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! 🙂
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
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…)
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:
Next step is to install the CAD files on your Windows 8.1 machine. I’ve used DISM to install these files.
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).
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.
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!
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!! 🙂
This week Microsoft has released Update Rollup 3 for System Center 2012 R2. This Update Rollup pack contains a lot of fixes for all the different products in the System Center 2012 R2 Suite! For alle the specific products, view the URL’s below.
Don’t forget to run the SQL script for System Center Virtual Machine Manager when you install Update Rollup 3.