Deploying Windows 7 Language Packs via ConfigMgr

During a Windows 7 64-bit deployment project the customer gave me a requirement to allow users to install a variety of language packs without adding all of them to the baseline image to keep the size down.  They are already using ConfigMgr to advertise applications for user self-service so this seemed the most logical method…

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Windows XP Remote Assistance and DontDisplayLastUserName

While implementing Remote Assistance during a Windows 7 deployment I found that a RA connection to older Windows XP workstations would behave like a Remote Desktop connection: the user would not be prompted to allow the administrator to connect, and the administrator would be prompted to logon.  I eventually traced the issue to the presence…

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ConfigMgr query for blocked or approved clients

This is nothing new; I’m typically not one to repost information that can be found elsewhere online.  This is just so that I have an easy place to find it in the future! select SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceID, SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceType, SMS_R_SYSTEM.Name, SMS_R_SYSTEM.SMSUniqueIdentifier, SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceDomainORWorkgroup, SMS_R_SYSTEM.Client from SMS_R_System inner join SMS_CM_RES_COLL_SMS00001 on SMS_CM_RES_COLL_SMS00001.ResourceId = SMS_R_System.ResourceId where SMS_CM_RES_COLL_SMS00001.IsBlocked = ‘1’ Replace IsBlocked…

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Generating a random password with PowerShell

Instead of bashing on the keyboard, I’m a proponent of using a tool to generate a random password, such as when creating a service account or new user accounts.  A colleague of mine recently discovered that this is doable with Windows PowerShell, in only two lines! Add-Type -Assembly System.Web [Web.Security.Membership]::GeneratePassword($length,$numberOfNonAlphanumericCharacters) This will return a string…

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Identifying a system deployed via OSD

I’m starting a DCM project for a customer and one of the requirements is to determine whether a system was deployed via a ConfigMgr task sequence.  This seemed like a simple request but initially stymied me as to how to best implement it with a significant level of authority that cannot be easily circumvented.  I…

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Throw more logs on the fire

I was recently having a conversation with a coworker about ways to troubleshoot an automated installation process and describing how to inject further logging into the process.  Instead of running the command line setup.exe, I suggested he run a simple command file (setup.cmd) with something like the following: @echo offecho %date% %time% > “%temp%\setup.log”setup.exe /qecho %errorlevel% >> “%temp%\setup.log”echo…

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DCM Error for Invalid or Inconsistent Data

I created a relatively simple Configuration Manager 2007 Desired Configuration Management (DCM) configuration baseline with twenty configuration items (CIs) each with a handful of settings.  In trying to move it from a development environment into production, the baseline would fail to import on the first page of the wizard with the following error: The following…

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DCM and Two’s Complement

My mathematics and computer science lesson for the day came when creating a Desired Configuration Management (DCM) configuration item (CI) setting for the TCP/IP v6 DisabledComponents registry value. (See Microsoft Support Article ID: 929852, How to disable certain Internet Protocol version 6 [IPv6] components in Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 for more…

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Windows PowerShell Script Library for MDT

At the Microsoft Management Summit 2011 in March I presented session BF21, Accelerated Scripting with the MDT Framework.  The session focused on using the VBScript libraries built-in to MDT to reduce the amount of time to write custom scripts and using a common framework and best practices for more lasting scripts. Some of the advantages…

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Maximizing Security in Configuration Manager

This post details my experience and lessons learned with hardening a System Center Configuration Manager system.  I’ll review the risks and then describe the various technical components of a ConfigMgr system: Windows Server host, Internet Information Service (IIS), SQL Server and ConfigMgr itself.  Make sure to review the current product documentation on Security for Configuration…

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