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 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


Hi All, Today i’m happy to share with you that my CM12 Book is available via Amazon (US, UK and European) Deutschland: France: Italy: Spain: United Kingdom: United States:  

Robocopy and Task Sequence

Hi all, Sometimes we need copy files from the server to the client during OS deployment, but if you’re a large organization with many physical locations, copying files from a specific location may not be suitable as it may cause copying files from the WAN link. Due this, people of use DFS or use SCCM to do it creating CMD files to run as a program and execute this via TS. This is an interesting way to do, but i always try to avoid creating CMD files (I prefer use VBS to Powershell), and the reason is simple….it is another script that people need to know and need to maintain. In this world where people start early using computers, creating CMD file and maintain a CMD file may not be as simples as it was when I started..anyway… As i said, i like to avoid creating scripts and as I…

SCCM 2012 R2 and MDT 2013

Hi All, today i started testing the SCCM 2012 R2 and MDT 2013 integration and for my surprise, the Task Sequence i created (and modified) was failing with the following error: Set command line: “OSDApplyOS.exe” /image:PS100007,1 “/config:PS10000B,unattend.xml” /target:%OSDisk% The /target parameter specifies an invalid target location. Failed to run the action: Apply Operating System Image. The parameter is incorrect. (Error: 80070057; Source: Windows) at the 1st, i though that was something wrong with my image and just to be sure, did a DP update but it was not… looking at the internet I found Johan similar issue on MDT 2012 RC ( and because this, I went back to my TS and started validating the format steps… for my surprise, the MDT format step for UFDI (Format and Partition Disk (UEFI)) that i copied from the MDT TS itself had the OSDisk (Primary) a variable called OSDTemporaryDrive instead of OSDisk. i changed…

Secondary Site or Remote Distribution Point?

Hi All, today my post is about design and infrastructure, more specific on when use or not use secondary site as today, people has a misconception. The reason of this misconception is simple, SCCM 2007 secondary site worked differently from the 2012 version. On a 2007 version, you would use secondary site where your network is slow and the number of clients where high (depending on the network speed it could be only 10 clients). Another reason would be if the network was unreliable. On 2012 version, Microsoft changed the way secondary site works a bit, the 1st change is that a secondary site has a database and this database is part of the overall SCCM infrastructure replication, however, secondary site does not hold everything as a primary site, but only information that is required for the machines connected to that secondary site. Another huge change is that MS added…

System Center 2012 R2 RTM?

Hi all, if you’re like me waiting for the System Center 2012 R2 RTM/GA release, you still need to wait few more days as the official announcement should be done with the release of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 GA on the 18/10. it means 9 and 1/2 days to day (well..depending on where you’re now, these can be a bit more or less :)) Anyway, as far was i know, there are few System Center products already on RTM just waiting the 18 to be published. But what we’ll get from the R2 release? In terms of Configuration Manager, the main new “feature” will be support for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2…for me this is the most important one as i rebuild my lab using Windows server 2012 R2 and waiting the R2 be GA to continue with my personal project…it means, less hours of…

Error 401 while connecting to DP

Hi All, During a new build of a test machine using Windows 7 SP1 x64, we had a requirement to add the machine to a workgroup instead of domain. At 1st, it was really easy task, we duplicated the existing and working task sequence and changed the domain information to add to a workgroup instead of a domain and started testing. For our surprise, it failed. On IIS logs, I could see that client (on a WinPE) tried to download the wim file and fails (access denied). Once fail, it connects using the Network Access Account and download worked fine. it applied the wim file and download extra packages without any issue. machine was rebooted and installed the client, once done, another reboot and try to install an app and it failed. looking at the datatransfer log we saw access denied (error 401) CAutoImpersonate::ImpersonateUser Sending PROPFIND request using URL http://SERVERFQDN:80/SMS_DP_SMSPKG$/Content_b8f4d18c-2364-4226-8857-06c0047724eb.1…


Hi All, After more than 1 year, few cancellations and re-starters, I finally managed to finish my CM12 Book. The e-book version is available here. I really like to thanks everyone that helped me to achieve this goal, in special to the reviewers Cleber Marques, David Nudelman, Heinrich Pelser, Niall Brady and Panu Saukko. The printed version will be available soon.


Hi All, After more than 1 year, few cancellations and re-starters, I finally managed to finish my CM12 Book. The book will be available soon in a e-book format on my website and I hope a printed version will be available from Amazon I really like to thanks everyone that helped me to achieve this goal.