Configuration Manager (SCCM) Power BI Reporting

I would like to introduce you to the next generation of endpoint reporting we created at Ascent Solutions.  System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) vNext Reporting with Microsoft Power BI. Microsoft Power BI is the insight engine that your organization needs.  Not with just Configuration Manager reporting, but extending out into your cloud, data center, ITSM, ITAM, and even your security vulnerability scanning appliance. 

Does your organization have a grip on client reporting health, let alone if your getting the latest Windows updates deployed.  These are tough questions to ask new customer’s when we need to properly plan a new roll out.  

This video takes you through some developed possibilities.  These solutions are in constant development. I am adding new insights weekly to these reports. Microsoft’s Power BI give us no limits into your organizational IT makeup, including but, not even close, limited to, Microsoft Operations Management Suite, Azure SQL, Amazon RedShift, Oracle, and MySQL, and etc….

Continue reading

Removing Windows 10 Universal Apps

Today’s Windows 10 Deployment Tip will include one of the most demanded help for Windows 10. We will go over how to remove Windows 10 Universal Apps for your production Windows 10 build.

The biggest misconception is that you remove Windows 10 Universal Apps during your build and capture.  These Apps will need to be removed during your Production OSD Build.  This can be easily done by incorporating a Run Command Line / Run PowerShell Script task sequence step that runs the below code / script.

Continue reading

Windows 10 Deployment Tip – 2016-08-08

With the first Windows 10 Deployment Tip of this series, we will cover the most basic situation.  Building your reference image.  Yes, you have made the investment in Configuration Manager, but the best way to build your Gold image is still with the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT).

Even if you use MDT in your environment today.  It is recommended to setup a dedicated Deployment Share just for your build and capture.

Continue reading

SCCM / ConfigMgr Driver Package Best Practice

Overview

This post will outline driver package creation, management, and best practices for System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr). The steps outlined in this post will ensure minimal driver management in SCCM, while ensuring the end device receives the proper drivers during imaging.

Staging and Imaging the New Device

The first step in the process is to get the new device able to image with the environment’s gold image.   You will have to note that it may be necessary to inject the network drivers into your Windows Pre-Installation Environment (WinPE) boot image. If the device fails to load the WinPE environment it is either the network or storage drivers are not available.

Pick the below scenario that matches your environment:

  • The Task Sequence deployed to unknown computers and the local administrator password is set
    • Begin imaging the device
  • The Task Sequence deployed to unknown computer but the local administrator password is not enabled
    • Copy the task sequence to enable the local administrator account, deploy the task sequence and start imaging the device
  • No task sequence is deployed to unknown computers but the local administrator password is set
    • Import the device and add it to the proper collection and begin imaging
  • No task sequence is deployed to unknown computers but the local administrator password is not enabled
    • Copy the task sequence, enable the local administrator account, deploy the task sequence, import the device, and begin imaging the device

To import a device into SCCM follow the steps outlined in the below link:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh397287.aspx#BKMK_AddComputer

If network drivers are in the Operating System media that task sequence will complete successfully.  If the device does not receive a network driver it will fail, and you must logon as the local administrator.

Continue reading

PowerShell Uninstall Automation

I have authored the PowerShell Uninstall script.  It gives the ability for IT Operations / ConfigMgr Admins to uninstall multiple versions of a particular software with one process.

Does your organization struggle when trying to cleanup software when standardizing on a application version? I.E. Oracle Java, Adobe Flash, RightFax, IBM products, etc…  Not all the versions you have are in ConfigMgr / SCCM or not in the application model?  If the answer is yes, the PowerShell Uninstall script is for you.

The PowerShell Uninstall script takes inputs from a CSV file.  Using the delimiter of “^”, don’t worry I have included a Excel file to build your CSV.

Since by nature when uninstalling legacy software there maybe pre-or post- process you must run. The PowerShell Uninstall script has functions to call a PowerShell script before or after the uninstall logic.

The PowerShell Uninstall script also includes a Boolean to  create the script as an ConfigMgr / SCCM Application.  In which you can attach to other programs for requirements.

To detect the PowerShell Uninstall script, have ConfigMgr / SCCM check existence of “%SystemDrive%\Program Files\Pomeroy\AppName”.  It will be an empty directory.  For the uninstall just use the command “rmdir /Q /S %SystemDrive%\Program Files\Pomeroy\AppName”

Continue reading

SCCM 2012 Visio Low Level Overview

I have created an SCCM 2012 Visio overview.  This after searching high and low, and even asking Microsoft for a Visio diagram, and my searches ending in zero.

The SCCM 2012 Visio just shows a cookie cut / low level overview.  This is by no means a solution for every organization.  The diagram involves different hierarchy options. Not all sites will have a CAS, two primaries, or even secondary sites.

You can either save the SCCM 2012 Visio JPG for you consumption or click below to download the SCCM 2012 Visio PDF version.

SC2012_CM_LowLevel_Overview

SCCM 2012 Visio PDF

SCCM 2012 Folder Creation Script

I have created a script that will automate SCCM 2012 folder creation.  Either in bulk or single by single. It is a simple script with no parameters.  You just run the script and follow the instructions.  If you want to bulk folder create the text file must be in the format where the folder names is per line.

Example.

folder name 1
folder name 2
folder name 3
folder name 4
…..

Here is a walk through.

Get Help:

Get-Help.

Single Folder Creation:

Single folder creation.

Bulk Folder Creation:

Bulk folder creation.

Click the download link to give it a try.

CM2012 Node Folder Creation v2.0

 

SCCM Team Blog: Introducing the Pull Distribution Point

Over on the TechNet blogs the introduce the SCCM Pull Distribution Point.

If you are one of the victims of bottle neck distribution points with a simplified hierarchy with no secondary sites then you are in luck.

With Cumulative Update 1 to System Center Configuration Manager the added Pull-Distribution points corrects this issue.
Read the explanation here:

Adobe Reader 11 Package Accelerator Available

Over on the TechNet blog they announced the Adobe Reader 11 Package Accelerator

As you may have seen, we announced that App-V 5.0 SP1 is now available as part of MDOP 2013.  In our many conversations at MMS a few weeks ago, we heard a lot of excitement around 5.0 SP1 as many of you are evaluating 5.0 alongside………

Read the whole post over on the “The Microsoft Application Virtualization Blog”………

http://blogs.technet.com/b/appv/archive/2013/04/30/adobe-reader-11-package-accelerator-available.aspx

Making Windows 8 More Manageable w/ MDOP 2013

Over on the Windows blog they talk about managing Windows 8 with MDOP 2013.

The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2013 for Software Assurance is now available for download! When people think about MDOP, they often think about its virtualization tools that help personalize user experience, simplify app deployment, and improve app compatibility for Windows. MDOP is much more than that though, it also helps manage and deploy important Windows features like BitLocker and Group Policy, as well as saves time by helping to make desktop repair planning proactive instead of reactive.

We’ve been working for some time to optimize our MDOP products for Windows 8 with the goal of making them easier to adopt and take advantage of all the new Windows 8 platform capabilities. Last November, we took our first step by releasing MDOP 2012, in which Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 5.0, and the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 8.0 supported Windows 8.

……

Read the whole article on the “Windows For Your Business” blog.

http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/business/archive/2013/04/10/making-windows-8-even-more-manageable-with-mdop-2013.aspx