The Deployment Guys

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  • 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: Deploying Custom Registry Settings for Office 2010

    If you are planning to customise your Office 2010 deployment significantly, then at some point, you will more than likely need to make changes to the registry. Perhaps you wrote a custom add-in that you need to define (In “ HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins ”), or maybe you want to tweak the...
  • Blog Post: How to Setup ConfigMgr 2007 on Windows Server 2008

    Installing ConfigMgr 2007 onto a Windows Server 2008 based server can be a challenge. Having recently been through the process for my own lab environment I thought I’d share the process in the hope that it will save you some time when you need to create this configuration. Before you begin you...
  • 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: Allowing Better Interaction to App-V Virtual Applications

    Each time I work on a Windows deployment project, App-V figures more and more in the conversations that I have with customers. It is, in my opinion, now a vital tool that is needed in order to successfully migrate an existing platform (or deploy a new one) to Windows 7. The uses for App-V vary but two...
  • 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: 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: Windows 7 Background Customization

    One of the most requested windows7 customization in every deployment projects is the OS branding. Here is a quick step by step guide. Windows Background Picture: If you want to assign a Win7 Background & Logon picture based on the size of the Monitor we recommend to create a picture that looks...
  • Blog Post: Placing your window on top during the WindowsPE stage

    Back in March, Richard Smith wrote a post about how to move the Task Sequence window to one side so that you can display a new window in the centre of the screen without it being covered up by the “Always On Top” Task Sequence window. Richard’s solution works great, however if you try to use it during...
  • Blog Post: SCCM Client Install Getting Stuck

    Here is a simple tip that I thought I'd share in the hope that you don't need to lose a few hours of your life trying to work out what is wrong with your SCCM client sotware install! I was onsite with a client recently trying to upgrade some Windows XP computers to Windows 7. However, trying to install...
  • 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 Error Codes

    I was recently configuring the User State Migration Tool for a customer’s MDT server when, during the testing phase, the USMT began failing with an error code (‘return code’ or ‘rc’ when you read the MDT log files).  I searched the USMT documentation on TechNet looking for the explanation of what...
  • 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: 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: "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: 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: BDD 2007 Lite Touch and SMS 2003 Zero Touch Video Walkthroughs

    I have had a number of emails and comments requesting the location for the video walkthroughs featuring BDD 2007 Lite Touch and BDD 2007/SMS 2003 Zero Touch Setup, so I have re-posted them to the Deployment Guys SkyDrive for download: The BDD 2007 Lite Touch Video Walkthrough download pack (23.5 MB...
  • 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: 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...