Showing posts from 2017

Windows 7 OSD Alternate Driver Solution (tested on Dell)

Several months ago I started encountering intermittent driver issues during imaging newer Dell systems with Windows 7. Dell has several excellent articles on how to handle Windows 7 imaging on newer systems with NVMe, but none of these articles really hit the nail on the head for my issue. I would get a batch of 50 systems where 45 would image perfectly and 5 would fail even after repeated attempts. I cracked open a working system and a failing system to find the same exact components (same hardware revs and all) in each one. Second thing on the checklist was to make sure every single setting in the BIOS was the exact same which it was. After several months of battling model after model with limited success, a new contractor joined my organization and we both came to the conclusion after a few days that things were acting really weird. I then stumbled across an article for SCCM CB that seemed to describe a similar issue to what we were having. After installing the ADK 10 1607 on

SCCM Status Message Queries Frozen

SCCM occasionally gets a backlog of Status Message Queries which causes it to freeze and stop processing new entries. This isn't something you'll typically notice right away, but if you go to look at Status Messages you'll notice they stopped at some point in the past. The first thing you can try is a simple restart of the SMS_STATUS_MANAGER  service. Open the Configuration Manager Console and go to Monitoring > Overview > System Status > Component Status. On the ribbon, click on Start  and then click Configuration Manager Service Manager.     Once Configuration Manager Service Manager  is open, scroll down to the SMS_STATUS_MANAGER  and highlight it. Right click on it and Query . Once it shows the status, right click on it and click on Stop . Wait a minute and then right click on it and Query  to verify that it stopped. Now right click it again and click Start . If your status messages start showing up again, you're good to go. If not, continue

New Microsoft Update Model & SCCM Automatic Deployment Rule Filters

When Microsoft introduced the new Windows servicing changes in 2016, everyone was confused. Why are we all being forced to change the way we have managed updates for years? Change is bad! There are three types of monthly updates for the impacted products (my opinion for enterprise use is color coded, green good / red bad) in the new monthly update model: Option 1 is the Security Only Quality Update which is just security updates for the month. Option 2 is the Security Monthly Quality Rollup which contains updates for the month, along with all previous months back to October 2016 ... think of this like a monthly service pack. Option 3 is the Preview of Monthly Quality Rollup which is released one week after Patch Tuesday and contains everything from Option 2, along with a preview of all the non-security features slated for Option 2 next month. Think of this like a beta or early release. Products impacted by these update models:  Windows 7 / Server 2008 (and higher)

SCCM Task Sequences Are Slow To Appear

New task sequence deployments in SCCM often take FOREVER to show up in the Task Sequence Wizard and Software Center, but it doesn't have to be that way! Why does this happen? The answer is actually quite simple. If you don't pick an available time, SCCM sets the available time as whenever you ran the Deploy Software Wizard. In theory, it will go with your local time if you don't check the box for "UTC" time. SCCM doesn't do well with theory so the available time is often hours from the time you ran the wizard. To get around this issue, check the box for the deployment available time and set it to about 23 hours in the past. The SCCM DeLorean won't let you travel back farther than 24 hours in time so I always find it easy to change the date one day back and then add an hour, hence 23 hours. If you create your deployment like this, your task sequence will show up instantly in the Task Sequence Wizard and Software Center.  In theory, this &