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Month: November 2011

How to Offline Patch ALL your .WIM images using DISM and PowerShell

I was watching my Twitter feed the other day and saw that Brandon Linton posted an excellent blog about How to Offline Patch a .WIM image using DISM. This is an excellent technique for injecting all of those Windows hotfixes that are not available via WSUS or just to quickly inject new patches without having to completely rebuild your images. Where I work, we really only build images once per quarter and take care of interim patching using SCCM. In addition to leveraging Michael Niehaus’ MDT Image Factory, we wanted to automate this process also. Off to PowerShell! DISCLAIMER – I use a very specific naming convention that is HARD CODED into the PowerShell script to identify the Operating System that the WIM file contains. I also use images that have a single index. You can modi...

ConfigMgr and Failed Program Retry

Inspired by a recent forum thread (and John Marcum), I put together a little test to verify if ConfigMgr does indeed automatically retry advertised programs that failed. I created a simple one line batch file and advertised it on my test client: exit 999 This one line simply exits the batch file and returns the error code 999 which in this context is meaningless save for the fact that it is not a success code. The results from execmgr.log on the client pretty much speak for themselves but do in fact verify that ConfigMgr will automatically retry a failed program: Notice that it first sets the program status to FailureRetry and then WaitingRetry after the failure and that it actually tracks how many times the program has failed. This is important because as we’ll see, the number of times it...

Auto-detect Systems Missing An Application And Deploy It To Them Automatically

To deploy software you normally put some computers on a collection and then target the software to it. Sometimes you need to deploy a particular application to any system that doesn’t have it now or in the future (perhaps for compliance reasons). One efficient way to accomplish this in SCCM is to create a dynamic collection that has as members all the systems that are missing this particular application. Then you can advertise the appropriate SCCM program to the collection so the application gets installed on them. If you configure the collection to update on a schedule (for example every 1 day), the next time the collection membership is evaluated, the systems that received your advertisement, installed the application and afterwards reported hardware inventory to SCCM, will automatically...

Scripts in SCCM 2007 DCM Configuration Items

DCM in SCCM 2007 allows the administrator to use scripts to detect if a particular configuration item is applicable as well as if a particular setting is valid. Unfortunately, the documentation that comes with the product does not show how to author the scripts to make it work. I found the info in the beta version of the SCCM SDK (thanks to Wally Mead for the clue) and I wanted to share with you what I’ve found. Detection Method Scripts For Application configuration items, you can specify a script to determine if an application is installed (as opposed to an MSI installation GUID). To do that, simply create a script that returns any kind of text. If text is returned, DCM believes that the application is installed. If no text is returned, DCM believes that the application is not insta...

Software Update Management and Group Policy for ConfigMgr (what else?)

There is definitely a lot of confusion about how Group Policies interact with, control, and affect Software Update Management (SUM) on ConfigMgr clients. At the outset of this post (or series of posts), I don’t even know exactly what’s going to happen with some of the different settings and combinations that I’m going to try and then document. The Windows Update Agent The Windows Update Agent (WUA) is the key Windows component that handles both update scanning and update application to a system – this is the same whether the system uses Microsoft Updates from the web, WSUS, or ConfigMgr for updates. Because ConfigMgr actually uses WSUS, these two methods have a few things in common, specifically, the actual delivery of the update catalog to the clients. In both cases, this comes straight f...

New Hotfix: Task sequence fails with an "0x80004005" error code in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2

  New Hotfix: Task sequence fails with an "0x80004005" error code in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 – The Configuration Manager Support Team Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs Here’s a KB article we published today on ConfigMgr 2007. This one describes a hotfix/update we released that addresses an issue where a Task sequence fails with an "0x80004005" error code in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2: ===== Consider the following scenario: You create a prestaged installation media in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3. You create a task sequence on a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) site server. You configure the task sequence to use the prestaged installation media to deploy an operating ...

OSD and SAN Disks

  Working with a customer recently, they had an issue using SAN attached disks during Operating System Deployment. They could successfully create and format the SAN attached disk as the D drive during the WinPE portion of the task sequence, but the disk would go offline during the Windows 2008 mini-setup. This was causing a major issue because they were directing the install of the ConfigMgr client to the D drive. This step was obviously failing because the disk was offline. Also, because there are no steps between the mini-setup and installation of the agent, there is no way to inject a diskpart script or any other command. After working with CSS a little, the customer discovered a setting in the unattend.xml that could be adjusted to force Windows to bring all SAN attached storage o...

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit–Controlling The Task Sequence Progress Bar And Individual Step Status

Huge thanks to Keith Garner for answering my questions and showing me this function. Thanks Keith! I was recently working with a client that had some custom scripts they wanted to use to run some processes. What they wanted was to be able to update the Task Sequence progress bar with the progress of those scripts or actions, instead of a single “custom action” being displayed with no progress. It turns out that by using the oLogging.ReportProgress you can control the progress bar and what is presented by using oLogging.CreateEntry to control the display name. Normally the Task Sequence progress bar only shows the main action. There is actually built-in logic to allow you to display the progress of individual tasks. The below is an example of displaying “Installing Adobe Reader” with a 5% p...

CEP summary – Upgrade SCCM 2007 Secondary sites and/or DP’s to SCCM 2012 DP’s

Today it was Configuration Manager 2012 CEP time again, this time Eric Orman presented a session about the upgrade process of the Configuration Manager 2007 Secondary Sites and/or distribution points to Configuration Manager 2012 distribution points. Read the complete blog here: http://www.systemcenterblog.nl/2011/11/30/cep-summary-upgrade-sccm-2007-secondary-sites-andor-dps-to-sccm-2012-dps/

DirectX Versions

Want to know what version of Directx comes with what OS? Here you go! http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/ee416979(v=VS.85).aspx

Operating System Deployment and 2003 R2

Just thought I’d document the steps taken at a recent customer engagement for deploying Windows Server 2003 with the R2 bits in the image. 1. Copy the entire R2 CD to your package source repository. 2. Create a standard software distribution package for the R2 source directory. 3. Create a program with the following command-line: CMPNENTS\R2\setup2.exe /q /a /sr The command line options are documented at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc756937(WS.10).aspx. 4. In your build and capture task sequence, create an Install Software task for this new program at the beginning of your other software install tasks. Make sure you add a reboot somewhere after this task and before the capture. 5. To suppress the “Windows Server Post-Setup Security Updates” window, add a command line task ne...

How to read and set registry values for SNMP

I always enjoy a challenge. At my last company of employment, they needed to modify the SNMP community names, trap settings and remove the “public” setting (normal security step). The interesting part, make this happen for over 1500 servers, some servers are set correctly others are not. Once the script was developed, tested and piloted, we automated this change to all servers in our environment. Describing everything this script does would take more time than I have right now, and it has been modified from the original to protect the identity of the server names and trap names used for this configuration. I had added additional logic to the original to log activity to a local file on the server, after all ConfigMgr uses log files, why don’t we? Note, this has two modes, Test & U...