Ah, the joy of troubleshooting task sequences in Config Mgr! I spent a while on this one, having one task sequence performing a build and installing some software and another one while deploying that image. The deploy should also install driver applications, the one we love to hate, like bluetooth and fingerprint readers. Well, it failed multiple times to my great annoyance. Why it fails? Because software installations take place in the full OS, which occurs AFTER the step “Setup Windows and Config Mgr”. Once I moved my installations to after that, it worked flawlessly.
Running Windows 8? Want to use the SD-card slot with the Music or Movies-applications in Windows 8? Windows Media Player won’t include stuff in the library that’s stored on removable storage so here’s how to fool it!
Create a VHD on an SD-card (or USB, but that’ll stick out of your Slate (which I’m running)).
To create a VHD using diskpart follow these steps:
- Insert your SD-card or USB and note the driveletter it receives. Substitute “C:” below with that letter.
- Run CMD, start diskpart
- create vdisk file=”C:vdisksmediadisk.vhd” maximum=16000 (Creates a VHD on C: with maximum size 16000 MBs)
- attach vdisk (attaches it to your computer)
- create partition primary (creates a primary partition)
- assign letter=z (assigns the letter z to it)
- format fs=ntfs quick (quick formats the VHD with NTFS)
Start Notepad and copy and paste the script below, save this script into “mount.bat” or something similar.
echo select vdisk file="w:mediadisk.vhd" > %DiskPartScript%
echo attach vdisk >> %dpscript%
DiskPart /s %dpscript%
To make sure your computer mounts your VHD automatically we’ll add the script to the startup scripts in the Local Group Policy Editor:
- Start it by pressing Windows+R and typing gpedit.msc into the box.
- Browse to Computer Configuration/Windows Settings/Scripts (Startup/Shutdown)
- Doubleclick Startup
- Browse to where you saved your script
- Ok all the way out to the MMC
- If it worked your VHD shall now be mounted with a driveletter
To get some content into your applications you’ll need to create some folders in your VHD. I’ve named mine “Movies” and “Music”. Into these I’ve copied, you guessed it, movies and music.
These folders then need to be added into the libraries in Windows 8.
- Do this by starting Explorer, browse to your directories, right click and choose “Include in library”.
- Select the appropriate library.
- To speed things up you can after this go into Windows Media Player to verify or rescan that your files are added.
Once they are, they’ll be included in the Movies and Music apps in Windows 8 too.
When you’ve installed Windows 8 it won’t let you edit certain settings until you’ve activated it. But to be able to do that you’ll need to enter your license key first. There’s no obvious way of doing that in the enterprise version, so just do it like it’s done in Server Core in three easy steps:
- Fire up CMD with administrative rights.
- Then you’ll just enter slmgr /ipk 12345-12345-12345-12345-12345<enter> Substitute 12345 with your key of course.
- When it’s done, just enter slmgr /ato to activate Windows.
Boom! You’re done!
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Get your copy at https://technet.microsoft.com if you’re an MSDN or TechNet+ subscriber!
For those of us lucky enough to have either TechNet+ or MSDN subscriptions the final version of Windows 8 will be made available today. Most likely when someone in Redmond wakes up and presses the right buttons…
Monday morning and the downloads just pours out from Redmond!
A new beta of Windows Server 2012 Essentials is available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30327. Now with some upped specs, from 25 users to 75. Which actually makes it quite useful. And no need to reinstall either like the old SBS.
The Virtual Machine Servicing Tool is available in a new and fresh version too. If you’re using this to keep your VM’s up to date it’s time to upgrade. Find it over at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30470.
Getting the MCSE – Private Cloud certification? You’ll need to pass 246 and the study guide that Keith gives away is really good. It contains links to videos and information on the products you need to know about. Find it at http://ajax.sys-con.com/node/2317622.
Before I checked this post out I wasn’t that enthusiastic either, but now I’ve downloaded 11 of them…
Take a look at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mssmallbiz/archive/2012/07/27/large-collection-of-free-microsoft-ebooks-for-you-including-sharepoint-visual-studio-windows-phone-windows-8-office-365-office-2010-sql-server-2012-azure-and-more.aspx to see which books are available.
Once you check out and take some time off, lots of stuff goes down. Like the release of the System Center 2012 suite of software. This is, to quote Microsoft, a game changer. A unified installer, and new versions of the different management components gives you a whole new level of control.
The whole suite is now better prepared to cooperate and you can automate lots of steps thanks to Orchestrator. This makes it easier for IT to deliver their services to the business in an automated and efficient way, previously only possible by using third party products and addons.
The process towards release and general availability continues and now Windows 8 has hit RTM (Release To Manufacturing). If you’re in a hurry testing the Release Preview version is still available at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download but rumour has it that it’ll be publicly available October 26.