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  • Blog Post: Script to Make ServiceUI.exe Easier to Use for OSD Custom User Interfaces

    Since Configuration Manager task sequences usually run as the System account, the task sequence cannot natively launch and display a user interface that will be visible on the screen. So MDT ships with an utility called ServiceUI.exe that allows executable to display on a different desktop than the System...
  • Blog Post: Dynamically Setting Variables as Over-writable during Gather

    During the MDT Gather process, almost all properties (variables) are treated as “first writer wins” (i.e. the value cannot be changed during Gather once it is set for the first time). ZTIGather.xml defines the “known” MDT variables for Gather. The ones that are able to be changed...
  • Blog Post: Writing Data to the MDT Database During Gather

    MDT allow you to query the MDT Database during a Gather step using database sections in CustomSetting.ini . This is great for retrieving settings to drive the deployment. However, there are occasions where you may want to write information back to the database. MDT provides no built-in way to do this...
  • Blog Post: Loading Scripts that Have VBScript Classes or that Don’t Have a UserExit Function as User Exit Scripts – Script Update

    In a previous post I provided a script that allows loading scripts that have VBScript Classes or that don’t have a UserExit function in them as User Exit scripts in CustomSetting.ini. This script also allows you to load multiple User Exit scripts in a single CustomSetting.ini section as in this...
  • Blog Post: Reducing Windows Deployment time using Power Management

    The following post was contributed by Benjamin Rampe a Senior PFE working for Microsoft. While studying up on Windows 10, I came across a technique that has been shown to reduce the time it takes to apply an OS WIM to disk by 20 – 50%*. That’s a fairly significant savings in time and the...
  • Blog Post: Using and Extending Model Aliases for Hardware Specific Application Installation

    Update 11 December 2009 – A few changes and additions inspired by the work being done by fellow MSC Senior Consultant Steven Markegene.  Of note are the changes to the Hyper-V model strings and a new one added by Steven.  The script download has been updated as well. In a post on his blog from...
  • Blog Post: Splitting Task Sequences To Make Life Easier #2

    In a previous post , I described the first of two methods on how to drastically reduce the time (and stress/frustration!) it takes to debug an MDT task sequence, by eliminating all the tasks that work. In this post, I’d like to close this topic with the second of the two methods on how to achieve...
  • Blog Post: Dynamically Installing ‘Computer Specific’ Applications Using Configuration Manager with MDT

      There is a little known component of the MDT database that, when used with Configuration Manager, can automatically re-install applications that were previously installed on a device.  It is not well known, simply because it isn’t readily visible from the database view within the Deployment...
  • Blog Post: MDT Debugger 2.1

    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...
  • Blog Post: Adding Support for 802.1x to WinPE

    Adding 802.1x functionality to WinPE has been a hot topic for a while now. And, given the amount of traffic and comments that my earlier post generated when I linked to the newly released updates for WinPE that add this long awaited support, it seems that a lot of people are interested in implementing...
  • Blog Post: Customising the MDT Task Sequence Editor

    One of the things I like the most about MDT is the level that it can be customised; you can edit the HTA screens, the provided scripts or even use existing ones to build you own. This level of flexibility allows you to achieve pretty much anything in a deployment, once you have worked out how to do it...
  • Blog Post: Excluding USB, FireWire and other drives from USMT Capture

    A common requirement during user state migration is to not capture data from certain drives. The most commonly requested for exclusion are removable drives such as USB and FireWire drives. There is no command line option to exclude these drives automatically with USMT v3. I had to turn to scripting to...
  • Blog Post: Location Deployment Wizard for ConfigMgr 2007

    When working on deployment projects, there is often a requirement for a workstation to be customised on a location by location basis. Common workstation customisations which are applied in this manner include: Localisation settings (locales, keyboard settings, time zones, Windows (Windows Vista...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 Deployment Options for Small and Midsize Businesses

    Happy new year to everyone! It looks like I am making the first blog post here for 2012 :-) To get the year rolling I thought I'd share anexcellent resource that I stumbled across this week, even though it was published back in November. If you follow the link below you can download a printable overview...
  • Blog Post: Using Device Aliases for Hardware Specific Application Installation

    15 Feb 2010 Update – To use techniques found in this post with MDT 2010 you will need to use one of the workarounds described in this post:  http://blogs.technet.com/deploymentguys/archive/2010/02/15/using-convertbooleantostring-with-ztigather-wsf-in-mdt-2010.aspx . In my last post I described how...
  • Blog Post: Making WinPE Wait for Network in LTI Deployments

    In some environments, network device drivers and/or infrastructure take longer to load than WinPE waits before running the task sequence. This can be due to congested DHCP scopes, link negotiation latency or slow loading network drivers. In these cases, it is necessary to delay the start of the task...
  • Blog Post: Back to basics #3 – Branding the deployment and fixing the 0xc000000e problem

    Two more tips for the blog. Actually, one is a tip and the other is the solution to a common problem I see! During the execution of a task sequence in MDT (normally while creating an image, or deploying one) the computer will display the Installation Progress window in the centre of the screen, on...
  • Blog Post: Configuring Regional and Language Settings Online in an MDT Task Sequence

    Update 2015-02-27: I have updated the script. Read about the changes here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/deploymentguys/archive/2015/02/27/configuring-regional-and-language-settings-online-in-an-mdt-task-sequence-script-update.aspx . Both posts now have the updated script download. ...
  • Blog Post: Querying MDT/ConfigMgr Logs in MDT Scripts

    The Lite Touch Deployment Process end in a Summary Wizard pane that displays any warning or errors that were logged in the MDT master log (BDD.log). This is a great feature but customers have pointed out that this summary is not preserved after the Summary Wizard is closed. If you accidentally...
  • Blog Post: Updated Hardware Detection Script

    Or… How Not to Create Boolean Properties in an MDT Script 15 Feb 2010 Update – For information on using ConvertBooleanToString with MDT 2010, see the workarounds described in this post:  http://blogs.technet.com/deploymentguys/archive/2010/02/15/using-convertbooleantostring-with-ztigather-wsf-in...
  • Blog Post: Using ConvertBooleanToString with ZTIGather.wsf in MDT 2010

    Update 2010-07-08:   This issue has now been fixed in MDT 2010 Update 1.  You can now use ConvertBooleanToString directly without these workarounds in MDT 2010 Update 1. In a few of my previous posts I used the ConvertBooleanToString function found in ZTIGather.wsf to correctly set values of...
  • Blog Post: Banish GUIDs from CustomSettings.ini in MDT

    Another of my pet peeves about MDT CustomSettings.ini rules is that fact that you have to define entries for Applications and ManditoryApplications as GUIDs.  Here is the example for Applications from the MDT help file: [Settings] Priority=Default [Default] Applications001={1D7DF331-47B7-472C-87B3...
  • Blog Post: Using MDT and Custom Function Library Scripts as User Exit Scripts

    A fellow Deployment Guy wanted to use some of the functions in ZTIDiskUtility.vbs in his own User Exit script. Since ZTIGather.wsf does not include ZTIDiskUtility.vbs in its <script> elements, these functions are not available during the MDT rules processing. One way to solve this would be to simply...
  • Blog Post: Deprecation of the OSVersion Property and What to Do About It

    The OSVersion variable is populated with a short string representing the version of the operating system (e.g. XP, Vista, Win7Client, 2008, etc.). With MDT 2012, you may have noticed that when you deploy Window 8 that the value of the OSVersion variable gets set to “Other” instead of something...
  • Blog Post: MDT Deployment Wizard Panes for Installing OS Roles and Features

    My customer is deploying Windows Server 2008 R2 using MDT Lite Touch Installation. The wanted to have a way to select the operating system Roles and Features during the Deployment Wizard in a way similar to how the Install Roles and Features step works in the task sequence editor: To that end,...