If you’re running Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, you probably don’t need to be using the WINS lookup for Server Locator Points. Normally, you’d have to de-install the ConfigMgr client, and then re-install it with the SMSDIRECTORYLOOKUP=NOWINS MSI property. If you don’t want to do that, and want to disable the WINS lookup feature on your existing client base, you can use PowerShell to achieve this.
After configuring this setting, you can restart the SMS Agent Host service by running the following command:
Open up the LocationServices.log client log file, and search for the text: Policy disallows failing over to WINS..
If you see that message showing up in the logs, then you should be all set!
Enabling Verbose Logging via PowerShell & WMI
Another post-installation trick you can do for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager clients is enable verbose logging via the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) service. Check out this quick PowerShell script to achieve this:
System Center 2012 SP1 Orchestrator is a tool to help automate enterprise processes. It stresses the reduction of code writing, which has its benefits, but also has its drawbacks. In my personal opinion, everyone should learn how to write code. These days, if you’re focused on the Microsoft platform, there is nothing better to learn than PowerShell. Knowing how to write code will help you to fill in gaps in the integration of two or more software products.
Given the wide array of functionality offered by System Center 2012 SP1 Configuration Manager, it would seem highly desirable to use Orchestrator to automate some of that functionality. You can perform functions such as:
Creating or deleting Collections
Invoke Collection membership evaluations
Add or remove Collection Membership Rules
Enumerate Collection members
Deploy Applications or Configuration Baselines
Invoke ConfigMgr client actions
In the next section, we’ll explore how to set up integration between Orchestrator and Configuration Manager. Continue reading →
I recently got some weird SQL Server error messages in the Application event log after rebooting my SQL 2012 SP1 server, running on Windows Server 2012:
Event ID 26014: Unable to load user-specified certificate [Cert Hash(sha1) "D3D88810B87C9533AA30CE9B2C3BDCEE3C674B97"]. The server will not accept a connection. You should verify that the certificate is correctly installed. See “Configuring Certificate for Use by SSL” in Books Online.
Event ID 17182: TDSSNIClient initialization failed with error 0×80092004, status code 0×80. Reason: Unable to initialize SSL support. Cannot find object or property.
Event ID 17182: TDSSNIClient initialization failed with error 0×80092004, status code 0×1. Reason: Initialization failed with an infrastructure error. Check for previous errors. Cannot find object or property.
Event ID 17826: Could not start the network library because of an internal error in the network library. To determine the cause, review the errors immediately preceding this one in the error log.
Event ID 17120: SQL Server could not spawn FRunCM thread. Check the SQL Server error log and the Windows event logs for information about possible related problems.
These errors confused me, because as far as I know, I’m not using SSL for my SQL Server instance. To solve the issue, I opened the SQL Server Configuration Manager –> SQL Server Network Configuration –> right-click “Protocols for CM12″ –> Properties –> Certificate tab. Click the “Clear” button and restart the service. Hopefully this clears up the error.
This blog post is a description of my first experience playing around with PowerCLI, which is VMware’s PowerShell module for managing vSphere servers. I haven’t really dealt with VMware much in my past, other than VMware Workstation, so I thought it was exciting to get the chance to play around with PowerShell & VMware together!
I won’t bore you with the installation details, and I’ll get right to firing it up. There’s a shortcut to launch PowerCLI in the Start Menu, and it’s got a custom icon on it, which makes it easily recognizable on the Windows Taskbar.
So it’s getting close the end of February, and it’s been several months since I’ve blogged anything new! For today’s post, let’s take a look at what’s going on, on Twitter in the PowerShell universe!
@tphakala says that he’s discovered a project called #ConEmu. #ConEmu is a project hosted on Google Code and offers a PowerShell console replacement for Windows. Some of the features that #ConEmu includes are: tabbed console support, smooth / friendly window resizing, support for Windows 7 jump lists (cool!), and a lot more!
@nikhil_mitt is an information security expert, and mentioned on Twitter that he has a security toolkit known as Nishang. This project is hosted on Google Code similar to the #ConEmu project mentioned above. Nikhil was even kind enough to mention that he had used some of my code in this project, which I had no idea about before today (February 24th, 2013)! I’m quite honored to hear that he made good use of some code that I had written a while back. The code we’re talking about here is in the Remove-Update function, which removes Windows software updates from a particular system.
Using Get-Content like Cat
@proxb (Boe Prox) tweeted about an article written by @ScriptingGuys (Ed Wilson) that talks about how to use the Get-Content cmdlet in PowerShell v3 to track changes to text files in realtime. This command is similar to the “cat” command in *nix operating systems.
I’ve discovered, on more than one occasion, that the ConfigMgr 2012 client’s ccmeval.exe, which is intended to resolve client health related issues, actually breaks the ConfigMgr client. This has happened on a Windows 8 RTM client, and I’m fairly certain that it affects Windows Server 2012 as well. You might be aware that Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 are unsupported client operating systems with ConfigMgr 2012 RTM, but will be officially supported in Configuration Manager 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1).
By default, when the ConfigMgr 2012 client is installed, a Scheduled Task is registered under the \Microsoft\Configuration Manager called “Configuration Manager Health Evaluation.” The command line that is called is simply ccmeval.exe, with no command line arguments. The task will run approximately around midnight (12:19 AM on my test client) every night. Continue reading →
Here is a simple VBscript that will export Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) task sequence variables to a file on the root of the system drive for troubleshooting. In WinPE (Windows Pre-execution), this is typically the x:\ drive, and in the full OS phase, it’s most commonly the c:\ drive, although that cannot necessarily be assumed either.
In WinPE 4.0, you can use PowerShell instead, but I developed this for use on WinPE 3.x.
I recently ran into an issue where VMware Workstation 9.0.1 refused to install, with the management port configured to the default of port 443. It was complaining that another process was using that port already. I broke out netstat -aon and discovered that wwahost.exe was listening on port 443. It turns out that wwahost.exe is a new Windows 8 process that is used to launch Windows 8 “modern UI” applications, or something along those lines.
Although rebooting your computer will probably fix the problem, you can just Alt + Tab over to any Metro UI applications and close them by hitting Alt + F4. Once you’ve closed all of your Metro “modern” UI apps (don’t forget Metro-style Control Panel settings screens, and similar), you should be able to proceed with the installation of VMware Workstation.
You might notice that in Windows 8, there is no shortcut to launch the Resource Monitor utility, which used to be readily available in Windows 7.
It was easy to launch Resource Monitor by simply hitting the Windows key on your keyboard, then typing the first few letters of the application’s name, and hitting enter (or maybe arrow-keying down a couple of entries, if there were ambiguous search results). In Windows 8, that shortcut no longer works by default, but Resource Monitor is not gone either. Some other websites out there have documented the fact that you can launch Performance Monitor navigating to the Performance node. On the Performance page, there is a link to open Resource Monitor; this spawns Resource Monitor into a separate window. Continue reading →