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Create a Windows 7 BitLocker Partition in ConfigMgr

Posted by on Jan 30, 2012 in Deployment | Comments Off

Create a Windows 7 BitLocker Partition in ConfigMgr

In System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr)  something I’ve done a few times is to create a BitLocker partition for Windows 7 during an Operating System Deployment (OSD) Task Sequence. I’ve seen the method used here a few times before but I wanted to document it for myself so that I can use it for an upcoming article on configuring BitLocker with TPM+PIN from ConfigMgr.   These instructions are the same for both ConfigMgr 2007 and 2012. Edit your deployment Task Sequence and select the Partition Disk 0 node. By default there is...

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ConfigMgr 2012 SQL Database Collation

Posted by on Jan 26, 2012 in Deployment | Comments Off

ConfigMgr 2012 SQL Database Collation

I just tried to update my ‘default’ installation of System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) 2012 RC1 to RC2. I got a failure at the pre-req check stage stating that my SQL 2008 R2 database was using the wrong collation type and that installation couldn’t continue. It turns out that the default collation that I had used when I installed SQL 2008 R2 (a next…next…next…finish install) was no good. I’m not sure why ConfigMgr 2012 RC1 was happy with that configuration but RC2 certainly wasn’t! This article states the supported...

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MDT and ConfigMgr Build Drivers for Windows 7

Posted by on Jul 3, 2011 in Deployment | 1 comment

MDT and ConfigMgr Build Drivers for Windows 7

When doing Windows 7 builds in either MDT 2010 or ConfigMgr 2007 you have to download and install a selection of drivers that are to be installed in your images. Some drivers are used for the WinPE boot image so that the boot image can access the local harddisk (a boot critical driver) and also drivers that allow the machine to connect to the network so that it can continue the MDT/ConfigMgr build process. I tend to use the latest versions of certain boot critical drivers direct from the main vendor (i.e. Intel and Broadcom) for my boot...

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Setting a UK Keyboard in ConfigMgr 2007 OSD

Posted by on Jun 28, 2011 in Deployment | Comments Off

Setting a UK Keyboard in ConfigMgr 2007 OSD

In the UK, we actually get the US version of Windows 7 and Office 2010, so whenever I do any build engineering in either MDT or ConfigMgr one of the first things I need to customize are the regional settings. In particular the keyboard layout and location. There are many ways to achieve this ranging from manually making the change in a reference image or creating an unattend.xml file. In this post I will show how you can set regional settings for Windows 7 at deploy-time using ConfigMgr 2007 OSD and collection variables. This will allow you...

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ConfigMgr 2007 OSD Folder Structure

Posted by on Jun 26, 2011 in Deployment | Comments Off

ConfigMgr 2007 OSD Folder Structure

When configuring ConfigMgr 2007 Operating System Deployment (OSD) there are an endless number of applications, operating system images, operating system install files, drivers, source files, package files, temp files. Everytime I set it up I end up with a different structure so this blog post presents an example ConfigMgr 2007 OSD folder structure that can be used for general application and operating system deployment files. This post will be updated as I get better ideas and suggestions on how to organise things – but the main issue is that...

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Get Selected Microsoft TechNet Library Content Offline

Posted by on Jun 15, 2011 in Deployment | Comments Off

Get Selected Microsoft TechNet Library Content Offline

No-one can ever know everything they need to know about Microsoft products and techies will freely admit that they spend half their time checking resources such as Microsoft TechNet while working on a problem or design. Sometimes I need to go on to a site where I won’t have internet access. As anyone who relies on access to online resources will know, this can really slow things down and small questions (such as “is it port 60 or 67?”) can be frustrating. There is a free tool called Package This that can turn selections from the online...

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App-V Recipe: AutoIt v3

Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Deployment | Comments Off

App-V Recipe: AutoIt v3

This blog post will show you how to sequence AutoIt using App-V 4.6 SP1 (the latest version at the time of writing). Now, AutoIt is probably the easiest application to sequence in the world and doesn’t really need a blog post describing how to do it. However, I intend to write some more posts around using App-V in System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) 2007 for deployment and upgrades so a nice easy to follow recipe for an application that is free should be useful.   For sequencing I’ll be using Windows XP SP3 and creating a package...

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Windows 7 Aero Theme Not Enabled After Deployment

Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Deployment | 1 comment

Windows 7 Aero Theme Not Enabled After Deployment

An issue I saw a number of times at customers was that the Windows 7 Aero theme was not enabled after deployment. I saw this numerous times in early workshops and pilots for customers and completely forgot about it until I saw the question asked again a few weeks ago. So here is a post describing the sort of symptoms you might see and how to workaround it.     There are two main tools that people turn to when troubleshooting Aero: Running the ‘Find and fix problems with transparency and other visual effects‘ troubleshooter that attempts to...

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Windows 7 Self Optimizing Boot Process

Posted by on May 6, 2011 in Performance | 1 comment

Windows 7 Self Optimizing Boot Process

You may have heard the about the fact that Windows 7 (and actually, Windows Vista too) has improved boot up times over Windows XP and dismissed it as “that there marketing speak”. Surprisingly, it’s actually true! On top of that, the boot process is also optimized over time to make things even faster. This blog post gives a high-level overview of how this works and also provides some actual measurements. The descriptions given in this article are fairly high-level for a number of reasons. I wanted it to be readable for the general IT admin,...

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Windows Performance Toolkit: Simple Boot Logging

Posted by on Apr 28, 2011 in Performance | Comments Off

Troubleshooting slow boots and logons are a common request. In this post I will show you how to perform boot logging using the Windows Performance Toolkit (WPT) on a Windows 7 machine and perform some basic analysis of it. Preparation First, you need to install the WPT on the machine you wish to examine. Secondly, we will be tracing the boot process all the way until the user has logged in and the desktop is shown. If we rely on quickly and manually logging in we introduce inconsistencies to any timings we do. The simplest solution is to use...

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