Archive for the ‘Ictivity’ Category

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

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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…)

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Can’t start Sticky Notes in Windows 8.1 with RES Workspace Manager 2014

Last week I’ve been working on a big VDI environment with RES Workspace Manager 2014, Windows 8 and VMWare Horizon View. Everything looks realy nice and is working realy well!! But I’ve seen one strange thing. One of the applications “Sticky Notes” couldn’t be started from the start menu or Windows tiles. In this blogpost you’ll find a solution for this problem.

1.) Add Sticky Notes to RES Workspace Manager 2014
2.) Open the Properties of the new application and navigate to the second tab “Settings
3.) Scroll down to “Disable file system redirector on 64-bit systems” and Enable this setting
4.) Refresh the User Workspace and start the application again
5.) Sticky Notes can now be used

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How to: Set Microsoft Office initials with Active Directory information using RES Workspace Manager 2014

When you’ve installed Microsoft Office in your environment, the first time the user starts one of the Office products, they receive a pop-up box for the initials. Default there are two things the user has to fill in. The username and the initials. The username is the displayname within Active Directory. The initials is the first letter of the username. But, what if you want to fill this field also with some Active Directory information, like the property Initials.

In this environment I’m using RES Workspace Manager 2014, so there’re also possibilities to set some user variables in your session. First I’ve created a new environment variable with a query to read the information from Active Directory.

1.) Open the RES Workspace Manager Console and create a new environment variable. In my example it is Initials
2.) Give the new variable the following value $adinfo(Initials) There’re some more values possible, like firstname, lastname, etc….
3.) Login to your session, in my example a Windows 8.1 VDI desktop and open the command prompt
4.) Type the command set and search for the new variable Initials. It’s the information from the Active Directory
5.) Now return to the RES Workspace Manager Console and create a new User Setting (User Registry)
6.) The values are stored in the following registrykey:
7.) Add this path in the new registry setting and create two new REG_SZ keys
UserInitials with the value %Initials%
with the value %Username%
8.) Configure the Access Control and the Workspace Container
9.) Login again into a new session and start Microsoft Office, for example Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc…
10.) Open the options and take a look at the user initials.

This is a realy powerfull solution to control your users initials. You can choose to apply the User Registry settings once, so the users are able to edit the initials. You can use a User Preference to store this information in a .UPR (User Preference) with RES Workspace Manager.

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Powershell Deployment Toolkit GUI available

Working with System Center products is one of my favorite things!! A great solution I’m using is the Powershell Deployment Toolkit (PDT). The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) is a set of scripts and knowledge for automated deployment of System Center 2012 SP1/R2, including SQL all prerequisites, and all automatable post-setup integration. PDT is written by Rob Willis.

Download the Powershell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) here.

Because Powershell Deployment Toolkit contains some Powershell scripts and XML files, this is not a easy thing for everyone! To make this powershell scripts just more powerfull, the Powershell Deployment Toolkit GUI is created!! This is a graphical user interface for the Powershell Deployment Toolkit. The original PDT is created and maintained by Rob Willis from Microsoft Corporation. The PDT GUI is created and maintained by German Microsoft Partner ‘Elanity Network Partner GmbH’ and is not an official Microsoft Product. The PDT GUI helps to create fast PDT Configuration-Files (Variable.xml) for Zero Touch System Center Deployments. PDT GUI creates and validates the configuration files for PDT, it does not alter the existing PDT in any way. An installed PDT is neccessary for a succesful PDT Deployment.

Download the Powershell Deployment Toolkit GUI here.

Benedict Berger (Hyper-V MVP and Hybrid Cloud Geek) and Kamil Kosek (Powershell Geek and Automation IT Pro) teamed up end created this free tool. Special credits to this guys, great job!!

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Windows Server 2012 R2 Private Cloud Virtualization and Storage Poster and Mini-Posters

Yesterday Microsoft released the Windows Server 2012 R2 Private Cloud Virtualization and Storage Poster and Mini-Posters. This includes overviews over Hyper-V, Failover Clustering, Scale-Out File Server, Storage Spaces and much more. These posters provide a visual reference for understanding key private cloud storage and virtualization technologies in Windows Server 2012 R2. They focus on understanding storage architecture, virtual hard disks, cluster shared volumes, scale-out file servers, storage spaces, data deduplication, Hyper-V, Failover Clustering, and virtual hard disk sharing.

Bedsides the overview poster, Microsoft Includes the following Mini-Posters:

•Virtual Hard Disk and Cluster Shared Volumes Mini Poster
•Virtual Hard Disk Sharing Mini Poster
•Understanding Storage Architecture Mini Poster
•Storage Spaces and Deduplication Mini Poster
•Scale-Out and SMB Mini Poster
•Hyper-V and Failover Clustering Mini Poster

You can get the posters from the Microsoft download page.


How to: Disable the EU Browser Choice screen in Windows 8 and 8.1

The first time when you boot your new installed Windwos 8 or 8.1 machine, you get the Browser choice screen. In my situation I want to use Internet Explorer and don’t want to let the users choice what browser they are going to use. You can disable the browser choice screen with a simple registry key. You can use the following command to disable the browser choice screen within MDT or SCCM infastructures.

REG ADD HKLM\Software\BrowserChoice /v Enable /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Set the key to 1 if you want to enable the browser choice screen. Set the key to 0 if you want to disable it.

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How to: Quick navigate to Exchange 2010 scripting directory

When you want to run a script that’s located in the Exchange 2010 scripts directory, you can simply type the following command to quickly navigate to the right directory.

cd $exscripts

Now you never have to check on what partition or what location Exchange 2010 is installed!! :)