Configuration Manager, Software Update Management

Software Update Point Facts

As part of a (longish) Reddit forum thread, I posted the below facts about the Software Update Point (SUP) role in System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr). This is not a comprehensive list of facts by any means, but there are a lot of misconceptions and incorrect assumptions that the below facts address and so here they are replicated (with a few slight changes and additions) for your reading pleasure.
Configuration Manager, Operating System Deployment, Windows

Per User Login Message

Challenge A common challenge with Windows 10 Upgrade task sequences is handling user logins if there are any restarts during the task sequence. After the restart happens, a user can log back into the system but has no way of knowing that a background process (the upgrade task sequence) is running. Additionally, after the user logs in, the task sequence progress bar may take a while to be shown again (or may never reappear). This…
Configuration Manager, Operating System Deployment

Task Sequence One-liners

New page added: Task Sequence One-Liners: Task Sequence One-liners page. The page is also available as a sub-menu of the top-level Script FTW! menu of this site. What is a One-liner? A one-liner is a single script line used to perform a task. This page contains a collection of useful one-liners that can be directly used as is within a Run Command-Line task sequence step. It’s important that they are just “one-line” so that no content…
Configuration Manager, Software Update Management

Servicing Plans in Configuration Manager

Servicing Plans in System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr/SCCM) offer ConfigMgr admins the ability to automatically schedule the download and deployment of Windows 10 feature updates. This post is about why you should not be using them. Yes, that’s correct, you should not be using servicing plans to deploy feature updates. This post isn’t about using task sequences to deploy feature updates though, that’s the subject for a different post.
Configuration Manager, Software Distribution

A Word on Support and Zealotry

This post is a brief response to some of the comments I received on my last post: Copying Files to Every User’s Profile. Support One comment and suggestion that came up was to just use Active Setup. Active Setup has two significant drawbacks though: The currently logged in user has to log out and back in. Active Setup is unsupported for direct use. References: Get Rid of Active Setup and more authoritatively Windows 10 in-place…
Configuration Manager, Windows

Copying Files to Every User’s Profile

Many applications use per-user data or configuration files located in the current user’s profile. There are two different times when these files are created or added: During application installation by the application installer. During application use or customization. Both of these create one of two possible, similar issues when deploying these applications in an enterprise with a system like System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr).
Windows

$ is Stupid

 in Windows
A common and pervasive practice in Windows administration is to add a dollar sign ($) to the end of share names. The popular reasoning for this is that hides the share making it unavailable for users to use. This is false.
Configuration Manager

Boundary Group Caching and Missing Boundaries

What is Boundary Group Caching Boundary group caching was introduced with the first version of System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) Current Branch (CB): version 1511. As the term implies, clients cache the name of their current boundary groups. They are then able to send this cached boundary group name to the management point during content location requests.
Configuration Manager, Operating System Deployment

Windows Installer Rollback During OSD

Windows Installer provides a nice rollback feature that kicks in when a fatal issue occurs during the installation of a [Windows Installer-based] application installation. This rollback feature gracefully restores the system to its previous state removing any traces that the installation was attempted. Note that this isn’t a full system state restore, it’s just a reversal of any operations performed by the Windows Installer.
Configuration Manager, Operating System Deployment

Building a Windows 7 Image

Although Windows 7 end of life is rapidly approaching (see Windows lifecycle fact sheet for details), a lot of organizations are still deploying it. There’s nothing wrong with this in and of itself unless you are spedning way too much time building and maintaining your images. Below I pesent my standard steps for building a clean Windows 7 image — “clean” because I highly recommend that you always use a clean image built on a…
Configuration Manager, Operating System Deployment

Injecting .NET Framework 3.5 During a Windows 10 Task Sequence

The following is a step by step guide to adding the .NET framework 3.5 to a System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr/SCCM) OSD task sequence that deploys Windows 10. You’ll find a few guides on the web for doing this but what makes this one different is that it describes how to inject .NET Framework into the deployed image offline before Windows setup runs. I don’t know of any reason why this is better than installing…