User groups in the Seattle area

You would expect that having Microsoft in the Seattle area would result in having a plethora of Microsoft-related users groups around.  But over the years, I’ve found that these are somewhat hard to find.  So here’s my compilation: Seattle IT Pro User’s Group.  This group talks about all sorts of IT pro-related topics, including Windows…

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Using boot from VHD and differencing disks

MDT 2012 includes a task sequence for deploying an operating system into a VHD, setting up the computer for booting from that VHD.  See my previous blog posting about Deploy to VHD for more details on that.  As I mentioned in that blog, setting up a differencing disk to be created during the “Deploy to…

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More experimenting with RAMdisks: Using a VM completely in RAM

In my previous post, I talked about using a small RAMdisk to speed up the process of generating MDT boot images.  But the trial version only supports RAMdisks up to 4GB in size and only on client OSes.  One comment posted to that blog pointed out that StarWind also has a free RAMdisk available, and…

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Experimenting with a RAMdisk

One of the slow operations in the MDT Deployment Workbench is the initial “Update deployment share” process that has to completely generate new Lite Touch boot images.  I always assumed that this was slow due to the amount of I/O being generated by the update process. Recently, ATI and Dataram released a trial version of…

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MDT 2012 Update 1: Deploy to VHD

I was working on a separate blog posting (to be posted soon) that referenced the “Deploy to VHD” support that was present in MDT 2012 and improved in MDT 2012 Update 1 and wanted to include a link to that previous blog.  Except there was no previous blog – I guess I never did one……

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MDT 2012 Update 1: Roles and Features improvements

Apparently I was so wrapped up in the MDT 2012 Update 1 development process that I forgot to talk about one of the areas that consumed weeks of my time before the MDT 2012 Update 1 release: improvements to the “Roles and Features” logic. In MDT 2010 and MDT 2012, we had a task sequence…

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MDT 2012 Update 1 has been updated

For those of you using ConfigMgr 2012, you may be interested in this.  When ConfigMgr 2012 Cumulative Update 1 was released, it was discovered that you could no longer create a new task sequence using MDT 2012 Update 1 and the “Create MDT Task Sequence” wizard.  When you tried, you would get an error like…

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Using the Windows Performance Toolkit

Inside the new Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) that was released back in August is a component called the Windows Performance Toolkit.  I’ve talked about this at various events over the past few months, noting that you can use this kit to help identify what is causing your computers to take so long when…

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Troubleshooting Windows Deployments, take #2

Traveling from New Zealand to Australia for the TechEd Australia conference, I had some additional time to work on the troubleshooting guide, which is now starting to feel more like a book.  I added two sections to this document, one reviewing all the possible return codes from the MDT scripts (yes, there are lots of…

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Database changes in MDT 2012 and MDT 2012 Update 1

A few people have asked about the changes made in MDT 2012 and MDT 2012 Update 1 in regards to the MDT database.  There aren’t that many changes, but here they are: MDT 2012 RTW Removed obsolete properties for Lite Touch: SkipAppsOnUpgrade. Added new properties for ConfigMgr 2012: SMSTSPreferredAdvertID, SMSTSUDAUsers, SMSTSAssignUsersMode. Added one new property…

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