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Author: Created: 3/20/2011 7:31 PM RssIcon
Tips and Tricks, guidance and real world deployment configurations
By Arwidmark on 10/1/2014 11:37 AM
If you try to PXE boot a Windows Technical Preview VM running on Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 R2, you are greeted by a nice error message: Boot Failed. EFI Network. Failed Secure Boot Verification.

The simple fix Until there is an update available turn off secure boot for the Gen 2 VM.

secure Disabling Secure Boot.

By Arwidmark on 9/24/2014 12:45 PM
Here are samples files and links I demonstrated during The Ultimate Event II roadshow that took place during September 22 – 26, 2014.

Scripts from Mikael's demos are found here:

Session 01 Client health and troubleshooting

How to get SMART data from Windows 8.1 machines using PowerShell

# Show Disk Health Get-Disk 0 | Get-StorageReliabilityCounter The xperf and xbootmgr commands used in the Windows Performance Toolkit demo.

xperf -profiles Xperf –start perf!GeneralProfiles.InBuffer xperf –stop perf!GeneralProfiles.InBuffer C:\Demo\trace.etl Xperf trace.etl xbootmgr -trace boot PowerShell commands to read reliability history information was gathered from the following posts: (by Ryan Ries)
By Arwidmark on 9/22/2014 4:20 PM
Earlier today the CU3 update for ConfigMgr 2012 R2 was released, containing a few nice to have fixes for ConfigMgr.

The full list of fixes, and link to request the hotfix is available here:

Backup your Site Server Before continuing, make sure you have a SQL Backup of the Site Server. The update will update the site server database by default.

Running the CU3 Setup Installing the CU3 update is the same process as previous updates. You make sure you have a SQL Backup of the Site Server, and that there are no pending reboots. You can use this PowerShell script to verify prior to running the setup:   Or the update will warn you if needed, or simply reboot the site server before installing the update.

By Arwidmark on 9/21/2014 11:50 AM
Earlier today I got an email from a fellow deployment geek having issues with Windows 8.1 deployments. He had an unattend file that worked perfect for Windows 7 deployments, but failed when deploying Windows 8.1. Now, it’s simply comes down to that Windows 8.1 does not support all unattend.xml settings that Windows 7 does.

So far the most issues are caused by the IEWelcomeMessage or ShowMenuBar values being set. The solution, simply get rid of them.

Step-by-step guide Start Windows System Image Manager (WSIM) and open your unattend.xml file. In WSIM, in the Answer File pane, expand the 4 specialize node, and select the amd64_Microsoft-Windows-IE-InternetExplorer_neutral entry. In the amd64_Microsoft-Windows-IE-InternetExplorer_neutral properties (right-hand window), right-click the IEWelcomeMessage property and select Revert Change. Repeat for ShowMenuBar setting in amd64_Microsoft-Windows-IE-InternetExplorer_neutral entry if needed.  

By Arwidmark on 9/16/2014 8:54 PM
On September 15, 2014 – Microsoft made the fourth release of Windows ADK 8.1 available. As usual without any explanation on what’s been changed :)

Windows ADK 8.1 history First release, September 2013: 2.79 GB in size

Initial release, contained ACT 6.0, WinPE 5.0, and USMT 6.3

Second release, October 2013: 2.85 GB in size, subversion 8.100.26020 (Patches folder)

No new versions, just bug fixes.

Third release, April 2014: 2.97 GB in size, subversion 8.100.26629 (Patches folder)

In this release ACT was updated to 6.1, and a package to update WinPE to 5.1 was made available. The other updates was basically bug fixes.

Fourth release, September 2014: 2.97 GB in size, subversion 8.100.26866 (Patches folder)

Bug fix for dism and updates to the documentation (EULAs). Still ACT 6.1 and WinPE 5.0 with WinPE 5.1 update option.

In addition to dism to following deployment components had new versions, but I have not yet learned if its just artifacts...
By Arwidmark on 9/9/2014 12:15 AM
Earlier this morning I got an email with some questions on how to deploy Windows using MDT 2013 Lite Touch. The questions were the basic deployment questions I hear over and over again so I thought it was about time to write a list of valuable deployment resources.

The questions How do I capture a Windows setup to a WIM Image, and do I need to sysprep the image? Once captured, How can I import the WIM image back into MDT again? How do I create and edit production task sequences? What about multiple partitions? How about creating an offline media? The Resources The following resources provide you with answers to the preceding questions, and much, much more. The resources are for Windows 8.1 but are valid for Windows 7 as well. I’ve organized the resources into the following sections:

Step-by-Step guides (free) Virtual Labs (free) Videos (free) Commercial Videos (e.g. not free) Books (not free either, but available on Kindle if your budget is limited). Step-by-Step...
By Arwidmark on 8/26/2014 4:08 AM
Between October 28 – 31 (27 for preconferences) Microsoft is running TechEd in Barcelona, don’t miss this!

20130627_TechEd2013_0210 From TechEd 2013 in Madrid, handing out a book in reward for a good question…

  My sessions list for TechEd Europe 2014 Here is the my list of sessions at TechEd Europe 2014 in Barcelona… I would love to see you there, and don’t hesitate to say hi!

PRC08 Using Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration...
By Arwidmark on 8/19/2014 12:54 AM
If you are using MDT 2013 Lite Touch for offline media deployment, the feature to set a static IP during deployment doesn’t work. MDT will set the IP address in WinPE, but not in full Windows.

This is because of a bug in the Litetouch.wsf script, and the bug is for offline media only (not for normal network deployment, where the feature work as expected). You find more details in this post: MDT 2012 Static IP for Offline Install

One workaround is obviously to edit the Litetouch.wsf script per the article, but the problem can also be solved by adding an extra Apply Network Settings action to your task sequence. Works perfect as long as you add it directly after the Gather local only action in the State Restore phase (see screenshots below)

By Arwidmark on 8/15/2014 5:34 AM
Don’t miss chance of getting the latest tips and tricks for building and managing a Microsoft infrastructure, delivered by computer industry experts like Mark Minasi, Johan Arwidmark and Mikael Nystrom.  This is full-day, technical event, held in five cities in Sweden and Norway in September 2014. The five sessions are:

Keynote - Get a grip on your Infrastructure Windows Clusters for Beginners: From Highly Fearful to Highly Reliable in 75 Minutes! Windows Deployment Done Right! Modern Apps for IT Pros Next generation user roaming Check out the event web site (in Swedish): The Ultimate Event

By Arwidmark on 8/12/2014 6:12 AM
Yesterday I got a question in my twitter feed (@jarwidmark) about how to create a custom variable in MDT 2013 using a script. The answer is, yes you can do that, but you rarely have to, because you can create them directly in CustomSettings.ini to begin with. Anyway, some times it does makes sense to dynamically create custom variables in a script. In this post I demonstrate a few different methods for creating a custom variable.

Going back to the source First, built-in variables are documented in the MDT 2013 help file, found via the Deployment Workbench “Help” menu, or in the file system: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Deployment Toolkit\Bin\Microsoft Deployment Toolkit Documentation Library.chm (default location).