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Archive for April, 2012

Personal cloud storage for Windows – SkyDrive

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on April 23, 2012

Just downloaded and installed the new SkyDrive for Windows, It works like charm on Windows 7 and I’m about to test it on my Windows 8 tablet in just a couple of seconds, but my guess is that it is going to work there to, looks really nice/fun. Basically it will sync you SkyDrive folder between your devices, just by adding stuff in \SkyDrive makes it useable on my other devices, like a personal cloud.

Read more here, directly from the source

or skip the reading and just download it from here

or, watch this video, showing you how it works.


Posted in Cloud | Leave a Comment »

TechDays 2012 in Sweden – Detta får du inte MISSA!

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on April 23, 2012

Windows Server 8 Top Features 1

Join Mikael Nystrom, MVP in Setup/Deployment and part of the TAP/RDP program for Windows 8 in this dazzling two part session when you will learn the most important new features of the new Operating System from Microsoft. During these two sessions you will learn what the new features can do for your business, how they work and of course how to put them in action. The session is extremely demo intense. We will cover the new features and functions regarding the following topics:

Read more here

Windows Server 8 Top Features 2

Join Mikael Nystrom, MVP in Setup/Deployment and part of the TAP/RDP program for Windows 8 in this dazzling two part session when you will learn the most important new features of the new Operating System from Microsoft. During these two sessions you will learn what the new features can do for your business, how they work and of course how to put them in action. The session is extremely demo intense. We will cover the new features and functions regarding the following topics:

Read more here

Applikationskompatibilitet inte ett hinder

Under en utrullning av Windows 7 brukar diskussionen om applikationsproblem ofta dyka upp, men hur stort problem är det egenltligen, hur hittar man dessa och framför allt hur löser man dessa så att utrullningsplanen inte havererar. Under denna session kommer vi att visa dig dels hur man hittar felen i applikationerna, dels hur man löser många av dessa problem. Men också hur du genom andra metoder kan leverera applikationen till användarna, lösningar såsom App-V, Med-V, RDS och självklart

Read more here

Deploying Windows 7 and 8 with MDT 2012

Join Johan Arwidmark and Mikael Nystrom in a dazzling session on using the right tools for deploying Windows 7 and Windows 8. This is what you always wanted to know about OS Deployments using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012, but no one told you about, until now. They will show you how migrating to Windows 7 is a fast track to Windows 8 deployments. They will navigate you through the MDT 2012 platform and underlying technologies such as the new Assessment and Deployment Kit, Windows De…

Read more here

Windows Server 8 Deployment Nextperience

Join Johan Arwidmark, one of the world’s foremost deployment experts for a dazzling session on deploying Windows Server 8. You will learn about the new infrastructure changes and features in Windows Server 8 related to deployment, as well as dive deep into the solutions that drives the deployment. You will learn about MDT 2012, WinPE 4.0, Prestaging Bitlocker, Boot from VHD and how to maximize deployment performance. You learn about automating deployment of server roles, configurations and ne…

Read more here

A sneak peak of Windows 8 Security

A Live session performed Hasain Alshakarti, Microsoft Enterprise Security MVP. After spending almost a year with the Windows 8 TAP program we can now speak about the most security features in Windows since Windows NT. Features like Virtual Smart Cards, DNSSEC, Claim Based Access, the enhanced DirectAccess, Data Classification, Secure Boot, enhanced BitLocker, Expression Based Audit Policies and more are going to be demonstrated and explained so you get the correct picture of where, when and h…

Read more here

Windows 8 uefi, hyper-v och windows to go

I den här sessionen får du reda på allt du behöver veta om tre av de mest intressanta nyheterna i Windows 8 som kommer att förändra din världsbild när det gäller Windows. UEFI ger oanade möjligheter vad gäller säkerhet och prestanda, Hyper-V på Windows-klienten ger helt nya förutsättningar för virtualisering och Windows To Go kan förändra ett helt arbetssätt för dina användare.

Read more here

Windows 8 overview

Under detta pass kommer vi att dema en mängd nya versioner i Windows 8 för utvecklare och IT Pro. Garanterat få Powerpoint bilder!

Read more here

Windows Intune – Framtidens System Management Verktyg

Skulle du vilja kunna se in i framtiden? Kom då och lyssna på sessionen om Windows Intune vX där vi kommer visa alla nya funktioner så som Software Distribution, Remote Actions, license Management samt diskutera hur du kan effektivisera din klienthantering med Windows Intune.

Read more here



Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Back to Basic – DomainOUlist.xml or not…

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on April 21, 2012

So, from time to time people ask me how to use the domainOUlist.xml file and to be honest I’m not sure you should. It is documented in the help file for MDT that you can either use the file or put the same information in customsettings.ini. So, you need to pick and choose here?

If you like the idea of putting this in customsettings.ini, this is how it should look like

In customsettings.ini add the following:


DomainOUs1=OU=Computers, OU=Tellers, OU=NYC, DC=WOODGROVEBANK, DC=Com
DomainOUs2=OU=Computers, OU=Managers, OU=NYC, DC=WOODGROVEBANK, DC=Com

Or if you prefer files, create a file called DomainOUList.xml and store that in the scripts folder that looks like this:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>

Now, if you run the LiteTouch wizard, you will be presented with these two options to place the new machine. As long as you have set SkipDomainMembership=NO, otherwise you will not get prompted in the Wizard.



Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Deployment Fundamentals Volume: III is out in the wild

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on April 21, 2012

Yes, it is true, so true. Deployment fundamentals Volume: III  is “the” book for those of you that uses SCCM 2007 and would like to have a nice OSD solution that integrates with Microsoft Deployment toolkit 2010, but the book can in many ways also work as guidance work SCCM 2007 with MDT2012 and even MDT2012 with SCCM2012. This is because there aren’t that many ways to deploy an operating system. But we (We, who is we?, Well, its Johan Arwidmark, Chris Nackers and me, Mikael Nystrom) also realized that there will be companies and organization that will keep on running SCCM 2007 for many years to come. The book covers ref images, drivers, task sequences, applications and all that needed information. You can get it from Amazon here. or you can read more about it here (as soon as Johan has added information)


Posted in Deployment, MDT, SCCM, Windows 7 | Leave a Comment »

Back to Basic – CustomSettings.ini – Explained

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on April 21, 2012

One of the most important files in MDT (and in SCCM with MDT) is customsettings.ini, it is the rule file to rule your deployment. Yesterday Johan and I did a session at MMS and besides getting great scores and that is always fun. During that session I did a couple of demos around customsettings.ini and I would like to explain this a bit more. Because if you do understand the rules you can become much more dynamic and that will hopefully lead to less hassle and more work done in less time.

So, let’s start from the beginning:

When you use the MDT Toolkit (standalone, with WDS, with SCCM, it does not matter) the toolkit will as a part of the process run a script called ZTIGather.wsf, this script will do an asset inventory and also read the customsettings.ini file. This will result in a massive amount of information stored in memory (and in a file) during deployment that we then can use to dynamically update the unattend.xml file on the fly and also control conditions and that way also settings and steps in the TaskSequence

The best thing is that you can run this script without deploying any OS, so this way you can test the rules before you even begin deploying, and you can also test thousands of deployments in a couple of hours. (Here is a blog post on that

CustomSettings.ini – Act I

The basic Customsettings.ini looks like this

In the first row we see the section called [Settings] and this is what the script are looking for and on the next row you can see Priority=Default. That means that it will now consume everything in that section and convert all those lines in to varables in MDT. All the Properties you see under the Section [Default] is built into MDT, there are +100 properties that can be used and most of them are documented in the help file, just search for Properties and you will find a huge list. If we run ZTIGather.wsf against this file we will get the following output

And as you can see, it is using my customsettings.ini file that I pointed out by running cscript.exe ZTIgather.wsf /Inifile:”..\Control\customsttings.ini”, we can also see that the script is reading settings and finding the priority and then process the [Default Section]

CustomSettings.ini – Act II

Now let us assume that you would like to automatically set some settings based on location, things like computer name, language, time zone, something like that In that case, we would use the default gateway as an identifier for the location and would use part of the serial number to calculate a unique name for the computer that is based on the location and the serial number, but hey, let us do something crazy here, let us also add laptop or desktop into the name, so if the laptop is located in Stockholm the name should be STH-LT-0123456 and if a desktop is located in Redmond it would be called RDM-DT-0123456. So, that would look like this

Now, this is slightly “bigger”, but let me guide you through this one, it is not that hard.

The Settings Section

In the [Settings] section we added Init, ByLaptop, ByDesktop and DefaultGateway. The [Init] Section is things that I would like to be set in any situation, like default, but BEFORE default is running. The ByLapTop and ByDesktop contain something called SubSection and we will get back to that. DefaultGateway is a property in MDT so the script will take my current default gateway and match that to what I really have, more on that later.

Next line is the CustomProperties= and here we added a couple of properties that we will fill with data so that we later can use them to populate many variables into one, that’s how we can “build” the computer name, since that will be a combination of computer location + computer type + the first 7 characters in the serial number. So the complete Settings section look like this:

Priority=Init, ByLaptop, ByDesktop, DefaultGateway, Default
Properties=ComputerLocationName, ComputerTypeName, ComputerSerialNumber

The Init Section

The Init section will use the serial number (that has been inventoried by the script already), pick the 7 characters to the left and put that into my custom property ComputerSerialNumber, so that section would look like this: (You can to basically any kind of calculations like this, just go ahead and play with it)


The ByLapTop Section and the ByDeskTop Section

These two sections are a bit fun, what we do here is that we tell the script to jump to a subsection called LapTop-%IsLapTop% and %IsLapTop% will either be true or false and we will tell it to do the same for Desktop, and will also return the value of True or False, and since it cannot be a Laptop and an desktop at the same time, either will LapTop-True be true or DeskTop-True be true, so it will pick up regarding case type and then set the name to match that, like this:



In my case I have a laptop, so it will set the value of %IsLapTop% to True and the value of %IsDeskTop% to false, resulting in that the ComputerTypeName will be set to LT

The Default Gateway Section

This section will use the value from the gather script regarding the Default Gateway and based on the set jump to the name I have set for that Gateway, so in this case it will go to the section Stockholm if my Default gateway happens to be and in that case it will set the Swedish keyboard and compterlocationname to STH and that part looks like this:


The Default Section

This section will run last, not because it is last, it will be the last section since it is last on the priority line. That also means that if I have any property value here that has already been set the rule of thumb is that “First Writer Wins”, so they will not be over written (there are exceptions). Here you can see that I have property values for ComputerLocationName and ComputerTypeName, so why do I have that? Well I will set the name to UNK (Short for Unknown) if the computer is not a Laptop and neither a Desktop (Could be a Server? And yes, we could create rules for that to), also if the default gateway is something that I did not add in the customsettings.ini file, and then it will get the location name set to UNK to. So here is how it looks:


The fun part is that OSDcomputername is built by parts of location, type and serial number.

Running the Script will result in this:


So, here is how you could create dynamic deployment rules using notepad and a textile, I think that is really cool, but hey, I’m just a Bunny anyway J

(if you would like more samples, let me know…)


Posted in MDT, SCCM | 64 Comments »

SMB 2.2 is now SMS 3.0

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on April 20, 2012


A bunch of new stuff in SMB 3.0

  • SMB for Server Applications
  • Active file sharing with SMB Scale Out
  • Scalable, fast, and efficient storage access with SMB Direct
  • Fast data transfers and network fault tolerance with SMB Multichannel
  • Transparent Failover and node fault tolerance with SMB
  • VSS for SMB file shares
  • Secure data transfer with SMB encryption
  • Faster access to documents over high latency networks with SMB Directory Leasing
  • SMB Ecosystem

Read the rest here


Posted in Windows Server 2012 | Leave a Comment »

MMS 2012 Samples from CD-B348 – Why You Should Integrate Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 with Configuration Manager 2012

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on April 19, 2012

This morning my friend Johan Arwidmark and I did a session on the topic of MDT 2012 integration with SCCM 2012. During that session I did a demo on “bending the rules” and here are the files for you to use (there was a bunch of people that was trying to take photos) besides that I also did a demo on user exitscripts, so I’ll include them as well.

Download from




Posted in Deployment | Leave a Comment »

Windows Server “8” Beta will be called Windows Server 2012

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on April 17, 2012

At the keynote at MMS 2012 Microsoft announced that the official name of Windows Server 8 BETA will be:

Windows Server 2012

So, now you know…


Posted in Uncategorized, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 | 2 Comments »

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012 – RTM

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on April 17, 2012

A couple of hours ago, Microsoft released MDT 2012

In contains numerous bug fixes as well as support for SCCM 2007 and SCCM 2012.

The basic stuff is:

Improvements for All MDT Technologies

The MDT improvements that affect all MDT technologies, which are discussed in a subsequent section, are as follows:

  • Support for upgrading from previous versions of MDT
  • Integration with security and compliance templates generated by Microsoft Security Compliance Manager (SCM) version 2.0
  • Run Windows PowerShell™ scripts within an MDT task sequence
  • Create partitions to support best practice recommendations for deployment of BitLocker® Drive Encryption
  • Automatically configure participation in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) and Windows Error Reporting (WER)
  • Guidance that describes how to use Microsoft SQL Server® 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) for all database needs within MDT

Improvements for LTI Deployments

MDT includes the following improvements for LTI deployments:

  • Support for Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Windows Server 8 Beta. Note: The deployment of Windows Server 8 Beta roles and features using the Install Roles and Features task sequence action is not supported.
  • Support for the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK). Note: Currently, the Windows ADK is only supported for deploying Windows 8 Consumer Preview or Windows 7 in lab environments, not in production environments.

Windows ADK requires the Microsoft .NET Framework version 4.0. If not already installed, the Windows ADK installation installs the Microsoft .NET Framework version 4.0. For more information, see Introduction to the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit.

  • Monitoring of LTI deployment process. MDT includes the new LTI monitoring feature that allows you to perform centralized monitoring of LTI deployments in the Monitoring node in the Deployment Workbench.
  • Deployment of Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE). Windows RE helps users troubleshoot and recover from startup-related problems on their computers.
  • Deployment of Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolkit (DaRT).
  • Deployment to computers that use the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI).
  • Deployment to computers that require the new globally unique identifier (GUID) Partition Table (GPT) format.
  • Deployment to virtual hard disks (VHDs) for native boot.
  • Support for Windows Thin PC.
  • Support for Windows Embedded POSReady 7.
  • Add local administrator accounts.
  • Deployment Wizard user experience improvements.

Improvements for Configuration Manager Deployments

MDT includes the following improvements for MDT deployments with Configuration Manager 2012 or Configuration Manager 2007 R3:

  • Support for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. MDT includes support for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager for ZTI and UDI deployments
  • Support for new application model in Configuration Manager 2012.
  • Support for the user device affinity feature in Configuration Manager 2012.
  • Support for prestart command files.
  • Support for automatically starting a specific task sequence.
  • UDI Wizard user experience improvements.
  • The UDI Wizard has been completely revised to improve user experience.
  • UDI Wizard Designer user experience improvements.
  • The UDI Wizard Designer UI has been improved to make configuring the UDI Wizard even easier than previous versions.
  • Support for enabling BitLocker in UDI.
  • Support for MDT Replace Computer deployment scenario.
  • Localization of UDI Wizard.
  • Guidance for customizing UDI.
  • Upgrade tasks sequences created in Configuration Manager 2007 to Configuration Manager 2012.
  • Guidance for Configuration Manager 2007 R3.

Read more and download it from here

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »