Richard Smith

Consultant - Microsoft Services - United Kingdom

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  • Blog Post: New Deployment Forum Site...

    Deployment Forum is a new community Web site devoted to IT professionals deploying Windows. Myself and fellow MCS blogger Ben Hunter, as well as MCS architect Steve Campbell have taken up residency in the MVP section with a selection of the industry's best deployment specialists and we will all be adding...
  • Blog Post: General Purpose CustomSettings.ini

    One thing that seems to stump a number of people with BDD 2007 is using the CustomSettings.ini file (accessible via the Rules tab) to automate the deployment wizards. The usual issues are around differing language settings for Windows XP and Windows Vista, as well as turning off and on the relevant wizards...
  • Blog Post: Deployment 4 - Using Your BDD 2007 Task Sequences as Templates

    So - Deployment 4 Beta 3 - very cool indeed...but I bet your thinking "how can I use the task sequences that I built in BDD 2007 as templates in Deployment 4 Beta 3?" - well that's a good question. Deployment 4 Beta 3 stores it's task sequence templates in the Program Files\Deployment 4\Templates folder...
  • Blog Post: System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Toolkit released

    For those that haven't seen it , we have just released the SCCM 2007 Toolkit for download. This excellent toolkit contains: Client Spy - A tool to help troubleshoot issues related to software distribution, inventory, and software metering on Configuration Manager 2007 clients. Policy Spy - A policy viewer...
  • Blog Post: BDD Lite Touch and Zero Touch Lab Recommendations

    So - I get asked a lot about how to set up a test lab or Proof of Concept environment for Lite Touch and Zero Touch. Working with my colleages in the MCS UK desktop team, specifically Mark Aslett and Adam Shepherd, we have developed a rough guide to a lab design that works for us that I thought I would...
  • Blog Post: Windows Vista Deployment Planning - Part 1

    As promises - I will start to deep dive into the areas that I consider when working with clients on Windows Vista deployment projects...in Windows Vista Client Build and Deployment Process , I presented the diagram used when scoping deployment projects, so in this post I'll start discussing the process...
  • Blog Post: User Account Control - What you need to know from a deployment perspective

    I've had a couple of emails from people attempting to use their own admin accounts to carry out the build process and hitting User Account Control (UAC) issues. User Account Control is a core security feature of Windows Vista that fundamentally changes the way users will use the operating system. By...
  • Blog Post: Disabling the Network Location Prompt

    Over the past few months, many of the clients I have been working with have started deploying Windows Vista into their environment. One thing that commonly crops up is that the Windows Vista Network Location prompt fires up on all newly built machines asking for the network type that the machine is connected...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Deployment RC1 Released

    Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) is now Microsoft Deployment! The RC1 release and new name for the fourth generation deployment Solution Accelerator, Microsoft Deployment is available from today. Previous Beta releases have been using the code name "Deployment 4" to refer to Microsoft Deployment...
  • Blog Post: WMI Tags for Task Sequencer Logic

    One of the things that I am often required to obtain for customers are certain WMI tags so that we can write task sequence IF statements and provide the build process with some logic. Gathering these WMI tags can be tricky, so we put together a VB Script to pull out the 10 most popular items and display...
  • Blog Post: Deployment 4 Beta 3 Released

    The BDD team have announced that Deployment 4 (the code name for the next version of Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) 2007) has been released as BETA 3 and unifies the tools and processes required for desktop and server deployment into a common deployment console and collection of guidance. Previously...
  • Blog Post: Computer Name Selection in ZTI Deployments

    I've been asked by a few people about the RequestComputerName.vbs script that i use in the ZTI configuration demo video posted earlier. The script prompts the technician for a computername at the start of the deployment process and stores it as an OSD variable (OSDNEWMACHINENAME) for use by the ZTI scripts...
  • Blog Post: Useful Registry Changes During Build Creation/Image Deployment

    As I have worked with different customers, a number of common requests often pop up for changes during build creation on deployment. For Windows XP deployment, I built up a library of VB scripts that carried out most of the customisations that I required (and were run either as part of the image creation...
  • Blog Post: Multiple Partitions in BDD 2007

    Have had a couple of requests to cover creating multiple partitions using BDD 2007. By default BDD 2007 creates a single partition (C:) that then builds out with your required OS and applications via the task sequencer. The partition and format information is not done by the unattend.xml file (WinPE...
  • Blog Post: How drivers are added to Windows PE and Windows Vista during an unattended installation

    My MCS colleague and top deployment gent - Mark Aslett has put together a handy process list for how device drivers are added to Windows PE and Windows Vista during deployment. The example below assumes than an unattend.xml file is being used to specify the location of drivers in both the windowsPE pass...