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October 2011 - Posts

  • Install ConfigMgr 2012 Release Candidate 1 in a lab

    Welcome to my System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Release Candidate 1 installation guide


    If you work your way through this guide, you'll have ConfigMgr 2012 up and running in your lab within a few hours and can mess around with the new release candidate


    But first, you will need to download all the kits mentioned below, and build prepare an Operating System to install the Site onto then follow the guide to get a stand-alone Primary Site server built


    For your first build and install, it'll be a good idea to build a stand-alone Primary site server, and cover using a CAS later on. With just a single stand-alone Primary Site server you can emulate scale up to almost any implementation out there now using ConfigMgr 2007


    When installing anything in this guide, if I don't specifically start talking about the installation process, it is because the defaults just need to be selected. Keep this in mind, and don't fiddle around choosing random "that looks interesting" tick boxes and some such, head straight for a solid and usable first build, then later on refine your own installation process. This way you'll get through to the end of the guide without being interrupted by any lengthy remediation that needs to take place. Also remember, a pristine, default configured Active Directory is a good first start and will lead to less problems occurring during your evaluation. If you've done a lot of Group Policy and other finessing then this could lead to installation or operational failure. This is a very complicated product, don't be fooled by what appears to be a simple installation. That is what is so rewarding about specialising in it, there is always something new to learn


    Ok saddle up, let's build a ConfigMgr 2012 RC1 stand-alone Primary Site server


    Installation Requirements


    The Operating System I'll be using in this guide will be Windows 2008 R2 X64, this can be a physical machine, or a virtual machine, the latter being far more preferential because of the ability to snapshot. Snapshot is my get out of jail card, the amount of times I've wondered "what if …" at which point I just snapshot and play around, and discard the snapshot if I didn't get the desired result. It saves immense amounts of time, but most importantly it frees me up to do things I normally wouldn't, out of fear of a rebuild


    We are going to be installing the following installation kits, you will need to download and extract them first



    On top of this we'll also be installing the following (but these do not require installation kits as they are installed using Windows 2008 R2 Server Manager)


    Windows Deployment Services

    Windows Server Update Service


    We also need to make sure Active Directory is setup for Configuration Manager 2012


    At least one Domain Controller

    In a lab, this is usually a single domain in a single forest. Make sure DNS is installed and working as we're moving more and more

    towards using FQDN's across the product

    Schema Extended

    AD has also been extended


    Extending the Schema


    This is the same procedure as you'd apply for SMS2003 and ConfigMgr 2007. This guide for ConfigMgr 2007 will help you along if

    you haven't done this before.



    This is the same procedure since SMS2003, you either extend using the ExtADSch.exe utility, or you use the LDF file. Both

    approaches yield the same result, but the option is there to choose which method you feel comfortable using.


    It is pretty important to know what will happen when you extend the AD Schema, so take a look at the LDF file, and you'll see

    several classes defined and various attributes being created.




    System Management Container created

    The System Management container created and permissioned


    Creating the System Management container


    This is the very same container used by SMS2003 and ConfigMgr 2007. You cannot go wrong following the existing documentation on

    how to create this container



    Setting permissions on the new System Management container


    You can either permission each individual Site servers computer account for access to the container, or setup a group, add the

    Site server computer accounts to the group, and permission the container with the group


    Another guide from ConfigMgr 2007 which will help you along



    For my lab I have a single forest and a single domain running on Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise at R2 functional level, as a Virtual Machine with 512MB of memory allocated.


    Accounts and Groups you are going to need for installation



    This will be our ConfigMgr administrator


    We'll add our ConfigMgr administrator to this group, and give the group full administrative access to the Site server once it has been installed


    The Site servers firewall will need to be configured if we are going to install a Remote Management Point. Otherwise we can leave this alone for now


    The ConfigMgr documentation team are still writing the page for port usage, when they do publish it will be here



    For a stand-alone Site server, there will not be any SQL replication, therefore no need to configure ports  1433 and 4022, but if you deploy a Secondary or even a Remote Management Point, you are going to need to open up ports 1433 and 4022 on your firewall so that they can contact the Primary Site server. The SQL server documentation covers the steps to configure the firewall for SQL replication



    The ConfigMgr Client port requirements can be found here



    Preparing the OS


    Build the OS, give it a suitable name, IP address and join it to your test domain


    Add the ConfigMgrAdmins group to the Local Administrator group of your test server


    Now log in with the ConfigMgr Admin account so that everything is done using this account


    We have a bunch of stuff to add to the OS using Server Manager, but we'll be doing this via PowerShell mostly, but will need to use the graphical interface to install WSUS due to an annoying bug I didn't work around


    Open a PowerShell prompt and type


    Import-Module servermanager


    Now enter this series of PowerShell commands



    What it does

    Add-WindowsFeature NET-Framework

    Install .NET 3.5.1 with all options

    Add-WindowsFeature BITS

    Installs Background Intelligent Transfer Service

    Add-WindowsFeature RDC

    Installs Remote Differential Compression

    Add-WindowsFeature Web-WMI

    Installs WMI Compatibility

    Add-WindowsFeature WDS

    Installs Windows Deployment Services


    Open Server Manager, it should report the following summary information





    Normally we'd configure IIS a bit more here, but we can leave it alone as WSUS will complete the configuration due to WSUS's role services requirement


    Next install .NET 4.0


    ConfigMgr 2012 needs .NET 4.0 installed, run the .NET 4.0 installer and complete the installation wizard


    Installing SQL 2008


    You'll need the following installation kits, already unpacked and ready to use


    • SQL 2008 RTM
    • SQL 2008 SP2
    • SQL 2008 SP2 CU6
    • SQL 2008 SP1/SP1 Hotfix KB2603910


    During installation you might need to double check the SQL versions, if you've followed the sequence of installations correctly then there is no need, however this is handy to know


    Install SQL 2008 RTM - 10.0.1600.22


    I've already created an unattended file for reuse, you can see it below, things you might want to change are



    Change this to the path of your SQL 2008 RTM media


    It gives full access for local Administrators

    SQL replication and the SQL Server Browser service

    Enabled  in case you want to have a remote Management Point


    Its not actually needed in RC1, but I’m putting the components on just in case something in the replication install is required

    Install paths

    Set to C:


    You can easily create your own configuration file, just start SQL 2008 RTM installation, walk through the wizard and before starting the install, note the path to the saved configuration file and take a copy, edit and reuse.


    Save this as SQL2008-RTM-ConfigurationFile.ini


    ;SQLSERVER2008 Configuration File



    ; Specify the Instance ID for the SQL Server features you have specified. SQL Server directory structure, registry structure, and service names will reflect the instance ID of the SQL Server instance.




    ; Specifies a Setup work flow, like INSTALL, UNINSTALL, or UPGRADE. This is a required parameter.




    ; Specifies features to install, uninstall, or upgrade. The list of top-level features include SQL, AS, RS, IS, and Tools. The SQL feature will install the database engine, replication, and full-text. The Tools feature will install Management Tools, Books online, Business Intelligence Development Studio, and other shared components.




    ; Displays the command line parameters usage




    ; Specifies that the detailed Setup log should be piped to the console.




    ; Setup will not display any user interface.




    ; Setup will display progress only without any user interaction.




    ; Specifies that Setup should install into WOW64. This command line argument is not supported on an IA64 or a 32-bit system.




    ; Specifies the path to the installation media folder where setup.exe is located.




    ; Specify if errors can be reported to Microsoft to improve future SQL Server releases. Specify 1 or True to enable and 0 or False to disable this feature.




    ; Specify the root installation directory for native shared components.


    INSTALLSHAREDDIR="C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server"


    ; Specify the root installation directory for the WOW64 shared components.


    INSTALLSHAREDWOWDIR="C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server"


    ; Specify the installation directory.


    INSTANCEDIR="C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server"


    ; Specify that SQL Server feature usage data can be collected and sent to Microsoft. Specify 1 or True to enable and 0 or False to disable this feature.




    ; Specify a default or named instance. MSSQLSERVER is the default instance for non-Express editions and SQLExpress for Express editions. This parameter is required when installing the SQL Server Database Engine (SQL), Analysis Services (AS), or Reporting Services (RS).




    ; Agent account name




    ; Auto-start service after installation. 




    ; Startup type for Integration Services.




    ; Account for Integration Services: Domain\User or system account.




    ; Controls the service startup type setting after the service has been created.




    ; The collation to be used by Analysis Services.




    ; The location for the Analysis Services data files.




    ; The location for the Analysis Services log files.




    ; The location for the Analysis Services backup files.




    ; The location for the Analysis Services temporary files.




    ; The location for the Analysis Services configuration files.




    ; Specifies whether or not the MSOLAP provider is allowed to run in process.




    ; Startup type for the SQL Server service.




    ; Level to enable FILESTREAM feature at (0, 1, 2 or 3).




    ; Set to "1" to enable RANU for SQL Server Express.




    ; Specifies a Windows collation or an SQL collation to use for the Database Engine.




    ; Account for SQL Server service: Domain\User or system account.




    ; Windows account(s) to provision as SQL Server system administrators.




    ; Provision current user as a Database Engine system administrator for SQL Server 2008 Express.




    ; Specify 0 to disable or 1 to enable the TCP/IP protocol.




    ; Specify 0 to disable or 1 to enable the Named Pipes protocol.




    ; Startup type for Browser Service.




    ; Specifies which account the report server NT service should execute under.  When omitted or when the value is empty string, the default built-in account for the current operating system.

    ; The username part of RSSVCACCOUNT is a maximum of 20 characters long and

    ; The domain part of RSSVCACCOUNT is a maximum of 254 characters long.




    ; Specifies how the startup mode of the report server NT service.  When

    ; Manual - Service startup is manual mode (default).

    ; Automatic - Service startup is automatic mode.

    ; Disabled - Service is disabled




    ; Specifies which mode report server is installed in. 

    ; Default value: “FilesOnly” 




    To use this unattended file just invoke setup.exe using the following command line

    SETUP.EXE /Q /CONFIGURATIONFILE="<Path>\SQL2008-RTM-ConfigurationFile.ini"


    Configure SQL 2008 servers Maximum server memory


    Once SQL 2008 RTM is installed, open Management Studio and set the maximum allowed memory to something other than the default


    Install SQL 2008 SP2 - 10.4000.0


    Invoke this from the command line



    Install SQL 2008 SP2 CU 6 - 10.0.4321.0


    Invoke this from the command line



    Install SQL 2008 SP1/SP2 Hotfix KB2603910 - 10.0.43220


    Invoke this from the command line



    This clears up a backup issue


    Install WSUS


    Launch Windows 2008 R2 Server Manager and Add a new Role, choose Windows Server Update Services


    During the installation wizard select


    Database Options

    Use an existing database server on this computer

    Web Site Selection

    Create a Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2 Web site


    Using a custom website will make it use ports 8530 and 8531


    Installing ConfigMgr 2012 RC1


    We use to monitor site installation using the logs on the root of the System Drive, we still can but Trace32 has become CMTrace. You’ll find CMTrace in the SMSSETUP\TOOLS folder along with ConfigMgr ADM Templates and PortConfiguration which you'd find in previous releases.


    Both ConfigMgr Setup and the ConfigMgr Prerequisite checker put a log file on the root of the System Drive (%SYSTEMDRIVE%)






    Before we can install we need to run the prerequisite checker to make sure we've met the requirements for a stand-alone


    Prerequisite  checker


    The Prerequisite checker has a bit more polish now


    Here's the command line options:





                  /SDK <FQDN of SMS Provider>

                  [/JOIN <FQDN of central administration site>]

                  [/MP <FQDN of management point>]

                  [/DP <FQDN of distribution point>]



                  /SDK <FQDN of SMS Provider>






    Command-line options:



                  Runs the Prerequisite Checker without displaying the user

                  interface. You must specify this option before any other options.

    /PRI or /CAS

                  Verifies that the local computer meets the requirements for the

                  primary site or central administration site. You can specify only

                  one option and it cannot be combined with the SEC option.

    /SEC <FQDN of secondary site>

                  Verifies that the specified computer meets the requirements for

                  the secondary site. This option cannot be combined with

                  the /PRI or /CAS option.


                  Verifies SQL Express can be installed on the specified computer.

                  This option can only be used after the /SEC option.

    /SQL <FQDN of SQL Server>

                  Verifies that the specified computer meets the requirements for

                  SQL Server to host the Configuration Manager site database. This

                  option is required when you use the /PRI or /CAS option.

    /SDK <FQDN of SMS Provider>

                  Verifies that the specified computer meets the requirements for

                  the SMS Provider. This option is required when you use the /PRI

                  or /CAS option.

    /JOIN <FQDN of central administration site>

                  Verifies that the local computer meets the requirements for

                  connecting to the central administration server. This option is

                  only valid when you use the /PRI option.

    /MP <FQDN of management point>

                  Verifies that the specified computer meets the requirements for

                  the management point site system role.

    /DP <FQDN of distribution point>

                  Verifies that the specified computer meets the requirements for

                  the distribution point site system role.


                  Verifies that the local computer meets the prerequisites for the

                  Configuration Manager console. This option cannot be combined

                  with any other option.


    A lot clearer now than in previous beta releases.


    We need to run the prerequisite checker and tell it to confirm we're OK for a Primary Site server installation. If you run the prerequisite checker without any options then all checks are done. To check if the server meets the requirements for a Site System role, use the command line and navigate to SMSSETUP/BIN/X64 then run


    Prereqchk.exe /PRI /SQL <FQDN of your Site server> /SDK <FQDN of your Site server>


    You'll get a lot of output in the CMD prompt, and eventually the Prerequisite checker graphical interface will appear




    Ignore the Schema extensions, Active Directory Domain Functional Level Check, and Site server has permissions to publish to Active Directory warnings. These will be fixed at RTM


    Install the stand-alone Primary Site server


    Let's begin the installation




    Click Install




    Click Next



    We're going to be installing a stand-alone Primary Site server, so we will choose Install a Configuration Manager primary site and leave typical installation un-ticked


    Let's look at what the wizard is offering us


    Install a Configuration Manager Primary Site


    We can either go for typical installation options, or perform a custom installation and specify some installation options


    Install a Configuration Manager central administration site


    This is how you would install your CAS


    For more information on Sites and Hierarchies, especially the CAS, follow this link



    Upgrade an existing Configuration Manager 2012 installation


    It's there, but for now we don't need it. This will be used to upgrade an existing site when a service pack comes out


    Recover a site


    We can perform Site Disaster Recovery using this option


    Perform site maintenance or reset this site


    This is how we perform a site reset, move the provider etc


    Uninstall a Configuration Manager site


    If we want to remove the product, we'd do it from here


    Click Next




    Accept the License terms and Click Next




    We now need to provide the installer with the Client prerequisites. Either download these now at installation time, or refer to previously downloaded files. You can download these in advance of installing the site using the SMSSETUP\BIN\X64\SETUPDL.EXE utility


    SETUPDL [options] destination


      destination  Specifies the directory for downloaded files.



      /verify      Verify the manifest and contents at the destination, but do not download

      /NoUI        Don't show any UI during the process

      /?           This help


    I've already downloaded the required files, so in the above dialog I've chosen Use previously downloaded updates from the following location and moved the files to C:\CM12RCPrereqs and used that path




    Now it chases through the 13 files, which currently are:




    The prerequisite files will be verified




    Languages, amazing stuff happening in this area for both the Site server and Client


    This is for the site servers console and reporting language. For now we have just English


    Click Next




    A whole new way of handling Client language, are the days of ICP gone?


    Click Next




    Enter your site code, your site name (display name) and the installation folder.


    Keep Install the Configuration Manager console ticked


    Click Next




    You could join the primary site to an existing hierarchy at this point, or go it alone and prepare the stand-alone Primary, which we will be doing this time around


    Select Install the primary site as a stand-alone site


    Click Next


    This really is make or break time, because if you choose a stand-alone site, then in the current release you cannot attach to a Central later on




    Accept the warning above




    Accept the defaults but note the following:


    • The server name uses the FQDN and not just a hostname!
    • Instance name, if we had created our own instance on SQL server, we would specify it here
    • The database name is formed exactly the same way as it was in previous versions of the product
    • SQL Server Service Broker port number, keep it at the default of 4022


    Select Next




    As in previous versions of the product, we need to install the SMS provider, and in this case we'll be installing it locally so accept the default here


    Click Next




    Those of you that have implemented ConfigMgr 2007 in Native mode will probably recall more vividly than others how it is a Hierarchy wide setting, so that all Site servers have to be in Native mode as well. Things have changed now. Instead we have roles that are either in Native mode or non-native mode. That's pretty cool, granular enough to specify specific roles that'll use PKI


    We are not installing  in Native mode, therefor select Configure the communication method on each site system role and make sure Clients will use HTTPS when they have a valid PKI certificate and HTTPS-enabled site roles are available


    Click Next




    We want both an MP and a DP in HTTP mode, both should be ticked already


    Click Next




    We should always opt-in and give the Product Group some telemetry on the products use. In fact during Beta\Release cycle its opted in automatically


    Click Next




    Review what we're about to do


    Click Next




    Now it is time to actually install this product, but it is worth noting that a configuration file will have been written to %TEMP% called ConfigMgrAutoSave.ini so you can automate a similar Site server build


    Click Begin Install




    Keep an eye on the ConfigMgrSetup and ConfigMgrSetupWizard (new) log files in the root of the System Drive, and\or Setup itself for installation completion


    Yes you read that right, we have a new log, ConfigMgrSetupWizard. And the great thing about this new log is that we can see the sites progression through the installation in a summarised form, while classical ConfigMgrSetup log gives us the actual detail


    While the product installs, you will see a lot of red scrolling past, it doesn't mean failure unless the installation stops prematurely as a result, there is a lot of false flagging that will scroll past so ignore


    The installation time I'd say is pretty much dependant on your hard drive performance. I say that because the bulk of the installation time is spent dealing with WAIK and creating the new boot images for X86 and X64 architectures




    We're done!


    23 minutes and 17 seconds to complete the installation. Handy to know


    Click Close




    As you can in see in the logs, we really are done here




    Fire it up




    Here we are, the ConfigMgr 2012 console, fast, slick and waiting for you to take a tour


    Before I finish up, I'm just going to show you how to do a quick Site Status and Component Status check, and sneak in a quick Search Filter as well as saving it and showing you how to reuse it


    Navigate to Monitoring Node | System Status | Site Status




    We can see that Site Status is healthy


    Navigate to Monitoring Node | System Status | Component Status




    As you can see on the visible portion of the list, we have all green


    Let's finish off by creating a custom search to look for any components with Errors


    Click Add Criteria




    Select Errors


    Click Add




    Enter 1 for the criteria as above


    Click  Search




    Nothing found. Hold on, this is good!




    Now Click Save Current Search


    Give it a descriptive name


    Click OK to save this Search




    Click on Saved Searches and you'll see your freshly saved Search in the list


    Well that should leave you with a functional Site to play around with.




    Where to have Discussions and leave feedback


    There is a ConfigMgr 2012 Discussions forum available, link below,  where you can post exclusively about ConfigMgr 2012 issues. You should post there, and not on the ConfigMgr 2007 Social forums


    These links ma y require you to login first with your Microsoft Passport before you can view these pages



    You may need to log in with your Microsoft Passport before you can view this page


    If you find any bugs and such, you can leave feedback that the Product Group looks at here



    Useful links


    The ConfigMgr 2012 Documentation Library is a great start


  • ConfigMgr 2012–Release Candidate has arrived

    Cancel all your appointments, and get ready to download and install the next iteration of the ConfigMgr product, Configuration Manager 2012 Release Candidate 1.

    So much has changed since Beta 2, but over the coming days I’ll be running off, as will other MVP’s and the world, blogs, articles and videos on the new features, and the changes made to existing well known features.

    Some awesome stuff for you to check out, see if you can give Prefight a go, feature! Win!

    Products landing page here

    Download here

    You’ll need SQL 2008 SP2 with CU update 6, and you will need hotfix KB2603910 which you can get from here

    The Documentation Library here

    Remember this is not for production deployment, check it out in your lab, get use to it and prepare for the release.

    Now go kick RC1’s tires!

  • Standing on the shoulders of Giants

    Aptly titled article over on Wired, about the passing of Dennis Ritchie, titled Standing on the shoulder of giants.

    Yeah so apt, as those that underpin the computing industry are often sidelined by those that stand on the shoulders of giants and make loads of noise. People that have shaped our (those of us that use computers) daily lives, such as the guy who invented the mouse, big WIN there, his name is Douglas Englebert, and the guy who created the first OS that used Icons, does anyone know him? He worked at Xerox, but his name isn't well known.

    So many of these unsung hero's of our industry are, in their life-time, completely ignored, often until they die. Maybe adding i before everything and getting hyped about reinventions of the wheel has kind of taken our eye off the ball somewhat.

  • Dennis Ritchie passed away

    To put it simply, “almost every day, almost everyone who uses a computer, will have touched on something that Dennis Ritchie gave away”. Truly a pioneer of modern computing.

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