Mick's IT Blog

Automating the Deletion of Windows.old

Mick's IT Blog

It is the beginning of 2021 and my first project for the new year is upgrading all systems to Windows 10 20H2. At the end of the upgrades comes the cleanup and there is no clean way to do this for system admins. Cleanmgr.exe is now deprecated as of Windows 10 2004.

Remotely Pushing Windows Updates via Command Line to Windows 10 Machines

Mick's IT Blog

Normally, windows updates are pushed to machines using Configuration Manager in an enterprise environment. There are occasions though when they must manually be pushed, such as when a system continues to fail via ConfigMgr and troubleshooting is required.

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Upgrading to both Windows 10 1903 and 1909 with Configuration Manager

Mick's IT Blog

The time has come to do another creator update to the corporate systems. We skipped the 1903 upgrade because of the Windows 7 to Windows 10 deployment that completed just after the release of 1903. It was too soon to start another creator update project, so we waited until 1909.

Configuration Manager Message ID 11170 Error

Mick's IT Blog

I was in the process of pushing out the Microsoft Windows 10 20H2 upgrade when I had 23 systems that errored out. They reported the error shown below.

Cassandra Data Modeling Guide to Best Practices

Are you a developer, database architect, or database administrator that's new to Cassandra but have been tasked with developing a Cassandra schema design? Learn the basic rules to keep in mind when designing your schema for Cassandra.

AD Group Member Reporting

Mick's IT Blog

This tool queries specified AD groups for new users that have been added to the group within a specified number of days. The script is written so that it can be used with Azure Automation, Orchestrator, or even a scheduled task, with the addition of the send-mailmessage cmdlet.

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SCCM Client Installer for MDT

Mick's IT Blog

Recently, I wanted to revisit the process of installing the SCCM client during an MDT task sequence. At first, I tried to use the SCCM PowerShell module to initiate the install. I learned during testing that it does not work if a system is not present in SCCM.

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ConfigMgr Pending Reboot Report

Mick's IT Blog

We wanted a list of servers that are waiting for a reboot. Thankfully, ConfigMgr has a pending restart field that allows admins to see when systems are waiting for a reboot. Our server team wanted that list to be automatically generated and emailed to them daily.

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Multiple Machine Logon Reporting

Mick's IT Blog

This tool is designed to report if a user profile has been logged into a defined number of machines or greater over a specified period of time.

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Deleting the Windows 10 Recovery Partition

Mick's IT Blog

We use VMWare for our servers and sometimes virtualized desktops. One of the issues we ran into was expanding the disk space on a virtual machine. When disk space was added, the C: drive could not be expanded because of the reserve drive "being in the way".

Legacy Distribution Point Cleanup

Mick's IT Blog

This script will clean up the legacy items left over after a distribution point has been deleted in the configuration manager console. This is sometimes necessary if the same server is going to be used to re-push the distribution point back down to it.

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The Next-Generation Cloud Data Lake: An Open, No-Copy Data Architecture

A next-gen cloud data lake architecture has emerged that brings together the best attributes of the data warehouse and the data lake. This new open data architecture is built to maximize data access with minimal data movement and no data copies.

Configuration Manager 1910 Upgrade Tips and Issues I Encountered

Mick's IT Blog

We have a new datacenter and the configuration manager server needed to be moved to that location. The setup of Configuration Manager is not too difficult. I did though run into several gotchas along the way. The first one was a warning that read 'configuration for SQL server memory usage'.

Which Configuration Manager PowerShell Module should I use?

Mick's IT Blog

If you use PowerShell with Configuration Manager, you likely know that there are two PowerShell modules named ConfigurationManager.psd1.

Configuration Manager Default Client Settings

Mick's IT Blog

I just started building a completely new configuration manager server. While setting it up, I remembered that I wished in the past that I had all of the original default client settings because some did get changed.

Microsoft Endpoint Manager Configuration Manager PowerShell Upgrade Script

Mick's IT Blog

With the advent of Microsoft Endpoint Manager Configuration Manager 1910, I started researching the upgrade requirements. I happened to run into a great blog post by fellow MVP Martin Bengtsson on what should be done before the upgrade takes place.

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Install Configuration Manager PowerShell Module

Mick's IT Blog

I wanted to install the Configuration Manager PowerShell module on my admin machine. After investigating a little, the module does not exist in the Microsoft PowerShell gallery.

Deliver Effective Online Education and Events Your Members Will Love

This guide identifies the biggest challenges for associations moving their training online and provides practical solutions so that you can hit the ground running. Download now to keep your members engaged and growing even in times of COVID-19.

WMI Query for Dell Manufacture and First Power On Date

Mick's IT Blog

A recent project of mine was to obtain the Dell manufacture and ownership dates from all systems for depreciation and lifecycle purposes. This information is not readily available in SCCM and on the local machines.

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Using PowerShell to list Zerto Unprotected Systems

Mick's IT Blog

This script will connect to the Zerto server and retrieve a list of systems that Zerto is not backing up. The script has been written so that it can function in the Azure Automation or Orchestrator environment. It can also be used as a scheduled task or executed manually.

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Using PowerShell for SQL Backup Verification

Mick's IT Blog

Earlier this year, we had a non-critical SQL server to crash. Come to find out, the backups were successful every night, but the data in the backup was corrupt. Needless to say, the server had to be recreated from scratch. Thankfully it was a non-critical server.

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Bitlocker Non-Compliance Reporting

Mick's IT Blog

As part of the suite of security tools I am writing, this will query the configuration manager SQL database for a list of machines that are not Bitlocker encrypted.

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Open Source & Open Standards: Navigating the Intricacies of a Symbiotic Partnership

Speaker: Guy Martin, Executive Director of OASIS Open

The COVID-19 global pandemic has raised the already bright visibility of technology to an even higher level. Join Guy Martin, Executive Director at OASIS Open, as he presents this webinar that will discuss how we can make open source and open standards even more effective by helping them recapture their strong partnership.

SCCM Pending Reboot Report

Mick's IT Blog

We wanted a list of servers that are waiting for a reboot. Thankfully, SCCM has a pending restart field that allows admins to see when systems are waiting for a reboot. Our server team wanted that list to be automatically generated and emailed to them daily. Other than myself, others that have the SCCM console rarely look at it since they wear many hats in IT. I could not find any PowerShell cmdlets in the SCCM module for viewing a pending restart.

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Populate VMWare Virtual Systems to a ConfigMgr Collection

Mick's IT Blog

During the COVID19 pandemic, one of my projects has been to build a new configuration manager server at our newer production site for optimal performance.

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PowerShell One-Liner to Configure the NIC Power Management Settings

Mick's IT Blog

While working on a series of one-liners for configuring the NIC on machines, I created this needed to makes changes to the power management settings of the NIC. This is something that will be implemented in the build, so I also wanted to make the script into a one-liner so the code itself can reside within the task sequence. This one-liner can check/uncheck the boxes within the Power Management tab of the network adapter. There are two ways this can be done.

Application List Report

Mick's IT Blog

We have started the Windows 10 upgrades and part of this process is installing applications for users that are not included in the standard build. One option is to use the SCCM Resource Explorer for a list of apps installed. The problem with that is it is a blanket report. It shows everything and all we were wanting is a report of the additional apps installed after a build.

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Configuration Manager Default Antimalware Policy

Mick's IT Blog

While building my new Configuration Manager server, MECM, I took screenshots of the default antimalware policy settings in the event settings in it ever got changed. The default should not be changed. A new policy should be created and deployed.

Zero Touch Dell Command Update for SCCM and MDT

Mick's IT Blog

I have used the Dell Command | Update in the build for quite some time for managing the drivers on systems because it makes it a hand-off approach with little setup and reliable updates direct from Dell. The one thing I have wanted to be able to rerun this task several times without having to have duplicate tasks in the task sequence. Sometimes there are multiple reboots required because not all drivers can be installed at the same time.

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SCCM Duplicate Machine Cleanup

Mick's IT Blog

I got tired of duplicate systems appearing in SCCM caused by computers being reimaged while using the same computer name. To rid myself of this issue, I wrote the script below. It queries the SCCM SQL database for a list of machines where the SCCM client installation was attempted with a return code of 120. This error code indicates the system is already present and active in SCCM, thereby indicating this system is the old one.

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PowerShell One-Liners to ensure Dell system is configured for UEFI when imaging

Mick's IT Blog

While planning and configuring the Windows 10 upgrades, we had to also include the transition to UEFI from BIOS. I wanted to make sure that when the build team builds new models that they are configured for UEFI when applicable, otherwise the build fails within seconds after it starts. We use Dell systems, so interacting with the BIOS is simple. The Dell Command | Configure allows for the BIOS to be queried, which is what we need here to verify specific models are set correctly.

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Cloud-Scale Monitoring With AWS and Datadog

In this eBook, find out the benefits and complexities of migrating workloads to AWS, and services that AWS offers for containers and serverless computing.

PowerShell One-Liner to Enable Features in Microsoft Windows 1809

Mick's IT Blog

In Windows 10 1809, I needed to enable some RSAT features that are now included in the OS. I figured this would be a good time to go from using a script to using one-liners for the build process. Mike Robbins's blog was a good start to developing this one-liner. This allows for you to manage the code within the task sequence, thereby negating the issue of storing a script and the possibility of the script accidentally being deleted.

Importing and Using the SCCM PowerShell Module

Mick's IT Blog

Recently, I have begun setting up new front and back-office security runbooks in Microsoft Orchestrator. These runbooks needed to use PowerShell for getting data from the SCCM server. The SCCM console is not installed on the Orchestrator server, so PowerShell required to be able to connect directly to it. The following script will import the SCCM PowerShell module, connect to the SCCM server, and then disconnect.

End User Reboot Management

Mick's IT Blog

I have wrestled with the issue of managing mandatory reboots for quite a while. Back before laptops were introduced into the environment, we used an SCCM package that triggered a reboot once a week. Today, with the majority of systems being laptops and tablets, it is not so easy to implement a reboot. The problem came when the package ran, and a system was offline. It would not get done. The second issue comes from laptops being closed instead of shutdown. A reboot rarely happens.

Configuring Wake-On-LAN for Dell Systems

Mick's IT Blog

If you have been wanting to wake your Dell systems up from sleep, hibernate, or shutdown states, this is how you do it. Starting out with this article from Dell, I got the list of things needed to set up the system for WOL. There are three areas that have to be configured on Dell systems, at least for the systems we have which range from the Optiplex 990 to the Latitude 7490. The areas are BIOS, advanced NIC, and power management settings.

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What is Contextual Analytics? The Next Evolution of Embedded Analytics

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MDT Conditional Reboot

Mick's IT Blog

I wrote an article about three years ago on conditional task sequence reboots. It used the built-in reboot task sequence that was initiated only if any of the three conditions were met. The problem was a fourth condition that could not be tested for because a WMI query is the only way to test and MDT conditions do not incorporate WMI.

Extract SCCM WIM from ISO and Configure for WDS via PowerShell

Mick's IT Blog

One issue, more like a time-waster, I have had as we are migrating to SCCM from MDT is getting the boot image on the WDS server. SCCM is not configured to manage WDS because we use it for other things, so we manually upload the WIM. SCCM creates an ISO that needs to be mounted to extract the WIM for WDS. Thanks to this blog post , it is explained. I wanted the steps automated, so I wrote the following PowerShell script that will perform all of the steps needed to extract and configure the WIM.

Running an SCCM Package via PowerShell and Command Line

Mick's IT Blog

While working on a new compliance policy, I ran into a lot of hurdles that needed to be resolved. One of those hurdles was executing an SCCM package via PowerShell. Using the WMIExplorer, I was able to locate a method that allows you to execute an SCCM package as shown below. Once I located the namespace, class, and method, I needed to find out the name of the package in SCCM that I wanted to execute.

Active Directory PowerShell Module Configuration Baseline

Mick's IT Blog

With the recent 1809, RSAT is now integrated into Windows, which is a major plus for the admin side. In my environment, I have the active directory PowerShell module enabled on all machines for two reasons. The first is I use it to move the machine in AD during the build process. The second is that I have an SCCM baseline that makes sure the Bitlocker key matches the one stored in AD. For these, I need the module installed and thankfully it is now just a simple Add-WindowsCapability cmdlet.

Building Evolvable Architectures

Speaker: Dr. Rebecca Parsons, CTO of ThoughtWorks

The software development ecosystem exists in a state of dynamic equilibrium, where any new tool, framework, or technique leads to disruption and the establishment of a new equilibrium. Predictability is impossible when the foundation architects plan against is constantly changing in unexpected ways. It’s no surprise many CIOs and CTOs are struggling to adapt, in part because their architecture isn’t equipped to evolve. This webinar will discuss what’s at stake if companies continue to use long term architecture plans.