Mick's IT Blog

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.

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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/MDT Windows Updates Installer

Mick's IT Blog

One of the issues I have had when moving the build process from MDT to SCCM has been windows updates. Windows updates are not available in the SCCM build if it does not already deploy the updates to machines.

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.

Schema Evolution Patterns

Speaker: Alex Rasmussen, CEO, Bits on Disk

If you want to make your development team squirm, ask them about database schema changes or API versioning. Most development teams struggle with changing database schemas and updating API versions without breaking existing code. Alex Rasmussen is an expert in helping teams through these struggles. His talk will examine database schema changes and API versioning as two instances of schema evolution: how your systems respond when the structure of your structured data changes.

MDT: How to initiate a reboot during a task without corrupting the task sequence

Mick's IT Blog

Recently, I have been working on updating several scripts I have written for the build process. One big thing I have wanted is for the script to be able to initiate a reboot without the build process becoming corrupt.

Custom Task Sequence Variables and the SMSTSRebootRequested

Mick's IT Blog

While writing a new PowerShell script for SCCM, I needed to be able to keep track of how many times a system had rebooted when using the SMSTSRebootRequested. The apparent solution, at least what I initially thought, was to create a TS variable and increment it upon each reboot.

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.

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.

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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.

Team Leadership in the Age of Agile

Speaker: Roy Osherove, Technology and Leadership Consultant

Why is implementing new frameworks, from SCRUM to self-organized teams, so much harder than understanding them? Roy Osherove has the solution. Tune in and learn to recognize what state your team is in, to support them accordingly, and to help them adopt the best practices given where they are today.

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.

Configuring Power Scheme with a PowerShell One-Liner

Mick's IT Blog

Recently, we decided to change the power scheme on machines during the build. This can be quickly done using the powercfg.exe, but I wanted to be sure it always set correctly. Plus, the GUID associated with a power scheme can be different, so I wanted to specify the power scheme by the name.

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Local Administrator Baseline Compliance

Mick's IT Blog

One of the issues we have had is some users ending up being in the administrators group. There are circumstances to which we have to sometimes put a user in that group to install an application which is both user and computer-based. It can be easy to forget to take the user back out of that group.

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Batch file wait for process using PowerShell integration

Mick's IT Blog

Recently, I wanted a simple batch file to run the ccmsetup.exe file. I could have used PowerShell, but for debugging the parameters, I wanted it quick and easy to modify. One of the issues I had was getting the batch script to wait for the ccmexec.exe to install before proceeding.

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The Six Principles of Persuasion

Speaker: Michael Carducci, CTO, Mago:Tech

As senior tech leaders, we often fall prey to thinking that a “good idea” and logical case is sufficient to get the desired response and result. We might be trying to get our CEO on-board with investment in a new technology or a rearchitecture effort, or we might want culture or process changes by our team. Our “good idea” is simply the beginning. An idea must be communicated; a case must be made; and ultimately other people must be persuaded to get onboard. Michael Carducci brings a fascinating background to this webinar. He’s a technologist and regularly works to help senior leaders improve their results. He’s also a professional mentalist and has been a student of psychology, human behavior and the principles of influence for nearly two decades.

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.

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Bitlocker Active Directory Recovery Password Backup Compliance

Mick's IT Blog

Recently, we had an issue of some machines not backing up the Bitlocker recovery password to active directory, even with the GPO in place. They ended up being offline while the bitlocker process took place. Plus, some of the systems in AD had multiple entries, which can be cumbersome.

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Verifying SCCM package has updated the content on the distribution point

Mick's IT Blog

One of the things I have wrestled with over the years of using SCCM is verifying if the package on the distribution point contains the new content after updating the distribution point(s).

Fixing Do you want to run this file? during SCCM Deployment

Mick's IT Blog

Over the past two months, I deployed the Windows 10 1809 to all Windows 10 machines. We got through 80% of the machines with successful deployments until we reached those last 20% where they did not have enough disk space for both downloading the package and installing it.

Best Practices for Micro-Services Management, Traceability and Visualization

Speaker: Robert Starmer, Cloud Advisor, Founding Partner at Kumulus Technologies

Moving to micro-services, or even working with distributed applications in a traditional environment, brings with it a host of interactions that are often difficult to understand. This session will provide an overview of service mesh, a review of the Istio service mesh itself, and dive into best practices and integration models for integrating the traceability model into a distributed application.

Initiating an SCCM Compliance Check via PowerShell

Mick's IT Blog

Recently, I have been working on Configuration Baselines for security purposes. While doing so, two of my baselines required remediation that takes longer than 1 minute. I do not recall where I read it, but I believe the timeout for a compliance check is 1 minute.

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.

Mozilla Firefox One-liner Installer

Mick's IT Blog

Here is a PowerShell one-line installer for Mozilla Firefox. This allows you to download the latest version of Mozilla Firefox during the build process without having to maintain the package each time. The URI used in this is for the 64-bit version of Firefox. If you need a different version, you will need to locate the download URI and copy and paste it in the one-liner thereby changing the value of $URI. I have been using this one-liner to install Firefox in the build for almost a year.

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Loss of Bluetooth Connectivity Resolved via PowerShell

Mick's IT Blog

Recently, we ran into the issue of users replacing their keyboard and mouse with Bluetooth devices. What happened was they would lose connectivity and the error below would appear in the event viewer logs.

Profile Size Reporting

Mick's IT Blog

While in the middle of the planning phase for the Windows 10 rollout, we wanted a report on the size of the My Documents and Desktops of all users. These will be the folders we have decided to back up. USMT is not possible in our environment due to the cross-architectures.

Ensuring Compliance When Deploying a Self-Updating Application

Mick's IT Blog

In my list of recent security projects, I needed to ensure certain applications are present on systems by using SCCM application deployment. One of those applications was Dell Command | Configure. The issue with this application is the Dell Command | Update will update the application which in turn would register it as not installed to SCCM, thereby kicking off the installation again. That, in turn, would downgrade the application.

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Cleaning Up and Automating the Backup of Bitlocker Passwords to Active Directory

Mick's IT Blog

Recently, I was reviewing the bitlocker recovery password backups. We still use active directory to store them, and yes, we are planning on moving to MBAM. That is a ways off as we're in the process of the Windows 10, Exchange 2016, and Office 2016 migrations.

Fix for FAILURE (9705): Unable to find USMT file, cannot capture/restore user state

Mick's IT Blog

Recently, I upgraded to the new MDT 6.3.8450.1000. It was a fresh install of the new MDT product in which I created an entirely new MDT share for our Windows 10 build.

Robocopy User Profile Contents to UNC Path

Mick's IT Blog

The Windows 10 upgrades required us to move profile contents off of the machines to a file share and then move them back. This was because USMT could not be used due to the architecture changing from 32-bit to 64-bit. This script I wrote will copy all of the pertinent data from a user profile to a specified UNC path. I made two text files to include all exclusions for directories and files. The exclusion files need to reside in the same directory as this script.

Accessing MDT and SCCM Task Sequence Variables

Mick's IT Blog

While rewriting a PowerShell automation script to move machines in Active Directory, I had been trying to pass the MachineObjectOU task sequence variable to the PowerShell script within the command line task sequence. It constantly failed.

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Install Dell Command Configure in WinPE

Mick's IT Blog

Dell Command | Configure can be of great use in the WinPE environment. It allows you to configure and/or query the BIOS before an operating system is laid down. This is easy to do. The first thing is to determine the architecture of the WinPE environment.

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Moving Computers to Designated OU during Build Process

Mick's IT Blog

It has been four years since I published the last version of the PowerShell script to move systems from one OU to another during a build process. In that version, it required making a task sequence for each OU, which if there are a lot of OUs, that would be a very daunting process.

Microsoft Compatibility Reporting Tool Spectre and Meltdown Patch

Mick's IT Blog

Ever since the Spectre and Meltdown issues arose, we have been waiting on patching, at least reliable patching. Microsoft has taken it on itself to patch systems for the vulnerability.

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Microsoft Ignite Guide for First Time Attendees

Mick's IT Blog

I have been coming to the Microsoft Ignite convention since it's inception in 2015. The first conference held in Chicago had a lot of fallacies. It was the first time Microsoft had combined the conferences into one. Since then, Microsoft has steadily improved.

MDT Not assigning the correct Drive Letter to the Windows Primary Partition with UEFI

Mick's IT Blog

When I installed the new MDT 6.3.8450.1000 to build the deployment package for Windows 10 1709, I ran into issues with the operating system deployment. In the process of building out the new task sequence, I also decided to convert over to UEFI.