequence

The Task Sequence can be started by launching the Lite-Touch process from the Run box.

Use the following command:

“Cscript.exe \\servername\hydrationshare$\scripts\litetouch.wsf

clip_image043

Once started, you will see the Task Sequence selection screen, select Next to continue.

clip_image045

On the credentials screen, provided an account that has appropriate credentials to connect to the HydrationShare. (Read Acces)

clip_image047

After clicking Next, the process will start. (Example screen from 2008 R2)

clip_image049

Download the HydrationShare here.

Configuration Manager–Hydrating Secondary Sites with ConfigMgr

The following solution(s) are provided as-is without any warranty, confers no rights and is not supported by the Author(s). Use at your own risk.

Installing and configuring Configuration Manager Secondary Sites is often a manual and time consuming task. If you have 50 or more sites that can be a significant amount of time spent installing and configuring Secondary Sites. The Hydration approach attempts to resolve that issue by providing an automated way to setup and configure Secondary Sites.

The following Hydration solution can be presented in 2 forms. It can be presented as a Post Operating System Task Sequence that will configure either Server 2003 or Server 2008 R2 systems for being a Secondary Site. The 2nd method is to integrate the steps into a Task Sequence that also deploys a Server 2003 or Server 2008 R2 image along with configuring the server to be a ConfigMgr Secondary Site.

Assumptions

This document assumes the following:

· You have a working and properly configured Configuration Manager 2007 SP2/R3 Primary Site

· You have Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Update 1 installed

· You have integrated MDT with ConfigMgr

· You have an existing MDT toolkit package

· SQL is configured to allow Named Pipes

· You have already created at least one DeploymentShare in MDT

· You have already created a SQL$ share

· You have the knowledge of how to create the required ConfigMgr packages

Supported Operating Systems

The Hydration process has been tested on Server 2003 R2 SP1/SP2 and Server 2008 R2 SP1.

Hydration Files

The files are contained in a “ConfigMgr_Install.zip” archive. Once these files are extracted, you will need to modify a few of the script files and add the required source files. This section details those required changes.

The following tables details the included file/folder structure.

Table 1: Folder Structure

Folder

Description

\SQL Files

SQL files to extend MDT database and refresh views

\Import_Computer

PowerShell and CSV for bulk import of ConfigMgr Secondary Site servers

\Templates

Task Sequence template and CustomSettings.ini template

\Configure WebDAV

Script to configure WebDAV for Server 2008 R2

\ConfigMgr Server 2003 IIS

Script to configure IIS for Server 2003

\ConfigMgr Create Senders

Script to create Primary site to Child site sender

\ConfigMgr 2007 Toolkit V2

ConfigMgr Toolkit (trace32)

\ConfigMgr 2007 SP2 Secondary

Script and source files for installing ConfigMgr secondary site

\ConfigMgr 2007 R3

Script and source files for installing ConfigMgr R3 and necessary pre-requisite hotfix

Source Files

Sources files are required for the following items.

Table 2: Required Source Files

Folder

Description

\ConfigMgr 2007 R3\Source

R3 installation files

\ConfigMgr 2007 R3\Hotfix

R3 Pre-req hotfix 977384

\ConfigMgr 2007 SP2 Secondary\PreReqs

ConfigMgr downloaded preq-reqs’s

\ConfigMgr 2007 SP2 Secondary\Source

ConfigMgr installation files

\ConfigMgr 2007 Toolkit V2\Source

ConfigMgr Toolkit MSI

\ConfigMgr Server 2003 IIS\i386

I386 directory from 2003 media

Installation

Creating the MDT Database

This Hydration solution relies on a “SCRIPTSITECODE” variable. This solution was developed around this information being populated in the MDT database. It is possible to configure and set this variable through other methods, but this guide will not address those.

1) Open the MDT workbench and expand your DeploymentShare

2) Select Advanced Configuration-Database

3) Right-Click on Database and select New Database

4) Input the name of the SQL server and make sure the Network Library is selected to Named Pipes, then select Next

clip_image002

5) Input MDT2010 for the Database Name and select Next

clip_image004

6) Input SQL$ for the SQL Share, then select Nextclip_image006

7) Select Next

8) Select Finish

Extending the MDT database

Provided with the Hydration files are 2 SQL files for extending the MDT database with the SCRIPTSITECODE value and refreshing the views.

Open the “create scriptsitecode.sql” in SQL Management Studio.

Ensure that you are pointing to the MDT database.

clip_image008

Once you are pointed to MDT Database. You can Execute the query.

You should see “Command(s) completed successfully”

clip_image009

Next open the “refresh MDT views.sql” and make sure you are again pointed to correct database.

clip_image011

You should see “Command(s) completed successfully”

clip_image009[1]

If you open up the MDT workbench, go into Advance Configuration – Database- Computers, you will now see a new property called ScriptSiteCode listed on the Settings tab.

clip_image013

Bulk Importing Records Into The MDT Database

A PowerShell script and CSV file are provided for the bulk import of computers into the MDT database. These computers are the servers we want to configure as Secondary Sites.

CSV

The CSV file contains the Description, MacAddress, and ScriptSiteCode values we want to import into the Database.

clip_image014

We use the MacAddress to identify the server and configure the appropriate SiteCode for the ConfigMgr installation. The SiteCode is stored in the ScriptSiteCode variable. The description is just a friendly name so we can identify the server in the database.

PowerShell Script

The provided PowerShell script will do a bulk import of the CSV file into the MDT database. The PowerShell script imports a MDT Module, connects to the MDT database and imports the information from the CSV file.

Edit the PowerShell script to make sure the paths are correct to the source files.

clip_image016

Edit the PowerShell script to make sure the correct SQLServer and Database are specified.

clip_image018

After running the import, you will see the records in the Database based on the information in the CSV.

clip_image020

clip_image022

Configuration Manager Packages

The following folders from the Hydration files will need be to created as Packages in ConfigMgr.

clip_image023

These packages will be used by the Task Sequence template. No Programs are required for the packages, simply create a Package that references the source files so we can make them available to the Task Sequence.

clip_image024

NOTE: The ConfigMgr Toolkit can simply be imported as a MSI.

Task Sequence Template

A Task Sequence XML is provided in the \Templates folder in the Hydration files.

clip_image025

This template contains all the necessary steps to configure either a 2003 or 2008 R2 server for being a Secondary Site. In addition to the packages containing the Hydration files, we need to use MDT Toolkit Package and a Settings Package.

The required steps in the template need to be configured to point to the ConfigMgr packages you have created.

clip_image024[1]

CustomSettings.ini

A customsetings.ini for use with Task Sequence template has been provided in the \Templates folder.

clip_image026

The SQLServer and Database values will need to be changed to match your environment.

clip_image027

Ensure that the Gather step in the template is pointing to your Settings package.

clip_image028

Required Script Modifications

InstallConfigMgr2007SP2.wsf

There is a section of code in this script that allows you to specify existing source files to use, if we can find those, we will use those to install ConfigMgr, otherwise we’ll use the files from the script source files directory.

The following code would need to be changed in the script to match the location you might have local source files. It is located at line 93 in the script.

sFile = "F:\folderpath\smssetup\bin\i386\setup.exe"

ConfigureSvr2003.wsf

There is also logic in the 2003 IIS script that checks for a local copy of the i386 directory. We look for the i386 directory at the root of the C: drive. If we don’t find it then we copy it down from the source files. In addition we set a few registry keys to let Windows know where the source files are located. If you wanted to change this location, you would need to modify the following lines of code.

Line 57 – Check for local i386

sFile = "C:\i386\setup.ex_"

Lines 70-72 – Update registry to point to C:\i386

oShell.RegWrite "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\SourcePath", "C:\", "REG_SZ"

oShell.RegWrite "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\ServicePackSourcePath", "C:\", "REG_SZ"

oShell.RegWrite "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SourcePath", "C:\", "REG_SZ"

CreateConfigMgrSenders.wsf

The sender creation script is coded to the primary site. This will need to be modified to point to your primary site.

Lines 51-52

primSiteCode = "001"

primSite = "2008-configmgr"

Using with an OSD Task Sequence

The provided TS template in \templates can also be used with an OSD TS to create a Secondary Site from bare-metal. The template can simply be copied into an existing OSD TS.

clip_image029

 

Download the script files here.

Deploying Windows 7 with Configuration Manager 2012

TechEd Australia video featuring Michael Niehaus.

System Center Configuration Manager 2012 is a significant upgrade. Learn how this new version affects the OS deployment process, and explore the new OS deployment capabilities provided in this release.

Watch or download the video here.

Replace Scenario alternative for USMT Migration

Fantastic post over on The Deployment Guys blog about using USMT in a Replace scenario. 

Read the full post here.

While USMT 4.0 in a Refresh Scenario provides some great advance by using Hardlinking in a Replace Scenario customers still face multiple operational challenges and potential capital costs during large scale deployments because user data needs to make its way from the legacy computer to the new computer.   Managing that data and its transfer can be an expensive task.

System Center Configuration Manager does provide some help in Replace Scenarios with their State Migration Point role, but with that approach comes several operational and hardware requirements.  In the short term, when managing an enterprise wide migration of a desktop operating system, as many customers are facing with Windows 7, the state migration point can potentially become a bottleneck during the migration.  There is a need for more storage capacity for USMT Data on the server.  Without it only so many migrations can be run at any one time.  There may be additional disk subsystem IO performance requirements as well which if not addressed could slow capture and restore of USMT data.  The data also needs to be transferred twice over the network which costs additional time and could make the NIC of the SMP server a potential bottleneck.  In remote offices transferring USMT data over WAN links would also potentially slow down network links impacting other business functions and increasing the time a given migrations may take.  Managing and tracking all of these risks is one more thing IT admins have to take into account for a migration.

Some alternative approaches that enterprises use is a more manual method where a technician uses either Easy Transfer or USMT’s core tools, Scanstate.exe and Loadstate.exe, with a USB hard drive/stick to ports the user data from the legacy computer to the new one.  Those approaches do work, though operationally they can be very labor intensive and thus does not scale well when an organization is facing hundreds if not thousands of systems to migrate.

There is a third approach to consider.  Both Scanstate.exe and Loadstate.exe, the core utilities for USMT have input parameters for where to save and restore data.   Using that functionality, data could be captured from the legacy OS and saved directly to the new computer over the network.  The benefits to this are numerous.  It would defuse the network and Disk IO load across many more computers and each of their NICS and hard drives thus avoiding potential bottlenecks of a centralized server.  USMT data would only have to be moved once across the network.  The process could still be zero touch without the need for any manual processes beyond delivering the new computer to the end user’s desk.  There would be no need to purchase additional storage or manage it for state migration points.  This isn’t to say there are no costs associated with the approach, but that the engineering and infrastructure required to make it happen should be weighed carefully against other options.  For some organizations this approach does make sense and if so you’ll be interested in the processes I have outlined below to make this work.

Getting more into DVD Media Based Deployment

Great post over on The Deployment Guys

Read the full post here.

One of the great features of MDT 2010/2012 is the ability to create a media based deployment  – this media based deployment can be placed on a USB based memory device (HDD or Fob) or onto a DVD. This allows the MDT based deployment to run from this removable media which is great for badly connected environments or portable build requirements.

Many customers I work with like to use DVD media based deployment as MDT 2012/2012  automatically creates a .ISO file that can be burnt to DVD and in most cases this gives them up to 8.5 GB on a dual layer DVD – it’s also a cheap deployment mechanism. However there are some occasions where this amount of DVD space just isn't enough and a combination of image size and MDT distribution share content pushes the requirement for storage over the limit of the DVD. You could at this point switch to using USB based devices or you can read on and use the solution discussed in this post.

Querying MDT/ConfigMgr Logs in MDT Scripts

Michael Murgolo has a nice post over on The Deployment Guys Blog.

Read the full post here.

The Lite Touch Deployment Process end in a Summary Wizard pane that displays any warning or errors that were logged in the MDT master log (BDD.log).

clip_image001

This is a great feature but customers have pointed out that this summary is not preserved after the Summary Wizard is closed.  If you accidentally Finish before reading everything, you now have to open the log and start trawling through it.

So what I was initially going to do to preserve this information was to change Summary_scripts.vbs (the part of the Summary Wizard code that does the work) to write the same information to a text file.  However, as I pondered this I realized that there was no general purpose function for querying logs in SMS format.  So instead of just changing Summary_scripts.vbs I decided to create such query functionality and then use that.

…..

USMT 4.0 and Migrating Examples

Deployment Master Michael Niehaus has a few new posts from his adventures at TechEd New Zealand.  He even used Angry Birds for an example, very cool!

Migrating application settings with USMT 4.0: Sample #1

Out of the box, USMT 4.0 migrates settings for Windows, Office, and various other applications (typically current versions as of 2009), mostly consumer-focused.  (See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd560792(WS.10).aspx for the full list.)  So what if you want to migrate settings from additional applications?  Well, then you need to author your own migration XML file.

Migrating offline files (CSC) using USMT 4.0

One of the questions that came up after my TechEd New Zealand session on USMT 4.0 was whether USMT migrated the contents of the client-side cache (CSC) used for offline files.  Well, it sounds like it “sort of” does – but by default, it only moves the “dirty” files (those not yet sync’d to the network location).  That’s a decent default I suppose, as the remaining files can be pulled back from the network after the state is restored, and the modified files won’t be overwritten.  So there’s no data loss (always a good thing), but there will be extra network traffic to pull the content down to the cache again.

Posted: Aug 24 2011, 11:56 AM by cnackers | with no comments
Filed under: ,
ConfigMgr-Update Driver Source Paths SQL Query

CAUTION: Editing the Database directly is unsupported.  Proceed at your own risk. 

In addition to my previous post, in which I used a script to update the driver paths, you can also do this via SQL. 

The following command will let you preview the changes you are about to make:

image

image

The following command will execute the changes.

image

image

The SQL query is attached to this post.

ConfigMgr–Building A Reference Image-Installing Hotfixes/Updates Offline

If you build your reference image using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit Lite-Touch, it’s fairly easy to incorporate OS level hotfixes and updates offline, some good examples are the following:

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

An update that improves the compatibility of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 with Advanced Format Disks is available

These types of updates aren’t available typically from Microsoft Update, so your normal Software Update steps in ConfigMgr don’t do the trick.  When we use Lite-Touch, we have a “Packages” node where we can import these types of hotfixes, updates or Language packs and they will be installed automatically for us by the ZTIPatches script. 

image

image

What I’ve seen most people do in ConfigMgr is they will create an individual package for each hotfix and then install them like an Application in the Task Sequence using a wusa.exe command line. 

image

This works just fine, however, you are installing the hotfixes while in the full OS and you need multiple steps for each update.  I’m sure you could come up with a fancy way to use a single step to install multiple updates via a script, but, MDT already can do that for you, so why reinvent the wheel!

Installing Multiple Hotfixes/Updates Offline Using a MDT Task Sequence

Using a MDT integrated Task Sequence, we can install multiple hotfixes/updates in a single step for multiple architectures using a single package.

First we need to get the CAB files for the hotfixes/updates we want to work with.  You can use your favorite extractor to get the files out of the MSU’s. 7-Zip did the trick for me and allowed me to do multiple files at once.

image

Once extracted, you only need the CAB, so I removed the other files from the folder.

image

Next I created a package source folder called “Windows 7 Hotfixes” and placed the extracted files in that folder. This folder contains both x86 and x64 hotfixes.

image

Create a Package that references those source files and distribute it to your Distribution Points.

image

Next, open up your Build and Capture Task Sequence. We want to add a new action to our Post Install phase, “Install Language Packs Offline”.  This step actually calls ZTIPatches.wsf, so it’ll do what we want, just like in MDT Lite-Touch.

image

Select the Package you created earlier called “Windows 7 Hotfixes”.

image

Name the Task Sequence step appropriately.

image

Make sure your Task Sequence step is BEFORE the Configure step in the Post Install section.

image

Now when you run your Build and Capture Task Sequence, we will install the hotfixes offline and we’ll scan through the package and grab any applicable hotfixes/updates. If we find a x64 update and we are building an x86 OS, we’ll just skip it and only grab the x86 hotfixes that match.

Here we can see them installed on a system I deployed my captured image to.

image

Deploying Office 2010 with Configuration Manager 2012 Beta 2

Michael Niehaus has a great post over on his blog covering Office 2010 with ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2. 

Read the full post here.

The new application model in Configuration Manager 2012 will require administrators to study up on how best to deploy software – this isn’t anything like traditional software distribution like you would find in ConfigMgr 2007.

I recently set up Office 2010 as an application in ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2.  Here are the steps I used – not necessarily the only way to do it, but it worked for me.

More Posts « Previous page - Next page »