Posts Tagged ‘How’

I think a lot of people look at UDI (User Driven Installation) Task Sequences as just that – an option for users in an organisation to perform actions associated with the deployment of an Operating System. Well that’s perfectly acceptable however when I first installed Configuration Manager 2012 in my lab I looked at the new UDI options and immediately saw a way of replacing my old HTA that I had with Configuration Manager 2007. I was fairly sure I could adapt the UDI Wizard to suit my deployment model taking full advantage of what the MDT team had already written. The following blog briefly describes what I have done with UDI in my organisation.

Implementing the out of box UDI solution is actually fairly straight forward.

  1. Integrate MDT with your Configuration Manager 2012 installation
  2. Create your MDT files package, I have done this with MDT 2012 Update 1
  3. Create a standard MDT client task sequence, this will automatically include the steps that call the UDI Wizard
  4. Test your Task Sequence to ensure that it works and calls the UDI Wizard as expected.

Once you have these basics configured you can then take a closer look at customising what built in panes the wizard presents and how that information is collected and used.

Its worth noting as this point that I haven’t had a need to create any custom panes which set variables. Having said that, you can do this and MDT 2013 includes the ability to create your own pages using a GUI which is a vast improvement on what was offered in MDT 2012 Update 1.

Using the UDI Wizard Designer, I have removed quite a few of the built in panes. This is because I have tailored it for my Service Desk technicians to use and rely on the other built in Task Sequence steps to set variables. I have modified the New Computer and Refresh page libraries and have a separate USMT scripted process for the replace scenario.

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New Computer UDI Steps

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Refresh Computer UDI Steps

I have created separate UDI XML files for each Operating System that I deploy or refresh so that I can control settings and what applications are installed. To call different UDI Wizard XML files, save your UDI XML template file with an appropriate name into your MDT Files package then modify the two UDI Wizard steps in the Task Sequence.

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You can customise the default header image (as I have) so the UDI Wizard is customised to your organisation. To do this you will need to locate the UDI_Wizard_Banner.bmp file located in your MDT Files package. Modify both copies of this file within the \Tools\x86 and \Tools\x64 folders respectively. The image needs to be 759 x 69 pixels. Rename the old file to UDI_Wizard_Banner.original in case you wish to roll back. Once your changes are complete, update your Distribution Points.

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Here are some screen captures on my New Computer UDI Wizard. You can use the wizard to add Organizational OU’s, a pre-populated Domain Name, Applications and other variable settings.

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Collecting Computer and Network Settings

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Application Selection and Installation

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Summary Page

As the MDT Gather step runs before the UDI Wizard starts, you can also pre-populate other variables which will then automatically appear within the UDI panes. For example you may wish to run a separate script to generate a computer name, if this is run prior to the UDI Wizard running, it will be displayed in the pane that contains the field referencing that variable. Another good example of this is to pre-populate the domain join account username and password using CustomSettings.ini.

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You can also use the UDI Wizard to present groupings of Applications which when selected will then be installed as part of the base variable COALESCEDAPPS during the Install Applications step of your TS . To correctly configure this for OSD you will need to create a collection within your Configuration Manager Console, then Deploy each Application to that collection that you want to make available during an OSD Task Sequence. The Deployment type needs to be set to availableAlternatively you can use an existing collection, if you have one setup, that already has your Applications deployed in this manner.

Note: If you rename an application in Configuration Manager 2012, you will have to update your UDI XML file, save and redistribute your MDT Files package.

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When this has been completed you can use the UDI Wizard Designer to create your Software Groups. Ensure that you have set the Site Settings within the designer by selecting the Configuration Manager ribbon button. You will need to set your Site Server Name and the name of the Application Collection that you have created and deployed your Applications to otherwise your Applications will not appear when you try to search and add them.

Note: You need to tick the option “Allow this application to be installed from the Install Application task sequence action without being deployed” for each Application that you want to install as part of a TS

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Using UDI as an alternative has allowed me to transition into Configuration Manager 2012 OSD easily, retiring my old HTA. I have been able to take advantage of the built in panes and were suitable, set and populate information automatically. With the new version of MDT 2013 around the corner, the new Custom Page Designer will no doubt add further options and capabilities in this area.

Hopefully this blog gives you some broad ideas around how you can implement UDI in your organisation and what is possible to achieve when using it.

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Cheers Damon

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So recently I discovered that certain file extensions with my Windows 8 Enterprise deployments were associated by default with the new modern/metro applications. These included .jpg .bmp etc. Now for tablet users this may not pose a problem but for a Desktop Enterprise scenario it certainly raised some eyebrows with my end users who were consistently switching between the traditional desktop applications and the new modern applications when working.

To combat this change Microsoft have introduced a new way to set and manage these file type associations. You can no longer use a VB or Batch file to script these changes in the registry due to a security hash checking process built into Windows 8. We can now use the Dism utility to generate an XML answer file which we can then deploy and manage using Group Policy.

I recommend following these steps to configure and deploy your desired associations.

1. Deploy a copy of your current Windows 8 Enterprise WIM with your chosen deployment solution. Run up Default Programs under Control Panel and look at your current file type associations. Take note of which ones you want to alter and make your changes

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2. Now we need to generate our XML file. Run an elevated command prompt and type Dism /Online /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:\\youshare\AppAssoc.xml This will output a file with all of your file types and their current associations.

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3. Edit this file to include only the file associations that you wish to change. You can elect to keep the file intact in its entirety if you wish. Optionally you may wish to make copies of the file if you have different file association requirements for different business groups in your organisation which you can target using separate Group Policies.

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4. Once you have this XML configured to your preference we can specify it in our Windows 8 Group Policy setting. Open up the Group Policy MMC on your Windows 8 environment (with RSAT installed) or Server 2012 instance and locate the policy Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\File Explorer\Set a default associations configuration file Now specify the location of where you have stored the XML file. A possible option is to use a network share, or you may want to copy/inject the file locally to the Windows 8 Enterprise build as part of a Configuration Manager Task Sequence.

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Hey presto! You now have a method of controlling and setting file associations in your organisation which is flexible enough to cater for the different scenarios you may find yourself having to manage – thanks to the Modern Desktop 🙂

Technet Reference http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh825038.aspx