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  • 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: 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 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: 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 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: 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: Migrating application settings with USMT 4.0: Sample #2

    So maybe migrating Angry Birds high scores and settings isn’t terribly useful to you. Let’s try something a little more practical and self-serving. Many of you are using Configuration Manager 2007 or testing Configuration Manager 2012. As part of that, you have installed the ConfigMgr console...
  • 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: Creating a fully-patched image using MDT 2010 Lite Touch

    I’ve always been a fan of the thinnest image possible.  Taking that to an extreme, that means using the original image straight off the Microsoft media.  But over time if you did this you’d find that the time required to apply patches to that image becomes unmanageable.  (Case in point...
  • Blog Post: More experimenting with RAMdisks: Using a VM completely in RAM

    In my previous post , I talked about using a small RAMdisk to speed up the process of generating MDT boot images.  But the trial version only supports RAMdisks up to 4GB in size and only on client OSes.  One comment posted to that blog pointed out that StarWind also has a free RAMdisk available...
  • 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: ConfigMgr 2007 Driver Management Revisited (Again)

    After MMS 2010, I had posted a series of blog postings talking about different mechanisms for managing drivers with ConfigMgr 2007.  You can read through that at http://blogs.technet.com/b/mniehaus/archive/2010/04/29/configmgr-2007-driver-management-the-novel-part-1.aspx . Then a hotfix was released...
  • Blog Post: Troubleshooting Windows Deployments

    I’ve been doing a session at various events over the years called “Troubleshooting Windows Deployments” or something similar to that. Today is the latest, presenting the session at TechEd New Zealand in Auckland. It’s been tweaked some over the years, but the basic flow has always...
  • Blog Post: MDT 2010 Update 1: Fix to re-enable System Restore in ConfigMgr task sequence

    Some people noticed that during an OS deployment task sequence, performed either by MDT 2008 Lite Touch or by ConfigMgr, could capture sensitive information (from unattend.xml, variables.dat, etc.) as part of the automatic System Restore snapshot process that happens whenever a new driver, application...