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Nice to Have – Ilo Connect

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on November 5, 2018

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Ilo Connect.

Working in the lab, lots of HPE servers, yes I use ILO. However, using the ILO webpage is to slow, using the command line is to messy, and setting up the BIG HPE solution is out, no, let us spend one hour to create a PowerShell script that reads data from a XML file, present a button with connect, saves me lot’s of time. In the background it uses the stand alone ILo connect, that you need to download from HPE first. Here it is Ilo Connect.

Get it from GitHub – https://github.com/DeploymentBunny/IloConnect

/Mike

Posted in Nice to Have, PowerShell | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Nice to Know – Classroom Connect

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on November 5, 2018

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The Classroom Connect tool.

Classroom Connect

Me and Mr. Johan Arwidmark was working on a class room solution. In such solution there is a reason to be able to connect, and there are few built in to Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016.

Remote Desktop

Absolutely needed for poking around but does not solve all scenarios.

Remote Desktop using a shadow session

This is great, it connects to the host and then does a shadow session for the logged-on student

Remote Assistance

A nice feature, but it does require the end user accept a connection from the helper

Command line utility = Scriptable

All method above can be used with command line tools, and that gives us the ability to create some nice scripts, but to make it a bit finnier, lets do it as a UI in PowerShell. The only trick we had, was that a shadow copy is connected to a session, and since the built-in RDS PowerShell tools cannot be used, since we don’t have a “solution” deployed, we found a way to use qwinsta.exe and then filter the result to find the student name when it matches the machine name, and hey, we have the session ID and now we can connect using mstsc.exe using /shadow

So, after spending one hour on a Sunday evening at a hotel in Phoenix, here is Classroom Connect.

Get it from GitHub – https://github.com/DeploymentBunny/ClassroomConnect/

/mike

Posted in Nice to Have, PowerShell | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Image Factory 4.0 is available for download

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on October 19, 2018

So the IMF 4.0 is what we use to create reference images automatically. IMF is using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Windows ADK. It has been around for a while and we have deployed it at many customers. A few times the question has been popping up, like –Is there any plans for a UI?

IMF has a UI

Yes, we have added a UI, that lets you configure the XML file, import new OS’s, and perform all basic tasks. Currently there is no manual or video that describe how it all works and what in can do, there is also a module for importing into ConfigMgr and one for SCVMM/Hyper-V that are not ready yet, but all that is planned for, just wanted this to be out of the door, since I know a lot of folks have been waiting for it.

Configuration tab

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This is where you configure it all, where the MDT deployment share is, what Hyper-V host you should use and all that, when it is configured you hit the Save Configuration, and then Install

Import OS tab

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The import OS task will mount the ISO, import all indexes in the WIM, create one task sequence for each WIM, create a selection profile for the OS, add the the selection profile to each task sequence for offline patches, and such

Main tab

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Pretty simple, here is all the task you run.

You can download the installer from :https://github.com/DeploymentBunny/IMF4-Binary

You can download the repo from: https://github.com/DeploymentBunny/IMF4

Notes

There is a command windows that runs in the background, and the first time you save the configuration, it will download and install a PowerShell module. That might require you to approve to update the Nuget component, in that case you will need to select the hidden Windows and say YES

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/mike

Posted in Image Factory, MDT, Reference Image | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Nice to Know – Learn PowerShell from Windows Admin Center

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on October 16, 2018

Windows Admin Center is great, it is actually fantastic to be honest. I have been working with it for a long time and in one of the latest releases the have added something really cool.

The ability to “borrow” PowerShell code that are being used by Windows Admin Center, the one symbol you are looking for is this:

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a very tine, but very nice improvement. and if you select it, you will see this:

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As you can see Windows Admin Center shows one function that you can copy and use, but if you use the dropdown list, hey, there is an entire list of nice functions to use as you can see

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Not only that, each separate solution in each separate node has its own list (some are still empty), but, here you go, use it!

Download Windows Admin Center and start copy code (or use it as is) http://aka.ms/WACDownload

/mike

Posted in PowerShell, Windows Admin Center | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Nice to Know – GUI based Tool to completely remove a virtual machine from a Hyper-V host, including all files (update 1)

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on September 21, 2018

I have had this tool for some years, but without a UI, working with customer, they need to ability to build and remove virtual machines on each dev computer, so I created it.

– Update: The tool will now remove all snapshots in a smart “non waiting” way as requested by a friend of mine.

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It is pretty simple to use, select and delete, done.

I did a recording on how to use the tool:

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You can download it from https://github.com/DeploymentBunny/Files/tree/master/Tools/RemoveVMwUI

/Mike

Posted in Hyper-V, PowerShell | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Nice to Know–Application or Packages works great when deployed after OSD, but some fail during OSD

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on August 16, 2018

There are many reasons for this, but I recently worked with a customer (you know who you are) that deployed 3-15 apps during OSD, some of the where Adobe CS apps and they are larger then Notepad++, just a bit. In this case the error was shown in the smsts.log file as “Install Dynamic application action failed to install application: ‘APPNAME’ Code 0x80004005” and Download Fail, hmm, running the same apps in a custom task sequence or directly to a collection works great of course.

Checking the cas.log shows that the Cache size is set to 5g (default) and going trough the log it turns out that after a few apps the cache is full and the cache cannot be cleared. Therefore the apps/packages cannot be installed, since files are missing.

(Note: There are are other settings that you should set in a Task Sequence as well, check out  Peter Lofgrens blogpost https://syscenramblings.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/configuration-manager-custom-steps/)

The Fix

That’s easy and not something new, just change the client cache size during OSD by making it a bit larger

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Cache size OSD has changed to 20GB.

Verify settings in the cas.log

In the cas.log you should now see.

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Cas.log confirms the new size.

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We did not need 20GB, but we did need 10.27 GB for sure.

/mike

Posted in ConfigMgr, OSD | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

I’m Speaking at IT/Dev Connections October 15 – 18, 2018

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on June 19, 2018

I happy to announce that I will be attending IT/Dev Connections as a speaker. Currently I have one session, and what a session that is. Infrastructure as Code – PowerShell in the real world, I will showcase they way we deploy, manage and control enterprise and fabric based infrastructures using PowerShell. That will be a full session of fun. If you have not signed up, here is the link:

https://www.itdevconnections.com/

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/mike

Posted in Speaking | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Nice to Know – A very important update to Windows Server SAC and LTSC

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on March 30, 2018

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LTSC is for Legacy workload and Infrastructure, SAC is for Apps

When Windows Server 2016 was released Microsoft explained that the Desktop Edition and Core edition was about to be LTSC (released every 2-3 years) and Core and NANO was to be SAC (released every 18 months). The purpose was to give customers a faster “cadence”. The use case for Desktop Edition was to run legacy software that needs the UI, core was targeted for legacy software the could run without the UI and NANO was containers and modern infrastructure, like Hyper-V, Storage Spaces Direct, Network Controllers and such.

The first change to this was that in the 1709 release, NANO was now “containers” only, and what they told was from the beginning was now incorrect, NANO was no longer a choice for modern infrastructure, that was a big change and I did have customers that shifted from “happy face” to “sad face”, but ok, we can now run Core, much bigger, but fine, core will be released both as LTCS and SAC and we can use that for both legacy (in that case the LTCS edition) and for modern infrastructure (in that case SAC).

I’m happy/sorry to say that is not true anymore. The SAC release will not support anything like infrastructure roles, so, no, you cant use it in a modern datacenter, you can use it for one thing only, containers. So developers can either use NAO or Core to build applications, but if you are into infrastructure, you can run the LTCS version, and then you can either pick Desktop Edition or Core.

There are reasons for this, some of them are understandable, some of them not, but it does not matter what I think, this is happening and you need to adjust “back” to the old days.

To summarize:

IT Pro/Admin/Infrastructure:

You will use the LTCS version of Windows Server, current version is 2016 (aka 1607) and the next will be Windows Server 2019, you will upgrade every 2-5 years. You will use either Core or Desktop Edition.

Developers:

You can runt whatever you want, if you like new features, go for SAC, upgrade/reinstall/redeploy every 18 months or less, or do old style, go for LTCS

You can read the “official” statement here.

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/windowsserver/2018/03/29/windows-server-semi-annual-channel-update/

/mike

Posted in Windows Server | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Nice to Know – Fix High DPI resolution issues in Windows 10

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on January 19, 2018

Working at a customer, we had major issues with an application. It does not handle the new “Improving the high-DPI experience in GDI based Desktop Apps”.

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Using the AppCompat mode by disable the built in functions work:

But, that does not fly for 1500 machines. Using ACT would work, but…

This one is easy…

REG ADD "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers" /V "C:\Program Files(x86)\folder\app.exe" /T REG_SZ /D "~ DPIUNAWARE" /F

More info:

"~ HIGHDPIAWARE" = Override high DPI scaling behavior (Application)

"~ DPIUNAWARE" = Override high DPI scaling behavior (System)

"~ GDIDPISCALING DPIUNAWARE" = Override high DPI scaling behavior (System Enhanced)

/mike

Posted in ACT, OSD, Windows 10 | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Nice to Know – What does my home lab looks like?

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on January 11, 2018

I often get the question

– What kind of stuff do you have to runt labs, tests and play with?

I have a understanding wife and a very generous CEO, so here it is…

In my back pack:

1 x HP Studio G3 with 32 GB ram and 2 x 1TB NVME drives

1 x Microsoft Surface Pro 4

The Surface works as my “office” machine, it also runs Insider Preview (fast) and the HP Studio is my LAB/Demo/Dev machine. It runs Windows Server 2016 and contains about 100-150 VM’s

At Home:

WP_20170110_20_44_53_Pro_LI

I have one full rack and one half rack, the half rack contains 6 HP Micro Server Gen 8, used as test/dev machines, the full rack runs 2 HP ML 350 Gen 8, they run Azure Stack as well Azure Pack in a full Fabric based on HCI and the entire System Center stack

The Case:

I also have a Pelican Case (Yellow) that runs a bunch of Intel NUC’s devices

https://deploymentbunny.com/2014/09/28/building-next-gen-datacenter-the-pelicase-portable-datacenter/

Posted in Fun | Tagged: | 1 Comment »