Removing Windows 8.1 Built-in Applications

Last year I published a PowerShell script that is designed to remove the built-in Windows 8 applications when creating a Windows 8 image. Well now that Windows 8.1 has been released we must update the PowerShell script to work with Windows 8.1. The script below takes a simple list of Apps and then removes the…

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Deprecation of the OSVersion Property and What to Do About It

The OSVersion variable is populated with a short string representing the version of the operating system (e.g. XP, Vista, Win7Client, 2008, etc.).  With MDT 2012, you may have noticed that when you deploy Window 8 that the value of the OSVersion variable gets set to “Other” instead of something like “Win8”.  This is because the…

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Loading Scripts that Have VBScript Classes or that Don’t Have a UserExit Function as User Exit Scripts

Most readers of this blog should be familiar with MDT User Exit scripts, as many of the posts provided them for many scenarios.  In case you are not, the MDT help file defines them this way: “A user exit script is effectively a function library that can be called during the processing of the CustomSettings.ini…

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Remapping Variables in MDT Database Queries

There are occasions where the variables I needed to use to query or retrieve data from the database were not the ones that match the field names in the database.  Luckily, the MDT Gather process supports variable remapping in the database sections of CustomSetting.ini to do just that. I demonstrated one type of variable remapping…

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Enterprise Management of ActiveX Controls using ActiveX Installer Service

The ActiveX Installer Service (AXIS) is a Windows technology that enables the installation of ActiveX controls to a standard user in the enterprise. It consists of a Windows service, a Group Policy administrative template, and a few changes in Internet Explorer behavior. Many organizations must install ActiveX controls on their desktops in order to ensure…

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Signing Windows 8 applications using an Internal PKI

So – your development cycles have been completed and now you are ready to deploy the much anticipated Windows 8 based application that you have developed to your clients. You will quickly realize that the deployment of your newly created Windows 8 application cannot happen until the appx assembly has been signed. All methods of…

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Update – Removing Built-in Applications from Windows 8

In October last year I published a script that is designed to remove the built-in Windows 8 applications when creating a Windows 8 image. After a reading some of the comments in that blog post I decided to create a new version of the script that is simpler to use. The new script removes the…

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Automatically Populate the PATCH Property for the ConfigMgr Client Installation – Script Update

Last October I posted an update to the script to automatically set the PATCH property used by ccmsetup.exe to install client updates during the Configuration Manager client installation in a task sequence.  That update was to make the script compatible with ConfigMgr 2012. Since that time, my colleague Alexey Semibratov pointed out to me that…


PXE Deployment with Surface Pro

PXE support has been added to Surface Pro as part of the May firmware update.  This means that as long as you have the Surface Pro Ethernet Adapter and installed the firmware update you can now perform PXE based deployments to Surface Pro. For detailed guidance on updating firmware on Surface pro please refer to…

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Deploying Drivers and Firmware to Surface Pro

Important Update – December 9th 2014 – Please do not use the methods outlined in this post to update touch firmware drivers. To exclude the Touch drivers simply remove them from the package of drivers/firmware. In the last month the Surface Pro team have started releasing driver and firmware packs that include all on the…

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