Porting Configuration Manager Task Sequences to a Different Environment

Many scenarios arise in which you may want to port your task sequence from one environment to another. Common scenarios include promotion through Lab and QA environments and migration between disconnected hierarchies.  Configuration Manager allows you to export task sequences into XML files as an out-of-the-box feature, however there are some things to remember when doing…

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Placing your window on top during the WindowsPE stage

Back in March, Richard Smith wrote a post about how to move the Task Sequence window to one side so that you can display a new window in the centre of the screen without it being covered up by the “Always On Top” Task Sequence window. Richard’s solution works great, however if you try to…

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Back to basics #1 – Locking the computer during deployment

This is the first post in a series that will cover some of the more simple/basic tricks that you can do with MDT, but that are often overlooked.  I’ll be the first to admit that a couple of them I only learnt recently, even though I have been using BDD/MDT for years. During the deployment…

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Logging All the Configuration Manager Task Sequence Variables

When debugging a MDT based Configuration Manager Task Sequence, it is often helpful to know what certain built-in Configuration Manager variables are set to during a step in the task sequence. For instance, you may want to see if _SMSTSLastActionRetCode was equal to a certain value or perhaps which management point the client is using…

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Non-shrinking WIM files

If you make regular changes to your WIM files with the use of the /MOUNTRW or /DELETE switches of IMAGEX, then you may have noticed that your WIM files do not shrink in size after you commit the changes back to the file.  You could delete 500mb of data from an image file, only to…

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Documenting Your Task Sequences Automagically

Often times, after creating an MDT or SCCM task sequence, you need to document it for yourself or your customers. Usually, this involves creating a table with the groups and steps, extracting their descriptions, identifying conditions and denoting the step actions and variables and then having format it all nicely and with indents denoting hierarchy. All of…

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How to Setup ConfigMgr 2007 on Windows Server 2008

Installing ConfigMgr 2007 onto a Windows Server 2008 based server can be a challenge. Having recently been through the process for my own lab environment I thought I’d share the process in the hope that it will save you some time when you need to create this configuration. Before you begin you will need to…

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Task Sequence logic tricks using MDT variables

In my particular part of the Microsoft organization (the CTS testing lab), we install just about every OS, at every service pack level, on both major platforms. Because of this, I created a master template that is used to create dozens of task sequences where the only thing that changes is the OS. To pull…

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MDT Script Explanations

I get quite a few emails from people asking if there is a help file that details all of the scripts that are supplied with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT). The scripts form the engine of a deployment and can also help you to develop a framework for scripts that you need to create for your…

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Useful Script Number 6 – Pausing the Task Sequence

Have you ever wanted to pause the task sequence in MDT 2008 or ConfigMgr 2007 for a few seconds while something catches up…? I had a requirement to do this recently where I ran a task to close and cancel the Windows Sidebar at the start of the State Restore phase of the task sequencer…