SCCM 2012

Go into any school these days and it will be hard to avoid any shiny ‘iDevices’ and in support of that I have recently deployed AirServer by App Dynamic.

The installer is provided as an MSI although our retailer suggested a command line option to deploy and activate the software for all users of the PC; a very nice idea there is a much simpler method which involves a quick modification of the downloaded MSI using Orca. For the full guide take a look at the screenshot sequence below-

One point to note is that upon installation the installer will reach out to the AirServer website to perform product activation; as in most schools a web proxy will get in the way of this however if you allow unfiltered access to 168.62.26.12 the authentication will go through without any issues.

Another point to note – make sure you have all the prerequisites installed on any machine targeted for AirServer installation. The deployment of these is outside the scope of this document however the easiest way I have found so far is to download the full iTunes installer, unzip it (with 7zip) and deploy the MSIs inside it separately.

When trying to capture a Windows 8.1 (Enterprise 64bit for anyone that wants to keep track) using the System Centre Configuration Manager Capture Image ISO I kept getting the error message

Task Sequence: Image Capture Wizard has failed with the error code (0x00004005).
For more information, contact your system administrator or helpdesk operator.

The image was as normal as any other Windows 7 image that I had captured and included Office/some LOB applications. In addition I had used a powershell command to remove some of the built in Windows 8.1 apps.

As it turns out this error message was being generated by sysprep as I hadn’t removed the Windows 8 applications in the supported manner (as detailed here – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2769827).

As a work around I decided to capture the image with the apps included and then remove them as part of the SCCM task sequence.

To see how I did this take a look at the screen shot sequence below.

0x00000032A bit of a silly one this time round but when running a deploy/capture (with application installation half way through) SCCM 2012 task sequence just after installing the applications I got the error message.

Task sequence: <task sequence name> has failed with the error code (0x00000032). For more information, contact your system administrator or helpdesk operator.

As it turns out at the end of my application deployment phase of the task sequence I had a restart listed, however instead of being set to ‘The currently installed default operating system’ I had it set to ‘The boot image assigned to this task sequence’.

Setting this correctly to ‘The currently installed default operating system’ resolved the problem and I was back on my merry way to creating an updated OS deployment image.

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, 2,205 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.