Archive for the ‘Microsoft Windows Server 2012’ Category

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.

2015-03-16_10h34_12    2015-03-16_10h35_34    2015-03-16_10h49_24

2015-03-16_10h56_31    2015-03-16_10h57_29    2015-03-16_10h57_36

2015-03-16_10h57_54    2015-03-16_10h58_08    2015-03-16_10h58_22

2015-03-16_10h58_34    2015-03-16_10h59_21    2015-03-16_11h01_38

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

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! :)

2014-12-22_15h45_33    2014-12-22_15h46_26    2014-12-22_15h46_48

2014-12-22_15h47_23    2014-12-22_15h49_46    2014-12-22_15h50_15

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 /f
Run Command Line:
reg ADD “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate” /v WUStatusServer /t REG_SZ /d /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
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!

COAU_01    COAU_02    COAU_03

COAU_04    COAU_05    COAU_06

COAU_07    COAU_08    COAU_09

COAU_10    COAU_11    COAU_12

Enabling Data Deduplication in Windows 8.1

When you do a lot of deployments whitin your Windows 8.1 Client Hyper-V machine, the disk space is getting more and more. Because I’ve only one SSD drive of 250 GB, the free space becomes critical. I’ve got to find a way to reduce it. I read a few blogs and found a solution which is the dedup. But data deduplication is not available whitin Windows 8.1.

This method is not officially supported by Microsoft ,however found a way to save my disk space.

This method requires the CAB files from the Windows Server 2012 R2.  Either you can get those files from a Windows Server 2012 R2 or you can download the files from my OneDrive here.
The files are as follow :

I downloaded the files to a folder as below and installed all the CAB files:

DataDedup_02    DataDedup_01

Next step is to install the CAD files on your Windows 8.1 machine. I’ve used DISM to install these files.

DataDedup_03    DataDedup_04

After you’ve succesfully installed the CAB files, you’re able to install the “Data Deduplication” role. I’ve also used DISM (see screenshot below).

DataDedup_05    DataDedup_06    DataDedup_07

The next step is to enable Data Deduplication on the volume or volumes. First I’ve readthe current free space on my E: drive. After enabling Data Deduplication on this volume, I’ve manually started the Data Dedup task.

DataDedup_08    DataDedup_09    DataDedup_10

DataDedup_11    DataDedup_12    DataDedup_13


But after enabling Data Depuplication and running the Dedup Job, there’s nothing happening!! Why?? Because the minimumFileAgeDays is 3 and my files on the hard drives are 2 days old :) So I’ve added the MinimumFileAgeDays to 0 (zero days). After running the Dedup Job again, let’s have a look on the current free space!! Dedup is doing his job!!! :) Cool!

DataDedup_15    DataDedup_16    DataDedup_17

DataDedup_18    DataDedup_19    DataDedup_20

DataDedup_21    DataDedup_22

The final screenshot are the commands I’ve used to configure this in my lab environment. Once again, this method is not officially supported by Microsoft.It’s a great way to save some disk space on your expensive SSD hard drive! Now you can deploy more virtual machines on the same hard drive, so happy automation and deployment!! :)

How to: Install Exchange 2013 fully unattended

When you’ve to install a new Microsoft Exchange 2013 environment, you can start collecting all the necessary things, just lik pre-requisites etc…but there is a script available in the Microsoft TechNet Gallery. This script does the trick for you fully unattended. You just have to give in some names and paths. The script downloads all the pre-requisites, installs all the necessary Windows roles and features and installs Exchange 2013 the way you like :)

The script can be found here.

All you have to download is the Microsoft Exchange 2013 ISO and create some destination folders, that’s it!! You can also choose to install a multi role Exchange 2013 environment or maybe a multi server Exchange 2013 environment where you’ve multiple mailbox (MBX) and client access (CAS) servers. In my lab environment I’ve installed one multi role server in just a few clicks!! Below the commands I’ve used.

Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

mkdir E:\Install\E2K13_ISO
mkdir E:\Databases\MDT01
mkdir E:\Logs\MDB01
mkdir E:\Install\Prereq

E:\Install\Install-Exchange2013.ps1 -Organization DemoLab -InstallMultirole -MDBDBPath E:\Databases\MDB01 -MDBLogPath E:\Logs\MDB01 -MDBName MDB01 -InstallPath E:\Install\Prereq -AutoPilot -Credentials $Cred -SourcePath E:\Install\E2K13_ISO -IncludeFixes -InstallFilterPack -Verbose

2014-08-06_12h26_39    2014-08-06_12h27_00    2014-08-06_12h27_28

2014-08-06_12h29_50    2014-08-06_12h32_01    2014-08-06_12h32_07

2014-08-06_13h08_47    2014-08-06_13h08_53    2014-08-06_13h11_09

2014-08-06_13h12_06    2014-08-06_13h12_16    2014-08-06_13h12_37

2014-08-06_13h13_45    2014-08-06_13h14_35    2014-08-06_13h17_48

2014-08-06_16h52_55    2014-08-06_16h55_05    2014-08-06_17h03_07

2014-08-06_17h03_35    2014-08-06_17h08_25    2014-08-06_17h16_51

2014-08-06_17h19_35    2014-08-06_17h22_06

Build your own FREE virtualization lab environment


The most affordable toolkit to meet your goals!

There is no better way to start virtualizing than with a FREE Microsoft Hyper-V environment, free backup, free virtual storage and free management software!

With this free toolkit, you can create your own test lab, run a small business or even scale your production environment up to 1,000 VMs. It’s a FREE way to virtualize!

  1. Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2
    Free Hypervisor with all the functionality of it’s ‘big brother’, Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V
  2. Veeam Backup & Replication
    Effective and easy-to-use tool for Hyper-V backup
  3. StarWind Virtual SAN
    Reliable shared storage with unlimited storage capacity for a single-node device
  4. 5nine Manager
    Simple and easy-to-use Graphical User Interface, local or remote, to manage Hyper-V virtual machines

Start today!!

And if you would like to just download Free Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, please click here.


How to: Directly install from a distribution point during OSD in ConfigMgr 2012 R2

During a OS deployment with ConfigMgr 2012 R2, the WIM file is downloaded locally and than installed on the C: drive of your system. The download proces for the install.wim file takes a while! This post will discribe how to configure the task sequence to directly apply the install.wim from the distribution point.

1.) Open the task sequence and select the step “Apply Operating System”. Navigate to the “Options” tab.
2.) Select “Access content directly from the distribution point” and select “Apply”
3.) Navigate to your Operating System Images and select the properties of the image
4.) Navigate to the “Data Access” tab
5.) Select “Copy the content in this package to a package share on distribution points”
6.) Select “Apply”
7.) The install.wim file will be copied to the SMSPKGE$ folder on your distribution point
8.) Right click on the image and select “Update Distribution Points”
9.) Wait until the content status is “Success”
10.) Start a deployment of a system
11.) The download step is gone now and the image will be installed directly from the distribution point

OSDC_01    OSDC_02    OSDC_03

OSDC_04    OSDC_05    OSDC_06

OSDC_07    OSDC_08    OSDC_09

OSDC_10    OSDC_11    OSDC_12

OSDC_13    OSDC_14    OSDC_15

OSDC_16    OSDC_17    OSDC_18

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 2.0


Microsoft® Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) is a Microsoft-supported, stand-alone solution for the information technology (IT) pro or solution provider who wants to convert virtual machines and disks from VMware hosts to Hyper-V® hosts and Windows Azure™.

MVMC can be deployed with minimal dependencies. Because MVMC provides native support for Windows PowerShell®, it enables scripting and integration with data center automation workflows such as those authored and run within Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 R2. It can also be invoked through the Windows PowerShell® command-line interface. The solution is simple to download, install, and use. In addition to the Windows PowerShell capability, MVMC provides a wizard-driven GUI to facilitate virtual machine conversion.

New Features in MVMC 2.0
MVMC 2.0 release of MVMC includes the following new features:
◾Converts virtual disks that are attached to a VMware virtual machine to virtual hard disks (VHDs) that can be uploaded to Windows Azure.
◾Provides native Windows PowerShell capability that enables scripting and integration into IT automation workflows.
Note The command-line interface (CLI) in MVMC 1.0 has been replaced by Windows PowerShell in MVMC 2.0.
◾Supports conversion and provisioning of Linux-based guest operating systems from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts. ◾Supports conversion of offline virtual machines.
◾Supports the new virtual hard disk format (VHDX) when converting and provisioning in Hyper-V in Windows Server® 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012.
◾Supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 5.5, VMware vSphere 5.1, and VMware vSphere 4.1 hosts Hyper-V virtual machines.
◾Supports Windows Server® 2012 R2, Windows Server® 2012, and Windows® 8 as guest operating systems that you can select for conversion.

Standard MVMC Features  
In addition to the new features previously identified, MVMC provides the following functionality:
◾Converts and deploys virtual machines from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts on any of the following operating systems: ◾Windows Server® 2012 R2
◾Windows Server® 2012
◾Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
◾Converts VMware virtual machines, virtual disks, and configurations for memory, virtual processor, and other virtual computing resources from the source to Hyper-V.
◾Adds virtual network interface cards (NICs) to the converted virtual machine on Hyper-V.
◾Supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 5.5, VMware vSphere 5.0, and VMware vSphere 4.1 hosts to Hyper-V.
◾Has a wizard-driven GUI, which simplifies performing virtual machine conversions.
◾Uninstalls VMware Tools before online conversion (online only) to provide a clean way to migrate VMware-based virtual machines to Hyper-V.
Important  MVMC takes a snapshot of the virtual machine that you are converting before you uninstall VMware Tools, and then shuts down the source machine to preserve state during conversion. The virtual machine is restored to its previous state after the source disks that are attached to the virtual machine are successfully copied to the machine where the conversion process is run. At that point, the source machine in VMware can be turned on, if required. Important  MVMC does not uninstall VMware Tools in an offline conversion. Instead, it disables VMware services, drivers, and programs only for Windows Server guest operating systems. For file conversions with Linux guest operating systems, VMware Tools are not disabled or uninstalled. We highly recommend that you manually uninstall VMware Tools when you convert an offline virtual machine.
◾Supports Windows Server and Linux guest operating system conversion. For more details, see the section “Supported Configurations for Virtual Machine Conversion” in this guide.
◾Includes Windows PowerShell capability for offline conversions of VMware-based virtual hard disks (VMDK) to a Hyper-V–based virtual hard disk file format (.vhd file).  Note The offline disk conversion does not include driver fixes.

You can download Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 2.0 here