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ConfigMgr 2012: CU5 for SP1 Now Available

KB is available here

Issues that are fixed
Task sequences
  • The Continue on error check box is not selected under Task Sequences when an Install Software step and a Virtual Application package are defined as the source. This affects only task sequences that are migrated from Configuration Manager 2007 to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.
  • The Task Sequence Agent (TSAgent) does not use the logging-related values that are set in the following registry subkey on a client computer:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\CCM\Logging

  • 2961924 A command-line action that has a linked package doesn’t start in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager
Site systems
  • 2923078 Reporting Services installation fails on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 that has SQL Server 2014 installed
  • 2931044 Discovery Data Manager slows when it rebuilds .ncf files on startup in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1
Application management
  • Applications cannot be changed or copied after they are migrated from one System Center 2012 Configuration Manager site to another site. Messages that resemble the following are logged in the Distmgr.log file after you try to make changes:

    Package <PkgID> is in Pending state and will not be processed

  • 2952686 You cannot install an application by using stand-alone media in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1
Configuration Manager client
  • The SMS Agent Host service may stop unexpectedly in an environment that uses multiple overlapping boundary groups that are configured for automatic site assignment. The ScanAgent.log file contains an entry that resembles the following:

    [FATAL ERROR] Invalid params exception was raised.

Administrator Console
  • When you view the Primary Device that is associated with a user, you may see other devices that have the same name, even if they are associated with a different user.
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ConfigMgr 2012: SQL Maintenance Plans and Index Optimization Recommendations

Recently caught some emails going around about recommended backup and maintenance plans as it relates to ConfigMgr. Also plenty of discussions around whether or not addition index optimization is required beyond the built-in Rebuild Indexes task that can be configured as part of the built-in Site Maintenance task. 

As far as what I recommend and configure for the clients I work with. I use the recommendations from Steve Thompson a fellow MVP and former SQL MVP.

SQL Server Backup Recommendations

How to determine if indexing task is running

Optimizing the ConfigMgr databases

I would highly recommend you read through the above linked posts. The maintenance plan is what I use for backing up the CM database and supporting databases. I do not use the built-in backup task with ConfigMgr 2012.  

If you are having issues with indexing or slow performance, then it’s a good idea to look into the index optimization recommendations as well. 

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ConfigMgr 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 ADK Update

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System Center 2012 Configuration Manager R2 Upgrade: Notes from the Field-Updated

Here are just a couple of issues I’ve encountered doing R2 upgrades. I wanted to post the solutions for anyone that might also run into these issues.

This post was last updated on 3/13/2014.

KB’s that have been released to address R2 issues to date:

An update is available for the "Operating System Deployment" feature of System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2905002

You cannot stage a Windows PE 3.1 boot image to a Windows XP-based computer in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2910552

Per-computer variables for imported computers are not read in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

http://support.microsoft.com/KB/2907591

Management Points:

If you have a ConfigMgr client installed on a site system hosting a MP, the MP upgrade will fail.  If this happens, then you will need remove the MP, remove the ConfigMgr client. Reinstall the MP, and then install the new R2 ConfigMgr client.

If you have a secondary site, you won’t be able to uninstall the client or MP, you’ll need use the old school ccmclean (using the /all switch) to remove the MP and client. Once that is removed, the MP will automatically reinstall, then you can proceed to install the new client.

Easy solution for all, is to simply remove the ConfigMgr client prior to the upgrade :)

Boot Images:

Take a screenshot of your drivers added to your boot images. Once you upgrade the ADK to 8.1, and you will have new boot images in R2, you won’t be able to see what drivers are on your old boot images.  ConfigMgr supports legacy boot images, but you can’t modify the drivers and they have removed the tab so you can’t see what you had added either.

Better yet, get in the habit of categorizing your drives. I always create a WinPE_x64 and WinPE_x86 category and any time I add a driver to the boot image, I also add it to that  category so I can see what is in use easily.

Keep in mind with ConfigMgr 2012 R2, your boot images are now WinPE 5.0, which is Windows 8.1 based, so the network/storage drivers you are adding will be need to be Windows 8.1, regardless of the OS you are deploying (Windows 7, Windows 8, etc).

Reporting Services:

I’ve seen a few times where the SRS doesn’t get upgraded properly. When attempting to run reports I’ve seen "cannot read from the next data row for the dataset.." 

This can be resolved by recompiling the mof using the following command:

mofcomp "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Shared\sqlmgmproviderxpsp2up.mof"

I’ve also seen permission issues, which can be resolved by granted the Execute permission to the account configured as the SRS service account.

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Task Sequences:

It’s been already reported that some people will experience issues with the NAA credentials being lost.  So if you fail to download files during WinPE, you can try adding a new NAA and removing your old one.  If you want to add your original one back, you need to add a new one, remove the original, then re-add the original and remove the 2nd one, confused yet? :)

In general it’s a good idea to recreate new MDT 2013 Task Sequences as well, your old MDT 2012 Update 1 TS’s should work as long as you still have the old toolkit package available, however it’s a good idea to create new ones and move your custom steps over into the new Task Sequence.

I’ve also ran into issues where the OS Image download is slow. In addition, in combination with this, I’ve seen where the Task Sequence will apply the OS, install the ConfigMgr client and then reboot and suddenly fail.  Reviewing the logs you’ll see a 80072ee2 error (system cannot find the file specified).

If you encounter this, you will need to add two new R2 variables to beginning of your Task Sequence. 

  • SMSTSDownloadRetryCount: Use this variable to specify the number of times that Configuration Manager attempts to download content from a distribution point.
  • SMSTSDownloadRetryDelay: Use this variable to specify the number of seconds that Configuration Manager waits before it retries to download content from a distribution point.

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WinPE 5.0 scratch space in MDT 2013 and ConfigMgr 2012 R2

Great post by Johan Arwidmark that explains WinPE scratch space in WinPE 5.0.

Read his post here.

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SQL Server: Cannot Connect to WMI Provider

 

Recently encountered a SQL issue when trying to open the SQL Server Configuration Manager on my ConfigMgr Database server. This KB was the resolution for me: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/956013

I received the following error when attempting to open the tool.

Cannot connect to WMI provider. You do not have permission or the server is unreachable. Note that you can only manage SQL Server 2005 and later servers with SQL Server Configuration Manager.
Invalid namespace [0x8004100e]

My SQL Server install was SQL Server 2012 SP1.

Running the mofcomp of sqlmgmproviderxpsp2up.mof resolved the issue for me after a restart of the WMI service.

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ConfigMgr: Windows 8.1 Wireless Prompt During OSD

If you are working with Windows 8.1 and ConfigMgr/MDT, you may run into the Windows Wireless screen prompting you to connect to a wireless network in the middle of your deployment.

It’s a relatively easy fix, you need to modify your unattend.xml and add the following 3 sections.

Add the following section to the Unattend:

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Enable the following sections for True:

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Thanks to this post from Keith Garner for pointing me in the right direction.

Video

IT Pro Expert Interview with Lee Berg

Lee Berg is a good friend of mine and has been developing quite an impressive YouTube channel lately.  I did an interview with him this week and you can find that linked below.  We talk about ConfigMgr, Wisconsin weather (we both live in WI) and other things.

 

IT Pro Expert Interviews EP3: Chris Nackers
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Windows 8.1 – Disable Internet Search Results

Windows 8.1 is an interesting thing. It’s kind of a love/hate relationship most days :)

One thing that was really bugging me was the internet search results when searching in the Metro interface.  Here’s how to disable that "feature".

Bring up the charms menu (Windows Key + C) or swipe in from the right.

Click on Settings  image

Click on Change PC Settings.

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Select Search and Apps

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Turn Use Bing to Search Online off.

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ConfigMgr 2012 – Collection Query With Special Characters

Recently had an issue at a client site where we wanted to query for all user accounts with "_a" at the end of the account.  Attempting to query for this didn’t work as we were getting back accounts that just ended with "a".  The Like statement was "%_a".

Turns out you need to put brackets around the underscore as it’s a special character.  So the proper query was "%[_]a".

Thanks to this post by John Nelson that pointed me on the right path.