This post was contributed by Lutz Seidemann, a Architect with Microsoft Services – APAC.
"Why deployment is so hard?", “Where can I find all related information?” What else I need to consider?”
Those or similar questions are normal during my customer projects. After getting the same questions again and again,
I’ve decided to create a Mindmap with all common links you need to know if you in the deployment space.
Since few weeks I’m sharing them now with the project teams and the amount of Questions I get is drastically reduced :-}
Hope this helps.
CoreTech has updated their nifty shutdown utility.
Based on feedback we have updated our Shutdown utility described in this post to include a company logo. To display the logo, create a jpg, png or bmp files in the same folder as the utility and name it shutdowntool.jpg/png/bmp – simple
Download the new version here: ShutdownTool-0.6.0.zip
Once again, credit goes to Claus Codam for being the main developer
Kent Agerlund posted a new blog post where Coretech developed a really nice shutdown utility for use with ConfigMgr.
To suppress or not suppress a computer restart when deploying software and software updates that is the question. No matter what you do, you most likely will not win the “best colleague of the Month” award.
If you do not force a computer restart you might face problems like:
- Non-compliant computers
- Computers being in reboot pending mode which might prevent them from installing new software and software updates
If you do force a restart you might face problems like:
- Very unhappy users
- Scenarios where you restart while the end-user is using the computer for a demo or presentation
- End-users calling Servicedesk and complaining about a virus that’s shutting down their computer
- Restarting computers that are already compliant
Johan Arwidmark has a new post up talking about integrating Dart 7 (beta) into your WinPE images to allow remote connectivity.
In the new Dart 7 (Beta) release, Microsoft added a remote connection application to WinPE, it allows you to connect to a WinPE system using the new Dart Remote Connection Viewer. This article explains how to add it to either MDT 2010 Lite Touch or ConfigMgr (SCCM) 2007 to monitor your deployments.
Credit goes to Michael Niehaus for letting me know it existed and explaining the inner works, and thank you Process Monitor and Process Explorer for helping me figure out what files where actually needed 🙂
Adding Remote Monitoring to MDT 2010 orConfigMgr 2007 OS Deployments
Step 1 – Download Dart 7 (Beta) and create the Dart ISO
Step 2- Extract the files needed for Remote Connection
Configure MDT 2010 Lite Touch to add the files to its boot image (SCCM instructions further down)
Configure ConfigMgr 2007 (MDT 2010 Zero Touch) to add the files to its boot image
Johan Arwidmark put up a nice how-to for getting ahold of Trace64, the 64-bit version of Trace32, our favorite log file viewer. We can’t all be like Wally and use Notepad
Trace64 is very useful to parse MDT and ConfigMgr log files… And until ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2 was released the core 64-bit version of Trace32 has only been available internally at Microsoft (officially).
So Microsoft indeed did release Trace64 with ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2, but where is it? If you search you only find trace32.exe… Well it’s hidden in the Trace32.exe and is extracted when you start Trace32.exe on a x64 machine. What’s the problem with that? Well, you can’t start it from a x64 WinPE which is missing WOW64.
The solution, get a copy of the extracted x64 binary. This is the trace32.exe process viewed in Process Explorer. Note the TRA184B.tmp file (may be named different on your system)
This post was contributed by Daniel Oxley, a Senior Consultant with Microsoft Services UK
As some of our regular readers will have seen, I released version 2.0 of the MDT Debugger a short time ago. This version 2.1 is just a minor update with the following changes/improvements:
- Fixed a bug in the output window that caused some process output not to be captured and displayed
- Added a button that opens the folder containing the log files
- Added a button that allows you to view the contents of VARIABLES.DAT (very helpful with your debugging!)
Don’t forget that since version 2.0, the MDT Debugger should work in WinPE. As always, if you find any problems with this version or have a feature suggestion please let me know via the comments box at the bottom.
Another colleague sent a link for this awhile back and I’ve been meaning to blog about it for quite some time.
We are pleased to announce the latest version of Core Configurator built and designed for Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Core edition!
It is completely open source so it can be amended and change to fit your requirements, this version has been a year in the making and has been written in powershell with a reference to Winforms so that a GUI format is displayed.
The primary focus of this project is to try and get feedback and contributions back from the community to make this a tool the best/ free tool everyone will want in there toolkit, so if you have some code or features that you might want included then please leave a comment and we will get in touch.
Core Configuration tasks include:
- Product Licensing
- Networking Features
- DCPromo Tool
- ISCSI Settings
- Server Roles and Features
- User and Group Permissions
- Share Creation and Deletion
- Dynamic Firewall settings
- Display | Screensaver Settings
- Add & Remove Drivers
- Proxy settings
- Windows Updates (Including WSUS)
- Multipath I/O
- Hyper-V including virtual machine thumbnails
- JoinDomain and Computer rename
- Add/remove programs
- Complete logging of all commands executed
Daniel Oxy over on The Deployment Guys has posted a new version of the MDT Debugger tool.
Back in March of last year, I posted the MDT Debugger as a time/stress and frustration saving tool useful for debugging the scripts you develop for use with MDT. Over the last year, I’ve used the tool in every MDT project that I have worked on, which has given me the opportunity to (very slowly) address the shortcomings that it has. Thanks to this, I have been able to work on an updated version and as such: welcome to MDT Debugger 2.0!
I actually ended up rewriting the tool using the excellent AutoIT rather than trying to update the existing HTML code as this gave a lot more flexibility and in itself solved a few of the "issues" the version 1.0 had. This new version has the following improvements:
- Allows editing the command-line received from MDT
- Being an executable rather than HTML, it no longer clashes with strict Internet Explorer security settings, nor with the Internet Explorer first-run wizard
- Works in Windows PE (WinPE)
- Capture and redirection of script output to the debugging window
- Better handling of command line parameters
- Faster execution time
……This post was contributed by Daniel Oxley, a Consultant with Microsoft Services Spain
Recently has some internal discussions around these two items. I wanted to post the information for others to find so they don’t have to “dig” for it as we had to. The specific questions at hand were:
1) For a thin client, can we push software to a Windows Embedded Standard 2009 system while leaving WPF lock in place?
2) Can we use OSD to deploy the HP Thin State Client (Linux) to a system?
Here are some key points around these topics:
- The supported ConfigMgr client platforms are at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc161860.aspx.
- Quest has a client for Unix Systems.
- Johan Arwidmark – Deploying Ubuntu 8.04.1 using WDS (Windows Deployment Services)
- For ConfigMgr 2007, the XPe topics are actually documented right in the ConfigMgr 2007 product documentation. Start with http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb932159.aspx.
- Customers will also need to use XPe’s Target Designer to build their XPe image with all necessary pre-requisites to install and run ConfigMgr client. The following download contains the XPe macro component for ConfigMgr client. If the customer is not authorized by their hardware vendor to build their own images, they will need to request this be done by their hardware vendor.