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  • Blog Post: Dealing With Duplicate User Profile Links in Windows Vista

    Overview of Windows Vista User Profiles In previous versions of Windows the user's profile was largely hidden away and only the more technically-minded of us would ever knowingly delve into its contents.  With Windows Vista there seems to have been a significant change in that the profile has been...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Useful Script Number 5 - Adjusting the Default User Registry Hive

    Michael Murgolo did a great post on the different ways to adjust default settings when building an image ( Configuring default settings for Windows image deployment ) and one of the options presented was to targeted changes to the Default User Registry hive and profile folders. I had to do this recently...
  • Blog Post: Porting Configuration Manager Task Sequences to a Different Environment

    Many scenarios arise in which you may want to port your task sequence from one environment to another. Common scenarios include promotion through Lab and QA environments and migration between disconnected hierarchies. Configuration Manager allows you to export task sequences into XML files as an out...
  • 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: Adding and Removing Fonts with Windows PowerShell

    A while back the topic of scripting the installation and removal of fonts came up in an internal discussion. It reminded me that someone had once shared with me Visual Basic 6 utilities for doing just that. So I decided to see if I could transform these into working Windows PowerShell scripts in the...
  • 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: Getting caught out by your logon script

    Whenever I go onsite with a customer to start a Windows Vista deployment project I always like to discuss with them the issues that we will be having during the project.  I do this so that, together, we can try and avoid having the issues in the first place.  Most of the issues the customer...
  • 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: Useful Script Number 1 - Start and Stop Services

    So over the next few weeks, I will be presenting a mini series of scripts that may useful in your deployments. All of the scripts will be BDD/MDT specific - meaning that they can be run from the task sequencer and will have the correct format for using the BDD/MDT framework for logging/utilities etc...
  • 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: Using MBAM to start BitLocker Encryption in a Task Sequence

    The script has been updated to abort if the TPM is not Active and to create Endorsement Key Pair if it does not exist on the TPM. Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) provides features to manage BitLocker encryption of computers in an enterprise. More information on MBAM can...
  • Blog Post: Sharing some simple HTAs

    I was recently asked to share these files with a colleague, so I thought I would also share them with everyone via our blog. I developed them a while ago for a deployment project and I have since used them a few times more. Basically, they are 3 very simple HTA (HTML application) files that prompt...
  • Blog Post: Updated Driver INF Information Script

    A few years ago I wrote an article for TechNet Magazine on how to Automate Device Driver Integration for Windows image builds and deployment. The article is now somewhat dated since BDD/MDT and System Center Configuration Manager now handle much of this for you. However, I included with that article...
  • 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: 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...