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  • Blog Post: MDT 2012 Update 1: DaRT 8 support

    In MDT 2012 RTW that released back in April, we included support for DaRT 7, making it easy to add the DaRT components to Lite Touch boot images.  See http://blogs.technet.com/b/mniehaus/archive/2011/11/28/mdt-2012-new-feature-dart-integration.aspx for more details on that. With MDT 2012 Update...
  • Blog Post: Quick notes about MDT 2010 Update 1, released today!

    For those of you who didn’t notice the posting on our team blog talking about today’s release of MDT 2010 Update 1 or hadn’t signed up for the beta on http://connect.microsoft.com so you didn’t get the e-mail notification, I wanted to post a few quick notes about the new release: Read the release notes...
  • Blog Post: Windows AIK for Windows 7 SP1 Released

    Some of you probably noticed a new download showed up today: The Windows® Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows® 7 SP1 http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=0aee2b4b-494b-4adc-b174-33bc62f02c5d Be sure to read the “readme” that goes along with this...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2010 Update 1: Fixes to ConfigMgr State Migration Point Scenarios

    When using MDT task sequence templates for ConfigMgr, we expect to keep user state locally if you are refreshing existing machines.  But if you are replacing a computer, the user state needs to be stored on a ConfigMgr state migration point.  In that setup, you would run two different task...
  • Blog Post: Creating the ConfigMgr “System Management” Container with PowerShell

    One of the steps in the Configuration Manager installation process is to manually create the “System Management” container in Active Directory, then give the ConfigMgr computer account the ability to create objects in it. Yes, even with Configuration Manager 2012, this is still something...
  • Blog Post: Trying to install ConfigMgr 2012 RC2? Make sure you have the right SQL…

    Now that Configuration Manager 2012 RC2 is available, people will certainly start updating their labs – and finding out that the SQL version check in the ConfigMgr installer is looking for some very specific SQL maintenance levels.  (I’ve pulled out plenty of my own hair doing this recently.) ...
  • Blog Post: Got orphaned collections in ConfigMgr?

    This one goes back several years to when I was routinely writing code that used the ConfigMgr SDK (although in an odd coincidence, I was writing such code again yesterday).  It was pretty easy to run some buggy code that didn’t quite do what was intended, and as a result ConfigMgr might be left...
  • Blog Post: Troubleshooting the User State Migration Tool 4.0

    I gave a presentation today at the TechEd New Zealand conference on “Customizing the User State Migration Tool 4.0” – something I’ve talked with customers about back from my consulting days (way back when, probably with USMT 2.6 at that point – remember that one and its...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2012 Update 1: Merged ZTI and UDI task sequences

    Since we released MDT 2012 Update 1 Beta 1 a few weeks ago, I’ve received a few panicked e-mail messages from people asking “what happened to the UDI task sequence, it’s gone.”  Don’t worry, it’s still there.  What we have done in MDT 2012 Update 1 is merge the ZTI and UDI task sequence together...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2012 Update 1 is coming soon!

    You probably noticed that Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 RTM’d today (see http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/08/01/windows-8-has-reached-the-rtm-milestone.aspx and http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/archive/2012/08/01/windows-server-2012-released-to-manufacturing...
  • Blog Post: Inside a Task Sequence

    I’ve done a few sessions now where I demonstrated how to put some hooks into a task sequence so that you can single step through the process and “poke around” to see exactly what is going on. Since I’ve promised to make those scripts available, and will get lots of e-mails from...
  • Blog Post: User groups in the Seattle area

    You would expect that having Microsoft in the Seattle area would result in having a plethora of Microsoft-related users groups around.  But over the years, I’ve found that these are somewhat hard to find.  So here’s my compilation: Seattle IT Pro User's Group .  This group talks about...
  • Blog Post: Automatically configuring the ConfigMgr console for MDT 2012

    As part of the MDT installation process, you need to run the “Configure ConfgMgr Integration” wizard to add the MDT components into the ConfigMgr console and database. But what if you want to automate that process? Fortunately, that’s pretty easy to do using PowerShell, as the integration...
  • Blog Post: Trying to install ConfigMgr 2012 RTM? Make sure you have the right SQL…

    Now that Configuration Manager 2012 RTM is available, people will certainly start installing it, both in their labs and in production – and will start finding out that the SQL version check in the ConfigMgr installer is looking for some very specific SQL maintenance levels.  (I’ve pulled out plenty...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2010 Update 1: Added Support for ConfigMgr R3 Prestaged Media

    In MDT 2010 (and earlier versions), we provided some task sequence templates to perform what we called an “OEM preload” scenario, where you could send a disk image to an OEM for them to preload on each new machine they manufactured for you. But due to some limitations in ConfigMgr (and our...
  • Blog Post: ConfigMgr Driver Management: A New Development

    As part of the “ConfigMgr Driver Management: The Novel” blog postings (see http://blogs.technet.com/b/mniehaus/archive/2010/04/29/configmgr-2007-driver-management-the-novel-part-1.aspx for the first part) and in various presentations I mentioned that most of the challenges with driver management in ConfigMgr...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2012 Update 1: Roles and Features improvements

    Apparently I was so wrapped up in the MDT 2012 Update 1 development process that I forgot to talk about one of the areas that consumed weeks of my time before the MDT 2012 Update 1 release: improvements to the “Roles and Features” logic. In MDT 2010 and MDT 2012, we had a task sequence action to “Install...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2012 Update 1: UDI “Build Your Own Pages”

    One of the challenges with previous versions of the UDI wizard was extensibility.  With MDT 2010 Update 1, there was no way to add a new page.  With MDT 2012, you could do this by writing C++ and C# code, which at least made it doable, but beyond the capabilities of most organizations. ...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2010 Update 1: Scripts Changed

    Since MDT 2010 Update 1 was released, I’ve been intending to write a series of blog postings talking about the changes that have been made.  While my intentions were good, I’ve been too busy to really act on them.  So I’m going to force myself to do this one posting, and hope that encourages...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2010 Update 1: Task Sequences Changed

    MDT 2010 also includes a variety of task sequence templates.  When you upgrade from MDT 2010 to MDT 2010 Update 1, your existing task sequences won’t be changed.  So, you have to decide if any of the changes that we’ve made are of value to you, and if they are, you’ll need to create new task...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2012 Update 1: ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 CTP support

    The MDT 2012 Update 1 release is primarily intended to add support for deploying Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.  For ConfigMgr 2012, it’s the SP1 release that adds similar support.  So if you want to start testing out the Windows 8 deployment process, you’ll want to be using MDT 2012 Update...
  • Blog Post: Deploying Office 2010 with Configuration Manager 2012 Beta 2

    The new application model in Configuration Manager 2012 will require administrators to study up on how best to deploy software – this isn’t anything like traditional software distribution like you would find in ConfigMgr 2007. I recently set up Office 2010 as an application in ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2. ...
  • Blog Post: Troubleshooting Windows Deployments, take #2

    Traveling from New Zealand to Australia for the TechEd Australia conference, I had some additional time to work on the troubleshooting guide, which is now starting to feel more like a book. I added two sections to this document, one reviewing all the possible return codes from the MDT scripts (yes, there...
  • Blog Post: Sometimes it’s the little things…

    I’ve been building SMS and ConfigMgr environments for over 17 years now.  You would think that in that amount of time I would be able to do this without pulling my hair out.  Most of the time that is the case, but not always.  Today, I wanted to do something that I’ve done dozens of times...
  • Blog Post: SCCM Guru webcast coming up soon

    As part of the BDNA “SCCM Guru” webcast series, I will be presenting on November 17th from 11:00am to 12:00pm Pacific time.  The topic of the presentation: Inside a ConfigMgr 2012 OS Deployment Task Sequence In this webcast with Michael Niehaus, Microsoft’s “Deployment Guy”, you will learn: The...