mardi 29 janvier 2013

[Windows Server 2012] Core server, Gui Shell and Server Manager

Saying Jeff Alexander, installing a core server reduces dramatically the attack surface and could reduce up to 70% the updates to install !! That's really important when we know how that activity takes time in most companies.

However, on my own experience, I never see a customer installing a core version server and some people even said that core version could disappear in Windows Server 2012.

If you think that the main problem to manage core servers is to apply the basic settings (IP address, name...) without having to spend lot of time in command line documentation, I recommend you to watch that really interesting video about GUI shell in Windows Server 2012:

You will learn how to add and remove GUI shell and user interface remotely with powershell.

The Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 8 are available here.

Enjoy !

vendredi 25 janvier 2013

[SCCM2012 / Intune] Scenarios and Solutions using SCCM 2012

A new chapter just appeared in the SCCM 2012 document library on the Technet web site. That section is called Scenarios and Solutions Using System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

In this chapter, you will find the example scenarios previously published. You will also find a "how to" guide for Mobile management with Windows Intune. Really interesting !!

Enjoy !

dimanche 20 janvier 2013

[Windows 8] Power consumption, battery and WoL

I recently have to solve an issue concerning Wake on Lan with Computers using Windows 8.

You certainly know that you can use that feature for a long time to turn on your computer at home or, in a company with SCCM, in order to deploy KB, applications or OS.

However, it seems that this feature no longer works on computers with Windows 8.

Microsoft explains the reason is a "Fast Publish" article :

With Windows 7, even if your computer is totally turned off (Classic Shutdown - S5), your network card can still use power in order to be armed and wake your computer.
On the contrary, with Windows 8, default shutdown behavior puts the system into hybrid shutdown (S4) and Network adapters are explicitly not armed for Wake-On-LAN because users expect zero power consumption and battery drain in the shutdown state.

Article provide a (not recommended) workaround to disable hybrid shutdown (S4) in Windows 8:
- Open the Power Options in Control Panel
- Select “Choose what the power buttons do”
- Uncheck “Turn on fast startup (recommended)"
- Select "Save Settings"

We arrive to that conclusions:
- With Windows 7, if you enable wake on lan on your laptop, your device still use power, even if you shutdown your device.
- With Windows 8, you must do a choice between Wake on Lan and "Fast Start Up" + Zero power consumption.

Also my recommendation are to:
- Disable WoL explicitly on your computers if you don't use that feature. Moreover, that prevent your computers to be turned on during the night because network card detected a strange packet (I ever see that...)
- If you need that feature, you can enable it on your desktop. However, it's important to look for impacts for users at start up. You can use performance tools in ADK to get relevant information.
- It is really not recommended to enable that feature on laptops and tablets. It is certainly important to contact your devices manufacturer to get information about power consumption in order to identify impact on the autonomy.

See you soon

mardi 15 janvier 2013

[SCCM 2012] SCCM 2012 support team recommendations for SP1 upgrade

SCCM 2012 support team just released a KB to provide recommendations for SP1 upgrade :

One of the most important information is certainly that they recommend to uninstall WAIK before installing ADK.

Before upgrading to SCCM 2012 SP1, I recommend you to read Planning to Upgrade System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

You will also find all relevant information about upgrade in my previous article : [SCCM 2012] Upgrading to SCCM 2012 SP1.

See you soon !

lundi 14 janvier 2013

[SCCM 2012] Antivirus exclusion - especially for SP1 upgrade

System Center 2012 PFE team just provided us a new list of Antivirus exclusion and recommendations for SCCM 2012 especially if you plan to apply SP1.

In this article, you will also get information to update yourself OSD boot image if your antivirus blocked update.

See you soon

mardi 8 janvier 2013

Technet Radio

Did you ever watch Technet Radio ?

That great web site contains several useful videos made by Microsoft Specialists.

I recommend you so to look at

 For SCCM 2012, there are :
 - TechNet Radio: Managing App-V 5 Virtual Applications with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1
 - TechNet Radio: Upgrading System Center 2012 Configuration Manager to Service Pack 1
 - TechNet Radio: Managing Mobile Devices with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 and Windows Intune
 - TechNet Radio: Supporting Linux, Unix and Mac clients with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1
 - TechNet Radio: Supporting Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1

Take a cup of tea and let's heard about your favorite product :o)

See you soon !

[SCCM 2012] Upgrading to SCCM 2012 SP1

You certainly noticed that System Center 2012 SP1 has been released last year, the 20th of December 2012.

The SP1 provides a lot of new great features for SCCM 2012.
The most important one is certainly that we can now deploy and manage Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, but there are the extension of the standalone Primary Site, the migration from SCCM 2012 SP1 to SCCM 2012 SP1 (for consolidation or Lab environment for example), the additional operating System, Intune extension...

Before upgrading to SCCM 2012 SP1, I recommend you to read Planning to Upgrade System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

01/15/2013 - Note: SCCM 2012 support team released a KB for SP1 upgrade :

So let's start !

If you have a hierarchy, you must start your upgrade on your CAS and finish by the Secondary sites.
If the parent site is not upgraded, the prerequisites will failed :

Another remark, you certainly noticed that the sources for SCCM 2012 RTM took about 1,7Gb and that the sources for SCCM 2012 SP1 take now only 926Mb. Strange, isn't it ?
Indeed, SCCM 2012 doesn't use WAIK but ADK. However, ADK is not included in the SCCM 2012 sources.

Step 1 - Download and Install ADK
You can remove the WAIK, but WAIK and ADK can be installed on the same computer.
01/15/2013 - Note: SCCM 2012 support team recommend to uninstall WAIK before installing ADK.

Download Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows® 8:
... and launch installation.

You can directly download sources form the Internet or store them locally (highly recommended while full sources take 2,55Gb).

For SCCM 2012 SP1, minimal features to be installed are :
 - Deployment Tools
 - Windows Preinstall Environment (Windows PE)
 - User State Migration Tool (USMT)

You can install the other ones for fun :o)

Step 2 - Disable the site maintenance task Delete Aged Client Operations on primary sites

That's the step 7 on the Technet page !

Before you upgrade any sites to Configuration Manager SP1, disable this site maintenance task on each primary site in the hierarchy. When this task remains active at a primary site that runs Configuration Manager with no service pack, this task deletes information about active client operations for clients that run Configuration Manager SP1. After all primary sites are upgraded to Configuration Manager SP1; you can enable this task for standard site maintenance at each primary site.

 - In the administration tab, open the Sites folder
 - Select each primary site and click on Site Maintenance

- Disable the Delete Aged Client Operations Maintenance Task

Step 3 - Check Prerequisites for SCCM 2012 SP1

From the SCCM 2012 SP1 sources, launch <Sources>\SMSSETUP\BIN\X64\prereqchk.exe.


Step 4 - Install KB for WSUS

Install the KB 2720211 and 2734608.

Restart when prompted and clear all the other errors.

Step 5 - Upgrade SCCM 2012

Upgrade is really easy, It starts like a normal installation :
 - Launch the splash.hta file
 - Select Install

 - On the Setup Options page, Select Upgrade this configuration Manager Site

 -  validate licences, prerequisites... and launch upgrade.

You can check upgrade operations on the C:\ConfigMgrSetup.log file.

Step 6 - Enjoy your upgrade

Step 7 - Upgrade your SCCM clients

Now that your SCCM Hierarchy is upgraded, you must also upgrade your SCCM clients.

If you want to keep control on your deployment, you can still use your favorite method (WSUS, push...).
You can also activate automatic Client upgrade. In SP1, It seems that this option works fine.

Step 8 - What else ?

 - Enable the site maintenance task Delete Aged Client Operations on primary sites

 - Upgrade your SCCM Client package, for OSD task sequences.

 - Deploy the new USMT package created during ADK setup.

 - You can also install the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 Component Add-ons and Extensions

Note: In a recent article, The MVP JS experienced some troubles after upgrading SCCM sites.
On my lab, deployments still work fine, but if you experience problems too, you can apply his workaround.

Have a good upgrade !