Free Ebook: Microsoft System Center Deploying Hyper-V with Software-Defined Storage & Networking

Microsoft has released a great free Ebook of how to Deploy Hyper-V with Software-Defined Storage & Networking (SDN). In this Ebook you’ll learn all the basics of Software Defined Datacenter and how to use it in real life!

You can download this Ebook here: Microsoft System Center Deploying Hyper-V with Software-Defined Storage & Networking

deploy-hyperv-with-sdn-ebook (2)


How to: Disable network selection OOBE during a task sequence in ConfigMgr 2012 R2

During a deployment of Microsoft Windows 8/8.1, you’ll receive a question to select a prefered network connection. This is also happening during a task sequence within Microsoft SCCM 2012 R2. It’s easy to disable this
question during the task sequence, using an unattend XML file.

1.) First open the “Windows System Image Manager”, also known as WSIM
2.) Select the image you want to deploy. In my example “Install.WIM” from the Windows 8.1 source files
3.) Create a new catalog for this image
4.) After the catalog has succesfully created, create a “New Answer File”
5.) Navigate to the following selection
6.) Select the “+” on the left side and naviagte to “OOBE”
7.) Right-click on “OOBE” and select “Add Settings to Pass7oobeSystem
8.) Select in the right pane OOBE
9.) Select in the properties pane “HideWirelessSetupInOOBE” and set the value to “True”
10.) Save the XML file on your “source” directory on your primary site server
11.) Create a new package with the source directory to the directory you’ve created in the stap before
12.) Do NOT create any program in the package, so select “Do not create a program”
13.) Distribute the new package to your distribution point(s)
14.) Open your task sequence and navigate to stap “Apply Operating System”
15.) Select the option “Use an unattended or Sysprep answer file for a custom installation
16.) Select the package you’ve created before and type the name of your XML file within that package source location
17.) Boot a client from the network (PXE) and select the task sequence.

If you follow the steps within the task sequence, you’ll see that you didn’t receive a network connection screen anymore.

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2015-03-16_11h02_14    2015-03-16_11h03_12    2015-03-16_11h03_45

How to: Removing Windows 8.1 Modern Apps with PowerShell

When you install a default Windows 8.1 machine, there’re a few modern apps available. In some environments, you want
to remove these modern apps for your users.

With the following steps, you can delete specific apps or all the modern apps.

1.) To get a overview off all the package, use the following command:
Get-AppxPackage | ft Name, PackageFullName -AutoSize
2.) Let’s remove the Finance modern app
Remove-AppxPackage -Package Microsoft.BingFinance_3.0.1.172_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe -Confirm:$false
3.) Return to the start menu and now you’ll see the Finance app is gone
4.) To remove all the modern apps, use the following command:
Get-AppxPackage | Remove-AppxPackage -Confirm:$false

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2015-03-13_15h27_21    2015-03-13_15h27_27

Configuration Manager 2012 R2 – How to: Move a Distribution Point Content Library to another drive

Today I had to move the library of the Distribution Point to another partition, because it was placed on the wrong partition during the install.

During the installation of ConfigMgr 2012 R2 (or ealier), you can place a file “no_sms_on_drive.sms” on the partitions that should be ignored for placing the library on.
In this environment there’s a C:, D: and E: drive. The C: partition is only used for the operating system. The D: drive is used for the installation of
ConfigMgr 2012 R2, SQL 2012 and the remote installation folder of WDS. The E: drive is used for the sources, images, ISO’s and the library of the Distribution Point.

So I want to move the library from the D: to the E: partition. First you’ve to download the “System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Toolkit”.

1.) Open REGEDIT and navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SMS\DP and look for the registry key
ContentLibraryPath” and “ContentLibUsableDrives
2.) When you open Windows Explorer and browse to the D: drive, you’ll see the library folders
These folders we want to move to the E: drive
3.) Open the command prompt and navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\ConfigMgr 2012 Toolkit R2\ServerTools\”
4.) Use the following command to move the Library content from D: to E:
ContentLibraryTransfer.exe -SourceDrive D -TargetDrive E > C:\TransferContentLibrary_log.txt
5.) Start CMTrace.exe and open the logfile “C:\TransferContentLibrary_log.txt” to watch the progress of the library move
6.) After a few hours, depending on the size of your library content, the move action is done
7.) pen REGEDIT and navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SMS\DP and look for the registry key
ContentLibraryPath” and “ContentLibUsableDrives
Now you’ll see only the E: drive for the Library placement
8.) I’ve have created the file “no_sms_on_drive.sms” on the C: and D: drive

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2015-03-12_10h19_32    2015-03-12_10h21_23    2015-03-12_10h45_29

2015-03-12_10h45_51    2015-03-12_10h46_26    2015-03-12_10h46_59

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How to: View all packages within your ConfigMgr 2012 R2 environment

When you have a Microsoft ConfigMgr 2012 or 2012 R2 environment, you definitely have a lot of packages and applications. This could be: tools, scripts, client packages, boot images, ISO’s, WIM files, different software applications, etc. When you have no idea where all these source files are located, you can execute a query within your SQL environment.

You can generate an overview of all your packages, with the package ID, description, name, source location, version, etc. Very helpfull and it saves you alot of time!!

1.) Open the Microsoft SQL Server Managent Studio
2.) Login with a user that has enough rights to execute queries
3.) Select the ConfigMgr database (in my example CM_PS1)
4.) Select “New Query”
5.) Type “SELECT * from v_Package”
6.) Select “Execute” or press F5 on your keyboard
7.) Now you’ll see a list off all the packages within your ConfigMgr 2012 environment
8.) Navigate to the table “PkgSourcePath”
9.) Here are your source files locates of all the different packages

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2015-02-19_11h05_03    2015-02-19_11h16_42

How to: View all mailbox databases in a Exchange 2010 and 2013 coexistence environment with PowerShell

When you setup coexistence with Microsoft Exchange 2010 and 2013, you can manager you mailbox databases in different ways. Though the Exchange Management Console (EMC), Exchange Control Panel (ECP) or with Exchange Management Shell (EMS). Today I had to configure a new Microsoft Exchange 2013 environment in a existing Exchange 2010 environment, so this is a coexistence infrastructure.

When I had installed the new Exchange 2013 servers, and I had started the Exchange Management Shell (EMS) from the new Exchange 2013 server, I saw only the new Exchange 2013 database. But wait a minute, I had also a copple of mailbox databases configured on my existing Exchange 2010 environment. In the Exchange Control Panel (ECP), all the databases are visseble, but why not in the Exchange Management Shell?

The solution is pretty easy. Within Exchange 2013 there’s a new parameter that you can use with the Get-MailboxDatabase command. So the new parameter is -IncludePreExchange2013. The whole command should be: Get-Mailboxdatabase -IncludePreExchange2013.

2015-02-16_21h52_14    2015-02-16_21h52_33    2015-02-16_21h52_58



How to: Remove “settings” button in Mozilla Firefox

In some scenario’s you want to remove some buttons within the options of Mozilla Firefox. Because there are not that enhanced group policies for Mozilla Firefox, you’ve to script something. In my example I’ve used RES Workspace Manager to distribute the modified files, but you can also use something else. For example: PowerShell, batchfiles or Group Policy Preferences.

You can edit the file userChrome.css in the folder AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Profiles\<nameofyourprofile>\chrome to tweak the menu settings within Mozilla Firefox. In my example I’ve added the following rule:
/* Remove connection button */
#connectionSettings { display: nome !important; }

When you open Mozilla Firefox the next time, the “Settings” is gone! :)

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2014-12-31_09h56_55   2014-12-31_09h53_55

Happy New Year!!

2014 was a great year, with a lot of great blogposts, great products and knowledge from the community. I want to thank all the sponsors for the support on my blog!

Also from a stats perspective 2014 was a great year. I am hoping 2015 will be even better, and I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year!