Posts Tagged ‘SCCM’

Credit goes to J v D on the myITforum Configuration Manager email list for his response to my question about how to resolve this. I have adapted elements of his solution to suit my own situation.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of Windows 10 1607 deployments some of which have been in-place upgrades from Windows 7 and Windows 10 1511.

I noticed that my multi-language settings were not being migrated as part of this process.

BEFORE AN IN-PLACE UPGRADE

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AFTER AN IN-PLACE UPGRADE

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So how do you resolve this issue? Well I’ve finally found a suitable and reliable way of setting these values as part of a Configuration Manager in-place upgrade Task Sequence.

Some background on why this problem has occurred.

For Windows 10, I like others have used the English (US) ISO.  I’ve then added the en-GB language pack for English (Australian) language support as part of a Configuration Manager Task Sequence. For Windows 7 we have always used the media with English (US) as the base system language.

This is important to note as you can’t in-place upgrade an existing OS using Windows 10 media from another base system language i.e. you wouldn’t be able to in-place upgrade a Windows 7 OS using a base system language of en-US with say the Windows 10 en-GB media.

The combination of this multi-language environment has resulted in the subsequent Windows 10 1607 language settings not being correctly configured for the welcome screen or for new user accounts following in-place upgrades.

THE SOLUTION

1. Add a  Run Command Line step in your in-place upgrade Task Sequence that references your language package. This adds the relevant Language Pack and Feature on Demand cab files. This is the same process that you would undertake if you were preparing a reference image. As an example you could use a cmd file that contains the following (adjust for your language):

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2. Create the following SetLanguage.xml file and adjust as per your requirements. This xml file is imported as part of a scheduled task that gets created later in the sequence. I would recommend using Notepad++ to error check the file and then test it by manually running the import command in step 3. This way you can be confident that it is working before moving to testing with in-place upgrades.

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3. Create the following PostUpgrade.cmd file. This cmd file is run as part of a step in the task sequence.

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4. Create a new package in Configuration Manger containing these 2 script files and call it something appropriate.

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5. Modify your existing in-place upgrade Task Sequence to include the following 3 steps.

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SMTSPostAction with a value of cmd /c shutdown /r /t 0 /f

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Command line of xcopy * “c:\Windows\Temp” /D /E /C /I /Q /H /R /Y /S

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Command line of: schtasks /create /tn “PostUpgradeTask” /tr “c:\Windows\Temp\PostUpgrade.cmd” /RU SYSTEM /SC onstart

These sequence steps copy the script files to c:\Windows\Temp, then create a scheduled task. Finally the SMTSPostAction restarts the PC after the sequence has finished running so that the scheduled task executes and runs PostUpgrade.cmd. This cmd is responsible for importing the adjusted language settings.

There you have it, once implemented you should have a working solution and your language settings should match what was set in the previous version of Windows 10.

Cheers

Damon

 

 

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So a while back I implemented a working Windows XP to Windows 7 refresh using Configuration Manger 2012 R2, some of you may be aware that this was an issue initially as there was a bug with the client being unable to stage the boot image just prior to the initial restart into WinPE. To address this a hotfix was released however the whole process had a lot of caveats to it working and was generally painful to implement.

Good news, nothing has changed with that! So last week I was thinking maybe my existing process can be used to achieve a Windows XP to Windows 10 refresh, surely that’s possible assuming that the original change Microsoft made in the client to support staging a Windows PE 3.1 boot image had been retained in the latest Configuration Manager 2012 R2 SP1 client? Well I’m happy to report that with a few changes this is indeed possible, although totally unsupported my Microsoft!

A note before proceeding. This is not supported by Microsoft and I take no responsibility for any adverse outcomes if you choose to implement this in a production environment 🙂

So with that out of the way how do we go about this?

Well the main problem with trying to do this is the issue of staging the boot image to Windows XP – so make sure that you have a Windows PE 3.1 boot image and that you have a Configuration Manager client on your Windows XP OS that is 5.00.8239.1203 or higher. If you get this wrong, you will see an error in the logs relating to an inability to stage the image as per the below screen grab. The other main issue your likely to run into is a lack of drivers in your Windows PE 3.1 boot image, so spend some time making sure you have all of your hardware models NIC and storage drivers added to the boot image that are required.

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A few assumptions are going to be made by me here.

  • You have a working Configuration Manager 2012 R2 SP1 site with Cumulative Update 1 installed + hotfix KB3084586
  • You have installed the Windows ADK 10 and have a working USMT 10 package
  • You have installed MDT 2013 Update 1 and have integrated it with your Configuration Manager instance
  • You have a working USMT 4 package (You can download the Windows AIK to grab the USMT files, usually in c:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\USMT)
  • Your Windows XP machine has a working, active Configuration Manager agent installed at version 5.00.8239.1203 or higher
  • You have a working custom Windows PE 3.1 x86 boot image with your hardware model network and storage drivers injected into it – follow this guide for building your own boot image. You can use DISM to inject drivers in a mounted wim file with this documentation. Remember that you will need to inject the correct driver versions relevant to the PE 3.1 boot image, in most cases this will be the Windows XP equivalent for each of your hardware model types.
  • You have added this Windows PE 3.1 x86 boot image to your Configuration Manager environment and have replicated it to your Distribution Points

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  • You have a Windows 10 reference image

The process

  • Create your USMT 4 package and distribute the package to your Distribution Points. As mentioned previously the source files can be obtained from the Windows AIK.

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  • Create a new MDT Client Replace Task Sequence specifying your Win PE 3.1 boot image, MDT Files package, Windows 10 OS reference image, Client package, USMT 10 package and your Settings Package. Make sure that you add any driver packages, applications and other settings for your Windows 10 OS such as Start Menu Layout file import steps, etc. Also don’t forget to set a local administrator password, time zone and any other Task Sequence specific settings that need to be addressed.

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  • Edit the newly created Task Sequence so that the Capture User State step runs your USMT 4 package. Even though Microsoft have documented that USMT 10 supports capturing files and settings from Windows XP, it fails with an execution error about scanstate.exe not being a valid Win32 Application. Note that you could use USMT 5.0 however I already had a working USMT 4.0 Files package so for this blog I have chosen to leave the version at this level. You can leave the Restore User State step as USMT 10 as it will restore the data from the Capture User State step.

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  • Create a new collection for deployment and review your Task Sequence.
  • Check that your Windows XP client is running the correct Configuration Manager client version of 5.00.8239.1203 or higher and add your Windows XP client to the collection.

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  • Review your results. Its worth mentioning that the User State Migration Process doesn’t restore the wallpaper settings between Windows XP and Windows 10 and I don’t believe this is possible. However I’m happy to be corrected on this one if anyone does manage to achieve this. It does however migrate the source jpg and I’ve just reset this as the background image.

Cheers

Damon

 

 

Recently we noticed some performance issues in laptops with shared graphics when the Windows 7 Basic Theme was being used (particularly with external monitors using display port cables) These issues were resolved when selecting the Windows 7 Aero Theme. We were even able to reproduce the problems on the manufacturers image.

I have asked on a few international Configuration Manager forums and apparently the Windows 7 Basic theme being used as a default is a well known issue / problem for people when you capture an image using a virtual platform such as Hyper V or VMWare. Some are deploying custom branded themes (which utilizes the aero technology) and others are setting the default Windows 7 Aero theme with Group Policy as we have done with this solution. Others are aware of the setting but have elected to do nothing and leave it as is with Windows 7 using the Basic Theme as the default.

We have applied two distinct actions.

1. Apply an additional step at the end of our build Task Sequences to run winsat.exe dwm which assesses the ability of a system to display the Aero desktop effects.

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2. Created a new Group Policy which targets the Windows 7 OS version via a WMI query to set the Windows 7 Aero theme (Settings located at User Configuration \ Administrative Templates\ Control Panel \Personalization: Force a specific visual style or force Windows Classic & Load a specific theme file)

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Our builds are now using Windows 7 Aero theme as the default upon login.

Cheers

Damon

We recently implemented the Configuration Manager 2012 Management Pack with Operations Manager 2012 to improve our ability to analyse load, performance and health of our environment.

Following the installation we initially had some issues with only the Primary Site being partially monitored and no site system roles being reported as healthy. This also included components such as our Distribution Points and Management Point.

Eventually we were successful and the Management Pack is now monitoring our environment in full. We did the following in order to resolve the problem.

  1. Installed the SCOM agent on all of our servers running either Site System or Site Server Config Manager components
  2. Enabled Agent Proxy under the Security Tab on each managed server with Config Manager infrastructure running on it including the Primary. This is contrary to the Management Pack documentation.
  3. Created SCOM exclusions for our Anti-Virus (Initially we had to completely uninstall it on our SCOM server for the monitoring to fully work)
  4. Disabled the client discovery object as we are not running Config Manager clients on our infrastructure
  5. Decreased the Hierarchy Discovery time from 86400 seconds to 600 seconds
  6. Decreased the Central Site Discovery time from 14400 seconds to 600 seconds
  7. Increased the Site Services Discovery, Hierarchy Discovery and Distribution Point Drive Discovery timeout from 300 seconds to 500 seconds
  8. Performed a manual Site System Discovery and Hierarchy Discovery from the SCOM console
  9. Waited approx 6 hours for monitoring data to initially full populate

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Out of the box the management pack provides monitors for all the Config Manager infrastructure which you don’t need to create overrides for. However if you want to start collecting performance data then you do need to create overrides for each specific area. You can refer to the MP documentation here for the full list.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29267

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I’ve created some custom dashboards in addition to inbuilt ones (Note these wont work until you have tuned the MP to your requirements by enabling additional rules). Hopefully these give you an idea of what is possible with the MP. We have a couple of these cycling through on a large LCD panel in our office which give the Service Desk staff a good overview of the status of the Config Manager environment.

OVERALL HEALTH DASHBOARD

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DISTRIBUTION POINTS PROCESSOR UTILIZATION

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DISTRIBUTION POINTS FREE DISK SPACE %

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MANAGEMENT POINT UTILIZATION – TOTAL ONLINE CLIENTS

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MANAGEMENT POINT UTILIZATION – Authentication Requests / Sec, Hardware & Software Inventory Requested / Sec

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HIERARCHY DIAGRAM SHOWING HEALTH ROLLUP

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I’ve only really scratched the surface with what you can monitor and report on. Hopefully this gives everyone a good idea of what’s possible and how to do some basic installation troubleshooting based on what we experienced.

Cheers

Damon

I have applied the recently released Cumulative Update 1 to my System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager production environment today. I thought it might be useful to blog about the process I went through. Now to be clear, the ADK 8.1 Update is not a pre-requirement for 2012 R2 CU1. I have just taken the opportunity to apply it whilst applying CU1 as a restart is required for both processes. If your interested in the new ADK version and unsure if you should apply it here is a good blog on the subject.

Step 1: Update the ADK from 8.1 to 8.1 Update The new ADK provides a number of hot fixes including some for USMT 6. Here are the release notes and here is the download link. As I was already running the ADK 8.1 , I just ran the new versions setup and installed the updated components over the top of the existing ones. Note that the installer detects which components you have installed.

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I checked out the USMT folder after the setup completed and I had rebooted. It leaves your existing custom files in place and just updates the changed components – new loadstate.exe and scanstate.exe versions for a start amongst others with a date modified of 20/2/2014.

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Step 2: Download and apply Cumulative Update 1 (KB2938441) It can be downloaded from here. Running through the installation process is fairly straight forward although make sure you are installing the update with an account that has appropriate access to your SQL instance.

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Opening the log file shows the standard msi file install process. The log file is created in the c:\Windows\TEMP directory

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I only created an update package for the new Client as I only have a small environment with one Primary and no other site servers. I also only have 5 instances of the Configuration Manager Console and have chosen to manually apply the update on those computers.

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The installation and update process only takes around 5 minutes.

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Rebooting the server after installation is required.

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Step 3: Tweak some settings and update your USMT package I have changed the option in each Client Update package that gets created so that the installation notification is suppressed. This will prevent any notifications from appearing on computers. You can of course leave it unchecked but why bother users.

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If you have your USMT Tool Package setup correctly then it should point to the USMT folder within the ADK installation folder (Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\User State Migration Tool). So all you should have to do here is simply update your distribution points. If you have a separate package, the you will need to update your source files with the new versions and then replicate that packages content.

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Step 4: Create / Update your client collections and deploy the new client:

You should end up with an x86 and x64 R2 CU1 client update package in the console. I have setup some client hot fix collections to target my x64 and x86 clients with appropriate limiting base collections to ensure that I’m targeting healthy clients. Against each collection I have a query to control collection membership.

The query syntax for x64 based clients that I’m using is:

select SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceID,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceType,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Name,SMS_R_SYSTEM.SMSUniqueIdentifier,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceDomainORWorkgroup,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Client from SMS_R_System inner join SMS_G_System_SYSTEM on SMS_G_System_SYSTEM.ResourceID = SMS_R_System.ResourceId  inner join SMS_G_System_SMS_ADVANCED_CLIENT_STATE on SMS_G_System_SMS_ADVANCED_CLIENT_STATE.ResourceId = SMS_R_System.ResourceId  where SMS_R_System.Client = “1” and SMS_G_System_SYSTEM.SystemType = “X64-based PC”  and SMS_R_System.Active = “1” and SMS_G_System_SMS_ADVANCED_CLIENT_STATE.DisplayName = “CCM Framework”  and SMS_G_System_SMS_ADVANCED_CLIENT_STATE.Version != “5.00.7958.1203”

The query syntax for x86 based clients that I’m using is:

select SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceID,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceType,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Name,SMS_R_SYSTEM.SMSUniqueIdentifier,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceDomainORWorkgroup,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Client from SMS_R_System inner join SMS_G_System_SYSTEM on SMS_G_System_SYSTEM.ResourceID = SMS_R_System.ResourceId inner join SMS_G_System_SMS_ADVANCED_CLIENT_STATE on SMS_G_System_SMS_ADVANCED_CLIENT_STATE.ResourceID = SMS_R_System.ResourceId where SMS_R_System.Client = “1” and SMS_G_System_SYSTEM.SystemType = “X86-based PC” and SMS_R_System.Active = “1” and SMS_G_System_SMS_ADVANCED_CLIENT_STATE.DisplayName = “CCM Framework” and SMS_G_System_SMS_ADVANCED_CLIENT_STATE.Version != “5.00.7958.1203”

Be careful when copying and pasting as the inverted commas are often copied incorrectly into the query statement window.

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Then deploy your client update packages to your collections. The upgrade is quite quick, taking only a few minutes.

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You will end up with a client version of 5.00.7958.1203

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Step 5: Modify your Task Sequences to include the client update

This is the final step that I have done. To ensure that client patches are applied during OSD I have previously created a separate Configuration Manager Client Package with Hotfixes as per this blog.

I’ve updated this package with the new client files and copied the new hotfix msp’s (configmgr2012ac-r2-kb2938441) to the respective updates folder.

Finally I’ve modified each of Task Sequences with the updated hot fix name.

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Happy updating,

Cheers

Damon

I’ve implemented this solution based on information provided in the following blogs – credit to these people for posting this information.

http://www.deploymentresearch.com/Research/tabid/62/EntryId/97/PowerShell-wrapper-for-MDT-2012-Update-1-and-MDT-2013-Preview.aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/b/deploymentguys/archive/2013/10/21/removing-windows-8-1-built-in-applications.aspx

So I’ve moved on from my old process of corporate WIM image creation. I used to build up an image from a source ISO for a respective operating system using Hyper V, make my customisations, apply patches, then use MDT to do a sysprep and capture. I know, I know, there are probably numerous reasons why you shouldn’t do this. Well no more after watching Johan’s session from System Center Universe this year here 

The new process involves the more contemporary approach of doing a completely automated build and capture in one process with MDT performing any additional changes using scripts and additional steps. The session that Johan presented is in my view the best by far that I have seen.

One thing that wasn’t covered was how to remove the built in Windows 8.1 Modern Applications. In my case (like many others) we are deploying Windows 8.1 and do not wish to have all of these applications available.

Here is a solution you can implement which will remove these apps as part of your MDT or Configuration Manager Task Sequence. My example will be in MDT 2013.

Firstly create a new powershell script from the this blog, you can amend the script as required so that it only removes the applications that you want. Alternatively I have copied the script syntax into a word document here removemodernappsnew – please make sure that you edit this script in Powershell ISE to confirm that there are no syntax errors.

Copy the script to your MDT server sources folder.

Create a new MDT application and give it an appropriate name such as Remove Windows 8.1 Modern Applications

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Use the following powershell wrapper command – credit to Johan who posted the install wrapper argument here

powershell.exe -Command “set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -Force; cpi ‘%DEPLOYROOT%\Applications\Remove Windows 8.1 Modern Applications\RemoveWindows8Apps.ps1’ -destination c:\; c:\RemoveWindows8Apps.ps1; ri c:\*.ps1 -Force; set-ExecutionPolicy Restricted -Force”

Note you will need to adjust the path to your powershell script depending on how you setup the application in MDT.

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Now just add an install application step in your existing MDT / Configuration Manager Task Sequence, its that easy.

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If you implement a Suspend action in your MDT Task Sequence you can check that the apps have been removed.

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Cheers

Damon

OK well it’s not completely true to claim it’s a Zero Touch MDT solution however it is a fully automated Lite-Touch solution for upgrading your Windows XP computers to Windows 7 using MDT 2012 Update 1.

Some of you would be aware of the issue that occurred if you upgraded to Systems Centre Configuration Manager 2012 R2 – Basically the bootsect.exe included in the Windows ADK 8.1 isn’t compatible with Windows XP so you can’t stage a 2012 R2 boot file to a computer running a Windows XP Operating System. This basically meant no way to refresh XP systems with that version of Config Manager.

Microsoft has released a hotfix for this issue recently: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2910552

However there is an alternative to applying this update. You can still fall back to using MDT 2012 Update 1 and have a fully automated solution for upgrading any Windows XP instances you still have out in the wild using USMT to migrate the user data as part of the refresh process.

Here are the steps I followed so I didn’t have to apply this hotfix. I have small environment, only 1500 seats, so going down this path made more sense than messing with my production Configuration Manager 2012 R2 instance just to get back support for XP.

  1. Build up a fully patched Windows Server 2012 R2 instance (or your preferred supported OS). This can be running on your choice of hypervisor if you prefer.
  2. Install the Windows ADK 8.1  (http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/download/details.aspx?id=39982) and install the Deployment Tools, User State Migration Tool (USMT) and the Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) options. Note there was a new version released so make sure you re-download if you have an older copy.
  3. Install MDT 2012 Update 1 (http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/download/details.aspx?id=25175). Note that you cannot use MDT 2013 as it doesn’t support Windows XP.
  4. Create your Deployment Share and import your drivers, any applications, packages, OS wim files etc.
  5. Update your boot images with any required drivers.
  6. Update your Unattend.xml if required (I just re-used my Config Manager copy which saves a fair amount of time).
  7. Enable MDT Monitoring and create your Log folder and share.
  8. Test your refresh process before attempting any automation to ensure the upgrade process runs smoothly without any base problems such as missing drivers.
  9. Once you have your refresh Task Sequence working as expected we can look at updating our CustomSettings.ini file to automate the refresh process.
  10. Update your ini file – you can use my ini file settings as a guide.

[Settings]
Priority=Default
Properties=MyCustomProperty, SavedJoinDomain

[Default]
OSInstall=Y
_SMSTSOrgName=%YOURORGNAME%
DeployRoot=\\%SERVERNAME%\DeploymentShare$
DoCapture=No
DisableTaskMgr=YES
HideShell=YES

SkipCapture=YES
SkipAdminPassword=YES
SkipProductKey=YES
SkipBitLocker=YES
SkipFinalSummary=YES
SkipSummary=YES
SkipBDDWelcome=YES
SLShare=\\%SERVERNAME%\Logs$
SkipDeploymentType=YES
DeploymentType=REFRESH
SkipDomainMembership=YES
JoinDomain=%FQNDOMAINNAME%
DomainAdmin=%NetworkAccessAcountName%
DomainAdminDomain=%NetBiosDomainName%
DomainAdminPassword=%NetworkAccessAccountPassword%
SkipUserData=YES
UserDataLocation=AUTO
SkipComputerBackup=YES
USMTMIGFILES001=MigUser.xml
USMTMIGFILES002=MigApp.xml
USMTMIGFILES003=YourCustom.xml
USMTConfigFile=YourWindowsXPConfig.xml
ScanStateArgs=/v:5 /o /c /ue:administrator /ue:%yourdomain%\adm* /uel:45
LoadStateArgs=/v:5 /c /lac
SkipTaskSequence=YES
TaskSequenceID=%YourTaskSequenceIDNumber%
SkipComputerName=YES
OSDComputerName=%ComputerName%
SkipLocaleSelection=YES
UILanguage=en-AU
UserLocale=en-AU
KeyboardLocale=en-AU;0409:00000409

SkipTimeZone=YES
TimeZone=265
TimeZoneName=Tasmania Standard Time

SkipApplications=YES

UserID=%NetworkAccessAcountName%
UserPassword=%NetworkAccessAccountPassword%
UserDomain=%NetBiosDomainName%

EventService=http://%SERVERNAME%:9800

Test your fully automated MDT Refresh scenario by running litetouch.vbs from the MDT Deployment Share. If working you should see the upgrade to your OS progress without any dialogue box prompts.

There are quite a few ways of actually kicking off the execution of the litetouch.vbs script, however I will leave this mechanism up to you.

Here’s a video of the finished refresh process which shows MDT processing the answers provided by CustomSettings.ini. I have also shown that the USMT hard-linking process is working. The TS then stages the boot image and reboots into WinPE and begins to overlay my Windows 7 corporate wim.

http://youtu.be/9vJet3okIBw

Cheers

Damon