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

2015-02-19_11h03_04    2015-02-19_11h03_54    2015-02-19_11h04_36

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.

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2015-02-16_21h53_17

 

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! :)

2014-12-31_09h52_20    2014-12-31_09h52_56    2014-12-31_09h56_05

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!

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How to: Deploy packages using collection variable with ConfigMgr 2012 R2

During a OS deployment you don’t want to deploy all your packages and software to every workstation. You can deploy the software after a full OS deployment, but you can also deploy packages during the OSD using collection variables. Now it is possible to deploy packages only if a specific machine is a member of a collection. This collection can be query based, for example OU membership or Active Directory security group, or it can be static (direct membership).

In this example I’ve created a realy simple deployment, Adobe Reader 11.0. I’ve two virtual machines, SCWIN81-01 and SCWIN81-02. Both machines are members of the collection “Deploy – Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64″, where the task sequence is deployed on. Machine SCWIN81-01 is also member of the collection “Install – Adobe Reader 11.0″. This collection has a limited collection of “Deploy – Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64″. Both machines are deployed on the same time, the only difference is that machine SCWIN81-01 has Adobe Reader 11.0 installed and machine SCWIN81-02 not. Why……based on the collection variable during the OSD :)

1.) First create the collections
2.) Make the specific machines members of the right collections (query based or direct membership)
3.) Open the properties of the collection “Install – Adobe Reader 11.0″ and navigate to the “Collection Variables” tab
4.) Add one or more variables with some values. In this example the variable is “APP-AdobeReader” with the value “Yes”
5.) Open the task sequence and add a package installation step
6.) Add the package with the program and navigate to the “Options” tab
7.) Select “Add Condition” and select “Task Sequence Variable”
8.) Enter the collection variable you’ve created earlier with the same value. In my example:
Task Sequences Variable APP-AdobeReader equals “Yes”
9.) Select “Apply” and close the task sequence.
10.) Start the OSD on both machines and wait until the installation is done!
11.) Watch the differences between both machines, if everything is okay, one machine has Adobe Reader installed and the other not.

This is an extremely powerfull thing within ConfigMgr, and really helpfull is some scenario’s. For example VDI golden image deployments or hybrid environments with laptops/desktops or multiple organizations using one ConfigMgr environment. One main reason could be consolidation in task sequences. If you want, there should be only one task sequence for all you different deployments. This is why I’m loving collection varaibles! :)

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2014-12-22_15h50_37    2014-12-22_15h51_16    2014-12-22_15h51_58

How to: Apply Windows updates during OSD with ConfigMgr 2012 R2

During a OS deployment with ConfigMgr 2012 R2, you definitely want to apply the latest Windows updates and patches, for example with Windows Server Update Service (WSUS). You can also integrate WSUS within ConfigMgr 2012 R2, but in this example WSUS is not integrated!!

This example is also very usefull to create a fully patches golden image in ConfigMgr 2012 R2 (Build & Capture). After the task sequence you’ve a fully patches Windows 8.1 machine that you can use for example VDI environments.

1.) Fist open your task sequence
2.) Create a new computer group “Desktops” within the WSUS console (or choose another name, for exmaple: servers, laptops, etc.)
3.) Add a custom group within the task sequence
4.) Add the following steps in your task sequence
Run Command Line:
reg ADD “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate” /v WUServer /t REG_SZ /d http://wsus01.cloud.local:8530 /f
Run Command Line:
reg ADD “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate” /v WUStatusServer /t REG_SZ /d http://wsus01.cloud.local:8530 /f
Run Command Line:
reg ADD “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate” /v TargetGroup /t REG_SZ /d “Desktops” /f
Run Command Line:
reg ADD “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate” /v TargetGroupEnabled /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
Run Command Line:
reg ADD “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU” /v UseWUServer /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
Run Command Line:
wuauclt.exe /resetauthorization /detectnow
5.) Don’t forget to set the name of your WSUS server and computer group in the commands above!
6.) Create a new package in ConfigMgr 2012 R2 with the following two files in it, located in the MDT 2013 deployment share directory
ZTIUtility.vbs
ZTIWindowsUpdate.wsf
7.) Don’t create a program in this package, but you only have to distribute it to the distribution point(s)
8.) Add a new step “Run Command Line” to the task sequence with the following command:
cscript.exe ZTIWindowsUpdate.wsf
Select the package where the source files are located
9.) Deploy the task sequence to your client collection!

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COAU_04    COAU_05    COAU_06

COAU_07    COAU_08    COAU_09

COAU_10    COAU_11    COAU_12

How to: Disable first sign-in animation in Windows 8.1 using ConfigMgr 2012 R2

When a user login the very first time on a Windows 8 of 8.1 machine, they will see a “animation” with some helpful tips. During this stage the userprofile is being created and prepared. While the first sign-in animation may be helpful to new users to see, but it slows down the logintimes. So let’s turn this animation off using ConfigMgr 2012 R2.

1.) Open your task sequence
2.) Add a action “Run Command Line” after Setup Windows and ConfigMgr
3.) Copy and paste the following command line:
reg ADD “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System” /v EnableFirstLogonAnimation /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
4.) Give it the value 0 to disable and 1 to enable
5.) Deploy your task sequence to a collection of devices

FRA_01    2014-12-22_10h44_09    2014-12-22_10h44_50

How to: Add computer to security group with ConfigMgr 2012 during OSD

In some cases you’ve to add computer to a Active Directory security group. For example Direct Access laptops. In this example I’ve created a VBS script for adding a computer to an Active Directory security group during OSD in ConfigMgr 2012 R2.

1.)  Create a new package within ConfigMgr 2012 R2 without a program
2.) Distribute the new package to you distribution point(s)
3.) Copy the script “ADgroup.vbs” to the source location of your new package
4.) Add a step “Run Command Line” to your task sequence
5.) Add the command line: cscript.exe adgroup.vbs [name of your AD group]
6.) Select the package “Scripts”
7.) Select a account with enough privileges to add (new) computer object to the Active Directory
8.) Deploy your task sequence to a collection

You can download the script here. (Right-click and save…)

2014-12-12_15h53_47    2014-12-12_15h58_35    2014-12-12_15h59_14

2014-12-12_15h59_50    2014-12-12_16h42_54    2014-12-12_16h43_11

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