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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 4/3/2014 10:30 AM
Just wanted to share a few “features” discovered after deploying the Windows Server 2012 R2 Update to a bunch of servers in our lab.

First, the update does spike the CPUs pretty hard during installation so plan your deployments carefully.

Second, if you (like me) have a few demo machines running Windows Server 2012 R2, with Desktop experience feature installed BEFORE installing the update, you will get a shortcut for the Windows Store on the taskbar. It doesn’t matter if the machine is in a workgroup or domain. Not so useful on a server maybe :)  Adding the Desktop experience feature AFTER installing the R2 update does not add the shortcut.

By Arwidmark on 4/2/2014 9:09 PM
Yes, finally, the Windows ADK 8.1 update (for Windows 8.1 Update) is available for download:

Windows ADK 8.1 update (including doc links): direct download only:

You still run adksetup.exe to install or download the updated ADK, but you do see that the new ADK is slightly bigger than the previous kit. The Patches folder content also have a higher version number. The October 18, 2013 release of Windows 8.1 ADK had a folder named 8.100.26020, but the April 2, 2014 release of Windows 8.1 ADK have 8.100.26629.

New features in ADK 8.1 are the WIMBoot option, updates to dism, updates to WinRE and a new WinPE version (5.1). There are also fixes for USMT.

More info about the changes here:

Update 2014-04-08: The Windows ADK 8.1 Update Release Notes are here:

By Arwidmark on 4/2/2014 7:49 PM
What to do in a hotel room, after a new Windows version (well update) has been released? Well, of course, see what changes there are…

After comparing the policy definition files between Windows 8.1 Enterprise and Windows 8.1 Update Enterprise I noticed there were some differences. For example, the following new group policies were added:

User: Show Windows Store Apps On Taskbar. User: Turn On Cloud Candidate (only applies to Microsoft CHS Pinyin IME) Computer and User: Turn off the ability to launch report site problems using a menu option. In addition I noted some small bug-fixes, like changing SupportedOn values from SUPPORTED_WindowsBlue to SUPPORTED_Windows_6_3

Also found an interesting comment in the startmenu.admx file: “TODO: SUPPORTED_Windows_6_3 should be changed to the new version”, wonder if that ever happened :)

By Arwidmark on 4/2/2014 7:09 PM
Turned out there were a few new PowerShell cmdlets in the Windows 8.1 Update released earlier today. Not yet with any documentation, but still :)

Function        Enable-StorageEnclosureIdentification              Storage                                             Function        Disable-StorageEnclosureIdentification             Storage                                             Function        Get-StorageEnclosure                               Storage                                             Function        Get-StorageEnclosureVendorData                     Storage                                             Cmdlet          Export-WindowsDriver                               Dism                                                Cmdlet          New-WindowsCustomImage                             Dism                                                Cmdlet          Optimize-WindowsImage                              Dism                                                Cmdlet          Update-WIMBootEntry                               ...
By Arwidmark on 4/2/2014 6:18 PM

For all of you struggling with the Windows 8.1 GA missing-tiles issue, it’s been fixed in Windows 8.1 Update.

Here is the screenshot from a reference image I just did using MDT 2013 Lite Touch.

Tiles are working again…

Happy Deployment,

/ Johan

By Arwidmark on 4/2/2014 3:34 PM
Today was an interesting day, during the Build 2014 keynote the new Windows 8.1 start menu was demonstrated, and I thought: “WOW! – Finally”, and I was happy for about 45 minutes… Because that’s the time it took for me to download the Windows 8.1 Update and deploy it… It turned out the new start menu is not in todays Windows 8.1 Update, it’s in the next update (whatever they decide to call it)…. 

Sadness once again… The only update that would remove most blockers for Windows 8.1 is not yet here… well, well


By Arwidmark on 3/31/2014 11:54 AM
Todays post is a guest post by Darryl Shiels, wanting to share a tip on gather PC info using the MDT Gather process.

As Darryl put it in an email he sent to me:

I thought you might like a little TS I put together after reading your 'Save time (and avoid pain) - Create a MDT simulation environment'.  I realized MDT was already doing the job, so I stripped down a MDT TS so it just runs a Gather and dumps the files to a network share.  Perfect for when you get a new PC model in.  All I did was amend the 'Copy Logs' so I don't need to declare it in the CustomSettings.ini.

I thought, if you like this, you could blog it to help others.


By Arwidmark on 3/27/2014 2:36 PM
During the last month, a really long thread has been running in the OSD mailing list at myitforum, a discussion about what solution to use when building reference images for ConfigMgr 2012.

Then some idiot (me), against better judgment, promised to write a blog post about it… :)


Yes, you do need a reference image Can’t you take the default Windows 8.1 image and deploy as is? Sure you can, technically… BUT it’s really smart to create a reference image since it reduces deployment time drastically, and is also...
By Arwidmark on 3/19/2014 12:01 AM

Emile Cabot, at the Nit and Grit of IT blog has put together a nice summary about the OSDWeek with me and Dave Kawula

Read the full post here:

OSDWeek with Johan Arwidmark and Dave Kawula

The next OSDWeek is scheduled to kick off on April 28, 2014 in New York.  For more information or to reserve your seat, click here.

/ Johan

By Arwidmark on 3/13/2014 2:09 PM
While many of the Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 default policies are good (somewhat) for production environment, they will sure mess up your classroom virtual labs when doing trainings. Here is a list of settings I use for my classroom virtual machines, and sometimes the Hyper-V hosts, to prevent most of the annoying interruptions, and to make them slightly more faster.

And, yes, I initially did think have a stronger name for the title in mind, but settled for a more politically correct wording :)

Download a backup of the JUST, SHUT UP group policy