Wednesday 29 February 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Just a quick post, as I've just finished installing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and wondered why some of the built in apps such as xbox live, videos etc weren't signing my account in.

Turns out Microsoft deemed the UK not to be important :(

Come on MS, sort it out!!


What's Going On?

Account/Location Mismatch — C00D1353

Typically, this error occurs for one of the following reasons:

  • You're trying to sign in to the app in countries or regions where the service is unavailable; or
  • The computer that you're trying to sign in on is in a different Windows region than where your account is based.

More information

The apps affected by this issue include Xbox Companion, Xbox LIVE Games, Music, and Video. Note that the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Apps are only available in the following locations:

  • United states
  • Japan
  • Germany
  • France

SCOM Monitoring with Windows Phone 7

Microsoft have released a case study about a custom solution they developed to provide access to their Operations Manager infrastructure from a Windows Phone 7 app.

Microsoft IT designed some SQL APIs to expose the data in SCOM and a data synchronisation service that used the APIs to push the data into an Azure hosted service.

They then developed an Azure cloud-based middle tier service that receives the data and pushes it out to a Windows Phone 7 app.

Microsoft IT then developed a new Windows Phone app called ECIT Monitor that receives the Operations Manager system status information in near real time from the middle tier over a secure network connection, including the use of live tiles to display counts of alerts etc.

There is also mention in the case study of further enhancements for future revisions including graphically displaying incident management metrics and trends, and new drill-down screens that will provide more detailed information about a selected platform or application.

Does this mean maybe we'll see Service Manager integration?

I can only hope that this doesn't remain an internal project.  Making this service an additional Software Assurance benefit like System Center Advisor would make this a really compelling argument for SA on either Windows or System Center 2012!

Case study can be found here:

Wednesday 22 February 2012

System Center 2012 Software Self Service - Solution Accelerator

Wow... Glad I stayed awake last night and tonight for the Microsoft Private Cloud Jumpstart event.

Just saw a sneak peak of a new Solution Accelerator that helps combine the ConfigMgr software catalogue and the Service Manager Self Service Portal.

I'll try to dig up some more information on this, but it could be promising :)

Monday 13 February 2012

Backup unsealed management packs in Service Manager - Update needed

Thanks to Sam for pointing out that my previous MP & Powershell combo for backing up unsealed management packs had stopped working when he tried to implement it the other day.

Something must have changed with the Powershell cmdlets, but anyway, I've found out what needs changing.

Using the latest SMLets from here:

I've highlighted the changes in the powershell script (and also checked this against a 2012 install):

#Initializing the SCSM 2010/2012 Powershell Snapin
Import-Module SMLets -ErrorVariable errSnapin ;

#Remove old backups
$xDays = (Get-Date).addDays($DeleteDate)
Get-ChildItem $targetFilePath -Recurse | where {$_.lastWriteTime -le $xDays} | Remove-Item -recurse -force
#Create TargetDir if it doesn't exist
if (test-path $targetFilePath)
"Folder Exists"
md "$targetFilePath"
#Create new backup dir
md "$targetFilePath\MP_$((get-date).toString('yyyyMMdd'))"
#Backup unsealed MP's
Get-SCSMManagementPack|where-object {! $_.Sealed}|Export-SCSMManagementPack -TargetDirectory "$targetFilePath\MP_$((get-date).toString('yyyyMMdd'))"

I'll try and get an updated bundle uploaded to the TechNet Gallery soon.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Orchestrator Integration Packs for System Center 2012 RC Released!!

Finally (I've been moaning for ages that these hadn't been released) today saw the release of the Integration Packs for the System Center 2012 products.

The IP's now available cover:
  • System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager
  • System Center 2012 Operations Manager
  • System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager
  • System Center 2012 Service Manager
Unfortunately ConfigMgr appears to be MIA at present, hopefully we'll see a refresh before RTM as I'm dying to start work designing some software deployment workflows via Service Requests.

Grab the System Center 2012 IP's from here:

The guide for the IP's can be found here:

The IP's currently have the following activities:
Create Recovery Point
Get Data Source
Get DPM Server Capacity
Get Recovery Point
Protect Data Source
Recover SharePoint
Recover SQL
Recover VM
Run DPM PowerShell Script

Create Alert
Get Alert
Get Monitor
Monitor Alert
Monitor State
Start Maintenance Mode
Stop Maintenance Mode
Update Alert

Create Change with Template
Create Incident with Template
Create Object
Create Related Object
Create Relationship
Delete Relationship
Get Activity
Get Object
Get Relationship
Monitor Object
Update Activity
Update Object
Upload Attachment

Create Checkpoint
Create Disk from VHD
Create Network Adapter
Create New Disk
Create User Role
Create VM from Template
Create VM from VHD
Create VM from VM
Remove User Role
Get Checkpoint
Get Disk
Get Network Adapter
Get User Role
Get VM
Manage Checkpoint
Move VM
Pause VM
Remove VM
Repair VM
Resume VM
Run VMM Powershell Script
Shut Down VM
Start VM
Stop VM
Update Disk
Update Network Adapter
Update VM
Update User Role Property
Update User Role Quota

Monday 6 February 2012

Installing SQL 2008 R2 from a remote share after .Net Framework 4.0

I built a new fully patched VM template the other day for use in my lab and for deploying to private clouds in my System Center lab environment, but noticed some strange behaviour after deploying a new VM based on the template and trying to install SQL 2008 R2.

Every time I tried to run the setup I kept getting the following message:

Managed SQL Server Landing Page has stopped working

Doing a search online for similar issues around setup and landingpage.exe didn't yield a great deal of solutions.

Back tracking I decided to narrow down some of the changes I had made to the image, specifically around the installed updates.

After uninstalling .Net Framework 4.0 SQL setup appeared to work without a hitch, but putting .Net 4.0 back on yielded the same result.

After a bit more searching, I came across a TechNet forum post that pointed me in the direction of this blog post about using CasPol to fully trust a share:

It turns out that when trying to install SQL 2008 R2 from a file share with .Net 4.0 installed will result in this landingpage.exe error so the choices are:
  1. Install SQL 2008 R2 from a CD/DVD/ISO
  2. Copy the SQL 2008 R2 install files locally and install
  3. Use CasPol to trust the share
I choose to use the CasPol method as I have all my install files stored in my DSL used by MDT & ConfigMgr so would rather use this than digging out disks or mounting ISO's.

The command I used was:
CasPol.exe -m -ag 1.2 -url file://\\<Server>/<Share>/* FullTrust

Run this from C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319

This worked on one of my servers, however, another one I tried started throwing errors then about FixSQLRegistryKey during the pre-req checks.

The same forum post also mentions a more permanent fix, so I took the plunge and added/changed the following line to the listed config files in the source files for SQL:

   <legacyCasPolicy enabled="false" />
   <loadFromRemoteSources enabled="true"/>

  • setup.exe.config
  • setup100.exe.config
  • fixsqlregistrykey_ia64.exe.config
  • fixsqlregistrykey_x64.exe.config
  • fixsqlregistrykey_x86.exe.config
  • landingpage.exe.config

This basically has the effect of ignoring the CAS policies introduced with .Net 4.0 and enabling the use of remote shares.

Not pretty, but worked for me ;)

Original Forum Post:

Thanks Min Keng!

Interestingly, this issue has been highlighted to Microsoft via Connect as far back as July 2010 and still has no official fix other than to uninstall .Net or run from the local machine.