mdt

SCCM-Script to get some MDT Variables

Hi All, Every time when I go to customer to perform Operating System Deployment, customer always ask about MDT, so I’m here to try to clarify things: – MDT is a great tool, however, it only does OS Deployment, nothing else. It also only does LTI (or Little Touch) – SCCM does what MDT does and much more, it does application deployment, inventory, compliance, as well as OSD (LTI as well as ZTI – Zero Touch) But why there is always this talk?!?! For companies that do not have any tool that can do OS Deployment, MDT can be used. it is really easy to install and configure, in couple of hours you can have an environment ready to start deploying your 1st Windows. But remember what i said, for companies that do not have any tool that can do OS Deployment. If you have SCCM, MDT is not for…

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…

Whole Disk .WIM backup using SCCM 2012 R2

Players, Recently I needed to provide my client with a little confidence in OSD around what was possible with backups … there was some fear over users data etc … so I needed to lay down the Iron Curtain … the task was simple and yet politically complex as they needed to capture certain users entire disk drives for many uninteresting reasons… Now, we have a few options available to us when it comes to SCCM, we could use witchcraft enchantment spells called hard-link and create a state-store (USMT) that holds the data inside a folder on the C Drive. Or we could summon the powers of the State Migration Points and keep data in users profiles for a certain period of time in hardware replacement scenarios. But what if all you need is to capture everything in one go? Easy, here’s how and it will take you about 10 minutes to set…

SCCM 2012 Easy Naming Convention

Hello, A while ago I was on a project that needed to quickly adopt a simple and easy naming convention for new builds that the desktop support teams could build in bulk without having to manually enter in a computer name before each build. Now normally you’d use the OSDCOMPUTERNAME variable (manual) or you’d prestage the devices you want to build in SCCM with a name and a MAC address. But instead I used the serial number of hardware, as its almost guaranteed to be unique on each device. Here is how to easily set this up in your task sequence. We decided to use an acronym as part of the name, eg: TDT12345  (where “TDT” is The Desktop Team and “12345” is the serial number) Next you need to add in 3 steps to your task sequence, they need to added in after the Apply OS section and before the Apply Windows Settings…

SCCM 2012 Boost PXE deployments speed.

Hello guys! I’ve written about this subject before, but I’ve been getting some questions over the holidays about PXE boot and how to improve its performance, change the rate at which it deploys images etc … So to give yourself a little more flexibility, you can use following steps below. From the distribution point (where you enabled PXE) complete the following Open regedit and locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SMS\DP Add a QWORD value (for 64bit Server OS , I’m using Server 2012) and call it RamDiskTFTPBlockSize Give it a Hexadecimal value of  “4000” or a decimal value of “16384” for example, Try a deployment from the distribution point where the changes were made, and you’ll notice a speed difference! NOTE: As always, be sure that you don’t over indulge, it can have a degrading affect on network traffic. Enjoy, H

SCCM 2012 R2 & MDT 2013 – Pausing task sequence

Hi All, have you ever wonder why and how to pause a task sequence?? well…the why is simple, troubleshooting…but how, that is the complicated part… Actually not, and if you stop a bit and think, there are many ways: 1- create a script to wait many minutes (lets say, 120min), i think this is enough to do any troubleshooting 🙂 2- create a script to look for something (ie. a file) and when the file exist, it deletes and continue… 3- create a script… 4- create a script… as you can see, everything is down to a script, unfortunately, there is no “out-of-the-box” step to do it… but now that you know how to pause a TS (ok, you still don’t know how to create a script, do you?) let’s look at the options 1- create a script that waits for 120min… and if you finish your troubleshooting before?!?!!? you…

SCCM 2012 R2 & MDT 2013 – Unattend.xml

Hi All, Customizing Unattend.xml is always fun, including when things does not work as expected and how to troubleshoot this when things are not going as planned? the way i find is simple…copy the xml file to a temp folder after changes to it happen, and i do this manually… 1- after the configure step and before the setup and configure windows, add a pause on your task sequence (i’ll be posting how to do it on a later post) 2-copy the file from c:\windows\panther\unattended\unattended.xml to c:\temp\phase1.xml 3- continue your task sequence and the setup and configure windows will happen… 4- once the restart countdown start copy the same file again to c:\temp\phase2.xml now it is time to leave the installation to happen and your task sequence to finish and troubleshoot your xml files… couple of problems i already found when customizing the xml: 1- order of the items… when…

SCCM 2012 R2 and MDT 2013 – UDI

Hi All, 1 of my clients is using SCCM 2012 R2 with MDT 2013 for the UDI (User driven installation). The UDI is really simple, ask name of the computer, OU/Domain, User primary user as well as language. As you can see here, UDI does not format the PC. Based on this, we created a new UDI XML file and created our task sequence with the 1st step when in winpe is to format the disk. The problem start after the UDI Wizard runs, as it clear the OSDisk variable. After this, you’ll see the error The parameter is incorrect. (Error: 80070057; Source: Windows) when trying to apply the OS as i described here Looking at the MDT code, i found that if the OSDDiskpart is set to TRUE, mdt will clear the OSDisk Variable and if it is set to anything else, it will get the value from OSDTargetDrive. Easy enough…

SCCM 2012 R2 and MDT 2013 – UDI (Locale)

Hi All, 1 of my clients is using SCCM 2012 R2 with MDT 2013 for the UDI (User driven installation). The UDI is really simple, ask name of the computer, OU/Domain, User primary user as well as language. As you can see here, UDI does not format the PC. Based on this, we created a new UDI XML file and changed the default unattended.xml to add the UDI variables to the new OS. We changed/added the following from en-us for the code it was <InputLocale>%KeyboardLocale%</InputLocale> <SystemLocale>%UserLocale%</SystemLocale> <UILanguage>%UILanguage%</UILanguage> <UserLocale>%UserLocale%</UserLocale> the problem is when we apply the XML file, it did not change the keyboard and locale to our test location (UK), instead, it kept en-us. searching, we found a blog post for MDT 2012 Update 01 from Cameron (you can find the post here) and applying the workaround fixed the issue. after that, i found that the MDT 2013 documentation (that…