Archive for the ‘VMware’ Category

How to: Initialize, format and label disks during OSD Task Sequence in SCCM 2012 R2

During a task seuence in Microsoft SCCM 2012 R2, the operating system and applications are installed on the C: drive in most situations. But in some deployments, you definitely want to create more disks. For example, you want to create a D: and E: partition for storing some other data. Maybe for Microsoft SQL or Exchange installation, databases, logfiles or just some other data.

The following script will do all these steps for you during the task sequence. The script initialize, format, partition and label the disks for you….fully automated! :)

The script first checks how many disks are attached to the server.
If there is only one disk attached, you’ll have only a C: drive available after the deployment.
If there are 2 disks attached, you’ll have a C: and D: drive avalailable after the deployment.
If there are 3 disks attached, you’ll have a C:, D: and E: drive available after the deployment.

The CD-ROM drive will alse changed from E: to X:.

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How to: Enable RDP during Task Sequence with SCCM 2012 R2

I quiet often receive the question how to enable Remote Desktop (RDP) access on a server during a task sequence in SCCM 2012 or 2012 R2. Because by default RDP is not enabled, it could be realy handy to enable RDP access to control your server remotely. There’re a whole bunch of tools to manage your server(s) remotely, but still RDP could be ncessary.

1.) Create a new package with the source location to your script directory.
2.) Create a new package with a program and use the following command:
Powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -NoProfile -File Enable-RDP.ps1
3.) The PowerShell script ‘Enable-RDP.ps1′ contains the following code. See in this post below.
4.) Insert the script in your task sequence

2015-11-27_09h03_02    2015-11-27_09h03_21    2015-11-27_09h34_03

How to: Change the view of Mozille Firefox options menu

Today I’ve upgraded Mozilla Firefox from version 35.0.1 to 38.0.5. After the succesfully upgrade, everythin looks fine. But there’s one crucial thing that has been changed in version 38.x. The “Options” menu is not a pane anymore, but it will be open in a new tab. I’ve customized some things in the browser (hide the network button) in the UserChrome.css file. In the new Options tab, the netwerk button is available again for my users. So, I want to hide this option and it works great in version 35.x.

With a simple edit in the UserPref.js file within the profile of my users, I can force the “Options” menu view in the ‘old’ way. After that, the network button is gone again!! :)

I’ve used RES Workspace Manager 2014 for distribution the new UserPref.js file to all of my users, but you can also use some other 3th party software or do it just manually.

1.) Open Mozilla Firefox 38.x
2.) Type about:config
3.) Search for “
4.) Set the option “Browser.preferences.inContent” from true to false
5.) Close Mozilla Firefox and open it again

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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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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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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

WDDM Video Driver Fails in VMware Workstation 7.0

Today I’ve upgraded my VMware Workstation to the new version 7.0. After upgrading alle the VMware tools on my VM’s, the “Fit guest now” option didn’t work anymore….! After some trouble shooting I found the solution to fix this. You have to edit the .VMX file of your VM’s.

Change the following rule:

Old Situation:
virtualHW.version = “6″

New Situation: 
virtualHW.version = “7″

VM_VMX_01    VM_VMX_02

After a reboot, everything works fine again! :D