Archive for the ‘Windows Client’ Category

Why I think DISM is awesome…

August 5, 2011 2 comments

Have you ever run into a situation where a NIC driver just will not install from a driver package in a ConfigMgr task sequence? The NIC driver works when you use it in WinPE. It will install in the full OS outside of the imaging process without issue (i.e. via Device Manager). It just will not install from “Auto Apply Drivers” or a “Apply Driver Package” in the task sequence. I have to say this can be really frustrating. This happened to me with Windows 7 32-bit and some Intel drivers. No version difference would help.

But, I used DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) to install the drivers in the image that I captured and the NIC drivers installed without issue using that new image in the same task sequence. In fact I used the same drivers from the driver package that didn’t work in the task sequence. Nothing different other than installing them into the offline .WIM file of the captured OS.

That is why I think DISM is awesome!



Does McAfee Endpoint Encryption support the Advanced Format Drives with Windows XP as the OS loaded?

Sure it does…just not the way some of the devices have their BIOS configured and not officially supported by McAfee of course (see link below). Specifically the Dell E6320 and E6420 laptops have this issue. They comes with “RAID on” selected in the BIOS. If you have Windows XP on the laptop, this RAID configuration, and load McAfee Endpoint Encryption you will not be able to use the laptop. You won’t even be able to log in…

However, if you change the BIOS configuration to “AHCI” it will work…of course you will need to reconfigure your ConfigMgr task sequence to specify a different driver and model and then reimage first.


Endpoint Encryption Advanced Format Drive support link:

Dell AutoPowerOn

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Below are instructions to create a package to turn on the Dell “AutoPowerOn” feature in the BIOS to automate the configuration process.  Why would somebody want to do this?  We have a solution in place that powers down the client devices at night and this helps our End-Users get a faster start in the morning.  We do not leverage hibernate because historically there have been issues – not to say it has improved but we are still on XP (working toward Windows 7).  Also, our switching infrastructure does not seemingly support WOL (Wake on LAN) in all locations, we are not using SCCM Native Mode yet and thus cannot use the AMT chipset, and we have an immediate need.

  1. Download and install the “Dell Client Configuration Utility” from 
  2. Open the utility from the “Altiris” folder in the start menu (Please note that you do not need an Altiris infrastructure – you can deploy the .exe using any management tool such as SCCM)
  3. Under the “BIOS Settings” section you will see settings that you can modify
  4. Find and configure “Auto on” under “Power and Performance Management” and configure the “Auto on hour” and Auto on minute” as well
  5. Create the BIOS settings package using the link in the lower right corner of the page
  6. Deploy the package to supported models

Creating an Answer File

February 21, 2010 Leave a comment
  1. Install Windows 7 WAIK on your computer (not the reference machine)
  2. Copy "Install.wim" from the /Sources folder on your Windows 7 DVD to a folder on your local disk (i.e. C:MyImages)
  3. Open Windows System Image Manager (SIM) from the WAIK folder under the Start Menu
  4. In SIM  right click on "Select a Windows image" and click on "Select Windows Image…"
  5. Select your image
  6. If you are prompted to create a catalog file select "Yes"
  7. The catalog file will generate
  8. On the File menu select "New Answer File"
  9. Expand "Components" under the image (left side)
  10. Right click on the components you want to add and select the appropriate "Pass"
  11. Select the added components within the Answer File (middle pane) and then modify the settings in the right pane
  12. When you have made all of your customizations under the "Tools" menu select "Validate Answer File"
  13. You should see the validation in the bottom pane
  14. Warnings about the changes are okay but errors or other warninings need to be reviewed and changes to the Answer File should be made accordingly
  15. Save the Answer File when finalized by using the "File" menu
  16. Save the file as Autounattend.xml
  17. Copy this to the root directory of a removable storage device
Categories: Windows 7

USMT & Config.xml

February 21, 2010 6 comments
When using the User State Migration Tool (USMT) you can exclude items from migrating such as gadgets or a theme you can create "Config.xml".  To do this you need to run the following command*:
scanstate.exe /genconfig:yourconfig.xml
Then you can edit the XML file to exclude these items.  For example if I do not want gadgets to migrate I would change the following line to say "No" instead of "Yes".  Then you need to use the "/config:yourconfig.xml" while using Scanstate to capture the settings.
    <component displayname="gadgets" migrate="yes" ID="gadgets">
* You need to run this on the source OS.  For example if you are using USMT to capture files from Windows XP to Windows 7 you should create the XML on a Windows XP device.  This will ensure that Scanstate will not capture
Categories: Windows 7

Windows 7 – Windows XP Mode

February 18, 2010 Leave a comment
This is just a basic how-to for Windows 7 and Windows XP Mode.
Setup Instructions
  1. Download and install Windows XP Mode (it is important to do this first)
  2. Download and install Windows Virtual PC
  3. Restart
  4. Open Windows XP Mode from the Windows Virtual PC folder in the Start Menu
  5. Accept the EULA and click next
  6. Set the password for XPMUser and click next
  7. Set the Auto Updates option and click next
  8. Click on Start setup
  9. Windows XP Mode will then be setup for first use
  10. After this completes you will be in the VM

Publish an Application

  1. This is a really easy process – install an application in the Guest Operating System…any application (i.e. older version of Office)
  2. Log off the Guest Operating System and close the VM (This will hibernate the Guest OS)
  3. The applications can now be opened under Windows XP Mode Applications below the Windows XP Mode VM
Categories: Windows 7

Generate a new GUID for the SCCM Client

February 4, 2010 1 comment
It was not until I started working on getting our HP Thin Clients to work with SCCM imaging that I had to worry about generating a new GUID for the SCCM client without doing a repair or reinstallation.  You see the HP t5720 is really the thorn in my side.  The HP t5720 devices we have are 80% of our thin client population and only have 512MB of flash disk and 512MB of RAM.  In order to get the SCCM client to really work well with Windows XP Embedded 2002 it is ideal to have Service Pack 3 (SP3) for the OS.  What really hurts with that is there is not much free space left – even after removing the HP preload utilities that we do not use.  In fact there is not enough space to install the SCCM client.
Keep in mind that we are not joining these devices to the domain, patching them, or doing much more than a few configuration changes and enabling reporting and remote tools.  We use the HP Enhanced Write Filter (EWF) to lock the devices down and purge unwanted changes.
So, I hijacked a 1GB flash drive from a HP t5730 and set down the path to create my image (I will have another entry on the steps to having an image for these devices work with SCCM OSD soon).  Specific to the SCCM client I had to make sure I accomplished the following:
  • Not to have a repair or reinstallation occur post image
  • Be 100% certain that the “SMS Agent Host” is running and the client is fully functional
  • Ensure that the SCCM client has a unique GUID

To accomplish this I had to break out the SMS 2003 Toolkit (I needed “ccmdelcert.exe” and “tranguid.exe”).  I wrote a VBScript that did the following and was part of the larger process that, as I mentioned, I will post later (timing between these items will be detailed in that post as well).

  • Delete SMSCFG.INI (located in C:Windows)
  • Stopped the “SMS Agent Host” service (need to restarted the SCCM client to generate a new SMSCFG.INI file)
  • Started the “SMS Agent Host” service
  • Ran TRANGUID.EXE (this is what will regenerate the GUID and force the SCCM client to talk to the server)

In the end I have an image that can drop down to a HP t5720 with a 512MB flash drive that generates a unique GUID for SCCM and all of the client functionality exists.  To this point we have not found any issues.

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