Author Description

Heinrich Heinrich is a Consultant working firmly on the grey area between the Private Cloud and the Desktop. He has a keen focus and love for Configuration Manager 2012 and beyond, delivering and working on a Desktop Deployments as well as Private and Hybrid Cloud solutions.

Author Posts

SCCM Surface Pro 4 Domain Join Issues (Windows 10)

Afternoon, Had some fun and games whilst onsite with SCCM, Windows 10 and Surface Pro 4’s (SP4). I captured my reference image using MDT, downloaded the drivers from Microsoft, imported everything into SCCM, configured the task sequence and then the trouble started … I couldn’t find the Ethernet drivers for the SP4 so instead I used the Ethernet drivers for the Pro 3 to allow my boot image to start working. After the boot issues were overcome, the build finishes but the device wouldn’t domain join. On some occasions, the Ethernet dongle for the surface wouldn’t turn back on after a reboot and other times it did … So I managed to track down all the correct drivers I needed and re-created the boot.wim to get back on track, this time the Ethernet dongle stayed up after the reboots and I hoped that this would fix the domain join issues and it didn’t…

SCCM 2012 R2 PXE fails (WDS Crash)

Players, Last week I was asked to look into PXE boot issue that a friend of mine was experiencing, in his own words he explained that “PXE boots were working fine until” … he recently built a new Windows 2008 R2 box (No idea why he didn’t use 2012 R2 …). It wasn’t a boundary group issue, as this problem was intermittent. And was sometimes fixed reboot of the server. He passed over a bunch of log files, and the following error stuck out. Log Name: Application Source: WDSServer Event ID: 512 Task Category: WDSServer Description: An error occurred while trying to initialize provider WdsImgSrv from C:\Windows\system32\WdsImgSrv.dll. Since this provider is not marked as critical, Windows Deployment Services server will continue. As well as this … Log Name: Application Source: WDSIMGSRV Event ID: 258 Task Category: WdsImgSrv Level: Error Description: An error occurred while trying to initialize the Windows Deployment Services…

Task Sequence Variables for SCCM

Players, I wanted to share a pretty cool spreadsheet that a fellow professional showed me, I asked if he’s happy for me to share it, and here it is. Its a brilliant reference guide for all the task sequence variables available in SCCM 2012/2007 and how they work. Variable Class Description SCCM 2007 SCCM 2012 _SMSTSAdvertID Built in Stores the current running task sequence deployment unique ID. It uses the same format as a Configuration Manager software distribution deployment ID. If the task sequence is running from stand-alone media, this variable is undefined. Yes Yes _SMSTSBootImageID Built in Stores the Configuration Manager boot image package ID if a boot image package is associated with the current running task sequence. The variable will not be set if no Configuration Manager boot image package is associated. Yes Yes _SMSTSClientGUID Built in Stores the value of Configuration Manager client GUID. This variable is…

SCCM 2012 R2 and SP1 February 2015 anti-malware platform update for Endpoint Protection Clients

Players, If you’re on SCCM 2012 R2 or SP1, you’ll have noticed (depending on your WSUS sync schedule) a new version of SCEP that became available this week. We’re now on version The update contains the following improvements: The following configuration settings are updated in the ADMX templates: DisableAutoExclusions SubmitSamplesConsent UILockdown Improvements to registry and file system protection to counter tampering from malware. Sub-mount points can be automatically excluded, and volumes can be fully excluded in Real time protection (RTP). This update also includes the deprecation of the DisableGenericReports subkey in the following registry location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Reporting NOTE: You need to be on at least CU1 of SCCM 2012 R2 or CU 5 for SCCM 2012 SP1. Please refer to this link (where I got the info from for this post) Enjoy Heinrich Pelser

SCCM 2012 R2 – PowerShell Basics (Part 1)

Players, I’m not sure where I read it, but I’m pretty sure someone once said “Learn PowerShell or become obsolete”. It’s pretty much a key skills requirement for most roles in infrastructure these days and besides System Center 2012 is basically all PowerShell under the hood, so at least understanding it puts the odds in your favour. But lets keep things in perspective, there are lots of “very important” I.T professionals who really push the PowerShell envelope. I’m not one of them, I do agree its a key skill that’s needed. Will you become obsolete? No. Probably not. Lets face it, if you “Google” hard enough you can find out how to do just about anything. Including PowerShell. I have to do loads of hand-overs and document configurations etc for SCCM, so doing certain jobs via PowerShell actually makes the mundane documentation process a little easier. I’ve also been asked…

SCCM 2012 R2 – Driver Packages (Specific driver packages to specific devices)

Players, When it comes to driver packages and deploying Windows to multiple hardware variants using the same task sequence, every man and his dog has a way of doing it. Some of us like to be precise and other don’t mind how this is configured as long as all the drivers are on the DP and they get onto machines one way or another … So, lets pretend that we want to be a little more specific with drivers and we don’t like “Auto Deploy” as we have taken the time to create individual driver packages for each hardware variant. Here is some guidance on how to deploy specific driver packages to specific devices via the task sequence. 1. We need to know what the model name is for the specific machine/s first. So open command prompt (or PowerShell if you want to look cool) and type WMIC Computersystem GET Model you should get…

Hotfix extends client notification in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager to MDM devices

Players, I had a bit of a panic induced call from a former client this morning because it took to long time to wipe a device from SCCM. Luckily there is a hotfix for this. He applied it and … as if my magic, the issue went away, we were unable to test this on Android devices, but his iOS and Windows 8.1 devices were all wiping a lot faster. Prerequisites To apply this hotfix, you must have CU3 for System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager installed. Restart information You do not have to restart the computer after you apply this hotfix. Hotfix can be found here Enjoy @Heinrich_Pelser

SCCM 2012 R2 SMSTS.LOG location

Players, I’m literately sitting in a meeting room, and the conversation is focused on OSD with SCCM 2012 R2 and some of the difficulties the deployment guys face when they are troubleshooting task sequences. They complained about the log file location (mainly the smsts.log) and how it keeps changing location. Truth is, it has to, because quite a few things happen during a task sequence, as Im sure you understand. So here are the locations of the smsts.log during a typical deployment … 1. It will start here x:\windows\temp\smstslog\smsts.log during a PXE boot and will stay here until the disk is formatted. 2. Once the drive has been formatted, it changes location to here x:\smstslog\smsts.log and c:\_SMSTaskSequence\Logs\Smstslog\smsts.log 3. Once you’re in Windows and the SCCM agent hasn’t been installed the log files are here c:\_SMSTaskSequence\Logs\Smstslog\smsts.log 4. Once you’re in windows and SCCM agent is installed, but the task sequence inst complete the log file can be…

Disable First Logon Animation in Windows 8.1 (SCCM 2012 & MDT) @Heinrich_Pelser

Players, I thought I’d share this simple little tip to disable that annoying “Hi” screen when you login for the first time after a fresh build. You know this screen …  I created a registry key to disable the animation when you first login and added it to my task sequence as a package. Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System] “EnableFirstLogonAnimation”=dword:00000000 The command line that I used was a follows … regedit.exe /S Disable_First_Run_Animation.reg And if you want to disable this via GPO – you can change these settings to disable the message once you’re on the domain: Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon\Show first sign-in animation Enjoy. H  

@Heinrich_Pelser Windows 10. Top 6.4 things you want to know.

Players, Windows 10. Excited? Well you should be. Or maybe you shouldn’t. I don’t know about you, but my entire body is numb with the constant barrage of “new and totally awesome this time round, we promise software” from Microsoft. Here is some stuff you might want to know. 1. Windows 10 for Business If it wasn’t for enterprise clients, Microsoft would be dead. So tailoring a new OS that will replace, well, Windows 7, is a must. The “vision” is that end users will have an intuitive and much more familiar desktop experience as things are taking a step back into the norm. There is also a promise that management of Windows 10 can be done with existing enterprise solutions such as System Center or InTune. The push is towards the cloud and we will see more and more releases from Microsoft that will introduce cloud bases management of enterprise kit and data….