Month: December 2011

Top 5 articles for 2011

As we close out 2012 here at and usher in another exciting year for the community, we’ve been pouring through stats to get a sense of how we’re doing.  As 2012 creeps into existence, we’ll start pushing even more stats your way so you can also get a sense of how things are progressing with 3.0.  Everyone loves stats.  Stats are like the online version of a zoo.  “Ooo, look, Mommy!  Look at the monkey!” Here’s the top 5 articles (by viewership) from 2011: ConfigMgr 2012 release date slips to first half of 2012 Flexera (InstallShield) acquiring Wise–one product to rule them all Good news for you and Configuration Manager Client Health! System Center 2012 family rebranded When will MMS 2012 registration open?

Totally fake Tech predictions for 2012

Its easy to put yourself out there, like some tech industry folks do, and just whip out a bunch of thoughts about what could possibly happen in 2012.  And, its even easier to look back at the end of the year and say, “Oops I missed that one by a mile.”  No big deal – I said “prediction”.  But, its easiest of all to totally make up a bunch of stuff, based on things we *wish* would happen, things that really annoy us in tech and should already be better, and those things that we may have been promised, time and again, that are still the dangling chads of our IT existence. Here’s a few totally fake tech predictions from me for 2012, i.e., things I’d love to see happen, or are just so totally nonsensical they could actually turn out to be true.  Have some of your own? ...

USMT 4.0 and unconditionalExclude

Was recently working on a custom.xml for a client with USMT 4.0 and was struggling with getting my exclusions to work. My syntax appeared to be correct, however it wasn’t excluding the music file extensions I had created like it was supposed to. It was excluding them on the drive, but not on the desktop where I had placed some files to test. After some searching, I came across this great blog post: After reading through that post, I realized I had the incorrect syntax in my custom.xml. My context was set to context=”System” instead of context=”UserAndSystem”, doh! After making that change and testing, I finally got the behavior I was expecting. Mind the details! So be sure to read the abo...

W3SVC Won’t Start Without WAS Error

Reinstalled IIS on a site server and couldn’t get my services to start. Thanks to a co-worker for helping me get this resolved quickly, I’d still be trying to figure this out without his help! My event log looked like this, showing Event ID’s 5005, 5188 over and over: And I had a ton of these errors: The description for Event ID 5005 from source Microsoft-Windows-WAS cannot be found. Either the component that raises this event is not installed on your local computer or the installation is corrupted. You can install or repair the component on the local computer. If the event originated on another computer, the display information had to be saved with the event. The following information was included with the event: The description for Event ID 5188 from source Microsoft-Windows-WAS cannot b...

Advanced reporting against Add/Remove Programs (ARP), filtering and appending data – Part 2

I’m not a SQL expert by any means, so if you see something that isn’t quite right, well i already said I’m not a SQL expert 🙂 This process involves custom tables and modifying your SQL database, proceed at your own risk. Don’t say i didn’t warn you… This is an extension of Part 1 We made a pretty cool addition to this recently. We wanted the report to actually tell you if the computer was in the correct AD group and say “Yes/No” in the report web page. Then we would know if the computer/user was in the correct groups and if anything needed to be done. If they weren’t then we would know exactly what groups they needed to be added to. This queries our ADGroup field in our custom table AddRemoveProgram against SMS/SCCM’s v_ra_system_systemgroupname to find any matches. Here is an exampl...

Finding the OU of a system in SMS/ConfigMgr

Alex Semibratov started up a blog and has a nice post on how to find the actual OU of a computer. If you have ever looked at the information you will notice you get a lot more than you might be looking for. I tested this with SMS 2003 and it works since the same view can be used. You will want to replace the “SMS_ENT” with your database name however. Linked here: Here is the basic query if you don’t want to create a new view for it: SELECT A.ResourceID, A.System_OU_Name0 FROM dbo.v_RA_System_SystemOUName AS A INNER JOIN (SELECT ResourceID, MAX(LEN(System_OU_Name0)) AS len FROM dbo.v_RA_System_SystemOUName GROUP BY ResourceID) AS B ON A.ResourceID= B.ResourceID AND LEN(A.System_OU_Name0) = B.len Here is another query ...

Windows Media Player – Registry settings for first time configuration

One of the things I’ve always hated about media player is the validation and first time configuration that new users have to go through to launch it. Here are the registry settings you need to set in order to “pre-configure” media player. Once you set these settings through a GPO, then media player will open upon the first launch. This will work whether you have MP in your image or if you have an administrative install you are pushing down after the fact. [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Preferences] "AcceptedEULA"=dword:00000001 "FirstTime"=dword:00000001 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsMediaPlayer] "GroupPrivacyAcceptance"=dword:00000001

PowerShell script to identify what vm machines are on a particular LUN

We have a VMWare infrastructure which connects to the SAN. Every now and then we will get "running out disk space" error for a particular LUN. What we need to do is to identify what other machines are on the same LUN, then we can address the disk space issue accordingly. Here is a PowerShell one liner to accomplish this and of course you need to have VMWare VI ToolKit installed. Get-ESX # to connect to the target ESX box Get-vm -datastore "lunxy"

Discovery Methods in Configuration Manager 2012

In Configuration Manager 2012 the discovery of users, groups and devices has been improved since Configuration Manager 2007. In this blog I would like to point out the available options that come with Configuration Manager 2012. Read the complete blog here:

PowerShell script to open Excel object (workbook)

In my previous posting, I used excel comobject extensively but mainly limited to create new excel object and write report to it. Here is a little script to open an existing excel workbook. $excel = new-object -comobject Excel.Application $excel.visible = $True # Inputbox $x = new-object -comobject MSScriptControl.ScriptControl $x.language = "vbscript" $x.addcode("function getInput() getInput = inputbox(`"Enter the full path of your excel file`",`"Workbook Name`") end function" ) $excelfilename = $x.eval("getInput") function global:Open-Excel() { param ($excel, [string]$excelfilename) if (!$(test-path $excelfilename)) { write-host "File doesn’t exist…" return $null } $excelfile = $excel.Workbooks.Open($excelfilename) } ...

VB/WMI script to get IP information(without reading registry)

Here is a VB script to use the Win32_NetworkAdapter class and the NetconnectionID property to determine the MAC address of the active network connection. Then use the Win32_NetworkAdapterconfiguration class to find the IP address associated with the MAC address. The netConnectionID property is not available in Windows 2000/NT. I will post a workaround in the next couple of days. The script has the similar function as the one I posted yesterday and only this time we don’t have to deal with registry. on Error resume next strComputer = "." Set objWMIService = GetObject(_ "winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2") Set colNetAdapters = objWMIService.ExecQuery _ ("Select * From Win32_NetworkAdapter " _ & "Where NetConnectionID = " &...

ConfigMgr (SCCM) – How to get a report with Friendly scan errors

MOF file for a Useful report shared by Saud Al-Mishari on “The Manageability Guys” blog. Original Post – Link MOF file can be downloaded from the following – Link. Description We have a built-in report (“Report Category” Software Updates – E. Troubleshooting –> “Report Name” Troubleshooting 1 – Scan errors) in Configuration Manager that provides this information, but again you get hex error codes (which are better than 32-bit decimal integers, but only a little). So what I did was take the report and add a massive case statement with all the custom scan error messages.