Wednesday 29 September 2010

P2V Migration Beta 2 Refresh with Configuration Manager Intergration

I was only just talking about the P2V Migrator the other day while discussing SCCM and how it can help with Windows 7 rollouts/migrations by virtualising the users existing XP machine for use in XP Mode on the newly deployed Windows 7 OS.

Microsoft have just released a Beta refresh that now sees better SCCM intergration with tasks within the task sequencer.

Additional optimizations beyond Configuration Manager functionality included in this release are:
  1. Better flexibility for backing-up and restoring VHD files using default file locations
  2. Support for PCs using system and boot volumes
  3. Globalization of scripts to handle varying regional and locale formats
  4. General bug fixes and improved documentation

How to remove a management pack from Service Manager when the Data Access Service isn't running.

I had an issue the other week where after importing a custom management pack the System Center Data Access Service and the System Center Management Configuration services refused to stay started (they started and almost immediately stopped again).

The normal process to remove a management pack is to crack open PowerShell and use Remove-SCManagementPack
However, in this situation without those service started the powershell cmdlets just won't work.

So, after speaking to PSS, using SQL to remove them directly out of the DB was they way to go.

I would NOT say this is a supported method, ONLY ever do this under advisory of Microsoft and DO NOT blame me if it destroys your Service Manager infrastructure.  This is in no way a replacement to having regular working backups.

1) Backup the ‘ServiceManager’ DB.
2) Find out the ManagementPackId of the loaded management packs by using the below SQL query:
select * from ManagementPack order by MPLastModified
3) Note the ID of the MP you need to remove.
4) Then execute the following –
                exec p_ManagementPackRemove ‘<GUID of MP>’

5) Once it’s done, try to  restart the Service Manager related services (Data Access and Management Configuration).
6) If it starts successfully, try staring the console.

Thursday 16 September 2010

Configuration Manager 2007 Superflows

These are always useful to have around when working with or implementing ConfigMgr.

Depending on the focus of the SuperFlow, you will find overview information, steps that include detailed information, procedures, sample log entries, best practices, real-world scenarios, troubleshooting information, security information, animations, and more.

Remove a computer from a collection after OSD completes

Found this useful blog post from J├Ârgen Nilsson on how to remove a client from a collection after the OSD Task Sequence completes, very handy in our environment where the technicians usually forget to remove the client and has ended with users re-imaging their device again, "because it was there and said click to run now"?!?!

Office 2010 Deployments - Office Environment Assessment Tool

I'm currently gearing up to deploy Office 2010 in conjunction with Windows 7.

John Quirk has just blogged about this nice little tool that I've been meaning to find time to test so I thought I'd book mark it here to remind myself again to find time to look at it.


Technet Page - Application compatibility assessment and remediation guide for Office 2010

Wednesday 15 September 2010

List current values for a list enumeration in Service Manager

Credit goes to Patrik for this forum post.

Create a powershell script containing the following:


function getChildren([Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Configuration.ManagementPackEnumeration]$parent)
$outPut = "$outPut - " + $parent.DisplayName
Write-host $outPut

Foreach ($child in Get-SCSMEnumeration?{$_.Parent -eq $parent})
getChildren $child

Import-module smlets
$rootEnumElementName = 'ChangeAreaEnum$'
$parent = Get-SCSMEnumeration -Name $rootEnumElementName -ComputerName Servername|?{$_.Parent -eq $enum}

getChildren $parent


Change the 'ChangeAreaEnum$' to reflect the root element of your custom lists internal name (you should leave the dollar sign on the end). Also change the ServerName in the script to match your SCSM server name.

To get this, run the following command in PowerShell:
Get-SCSMEnumeration|?{$_.DisplayName -eq 'Incident Classification'}

Change the 'Incident Classification' to the name of your list as shown in the Service Manager console.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Adding icons to views and folders in Service Manager

To add a custom icon to a folder (and a view with similar edits) in Service Manager do the following:
N.B. This assumes you know how to create a management pack to create folders and views in the console.

Place your custom icon as a png file in the same folder as your management pack and name it something sensible (mobilephone16x16.png in this example)

Add a new category to your MP to categorize the Image Resource. Add one for both 16x16 and 32x32 icons if you're going to use both sizes

<Category ID="Category.MobilePhoneFolderImage16x16" Target="Image.MobilePhoneFolder.16x16" Value="System!System.Internal.ManagementPack.Images.u16x16Icon" />

Alter your folder to use the image:

<ImageReference ElementID="Folder.Mobiles" ImageID="Image.MobilePhoneFolder.16x16" />

Reference the custom image for use in the MP in the Resources section

    <Image ID="Image.MobilePhoneFolder.16x16" Accessibility="Public" FileName="mobilephone16x16.png" />

Use powershell to create a management pack bundle, import it and you're away!

Service Manager SQL Queries

I'm in the processes of trying to troubleshoot a problem with our Service Manager test installation that is causing the DataAccess service to not start which seems to have happened since a custom management pack was imported.

Here's some of the SQL queries Microsoft have been supplying to help with the troubleshooting.

List all Management Packs in the DB
select MPFriendlyName, MPLastModified, MPCreated, MPIsSealed from ManagementPack order by MPLastModified

List all Management Packs in the DB ordered by deployment time
select * from Ma
nagementPackHistory order by DeploymentTime

Select a specific Management Pack
select mpname, ManagementPackId from managementpack where MPfriendlyname = 'managementpackname'

Display the XML used by the Management Pack in the DB
select MPName, CONVERT(xml,MPXML) from ManagementPack where ManagementPackId = 'managementpackfromthepreviousquery'

Service Manager Resource Kit

A new resource kit for Service Manager is on it's way!

Expect to see some things like:
•Bulk Enumeration Value Creator Spreadsheet
•Ramp up materials – twelve one hour+ recorded Live Meeting sessions with the Program Managers covering a wide range of topics
•Architecture Visio diagram
•Database queries
•Service Manager Visio stencil shapes
•Various solution management packs for things like sending notifications to reviewers, hiding the extensions tab, etc.
•CSV Connector
•Basic Service Requests
•SLA Management
•Code samples like how to work with enumerations, type projections, creating and updating objects like incidents, etc.

And some very exciting NEW things!:

•Exchange connector: Process emails sent to an email inbox on an Exchange server. Convert new emails to new incidents and update incidents for replies to an email address.
•Send message to a user related to the incident from the console. Message can be optionally logged in the action log.
•Visio diagram of the entire SCSM data model including classes, properties, and relationships.

Saturday 4 September 2010

P2V Migration - Microsoft Deployment Toolkit

I just got this e-mail from the MDT Team via the Microsoft Connect site.
Rather than type waffle to describe it I thought i'd just repost it.

Help unblock OS deployments by redelivering blocking users' old Windows environments, applications and browsers seamlessly in Windows 7 using automated physical-to-virtual migration

P2V Migration for Software Assurance uses the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Sysinternals Disk2VHD to convert a user's existing Windows XP or newer client environment to a virtual hard disk then automates the delivery of an updated and personalized Windows 7 operating system containing a virtual machine with the user's previous Windows environment, applications and Web browser. The user's previous virtual desktop retains its existing management components, domain membership and policies. The process also publishes applications and the browser for the user to access them seamlessly within Windows 7's
start menu.

How it Works

Starting Windows environment with Windows XP SP3 or newer. Environment is personalized with applications not compatible with Windows 7.

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 initiates fully-automated migration to Windows 7. Process includes P2V conversion of the running OS using Sysinternals Disk2VHD.

Windows 7 migration complete. Windows 7 contains the previous operating system in its entirety within a virtual machine.

Standalone application and Internet Explorer links published from virtual machine to native Windows 7 start menu.

Incompatible application from previous operating system is launched seamlessly within Windows 7 using RemoteApp integration and Virtual PC.

Even the most skilled IT shops, with resources to work through application compatibility challenges, often find a few users blocking roll-outs to entire sites or larger numbers of users due to:

  • Compatibility of specialized, region or user-specific applications, browser customizations or USB device drivers.
  • Missing installation files or media to install applications or drivers for testing or redelivery.
  • Critical users who cannot risk losing any functionality of their current desktop environments and require a working backup before moving to Windows 7.

These types of issues make it difficult to completely replace existing systems with Windows 7 without causing user disruption. Allowing users to retain their current desktop environments while moving to Windows 7 can smooth the transition while mitigating or delaying investments required for making applications and hardware natively compatible with Windows 7.

Download P2V Migration for Software Assurance now:
P2V Migration for Software Assurance beta

Note: Physical-to-virtual hard drive migration of a Windows installation is a valid operation for customers with Software Assurance and full retail copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Software Assurance provides users valuable benefits. Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) using OEM versions of these products may not be transferred to a virtual hard drive in accordance with Microsoft licensing terms.

Customer Benefits
Help Reduce Windows 7 Deployment Times: The ability to perform P2V conversion of Windows XP or newer 32-bit systems as part of Windows 7 and/or 64-bit deployment means that IT organizations do not need to wait as long to get value from Windows 7. IT organizations will deliver the new Windows 7 operating system builds while preserving the old environments of a limited set of users that would otherwise delay production deployment.

Extend the Timeframe to Mitigate Application Compatibility: Using this solution, targeted users can have access to their previous set of
applications, just in case something was not provisioned as part of the Windows 7 deployment. Accessing previous applications is also easy for end users, as those applications are published to the Windows 7 start menu.

Users can Access Incompatible Legacy OS Applications: Using this solution, targeted users can have access to their previous set of applications, just in case something was not provisioned as part of the Windows 7 deployment. Accessing previous applications is also easy for end users, as those applications are published to the Windows 7 start menu.

How does P2V Migration compare to Windows XP Mode or MED-V?
Windows XP Mode: Windows XP Mode is not optimized for managed desktop environments. The operating system included in Windows XP Mode cannot be customized easily without manual effort. The time spent recreating a user's previous environment can easily take several hours per computer and it is not guaranteed that software installation media exists for every application on the previous system.

Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V): Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) removes the barriers to Windows upgrades by resolving application incompatibility with Windows Vista or Windows 7. MED-V enables administrative control over the distribution and management of Virtual PC images, thereby ensuring that those images are up-to-date and compliant with regulations. P2V Migration is targeted at specific deployment-blocking users with specialized requirements or conditions where a standardized virtual environment delivered with MED-V will not

Download P2V Migration (

Tell us what you think! Send your feedback and questions to the SAT team.
For If you are not already a member of the MDT beta program, click link below to join:

MDT Team

Friday 3 September 2010

MDT Deployment Wizard Panes for Installing OS Roles and Features

Good post on The Deployment Guys to enable roles and feature selection during a Lite Touch OS Deployment.

Noisey SCCM pack in SCOM

The Configuration Manager 2007 management pack for Operations Manager 2007 has always been known for the amount of noise it generates, I personally got so fed up with it that I removed it all together.

Well Kevin Holman has just kindly posted this on his blog:

I'll give it a go next week and post back my thoughts, but hopefully I can finally have some SCCM monitoring.