CCMEXEC.COM – System Center blog

CCMEXEC.COM – by Jörgen Nilsson

As we work with System Management of course we must deploy the SCCM Admin Console to our administrative computers automatically by using SCCM, installing it manually is no sport ;-) Many of us use SCCM 2007 R2 and as you all know it must be installed in addition to the SCCM admin console to enable the features included in R2, for instance Reporting Services reports and unknown computer support. Therefore I used a Task Sequence to install both SCCM 2007 SP2 admin console and R2, if you use other snap-ins they can of course be added to the task sequence after R2 is installed.

To do an unattended installation of the SCCM admin console an unattended answer file is needed; the following lines are needed, modify the “Parentsiteserver” and “SDKServer” to fit your environment.

[Identification]

Action=InstallAdminUI

[Options]

SMSInstallDir=c:\program files\Configuration Manager 2007

ParentSiteServer=SCCM1

SDKServer=SCCM1

I also use a vbscript to install the admin console, the script will use the path to the script and add it to the path to the unattend.ini file, it can be downloaded using the link in the description below.

This step-by-step guide will help you to start deploying the SCCM admin console using SCCM:

  1. Copy the SMSSetup folder from the SCCM 2007 SP2 CD and create a new folder in your package source directory share which can be used as Source Directory.
  2. Add the two files from the zip-file to the newly created folder containing the content from the SMSSetup folder. One wrapper script used for the installation and the unattend.ini file displayed above, after copying them edit the unattend.ini with your server name. The files can be downloaded http://ccmexec.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/install.zip
    It will look like this in the source file folder:
    adminconsooleinstall1
  3. Create a package of the SCCM 2007 SP2 setup and a program with the command-line “install.vbs”.
  4. On the Advanced tab for the program make sure to tick the “Allow this program to be installed from the Install Software task sequence without being advertised” option.
    adminconsooleinstalladminconsooleinstall5
  5. Copy the entire SCCM 2007 R2 CD content a new folder in you package source directory.
  6. Create a package and program for the SCCM 2007 R2 CD, you can use the import function and import the “CONFIGMGR2007R2.MSI” otherwise use the following command-line: “Msiexec /i CONFIGMGR2007R2.MSI /qn”
  7. On the Advanced tab for the program make sure to tick the “Allow this program to be installed from the Install Software task sequence without being advertised” option.
    adminconsooleinstall3
  8. Now you should have two package in you SCCM Console.
    adminconsooleinstall2
  9. Create a new Custom task sequence and name for instance “SCCM 2007 sp2 Console” or according to your naming convention.
  10. Open the newly created Task Sequence and add two “Install Software” Steps one for each program created.adminconsole

Create a collection, advertise the task sequence, install and enjoy

Note: This will work on Windows Vista, windows 7, windows 2008x but if you are using Windows XP make sure that all the pre-requirements are in place before installing the admin console.

The System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3 RC is now available for download on Microsoft Connect. It includes R3 version 6556 with Client version 6492.

Also check out the new Powerspy tool availabe since the beta refresh.

What is power spy?

Power Spy is a client tool provided with Configuration Manager 2007 R3 which allows administrators to view and troubleshoot power data on R3 client computers. It has the ability to connect local or remote R3 client machine.

In some scenarios where the users have need of running say Windows 7 and Windows Vista/Windows 7 locally on different partitions it is fully possible to do this using Configuration Manager 2007. The user could be local admin on the second partition, useful for software developers, engineers e.t.c. However you will not be able to manage the second installation as the configuration manager client already is installed on the other Windows installation and will obsolete/overwrite the second installations client.

To do this I found a cmd file to modify the bcd store somewhere on the web(sorry couldn’t find it again) and used that to start with. I assume in this case that there is a second formatted partition if you need to create it use Diskpart and the shrink command if you want to shrink the existing partition. The CMD file (will post a vbscript when I have the time to complete it) I use looks like this:

——————————————————–

REM CMD file used to add
for /F “tokens=3 delims= ” %%i in (’bcdedit /create /d “Windows 7 -Second” /application osloader’) do set NEWGUID=%%i
bcdedit /set %NEWGUID% device partition=D:
bcdedit /set %NEWGUID% OSdevice partition=D:
bcdedit /set %NEWGUID% path \windows\system32\winload.exe
bcdedit /set %NEWGUID% nx OptIn
bcdedit /set %NEWGUID% locale en-US
bcdedit /set %NEWGUID% inherit {bootloadersettings}
bcdedit /set %NEWGUID% systemroot \Windows
bcdedit /displayorder %NEWGUID% /addlast
REM CMD file used to add
for /F “tokens=3 delims= ” %%i in (’bcdedit /create /d “Windows 7 -Second” /application osloader’) do set NEWGUID=%%i
bcdedit /set %NEWGUID% device partition=D:
bcdedit /set %NEWGUID% OSdevice partition=D:
bcdedit /set %NEWGUID% path \windows\system32\winload.exe
bcdedit /set %NEWGUID% nx OptIn
bcdedit /set %NEWGUID% locale en-US
bcdedit /set %NEWGUID% inherit {bootloadersettings}
bcdedit /set %NEWGUID% systemroot \Windows
bcdedit /displayorder %NEWGUID% /addlast
———————————————–
I created a Task Sequence containing the following steps:
  1. Reboot to Winpe
  2. Apply the data image
  3. Reboot to the already installed and managed Primary OS
  4. Modify the BCD store using the script and the “Run Command line” step to make it possible to boot the the second OSdataimageTS1
Some small modifications will make it possible to deploy a VHD file and add the necessary entries in the BCD store.

Thought it would be a good idea to share the list of hot-fixes I normally apply when installing a new SCCM system, it can save you a lot of headache and troubleshooting after you install a new SCCM environment.

User state migration fails on a SCCM 2007 SP1 client or on a SCCM 2007 SP2 client after you install security update 974571
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/977203

The Distribution Manager that is in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 does not honor the “Number of retries” and “Delay before retrying (minutes)” retry settings
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978021/

You cannot import a driver into an OSD image if the driver is signed for only the Windows 7 operating system in SCCM 2007 SP2
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978754

Search paths are not discovered when the Active Directory System Discovery process or the Active Directory User Discovery process runs on a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 site server
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978757

The “Backup ConfigMgr Site Server” task fails on a ConfigMgr 2007 site server
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/981640

The handle count and memory usage of Smsexec.exe keeps increasing in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/981797

A System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 site server randomly stops processing status messages
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/982399

As a follow up and as I  promised in a previous post here are both reports which makes it possible to track advertisement status per collection and to link it to the next report, All system resources in a specific collection for a specific advertisement in a specific state. These both reports makes it possible to track advertisement status for a specific advertisment and collection, which is very useful when installing/upgrading applications and reporting needs to be done per site, building or department.

Import both reports which can be found here, and link them like this.

advertisementpercollectionlinkI hope these two reports are useful in your environments out there. Thanks again Ola for you help!

SCCM V.Next Public Beta 1 includes a Software Self Service Portal which is a great thing! It looks really nice already in beta 1 easy to setup, works like a charm. Using the software portal it is possible for users to install applications themselves and also request them if the administrator have selected that approval is necessary

vnextportal1

The user can search for software or browse for software based on Category or Publisher. When requesting the software the user is prompted to submit a motivation for why he/she needs the software. In this case I need it for my project.

vnextportal2

On the My Software Requests tab in the portal the user can track the status of his/hers request in the portal to see the status of his/hers software requests.

Vnextmyreq1

When the user submits the request, it shows up almost immediately in the Configuration Manager Console where the administrator can either approve the request or deny the request.

vnextapprove

After the approval the application is installed for the user based on the requirements configured for the software in the Configuration Manager console. I will cover the new software application object in later posts.

Under the My Systems tab in the portal it is also possible for the user to mark that this computer is my primary computer, which can be used in V.Next to set requirements that for instance some applications are only is allowed to install on the user’s primay computer. This is a great feature which enables administrators to think user first, instead of per-device as is the most practiced setup used today.

The user can also add a mobile device in this view.

mysys

More on SCCM V.Next coming up soon, I will deep dive into more features in the Beta. Download the beta and try it out yourself from Microsoft Connect.

Best-of-MMS 2010 (in Stockholm, Sweden) promises to be the Microsoft System Management event of the year in Sweden. Sessions will cover new technologies like SCCM V.Next Beta, Service Manager, System center essentials 2010 and many more exciting new products and solutions. There will aslo be a more non-technical track during these days focusing on organisation, cost-savings and many more interesting topics.
I will be presenting two sessions at the event (in Swedish): 

  • System Center Configuration Manager v.Next – User Centric 
  • Få ut mer av din SCCM 2007-miljö med nyheter i R3, Dashboards och ACT connector

 For more information visit the offical website: http://www.cornerstone.se/sv/Event/Best-of-MMS/

See you there!

Another report ;-) ! There are many scenarios where I found that it would have been great to be able to track advertisement status for a specific advertisement per collection. For instance, if a manager places a service request that 40 computers at that department should have Office 2010 installed, it would be great to have a report showing the result per collection. 
advpercol1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can download it here. I plan to post the linked report aswell later on so it will be possible to link the report to see which computers have succeeded or not.

My friend Ola helped again to finish this report, thanks!

Stay tuned for the next part!