The Deployment Guys

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  • 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: 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,...
  • Blog Post: Keeping An Eye On USMT Progress

    I recently did a project where all users had around 25Gb (don’t ask!) of data that had to be migrated with the USMT during the OS deployment. Because of the sheer volume of data, the USMT phases of the project took an extremely long time to complete, and because no on-screen feedback is given of the...
  • Blog Post: Approving Windows Updates in an MDT 2010 Standalone Environment from a ConfigMgr Software Update Point

    You’ve no doubt read some of the benefits around using the Software Update Point features of ConfigMgr. However, if you are already using MDT standalone as an Image Engineering environment – there is sometimes a duplication in having to manage software updates in both environments. The most common solution...
  • Blog Post: Kick-Starting SCCM Advertisements

    I managed to beat fellow Deployment Guy Michael Murgolo to the honour of the first post of 2011, so it is my responsibility to wish all our readers a happy new year! I hope all your 2011 deployment projects go well, and we've all got some good posts lined up over the coming months which hopefully will...
  • Blog Post: BitLocker Protection Status

    I have recently been working with a customer on a Windows Vista to Windows 7 migration. During the Refresh deployment task sequence, BitLocker is suspended on the C and D partitions. On occasion we had issues where by protection was not always successfully being suspended on the D partition, which caused...
  • Blog Post: Persisting ConfigMgr Packages during a Task Sequence

    The MDT Task Sequences for System Center Configuration Manager 2007 use a clever technique to download and persist the MDT Files package during each phase of the Task Sequence. The Use Toolkit Package step uses the ZTISCCM.wsf script to copy the contents of the package to a WDPackage subfolder of the...
  • Blog Post: Splitting Task Sequences To Make Life Easier #1

    I don't know about you but it frustrates me that, to test certain parts of a task sequence, I have to run the entire task sequence from the very beginning, formatting the drive and installing the WIM image. This can be a process that can take an hour just to reach the point I want to test, causing a...
  • Blog Post: USMT Failures Due To Bad Profile List Entries

    Update 2010-05-07: Based on the feedback from James below (thanks James!) and similar feedback from a Microsoft Support Engineer (thanks Frank!) who hit the same failure due to Registry corruption, I’ve updated the attached script so it does not fail in these cases. Update 2013-09-23: I've attached...
  • Blog Post: UK Tech Days Content Now Live

    A couple of weeks ago, I took part in the UK Tech Days event in London. This event – run over one full week – provided a fantastic selection of sessions and included a whole day on desktop related content. During our desktop day we covered desktop virtualisation, an introduction to application compatibility...
  • Blog Post: ZTI MDT Debugger 1.0

    I've had this tool sitting in a folder on my laptop half-finished for a few months but after a particularly frustrating problem with a script in a ZTI deployment I was encouraged to finish it! The original MDTDebugger that I wrote is a great help for debugging tasks running in a litetouch (LTI) deployment...
  • Blog Post: Automatically Populate the PATCH Property for the ConfigMgr Client Installation - Updated for ConfigMgr 2012

    Update 2013-06-12: The newest version of this script can be found here . Two years ago I posted a script to automatically set the PATCH property used by ccmsetup.exe to install client updates during the Configuration Manager client installation in a task sequence. That post is found here...
  • Blog Post: Added support for 802.1x in Windows PE

    EDIT: This topic has now been blogged in detail here . Since the dawn of time, Windows PE (WinPE) has not had any support for the 802.1x authentication protocol. This meant that any network deployment of Windows via a network secured with 802.1x was a non-starter, causing headaches for a few on...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Deployment Toolkit - Lite Touch Video Walkthrough

    Are you struggling with setting up MDT Lite Touch? - I have created a video walkthrough that shows you how to: Add operating systems, applications, drivers and packages to MDT Configure Office 2007 into the build process Create a MDT Lite Touch task sequence Setup a lab based deployment...
  • Blog Post: SCCM 2007 and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit - Video Walkthrough

    Are you struggling with setting up SCCM 2007 Operating System Deployment and integrating MDT? - I have created a video walkthrough that shows you how to: Setup the server environment for SCCM 2007 OS deployment Configure the SCCM 2007 Site Settings Configure the SCCM 2007 Computer Management...
  • Blog Post: Preventing OEM builds from Accidentally Performing Mini-Setup without the Task Sequence

    When you pre-load an OEM build on machines, they are usually set-up to perform Mini-setup as soon as they come up. Customers sometimes have difficulties ensuring that these machines boot to WinPE using boot media or PXE rather than simply performing Mini-setup using input from the user. Usually, if this...
  • 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...