how-to

SCCM Administration Free E-book

Hi All, in the past few months, I have dedicated to update a manual that I have been using on my SCCM courses. This manual is now a free e-book and focus on the step-by-step of the basics administration of an sccm environment, so this is the exercises manual. I still development my own material and delivering many sccm courses based on the material, as you can imagine, the courses I provide the “why” click here and there, so if you’re new to SCCM and want to learn more about it, you will be more than welcome to attend to one of our curses. Check them out at .http://www.rflsystems.co.uk/training/ Anyway, this e-book focus on the basics of the administration. In this e-book you’ll be guided since the creation of the lab (that is based on Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V). And we cover topics like, installing SQL, SCCM, Installing Site…

ConfigMgr HealthCheck toolkit – Beta 04

Hi All, after long, long time, we are happy to announce that the HealthCheck toolkit is once again available for download and we released a new version, beta 04 with some small fixes… What is the System Center Configuration Manager HealthCheck Toolkit? The System Center Configuration Manager HealthCheck Toolkit (CMHealthCheck) has been created to check for problem and/or misconfiguration in the SCCM environment and, when possible, will provide you with some solutions for problems. You can download it for free from: http://www.rflsystems.co.uk/software/healthcheck-toolkit/ how to use it: 1- CollectData.ps1 (This script will collect information from a CM12/R2 Infrastructure). Open the powershell (64 bits) and run with an account that has admin rights on the cm boxes as it will connect remotely to registry, wmi, etc. CollectData.ps1 -smsprovider servername (ie. CollectData.ps1 -smsprovider srv0003) Once it collect data, it will create a CollectData.log under _Logs and will create a Date\servername folder (ie. 2013-12-05\srv0003)…

Automation Backup in a Hyper-v for Small Business/Start up

Hi All, small business and start up’s are always looking for ways to save money. As you should know, small companies they don’t have money to buy fancy products and when people decide to open their business, they have a small amount of money to do some X (this could be buy a PC, server, etc) and keep it running for a couple of months/year without need to invest anymore. When I started RFLSystems while ago, I had the same, a money to start the business and keep it running for some time. in my case, I needed an environment that would be used to do demos to customers as well as running production stuff like CRM, SCCM, File Share, etc. As you can imagine, for me going to cloud was easy, I could add some vm’s, buy services from provides, etc. but, money was a restriction. for me, having…

SCCM-Create wifi profile with password

Hi All, Today I would like to talk about the Wi-Fi profile. SCCM has this great feature that you can manage Wi-Fi profile on all managed computers, make changes, etc, without need for the user to do anything, this is great. however, one of the limitation on a wifi profile is the fact that you cannot set a password when using WAP/WEP. For many large organizations that have a 802.1x or a network where you need to somehow authenticate (certificate, ad username/password, etc), this is not a problem, however, for smaller organizations or organizations that have not implemented this security yet, not having the option to add the password is a pain. i recall that some of the chat i had with some customers where they have deployed the wifi profile and had to e-mail everyone the password, as you can imagine, big security risk… anyway, how can i add…

SCCM-Migrating form HTTP to HTTPS

Hi All, have you ever needed to migrate a SCCM 2012 (or Current Branch) environment from HTTP to HTTPS? if you have, you know that it is quite easy, but there are some challenges, when things go wrong, off course :)… The steps I normally take (and I hope I haven’t forgotten any :)) are: 1- Create the certificate Template (ConfigMgr Clients (if the workstation is not already in place), ConfigMgr IIS Servers and ConfigMgr DP Servers) 2- Request the certificates 3- on the IIS servers, change the bind to allow HTTPS port (default 443) and select the certificate 4- Export the Root CA (and any other CA) certificate and import it into SCCM. Note, do not force the SCCM to use PKI, instead, allow it to use HTTP or HTTPS.. 5- for each client, confirm that the Client Certificate is set to PKI (you can easily check the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\CCM\HttpsState…

SCCM-Deploying Office 365 via ConfigMgr

Hi All, while ago, Microsoft released the Office 365, and as you may know, office 365 is not just e-mail, it also has lots of features and services connected to it. Depending on the “flavour” (plan) that you are using (yes, there are lots of licensing stuff) you may get office and windows for “free”. Anyway, Microsoft had office 2013 that was available for companies and they had the files that we could install on our computer by just running the setup.exe. for an administrator, you also could use customizations (using the /adminfile) and customize the whole installation and user experience. But this had a problem, the user could only use office, after the setup had been done. Now, imagine a scenario where you have BYOD or mobile users, they connect to the network and open the Application Catalog (Software center, the new Software Center on CM build 1511 or…

SCCM-Software Update Compliance taking long time

Hi All, have you ever wonder why the Software Update Compliance takes long time to report the correct date? often that I get this question from a customer that wants to know what the status just after a software update deployment, but when I mean just after, I mean just few minutes. there are lots of things that could cause the status not being showing correctly, like network, etc. that is outside ConfigMgr, but in this post, lets talk about the main one, state messages. When using SCCM 2012/2012 R2, the default detailed level setting when deployment a software update group is to report only success and errors messages. this is quite ok for most environments where you go to the deployment node and check things from there, but you’ll not get the compliance for each update. there are 3 options: all messages, only errors messages and the default one…

Why IT leaders fail to get what they want

IT represents an increasing share of companies’ budgets and head counts. Yet, it still fails to communicate effectively with the rest of the business to align strategies and goals. The main reason for that is that IT leaders usually have a strong technical background. The technical background is critical to the leader’s influence on his team, but introduces a communication challenge with other areas of the business. Today I received this video from a CEO of a company. She can understand it, but told me I would not. She is right by the way! That is how she feels when the IT people from her company tries to communicate something IT is doing. IT fails to communicate with other areas to put their points across. IT Leaders have to communicate with the business in a “common language” and must articulate the message so any human can understand. This is the…

SCCM-Installing a Updated version of the Console

Hi All, when you install SCCM for the 1st time, it will automatically install (if selected) the SCCM Console on the client, and this is great as there are many people out there that use the server instead of a remote console. Anyway, when you install an update, let’s say, CU1 for 2012 R2 SP1, it will again, automatically update the server and will allow you to create a package that you can deploy to a collection and update the remote consoles, same happen for the KB that Microsoft releases outside the CU style. So, let’s say that you have a collection, that is based on Hardware Inventory-> Installed Applications, so you know all machines that have the SCCM Console installed. When installing a new console, you need to wait the machine to submit a hardware inventory and after that, it will appear on the collection and get updated.. Now…

ConfigMgr: Automation from Zero to Hero

Hi All, Today is a great milestone for me because I just finished writing the ConfigMgr: Automation from Zero to Hero book. It is not under final review and should be available in the next couple of months. I have to thank David Nudelman, Heinrich Pelser and Panu Saukko for helping me to review and for their contributions as well as Dave Randall as without their help it would be much harder to finish it.