ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2: WMI Namespace Documentation

I recently put together some documentation for the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 Beta 2 WMI provider. This is a searchable, formatted Excel document that displays all the classes, properties, and methods for the SCCM 2012 provider. Hopefully this will help you to find the proper information for writing custom scripts and so on. … Read moreConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2: WMI Namespace Documentation

PowerShell / ConfigMgr 2012: Check Client Reboot Pending State

Introduction

If you’ve worked with Configuration Manager 2007 for very long, you probably know that clients pending reboots can cause you quite a headache. Determining whether or not a client needs a reboot can be a challenging task, and most folks used desired configuration management rules to detect it.

Well, I’m happy to announce that there’s a new method of figuring out whether or not a SCCM client requires a reboot! There’s a new WMI namespace called rootccmClientSDK, and within it is a WMI class called CCM_ClientUtilities, which has a static method called DetermineIfRebootPending() – the method does not take any input parameters, however it spits out several [out] parameters when it is called.

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ConfigMgr 2012: Deleting Advertisements

Where’d my Advertisements Go?

Advertisements aren’t quite what you think they are. At least, that’s probably the case if you’re talking in context of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr). At first glance you might see “deleting advertisements” and exclaim: “YES! Please do!” The difference here is that advertisements in SCCM are not product or service advertisements, but rather proclamations of the availability of software to a computer system. If you’re reading this, you most likely already knew that, but if not, then … now you do.

Back in the days of the SCCM 2007 console, there was a single Software Distribution –> Advertisements node which contained advertisements for both standard software distribution and operating system deployment (OSD) task sequences. This worked pretty well, but it was a little confusing since the operating system deployment node was entirely separate from software distribution. Hierarchically, it just didn’t make sense.

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Extreme PowerShell / ConfigMgr: Extending Hardware Inventory

Introduction

In previous versions of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr / SCCM), a common task for administrators, engineers, and consultants, was to extend the hardware inventory configuration. These inventory extensions were written in Managed Object Format (MOF) and allowed the SCCM client agents to report back a wider array of information to the central site database for reporting purposes, collection building, and other management tasks. Making changes to the configuration could be a tedious task, as MOF is not very forgiving, and rather quite strict, in its syntax.

In Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 (SMS 2003), each time a configuration change was made, it was necessary to deploy the updated MOF file to the SMS clients — this made ensuring hardware inventory consistency across all clients a challenging task. In SCCM, Microsoft included changes to these MOF files (SMS_DEF.mof and Configuration.mof) as part of the machine policy refresh task, which is a client-side polling mechanism for configuration changes.

In SCCM 2012 Beta 2, Microsoft is taking it a step further and has eliminated the SMS_DEF.mof altogether, left the configuration.mof behind by itself, and stuck the WMI inventory configuration in … WMI. What is WMI? WMI stands for Windows Management Instrumentation, a service built into the Windows Operating System since Windows XP (and Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, I think). It provides a standard method of exposing hardware and software level system information to applications, such as storage, processor, memory, running processes, installed software, and other application configuration data. SCCM is built on top of this technology, and often makes developing software and scripts around the product much easier than it otherwise might be.

For the remainder of this article, we’re going to look at specifically how to extend hardware inventory in SCCM 2012 programmatically using Windows PowerShell with the SCCM WMI provider.

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ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2: Setting the Network Access Account

You might need to set the Network Access Account (NAA) in System Center Configuration Manager 2012 Beta 2 if you are deploying operating systems with it. Windows Pre-Execution (WinPE) needs an account to access content on the distribution point. In order to set the network access account, open the SCCM console and navigate to this … Read moreConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2: Setting the Network Access Account

ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2: PXE Booting for OSD

I recently was trying to PXE bootstrap an operating system deployment (OSD) job from a ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2 PXE server, and was getting this message in the smspxe.log on the SCCM primary site server:

PXE::CBootImageManager::FindMatchingArchitectureBootImage
Warning: Matching Processor Architetcure Boot Image (0) not found

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ConfigMgr 2012: Client Side Software Center

Introduction

The System Center Configuration Manager 2012 Beta 2 client agent has been updated significantly. One of the things that has been changed a lot is the client-side interface that allows an end-user to select optional software to install, scripts to run, or operating systems to deploy.

In previous versions of ConfigMgr, there was a Control Panel applet called “Run Advertised Programs.” A user would open this in order to browse the list of optional program made available by a ConfigMgr administrator. There was another control panel applet called “Program Download Monitor” that would allow an end-user to monitor the download status of a program – admittedly, this was probably hardly ever touched by an end-user, realistically.

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ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2: Configuring the Software Update Point

The Software Update Point role in SCCM 2012 Beta 2 has a variety of options to be configured:

  • Proxy server settings
    • Hostname
    • Port
    • Credentials
  • SUP ports & SSL certificate security
  • Products to be synchronized
  • Update Classifications
    • Critical Updates
    • Service Packs
    • Security Updates
    • etc.
  • Update languages
  • Synchronization Frequency
  • Synchronization source
    • Microsoft Windows Update
    • An upstream WSUS server
  • Supersedence rules

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ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2: Removing the Software Update Point Role

The Software Update Point (SUP) role is used to deploy software updates to SCCM client agents. If you want to move the SUP role from one server to another, or are decommissioning a SCCM site, you may need to remove the SUP role. You can remove the SUP role using the SCCM console, or by … Read moreConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2: Removing the Software Update Point Role

ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2: Setup Doesn’t Like Spaces in Prerequisite Path

During the course of playing with ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2, I noticed a bug in setup. It appears to not like it when you put spaces in the path to the prerequisite files that you’d pre-download using setupdl.exe. If you have spaces in the path, and try to click Next, it won’t proceed to the … Read moreConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2: Setup Doesn’t Like Spaces in Prerequisite Path