June, 2012

  • ConfigMgr 2012: Upcoming Enhancements in SP1

    The Product Group have recently announced the Beta of ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 at TechNet 2012 North America.

    You can view the announcement at http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2012/MGT309 

    Enhancements include:

    • Platform Support:
      • Windows 8
      • Windows 8 tablet (Intel SoC) support
      • Mac OS X
      • Linux and Unix
    • Operating System Deployment: Windows To Go support
    • Application Delivery:
      • Win 8 apps
      • Deep link applications
      • Network Cost Support
    • PowerShell Provider
    • PowerShell Cmdlets:
      • Tasks exposed in the Administration Console
      • Suitable experience for administrator (not the SDK)
      • Align with PowerShell general contentions
    • Bitlocker changes:
      • TMP and PIN
      • Used Space Bitlocker
    • Prestaged media now supports additional content
      • WIM, Applications, Drivers, Package/Programs
    • Flexible hierarchy management:
      • Ability to add a new Central Administration Site
      • Migration between ConfigMgr 2012 hierarchies
    • Hierarchy easier to control:
      • Schedule replication for a given link
      • SQL Server distributed views
      • Compression for SQL Server data
    • Software Updates Management:
      • Fallback to Windows Update for content
      • Definition updates 3x/day
    • Endpoint Protection
      • Real-time administrative actions
    • Settings Management: User Profile and Data Management
      • Client Side Caching
      • Roaming User Profiles
      • Folder Redirection

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    Matt Shadbolt

  • Trace32.exe/CMTrace.exe Hidden Features

    So I posted this on my mattlog.net blog ages ago, but for some reason it didn’t make the migration over to our new Technet ConfigMgrDogs blog, so thought I should repost as a new entry.

    I still find it staggering how many customers I visit who had no idea about these features!


    Trace32’s Error Lookup feature.

    One of the more important but commonly missed features is the Error Lookup option in Trace32’s Tools > Error Lookup (Ctrl + L) menu.

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    The Error Lookup tool will return descriptions of cryptic error codes from

    Windows error codes

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    WMI error codes

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    Winhttp error codes

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    Trace32’s Merge selected files feature.

    When trying to troubleshoot specific issues such as site replication issues, it’s sometimes nessesary to open more than one log file at once. Windows 7’s window snap feature makes viewing two logs side-by-side really easy, but sometimes a more accurate timeline is needed between viewing log files.

    If you select Open in Trace32, Ctrl-click on multiple log files in the open dialog box, tick Merge selected files you will find that all the selected log files will merge together into one large super log. The log entries are automatically sorted by time so it’s super easy to see ConfigMgr process certain things and log the progress across multiple logs.

    In this quick example I’m just viewing the process for finding a clients default management point

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    As you can see, the client is logging to both LocationServices.log and ClientLocation.log and it’s quite easy to read the timeline of what is going on.

    Trace32’s Last Directory registry key.

    Lastly, a minor but handy tip, Trace32 by default will save the last log location that you opened. This is really handy as you don’t have to browse to the logs path every time you want to read SMS logs. It is a bit of a pain though when you use Trace32 on a client, because every time you launch Trace32 for the first time on a certain machine, it defaults to the %userprofile%\Desktop directory. The Last Directory registry found at HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Trace32 is the key that controls the default open location. If you add a GPO that updates your clients to %windir%\System32\CCM\Logs\ every time you jump on a machine it will automatically open Trace32 at the client log location.