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Deployment Mindmaps

Read the original post here.

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This post was contributed by Lutz Seidemann, a Architect with Microsoft Services – APAC.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, confers no rights, and is not supported by the authors or Microsoft Corporation. Use of included script samples are subject to the terms specified in the Terms of Use

"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.

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Updated version of the Configuration Manager shutdown utility

CoreTech has updated their nifty shutdown utility.

Read the original post here.

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 Smiley

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Download the new version here: ShutdownTool-0.6.0.zip

Once again, credit goes to Claus Codam for being the main developer

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System Center Configuration Manager Shutdown Utility

Kent Agerlund posted a new blog post where Coretech developed a really nice shutdown utility for use with ConfigMgr. 

Read the full post and download the tool here.

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

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Software Assurance Pays Off – Remote Connection to WinPE during MDT/SCCM deployments

Johan Arwidmark has a new post up talking about integrating Dart 7 (beta) into your WinPE images to allow remote connectivity. 

Read the full post here.

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

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Step 1 – Download Dart 7 (Beta) and create the Dart ISO

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Step 2- Extract the files needed for Remote Connection

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Configure MDT 2010 Lite Touch to add the files to its boot image (SCCM instructions further down)

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Configure ConfigMgr 2007 (MDT 2010 Zero Touch)  to add the files to its boot image

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Trace64 finally here to stay – But it is hidden

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 Smile 

Read the full post here.

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)

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MDT Debugger 2.1

Read the original post here.

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.

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Core Configurator 2.0 for Server 2008 R2

Another colleague sent a link for this awhile back and I’ve been meaning to blog about it for quite some time.

Download the tool and read the original post here.

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
  • Services
  • WinRM
  • Complete logging of all commands executed

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MDT Debugger 2.0

Daniel Oxy over on The Deployment Guys has posted a new version of the MDT Debugger tool.

Be sure to check out his post and download the tool over here.

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

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Windows Live Writer Backup V3.0.0.6

I had previously blogged on this great little tool.  Had to reinstall this today and noticed the version was updated on CodePlex.  I highly recommend this tool if you use Windows Live Writer.

Download this tool here.

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Configuration Manager–Thin Clients and Windows Embedded Discussion

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: