Michael Griswold's SCCM Tips and Tricks

Things I have learned and want to share

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  • Blog Post: Search through everything!!!!!

    With Configuration Manager 2012 came a new UI. It took some getting used to but I, for one, have come to like it over the old MMC interface. There is one frustration with it that I hear from customers or see them attempting to workaround all the time. ConfigMgr admins everywhere like to organize their...
  • Blog Post: Get more from your queries

    Every SCCM admin has figured out how to create a collection with a query rule to dynamically update its membership (you don't just do direct rules I hope). Most admins have also learned that the columns able to be returned by a collection are limited but if you create a query in the Query node of...
  • Blog Post: Disabling RBAC during custom report creation

    A much anticipated feature of System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (SCCM) was RBA (Role Based Administration, also known as RBAC or Role Based Access Control). When this functionality was added to reports it was very welcomed, but also made life a little difficult. When most people, myself included...
  • Blog Post: Which Prestart command will I get?

    For those of you doing OS deployments with System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (I bet the same info below applies to the 2007 version but haven't tested it) you may have gotten into prestart commands to run a custom script or perhaps an HTA to better control and customize the deployment process...
  • Blog Post: To hotfix or not to hotfix, that is the question

    Let me start this blog post by making it clear that this is my opinion, not an official stance. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and this is just mine. Feel free to ignore it if you like. I often time have discussions with customers about applying hotfixes, and more recently cumulative updates...
  • Blog Post: How to manually clean your SCCM server roles off the box

    Occasionally it becomes necessary to manually clean off a server of SCCM components. When that becomes necessary I usually tell customers to just flatten and rebuild the box, but that is not always an option. In those cases I have this mental list of things I go through to remove all the traces that...
  • Blog Post: How to get clients to avoid one of your management points

    The other week I had a customer asking me how they could keep clients from using a Management Point, yet still have it installed and functional to interact with some 3rd party software they wanted to use. That question didn’t have a simple answer. By default an SCCM 2012 client will randomly choose...
  • Blog Post: Getting started with RBA in System Center Configuration Manager 2012

    RBAC, or Role Based Administration, is new with the SCCM 2012 product. Many customers I encounter are excited with the separation and flexibility it can provide, but daunted by the activity of getting it setup initially. There are a few handy tricks I share time and again with customers at this stage...
  • Blog Post: Basic content deployment troubleshooting in SCCM 2012

    I was recently asked to pull together a general starting point guideline on how to troubleshoot content deployment issues with SCCM 2012. There is a lot that could go wrong, and the specifics for each scenario are different, but here is what I pulled together as a general starting point. ·...
  • Blog Post: Testing software deployment for a Linux machine

    I was recently working with a customer to setup management of their Mac and Linux machines with System Center Configuration Manager 2012 and once we had things up and running we wanted to validate the client communication.  In the windows world I often setup a simple SWDist of something like CMTrace...
  • Blog Post: Configuration Management for the non SCCM admin

    DCM was a feature in SCCM 2007 that got renamed to Configuration Management in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.  IN 2007 It saw little use outside of FEP.  I encourage customers to take another look at it with SCCM 2012. Now it not only monitors settings and reports back on drift,...
  • Blog Post: KB2775511 deployment for the SCCM Admin

    This week Microsoft rolled out a BIG hotfix (90 hotfixes) rollup for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 . To better understand all the goodness it gives you check out the AskPFEPlat blog or go to the source of one of the guys who helped put it together, my fellow PFE Jeff Stokes . It is being...
  • Blog Post: The best group is a DP group!

    There are all kinds of new features in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (SCCM 2012) and you have probably read about, watched video, or made use of many of them. As I visit customers I find there is one very cool feature that most folks don’t realize is actually there: Distribution Point...
  • Blog Post: Quick tips to improve the accuracy of your metrics for deployments

    One of the topics that comes up with a lot of my SCCM customers is how their management is looking at reports of things like updates deployments or software deployments and seeing low success rates.  Getting 100% success is rare in any large deployment but each company should know a reasonable number...
  • Blog Post: System discovery of an untrusted forest fails with 0x8007052E

    I got a question from one of my customers the other day that was an easy, but not obvious, answer.  They had SCCM 2012 setup in Forest A but wanted to discover machines in forest B.  They supplied alternative credentials with the correct username and password for this other domain\forest but...
  • Blog Post: “Dial Me In Baby” and the other magical files of Configuration Manager

    10/22/14 update - Added archive_reports.sms section Back in the SMS 2.0 days I was doing phone support and I would often have to listen to statements of disbelief when I told customers to create a Dial_Me_in_baby.sms file in order to enable logging to troubleshoot their issues. While that file...
  • Blog Post: Manual removal of the SCCM client

    As much as I love it, it may occasionally be necessary to remove the System Center Configuration Manager client. I recently had a customer who could not get a machine to upgrade from 2007 to 2012 and after attempting many things we did a manual clean down of the client then the 2012 client installed...
  • Blog Post: Are your new clients working?

    I have setup many SCCM installations in my time and once I have all the server side pieces in place I like to kick a few quick tests to make sure it is all working as expected.  Nothing too heavy and cumbersome, but enough to see if you have a good foundation to build from.  Depending on time...
  • Blog Post: How do I get the right permissions in ConfigMgr 2012?

    If you are new to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and learning the new Role Based Authentication (RBA) model you may not initially grasp the concept that you grant a user a role and scope to define their security access. I find this gets people a little confused some times. The role is the set...
  • Blog Post: Permissions to Create a collection

    I had a customer doing some custom permission setting in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager the other week and after adding folks to a few existing security roles all was good except that these limited rights users could not create collections.  If you have looked at all the possible perms...
  • Blog Post: Digging in on application deployment

    I will admit, this is a bit of a lame post on my part.  I just wanted to help spread some awareness of a post my fellow PFE, Jamie Moyer, put up.  When I’m trying to troubleshoot some kind of SCCM 2012 application deployment failure it is useful to reference what a good deployment looks like...
  • Blog Post: 404 for Driver packages, can’t find content.

    Driver management has never been a fun aspect of Configuration Manager.  It is one of those necessary evils to enable a bigger solution of great OS deployment.  Done according to product design it consists of 3 general steps: Import drivers into driver catalog Add drivers to driver packages...
  • Blog Post: Fast policy evaluation only for new machines

    10/13/14 - updated to add restart info Many of my customers are in similar situations where they do not include application deployment in their OS imaging process but instead rely on Configuration Manager to deploy apps after the OS is up and running. The biggest complaint I hear is about how slow...
  • Blog Post: So you think you can be me (a.k.a Job opening in PFE)?

    I have all kinds of quotes running through my head today. “To every season, turn, turn, turn” and “it’s so hard to say goodbye”. I have come to another one of those points in life where I am making a good change, but I will miss what I leave behind. I have made the choice...