The first thing that will strike you about any thin client is how small (in physical dimensions) they are and the 5818v is no exception. In the past this small size meant poor hardware specifications; however, this time is long behind us.
The 5818v comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a Intel Atom D2550 dual core CPU, 16GB of local storage (the SSD like disk on memory), 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet and Intel GMA 3650 graphics (it won’t run Crysis but is ideal for Flash video).
In true keeping with the idea of thin computing (frugal on power, waste and dimensions) the packing for the 5818v is small and includes the power adapter, cable and a mouse making for quick and easy deployments. You also get a stand and DVI-VGA adapter included in the box.
As far as licencing goes the Windows OEM sticker is included on the DOM meaning no sticky labels to peel off the case.
A hidden surprise comes in the concealed secure USB port which can be used to integrate wireless adapters (Wi-Fi/keyboard + mouse adapters) or USB memory sticks (could be used for BitLocker drive encryption).
For more take a look at the screenshot sequence below…
One of the great features of the 10ZiG 5818v is the WE8 operating system. Based upon Windows 8 this thin client includes the same software that makes full Windows 8 PCs fast most notably kernel hibernation. The premise goes that when you click Shutdown on your PC the core components of Windows are hibernated and saved to a single file which is very fast to read.
In testing the 5818v took a little over 41 seconds to start up without kernel hibernation turned on, with it turned on boot time to a usable PC was just over 21 seconds that’s a 2x improvement just by turning on a software feature!
After deploying a number of HP printers using the HP Universal Printing Driver PCL 6 (184.108.40.20698 for anyone who might be counting) I found that a number of users were getting the error message
hpmsn141.dll has stopped working
when trying to print, although they can click close program and the print goes through fine it is quite an annoyance.
Although more of a workaround I found that the fix in this situation was to turn off a feature called Printer Status Notification (described by HP at this link here). A short guide can be found in the screen shots below.
In this series of posts I’m going to be looking at the all new 10ZiG 5818v Thin Client.
Recently released and coming with Intel Atom D2550 CPU this thin client sets its self apart from others with the introduction of Windows Embedded 8 (WE8).
WE8 is essentially a cut down version of Windows 8 that is focused on devices that have limited storage space and are designed to fill a single role (like digital signage players, connectivity to Remote Desktop Services Farms and connectivity to VDI like Citrix VDI-in-a-Box).
Through this series of posts I’m going to be looking at the hardware of the thin client, the WE8 operating system including the tweaks 10ZiG have made to it as well as the performance of the thin client when connected to VDI sessions.
After unboxing and powering on my first impressions of the 5818v have been very positive particularly around
- UEFI boot with a boot time of around 25s
- The low power consumption
- The array of ports
- The robustness of design
Recently I came across a need to update the BIOS of a number of Dell PCs, given that the PCs were due to be re-imaged it made sense to perform the update as part of the System Centre Configuration Manager 2012 task sequence process.
To kick this process off you will need
- A need to update the BIOS – you should only update the BIOS on a PC if a later revision fixes a particular issue you are having (in my case it was a wake on LAN issue)
- The BIOS update files from the Dell Support site – on occasion you may need to perform a staged update process, for example on the Dell Optiplex 390 to go from Revision A01 to A10 you must first update to A02.
The first step of this process requires that you put the BIOS update in as a Package, follow the guide below to see how this is done.
Please note – this guide only applies to the ‘newer’ packaged style of Dell BIOS updates, the steps to identify if you have one of the newer style packages can be seen in the first three screen shots.
Next you need to include the package in the SCCM task sequence, during the process you will need this WMI query (contained within the download to make copy/paste easy)
BIOS WMI query (83 bytes, 39 hits)
A few points to note
- You do not want the BIOS update to trigger the restart – (I have never been able to get this to work without causing a error and stopping the task sequence)
- If you have one of the older BIOS versions you may find this list of legacy command line switches useful.
When it comes to SCCM 2012 you have a powerful bit of software to deploy software updates and applications however all of this is worthless without the SCCM 2012 client which must first be installed.
This client comes as part of any task sequence that you configure however what if you have PCs that have been previously imaged or have an older version of the client?
In this case I prefer to fall back to good old GPO/MSI deployment; Microsoft does have an article on it in Technet http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/library/gg712298.aspx however its far from descriptive so for a full guide on deploying the System 2012 Config Manager Client see the screen shot sequence below.
Lets imagine that for the past few years software has been deployed using Group Policy Software Installation and that a single server has been used to store the MSIs.
The only issue is you now want to move the MSIs to another server or even better are looking to move the MSIs to a DFS share.
The ovious option would be to remove and reassign the software packages pointing them at the new path; the issue here is that the software would then go and reinstall its self on all of your PCs!
A better option is to use ADSI edit to change the paths that already exist without having to reassign the software. The procedure in the screen shot sequence below uses the instructions found at this Microsoft KB – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2395088.
PDF is quite possibly one of my favourite web technologies – if nothing else it is my #1 way to share files with others knowing that when they go to view/print them it will look precisely the same as it does on my PC.
The great thing about Adobe PDF reader is its very easy to fully customize the installation without having to use Orca.
In this guide I am looking to, deploy Adobe Reader 11 to all of my clients using group policy software deployment, remove older versions of reader, prevent auto update prompts, accept the EULA for my users, remove the desktop shortcut, make Adobe Reader the default PDF viewer and turn off Protected View (I find it causes more issues than it solves).
A few things you will need
- Adobe Reader deployment resources site (lots of good things to read!) - http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/acrobat/it-resources.html
- Adobe Customization Wizard – http://www.adobe.com/devnet-docs/acrobatetk/tools/Wizard/index.html
- Adobe Reader Licence website (you need this to deploy) – http://www.adobe.com/go/rdr_apply_dist/
If you do not want to go through the Customization Wizard phase and are happy with the settings I will be using you can download the transform file from the ZIP file below.
Adobe Reader 11 Transform (8.0 KiB, 353 hits)
So all thats left now is to follow the screen shots below and get Adobe Reader 11 out to your users!
As such its important to keep Flash updated in your Enterprise. The one pain I’m sure everyone has come across at some stage is your end users getting the prompt to update Flash themselves (see right).
So what I will show you how to accomplish in this guide is
- Obtain and Deploy a MSI for Adobe Flash Player to 32 and 64bit PCs that use Internet Explorer
- Make it so that your users do not get Flash update prompts
A few things you will need
- A read of the Adobe Flash Enterprise Deployment Guide – http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/flash_player_admin_guide.html
- A licence to deploy Adobe Flash Player (its the only way to get at a MSI that will work) – http://www.adobe.com/products/players/flash-player-distribution.html
- Adobe Flash Tester (it will let you know if your deployment has worked or not) – http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/
As part of the setup process you will need to copy a mms.cfg file to some locations on your PCs, to make life simple a sample mms.cfg is included in the ZIP file download below along with the paths to where the files need to be copied to (all is explained in the setup guide).
MMS Config File (131 bytes, 75 hits)
32bit Windows – C:\WINDOWS\System32\Macromed\mms.cfg
64bit Windows – C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\mms.cfg
So lets get this ball rolling! For the steps on how to mash out Flash to your users follow the screen shot sequence below.
When deploying software the best way to edit the MSI (remove shortcuts/disable auto update features) is to do it is through a tool called Orca.
Orca is a Microsoft created tool that reaches into a MSI and changes settings inside it without having to repackage the MSI using other tools (e.g. WinInstallLE), the advantage of this method is you have a cleaner software install where repacking sometimes allows mistakes to creep in (e.g. random reg entry changes). Having said that some MSIs get poorly created by the software developers and so don’t allow this modification in the first place.
Either way Orca is a tricky tool to get installed and so the screen shot sequence below shows my way of getting it on your PC.
Before you go any further you will need this link – http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=8442