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  • Blog Post: Experimenting with WIMBoot using MDT 2013

    With the release of the Windows 8.1 Update, there is a new mechanism available for running Windows called Windows Image Boot, or WIMBoot for short. For details about what this is and how it works, see the Springboard blog . Although MDT 2013 doesn’t include any specific support for WIMBoot ...
  • Blog Post: Configuring file associations in Windows 8.1

    When you are using Windows 8.1 (or Windows 8, which behaves the same way), you may notice that some file types (mapped by file extension) are opened by modern apps while others may be opened by desktop apps. If you are a tablet user, you may not want the desktop apps; if you are a laptop or desktop user...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2012 Update 1: Deploy to VHD

    I was working on a separate blog posting (to be posted soon) that referenced the “Deploy to VHD” support that was present in MDT 2012 and improved in MDT 2012 Update 1 and wanted to include a link to that previous blog.  Except there was no previous blog – I guess I never did one… So let’s start...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2012 Beta 1: Cross-Platform Deployment

    Those of you who deploy both x86 and x64 versions of Windows 7 using MDT 2010 Lite Touch probably know that you have to use two different boot images to do it:  When booted from a Lite Touch x86 boot image, you only see task sequences associated with x86 operating systems; when booted from a Lite...
  • 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: Issue with MDT 2010 Update 1 and Windows AIK for Windows 7 SP1 Supplement

    With the release of the Windows AIK for Windows 7 SP1 supplement (see http://blogs.technet.com/b/mniehaus/archive/2011/02/17/windows-aik-for-windows-7-sp1-released.aspx for details), there is a new version 3.1 version of Windows PE available. If you plan to install this update, you need to be aware of...
  • 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: MDT 2010 and Windows AIK Supplement Revisited

    In my previous post titled Issue with MDT 2010 Update 1 and Windows AIK for Windows 7 SP1 Supplement , I mentioned some challenges if you wanted to use Windows PE 3.1 and still use Windows RE from a Windows 7 SP1 BOOT.WIM file. One possibility proposed for dealing with this is to manually modify the...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2012 New Feature: Gather improvements

    Sometimes it’s the little things that most people fail to notice that need some attention.  In this case, we’re talking about new task sequence variables automatically set by the MDT “Gather” process (specifically, the ZTIGather.wsf script).  There are a few new ones in MDT 2012: IsOnBattery...
  • 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: Copying $OEM$ files and folders with MDT 2012 Update 1

    I mentioned in the blog post at http://blogs.technet.com/b/mniehaus/archive/2012/07/21/mdt-2012-update-1-always-applying-images-with-imagex.aspx that MDT 2012 Update 1 no longer uses SETUP.EXE to install Windows 7 and above. One side effect of this is that $OEM$ folders are no longer going to be copied...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2012 Beta 1: UEFI Support

    One of the new features that has been added to Lite Touch Installation in MDT 2012 Beta 1 is support for deploying 64-bit Windows to machines configured to use UEFI.  So what exactly does that mean?  That’s no simple question. What is UEFI? The “Unified Extensible Firmware Interface” (UEFI...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2012 Update 1 has been updated

    For those of you using ConfigMgr 2012, you may be interested in this.  When ConfigMgr 2012 Cumulative Update 1 was released, it was discovered that you could no longer create a new task sequence using MDT 2012 Update 1 and the “Create MDT Task Sequence” wizard.  When you tried, you would get...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2010 Update 1: Fixed Slow Driver Injection in Lite Touch

    During Lite Touch deployments, the task sequence runs ZTIDrivers.wsf, which needs to figure out what drivers are needed for the computer, based on the PnP IDs found on the computer and the available drivers on the deployment share.  For every match, the driver files are copied to the computer. It...
  • Blog Post: Encoding sensitive information in CustomSettings.ini and Bootstrap.ini

    One of the questions I received after presenting a session at TechEd Europe was about encoding any clear-text passwords that you might place into the Bootstrap.ini file, so that if someone looked at the file they wouldn’t be able to tell what value it represented. I suggested that it would be fairly...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2012 Update 1: Always applying images with ImageX

    Another change you might notice in MDT 2012 Update 1 is that Lite Touch deployments never use SETUP.EXE.  That doesn’t result in any real change in functionality, as we still do the equivalent steps: Applying the image using ImageX.exe. Servicing the image using DISM, which injects drivers, software...
  • 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 New Feature: Monitoring

    I was going to do a blog posting talking about how to troubleshoot issues with the new monitoring feature available in MDT 2012 for Lite Touch deployments, but then I realized I’ve not yet done an initial post talking about the feature (although I did mention it in a previous blog posting talking about...
  • 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: Revisiting LTI deployment wizard application selection profiles

    A few years back, I posted a blog at http://blogs.technet.com/b/mniehaus/archive/2010/06/11/selection-profiles-with-the-lite-touch-deployment-wizard.aspx describing how to modify the Lite Touch wizard so that the deployment wizard shows a different list of applications based on the task sequence that...
  • 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: MDT 2010 Update 1: Fix to make ConvertBooleanToString available again

    In MDT 2008, we had various functions in the ZTIUtility.vbs script that could be used in CustomSettings.ini – not that we really intended for that to be the case, but because the “Gather” process can call any global VBScript function, so it just works. In MDT 2010, we rearranged...
  • 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...