ConfigMgr: Start the Console as a Different User

In the interest of security, some organizations provide administrative IT users with separate user accounts for administrative tasks. While this improves security, it often complicates day-to-day administrative tasks by requiring additional logins to various programs or remote systems. If you are a Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager administrator who is running the console on your … Read moreConfigMgr: Start the Console as a Different User

PowerShell: Update your ConfigMgr OSD Boot Images to WinPE 3.1

When you upgrade your boot images in Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) 2007 from WinPE 3.0 to WinPE 3.1, you must run the ExportDefaultBootImage() WMI method on the SMS_BootImagePackage WMI class for each boot image architecture. Typically this would simply include x86 (32-bit) and x64 (64-bit) boot images (Windows Image Format (WIM) … Read morePowerShell: Update your ConfigMgr OSD Boot Images to WinPE 3.1

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: Sendsched.vbs Replacement

Recently, someone posted a PowerShell script, which is intended as a replacement for the SendSched.vbs included in the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Toolkit v2. I took the liberty of cleaning the code up a little bit, and simplifying it to be more PowerShell friendly. Enjoy. # # Script Name: SendSched_PowerShell_Version.ps1 # Purpose: Serves … Read morePowerShell / ConfigMgr: Sendsched.vbs Replacement

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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PowerShell: Retrieve List of SCCM Site Codes

If you’re using System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) 2007, you may want to discover how many SCCM sites you have from Active Directory. Of course, this assumes that you have Active Directory publishing enabled on your primary sites. When enabled, SCCM automatically places site information underneath the CN=System Management,CN=System,DN=mydomain,DC=com container.

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ConfigMgr: Report of VMware Guests Missing VMTools

I needed to get a report of server systems that are missing the VMware Tools installation. This is pretty easy to do with a subselect query in Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr). Here is the query I put together for this purpose: select     [sys].[AD_Site_Name0]     , [sys].[Name0]     , [cs].[Manufacturer0] from … Read moreConfigMgr: Report of VMware Guests Missing VMTools

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: Installing the Software Update Point Role

Introduction

In a new ConfigMgr 2012 site, you probably won’t initially have a Software Update Point (SUP), which allows you to deploy Microsoft software updates. This process actually uses Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 3.0 under the covers, just like ConfigMgr 2007 did.

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