Deployment

Refresh scenario and LAPS

When doing reinstall of machines a common issue is that the LAPS password does not get updated due to the fact that the machine thinks the password is current. So to prevent the nice folks from Microsoft wrote a small script to reset the timer and force and update. The original blog post and script can be found here https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/laps/2015/05/06/laps-and-machine-reinstalls/

Now my issue with this is there is no log file created and no way for helpdesk to verify it actually happend (besides logging on which I don’t like).

So to solve this I have made an updated version of the script that centralizes logging basone if the script is run as part of MDT, Configuration Manager or Standalone.

image

Script can found on github here https://github.com/LofgrenP/Scripts/tree/master/Clear-xTSPasswordTimeStamp

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Updating the MBAM Agent

When upgrading MBAM there are a couple things to note. Number one, if you haven’t already you should make sure you have PowerShell scripts to setup everything on the server side. This will be a nice to have since every servicerelease requires a uninstall/reinstall. And with lots of serviceaccounts, groups and what not, not automating the install will cause you headaches everytime.

The next issue is that the agents needs to be ugpraded everywhere. Now there is no panic to upgrade the agents on the machines as the old version will keep reporting to a newer server release. However to benefit from all the bugs and security fixes the update should absolutley be deployed.

Now the issue, when you run the MSP on an already patches systems (let’s assume you already have a service release installed) nothing happends. Well this is due to the fact that the MSP only upgrades from version 1.0.0.0 as can be viewed in the MSP itself. Below is from the x64 patch of the september release.

image

Now to fix this the easiest way is actually to create a wrapper around the MBAM agent installer and use that to install the agent. That way if there is already and agent installed we can uninstall it and reinstall the patched version. And if there is no version installed we can go ahead and install the version.

All of this can be done using PowerShell and checking the registry for known keys.

image

To save you the time on creating your own script to solve this you can use mine. It can be found on github overe here https://github.com/LofgrenP/Scripts/tree/master/Install-MBAMClient

Now the script requires a simple folder structure looking like this

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Now in the source folder you place the MbamClientSetup.exe and the patch file from the latest servicingrelease. The script is prepped for the current September 2017 release.

Next up is you run the script as a administrator on a box, or run the script as part of a package in Configuration Manager, an application in MDT or basically however you want.

The logfiles will switch location based on if its run as part of Configuration Manager, MDT or standalone. The end result will always be the same!

Happy upgrading!

/Peter

NIC 2018 – Future Edition

So NIC has come to and end and I was fortunate enought to be selected as a presenter for not one but two session. My first session was about whats changed in Windows 10 in the 2 years since its first release and how to keep up with the changes. The second session was a co-presented session with @nickolajA from SCconfigMgr.com about using community tools during OSD in ConfigMgr and MDT.

I had a blast presenting this and you can now find the presentations from those session (and others) over on github github.com/nordicinfrastructureconference/2018

If you want a some more details about what me and my coworkers did at NIC check out this post http://www.scconfigmgr.com/2018/02/07/nic-2018-future-edition/ from @modaly_it

image

Techdays 2017 Pre-Conf Slides

Me and Jörgen Nilsson (@ccmexec) did a pre-conf together at Techdays in sweden. And after much slacking here are now the slide deck from that pre-conf.

Here is the link to download the slidedeck!
https://1drv.ms/b/s!ArAh2CEqOjRkk-8ZDAVJ1vRqi8Glxg

Techday2017

/Peter

Windows 10 1709 Reference Image

Update – 2018-03-06 – Read at the bottom

When creating a Windows 10 reference image a common issue is that the store updates will autoupdate while you are busy installing software updates and applications. This then causes sysprep to fail in giant ball of fire.

To solve this there are basically two options and for some option one doesn’t seem to work which is why I always opt for option two.

Option 1, follow the guidance for disabling auto store updates. This consists of adding a DWORD registry item to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsStore named AutoDownload with a value of 2. More info on how to do this check out the blog over at deploymentresearch.com

Option 2, is to use a WSUS and then disable internet access for the duration of the build. This can easily be achieved using PowerShell and a sprinkle of magic.

Here is how! Lets start with creating a small PowerShell Script.

param (
[Parameter(Mandatory=$False,Position=0)]
[Switch]$Disable
)

If (!$Disable) {
Write-Output “Adding internet block”
New-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName “Block Outgoing 80, 443” -Enabled True -Direction Outbound -Profile Any -Action Block -Protocol TCP -RemotePort 80,443
}

if ($Disable) {
Write-Output “Removing internet block”
Get-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName “Block Outgoing 80, 443” | Remove-NetFirewallRule

}

Save that into as Invoke-InternetAccess.ps1 and place the file into the MDT deployment share script folder.

Now time to set the sequence.
Add two “Run PowerShell script” steps as shown below.

Ref1709

For the first one just set the script name to Invoke-InternetAccess.ps1
For the second one set the script name to Invoke-InternetAccess.ps1 and parameters to –Disable

All done! Now you can run your sequence and not worry about any store updates during your build.

Update – 2018-03-06
There has been some discussion around this and there is an alternative to the way below which will work if you use MDT. The solution is a simple as it is elegant and requires very little configuration.

All you would need is to set HideShell=YES in your customsettings.ini. This will not load a full explorer and hence store will not start and there will be no store updates downloaded.

 

Happy deploying

/Peter

Techdays 2017

I have the great honor of presenting at TechDays sweden this year. I will be doing a pre conf together with Jörgen Nilsson about Client management. We will show of tips and trix, give some insight on how to surive the Windows As A Service change and talk about the future of client management.

Make sure to reserve your seat now and we will see you there. For more information check out the preconf site for TechDays here http://tdswe.se/events/windows-10-client-management-now-and-in-the-future-level-300/

Hope to see you there!

/Peter

Windows 10 Notes From The Field – Q&A

Last week @jarwidmark and myself held a live session about windows 10 deployment notes from the field and we had ALOT of good questions.

Here are the questions and answers from the session

Q: How well does the performance of an NVMe drive compare to an M2 SSD?
A: There are both M2 NVMe and M2 SSD drives available at the current time. However, the NVMe drives are a different type of drives even if they are connected using the slot type. NVMe will always be faster but depending on what you need to do it might not be economical.

Q: Can Secure Boot be disabled and enabled after Windows 10 installation?
A: Yes, Secure Boot can be disabled/enabled after Windows installation. Note that turning UEFI on/off is not the same thing!

Q: Is peercache similar to a product such as 1E Nomad?
A: Yes, peerchache is very similar to those types of products. What you need to remember is that peercache has now been around for all of 2 months while products similar third party products have been out for a couple of years. There is a good write up about this topic made by 2Pint Software found here https://2pintsoftware.com/peer-cache-in-configmgr-current-branch-first-impressions/

Q: What’s the best way to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 1607 in place?
A: As of right now the best way is using the Replace scenario so backup the current computer and redeploy it as a new computer while restoring the settings and documents. This will enable you to turn on UEFI+SecureBoot and any other new features you desire.

If you do a normal in-place upgrade there is currently no way of switching from Legacy BIOS to UEFI and thus you will not be able to use all the new cool features of Windows 10.

Q: how do you prevent Windows 10 from automatically uninstalling software it deems “not compatible” when doing Windows update? Example: Cisco VPN client app, when updating versions (i.e. 1507->1511)
A: Don’t use Windows Update, use sequencing instead. Either with MDT or SCCM. That way you can control before, during and after. Giving you the tools you need to get the job done. In this case making sure the software is reinstalled or upgrade as part of the in-place upgrade.

A good starting point can be found here http://deploymentresearch.com/Research/Post/533/Improving-the-ConfigMgr-Inplace-Upgrade-Task-Sequence

Q: For the in-place upgrade Task Sequence, is it possible to add Cumulative Update to the image rather than adding the CU to the TS? Running a Cumulative Update during the TS adds a lot of time to the deployment.
A: Yes, you can add both CUs and Security fixes to a install.wim file. That is fully supported. However, as it will use offline servicing to do so the patches won’t be installed until the machine is booted up and during the initial boot they will install. This will take the same amount of time as adding them as applications during the TS.

Q: Which OSs are supported by MDT 8443?
A: Windows 7 and forward. Note that MDT 8443 requires ADK1607 and that ADK has issues with Windows 7 and driver injection when running on SSD drives.

Q: Is the best way to customize default pinned apps in the Win 10 task bar still via a run-once logon script?
A: No, use the start and taskbar layout xml file instead. More info on that can be found here https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/itpro/windows/manage/windows-10-start-layout-options-and-policies

Note that taskbar pinning using xml requires Windows 10 1607.

Q: Have you seen any new hardware components with no Win7 drivers?
A: Yes, not all new models support Windows 7. This is due to instruction sets in some of the Skylake CPUs by Intel. Most vendors have a number of models/configurations that do support Windows 7 still. Expect this to diminish now that Kaby Lake is out and going forward with new CPUs.

Q: With Win 7/8.1 we would use Copyprofile, configure items in the captured image, and that worked great. Since Copyprofile is a no-go with Win10 it seems, what is the best approach going forward? WICD? Don’t configure in captured image, but apply during deployment TS?
A: Microsoft is moving towards less IT configuration and more personal configuration by end-users. This makes it less worthwhile doing customizations but when you need to do them you have a couple of options. Do the in the deployment TS or use GPOs. Since in-place upgrade is going to be the way between versions and you can’t customize the install.wim file moving them elsewhere will be needed.

Q: Is it better to remove Appx packages from win 10 via a powershell script during OS deployment, or via applocker (so that they never get installed for the users) anyone have experience/comparison to both
A: Removing Appx packages can only be done with PowerShell. Applocker will not remove them only block them from being used. If you want to scale down on the apps make sure to remove AppX packages and the AppX provisioned packages.

Q: Why don’t use ConfigMgr for reference images?
A: Until very recently that was not an option due to the fact that ConfigMgr will install the client as part of deployment and we want to avoid that. We still prefer MDT due to the fact its smaller, needs to infrastructure to work, its much faster and you also get a profile that can be customized to some extent.

Q: In your experience, has anyone needed hardware upgrades to go from win7 to win10? Or are real-world HW requirements the same?
A: This is a split question. If a model is supported no they won’t need an upgrade x64 requirements for Windows 7 and 10 are the same. Windows 10 will even be kinder to your hardware giving you more bang for your buck.

The thing to lock out for is of course that old models might not be vendor supported for Windows 10 and a lot of older models does not support full UEFI. Thus, for those models you won’t be able to turn on features like, Device guard and Credential guard.

Q: Would MDT Version: 6.2.5019.0 work with Win 1607, if I was to start testing deployment?
A: No, you will need a newer ADK and that is not supported with the old versions of MDT. The newer version of MDT also contains a massive amount of bugfixes so make sure to upgrade MDT instead.

Q: Does CM1610 with MDT 8443 support ADK 1511? I ask because we have to use 802.1x port authentication in our boot images and that is broken in ADK 1607.
A: Kind of, 1606 does support ADK1511 and I have not seen statements that 1610 requires ADK1607 to work. Its more a question on which OS you want to deploy. Check the link for support statement on ADK and ConfigMgr from the Microsoft Team.
https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/enterprisemobility/2016/09/09/configuration-manager-and-the-windows-adk-for-windows-10-version-1607/

Q: What was the package to add for Win 10 v1607 in MDT to fix WU issue?
A: Make sure to add the latest CU for November that is KB 3200970 http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=3200970 together with servicing stack update KB3199986 https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3199986

Q: Adding the CU via a Package, but it still appears to download it from WU. Also, tried to add it the image via DISM, but same result. Any suggestions on how to prevent it from downloading?
A: This is a known issue that can be read from the KB article. To avoid it install them as applications before the first Windows Update step runs.

Q: KB3197954 is superseded so just add in the next Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1607? do the next one have a working WU agent or do a first need to install this one?
A: No, all CUs contains all the previous month’s patches so the latest one will cover everything you need.

Q: What could we expect roadmap wise, with MDT and SCCM, compared to roadmap of Win 10? Will MDT / SCCM keep up?
A: Both ConfigMgr and MDT is dedicated to staying current with Windows 10. This means that MDT will be updates when needed for deployment and ConfigMgr will get continues releases to add features and fix bugs. Just this year we have seen 3 production releases of ConfigMgr (1602, 1606 and 1610)

Q: What’s the top benefits using MDT+ConfigMgr together?
A: MDT adds about 280 built-in features through scripts. You may of course build that yourself using native ConfigMgr but I have more fun things to do with my time. And if you build them yourself you will have to support them. MDT on the other hand is supported by Microsoft.

Q: Do you recommend custom Windows10 images and what is your go to image creation tool?
A: Always use MDT for reference image creation. I recommend using custom images for bare metal deployment so you can add in things your end users will need, like Visual C++ runtimes and .Net Framework. For upgrades, custom images are not supported so you will need both.

Q: When creating a W10 ref image, would you recommend applying the latest CU offline or online?
A: Both work but if you want to save time do them online otherwise it will redownload the patch to apply certain things again.

Q: Deploying with 1607 ADK working with win 7 deployment?
A: There is one big issue using the ADK 1607. Driver injection on Windows 7 with ADK1607 will fail when running on SSD drives. Using a ADK1511 boot image will solve that issue.

 

Hope this has helped you out with your deployments

/Peter