Windows Update Agent: Stand-alone Installer Returns

Not sure if it was my griping, kicking, screaming, and general whining to the right people (let’s just say it was), but someone finally came to their senses on the team that controls the Windows Update Agent (WUA) at Microsoft. Today they released an updated stand-alone installer that can be pushed out by ConfigMgr to update the WUA to the latest version; this is detailed in a blog post released on the ConfigMgr Team Blog and KB2887535. This effectively makes the following two posts on this blog OBE (for now at least):

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Version 1.6.7 Released: ConfigMgr Startup Script Updated

A couple of smaller updates to the startup script including a new feature and a bug fix: – The new feature is the ability to delete a registry value. I added this for a recent engagement involving a divestiture where the former parent company was using the ConfigMgr GPO to assign the client site. Because the GPO for this tattoos the registry instead of being a true policy, I needed an easy way to delete the value. – The bug fix, thanks to Mr. Johan (aka Mr. OSD), is for…read more

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TechEd 2014 Breakout Session: Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager: MVP Experts Panel

For those that missed TechEd North America 2014, were too busy to attend our session, or want to watch it again, here it is! Direct link: Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager: MVP Experts Panel Greg Ramsey: @ramseyg Jason Sandys: @jasonsandys Johan Arwidmark: @jarwidmark Kent Agerlund: @Agerlund  

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Content Distribution Magic

Content Distribution Follow-up This post is inspired by a question submitted on my previous post: Content Distribution: The Myth. The question was about how ConfigMgr determines if files are different when deciding whether or not to replicate them to distribution points. Specifically, the requestor wanted to know whether a simple name change to a file would cause ConfigMgr to see the file as a new file and thus not re-replicate it to the distribution points. Hashing ConfigMgr uses a hashing function to determine if the files are different. Hashing algorithms…read more

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Content Distribution: The Myth

A quick post to dispel a common ConfigMgr myth about content distribution. The functionality in question is what happens when you change the source location of a package (or any content since they’re all technically packages on the back-end)? I’ve seen it stated multiple times by multiple folks that ConfigMgr will re-copy all of the files within that source location to your DP(s). This simply isn’t so (and never was even in ConfigMgr 2007). When you change the source location, ConfigMgr does indeed kick-off a DP update for that package…read more

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Notes on The Software Update Scan Cycle

Most of the below information is cobbled together from a couple of TechNet pages, a blog post or two, presentations I’ve seen over the years, conversations I’ve had with others, forum posts and experience — there’s just no one definitive source with a product as big as ConfigMgr that also relies on another full product in this case. And of course, there are always gaps (and sometimes errors) in the actual public documentation. Here are a few of the sources I could dig up though (note that very little has changed as far…read more

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We Speak Geek Webinar

Custom Data Gathering and Use with ConfigMgr, Part 2
This session is a follow-on session from part 1 presented at System Center Universe and will focus on advanced ways to gather and use data within System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr); it w…

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WMI Manipulations and Manifestations

As a follow-on to my System Center Universe 2014 session, I thought I’d put together the various ways to create WMI “objects” so that ConfigMgr can later pick them up using Hardware Inventory. The below examples do not include any error checking and simply contain the core code snippets needed to perform the actions; variations are also possible, these are simply one way to do get the job done. The following example snippets are provided: 1. Create a namespace named ConfigMgrFTW in the root namespace. 2. Create a class named…read more

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Windows Update – What Is It Good For?

As is sometimes the case, this blog post is inspired by me being wrong or making an inaccurate statement (and then doing a bunch of research). This time, the statement was about what updates are released on “Patch Tuesday”. First, know that “Patch Tuesday” is not an official Microsoft term but is commonly used and accepted by most (if not all) folks as being the once a month day (always the second Tuesday of the month) when Microsoft releases security fixes to their products. From this stems a series of implications…read more

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Endpoint Protection Policy Naming Bug

A quick one from the forums: basically, don’t use special characters in your Endpoint Protection policy names. There is (apparently) a confirmed bug when doing so. I’d say this is generally a good practice for the naming of any and all objects in ConfigMgr (and other products) – stick to the normal alphabet  (although using a dash or underscore is useful and should typically be alright) – as I heavily doubt test cases explicitly ever account for anything other than the normal alpha characters. For reference: Failed to trigger EP…read more

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ConfigMgr OS Upgrades

Up until now, upgrading the operating system (in-place) of a Configuration Manager site server or site system was strictly unsupported – that doesn’t of course mean it didn’t work, just that Microsoft never planned or designed for it and ultimately never tested it so all results and consequences of doing so were yours (and yours alone) to own and fix. Well, thanks to someone in the product group, this has changed. The documentation team recently published an update (not sure when — could have actually been there a while and…read more

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ConfigMgr Startup Script Update

A small new update to the script has been posted — mainly thanks to suggestions from the many loyal users — Thanks! What’s new and updated in 1.6.5: Added auto discovery of local built-in admin group name Updated client version comparison to account for SP1 CU3 which uses a single zero for the second part of the major version instead of a double zero Modified CCMSetupParameter option to account for ccmsetup parameters that do not have values like /NoCRLCheck

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