The Deployment Guys

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  • Blog Post: Finding Updates For Image Engineering

    So a couple of weeks ago, I was working on a image engineering engagement for a customer. During image engineering I use an automated MDT 2010 task sequence to build the reference machine, customise it and then sysprep and capture it automatically. I typically use the ZTIWindowsUpdate.wsf task in the...
  • Blog Post: Back to basics #2 – 7 Things you shouldn’t do in a LiteTouch Deployment

    The below list is a list of the most common mistakes made when creating a LiteTouch task sequence. While not an exhaustive list, it might help to improve your deployment experience when using MDT to create LiteTouch deployments. 1.) Hard-code paths to files/scripts in the task sequence, or inside...
  • Blog Post: Useful Script Number 4 - Silent Installation of Windows AIK 1.1

    One of the things that you may need to do - particularly if you are tying to automate the creation of a deployment server in a lab environment - is install the Windows Automated Installation Kit. You may think that because Windows AIK is supplied as .msi files that this would be a simple process, however...
  • Blog Post: Back to basics #1 – Locking the computer during deployment

    This is the first post in a series that will cover some of the more simple/basic tricks that you can do with MDT, but that are often overlooked.  I’ll be the first to admit that a couple of them I only learnt recently, even though I have been using BDD/MDT for years. During the deployment of a computer...
  • Blog Post: Useful Script Number 6 - Pausing the Task Sequence

    Have you ever wanted to pause the task sequence in MDT 2008 or ConfigMgr 2007 for a few seconds while something catches up...? I had a requirement to do this recently where I ran a task to close and cancel the Windows Sidebar at the start of the State Restore phase of the task sequencer and then turn...
  • 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: 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: Back to basics #4 – Things You Shouldn't Do But Are Tempted To

    It's been a while, but I'll now continue this series of basic tips in the hope to help avoid some deployment unpleasantness that you might rub shoulders with at some point! In this post I'll explain 5 common errors that people make when configuring their newly deployed Windows 7, and what you should...
  • 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: Useful Script Number 2 - Move the Task Sequence Window

    Have you ever created a build and had to pop up a message to the user/technician? - or had to start an HTA application to request some kind of user input during the build or deployment process? If you have then you will know that the task sequence window sits centre screen and everything else pops up...
  • 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: Task Sequence logic tricks using MDT variables

    In my particular part of the Microsoft organization (the CTS testing lab), we install just about every OS, at every service pack level, on both major platforms. Because of this, I created a master template that is used to create dozens of task sequences where the only thing that changes is the OS. To...
  • Blog Post: "Up-ping" the uptime of your Lite-Touch server

    I like the lite-touch installation (LTI) feature of MDT, it think it's great and is very impressive as it allows clients to easily see the benefit that they will gain by using MDT to create and deploy their images. I can go on-site with a customer to demo the product and have a basic MDT server configured...
  • 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: Simple Deployment Monitoring

    When working on a client site, the laboratory where I have the MDT server(s) set up along with the test machines is not always in the same place as where I am. This could be for a variety of reasons, but usually it is that the lab area is either too cold to stay in (aggressive AC being used!) or just...
  • Blog Post: MDT Script Explanations

    I get quite a few emails from people asking if there is a help file that details all of the scripts that are supplied with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT). The scripts form the engine of a deployment and can also help you to develop a framework for scripts that you need to create for your own tasks...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: MDT Debugger 2.0

    Back in March of last year, I posted the MDT Debugger as a time/stress and frustration saving tool useful for debugging the scripts you develop for use with MDT. Over the last year, I've used the tool in every MDT project that I have worked on, which has given me the opportunity to (very slowly) address...
  • Blog Post: MDT Debugger

    edit: fixed error in command line example. Thanks to Aurélien Bonnin and FoW for pointing it out. edit 2 : this version has been updated, please search the blog for the latest version. When creating and configuring an LTI deployment solution there is one thing that always bugs me immensly...
  • Blog Post: Exporting All SCCM Variables To A Log File For Debugging

    [UPDATE] Please use the script in the following location - http://blogs.technet.com/b/deploymentguys/archive/2008/09/02/logging-all-the-configuration-manager-task-sequence-variables-part-ii.aspx. Often when debugging a Windows deployment you might need to know the value that has been assigned to a...