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Category Archives: MDT 2012

MDT 2013 – Introduction to Image Servicing Suite

vlcsnap-2014-07-31-22h40m50s144

 

This is what creativity is all about. Using MDT is the stepping stone into the deployment world. My good friend Robert Telford showed his latest development and it’s a imaging tool that will blow your sock off. Check out the video below for the introduction, plus stay tune for his 9 part series on the tool.

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MDT Sequential Computername Workaround???…..Finally!

MDT Logo

There are quite a few Windows Deployment Services fans out there who have decided to implement the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit to spice up their OS deployments only to find out that MDT does not have the same machine Naming Policy as WDS :(

Sure you can use simple Visual Basic expressions to generate unique Computernames but what about the folks who just want to generate basic sequential computernames (SalesPC01,02,etc…)?

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Disable Windows 8.1 Store Feature

Disable Metro App Store

I’m not advocating that all Store Apps are terrible and that you shouldn’t use them. I just don’t think it should be useful in a working environment and I really don’t want my users browsing the store downloading the latest FaceBook  or Twitter metro app. There are other methods in doing this, but I like how the registry handles this task.

*note – copy and paste the code below into notepad and save it as a *.reg file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
; Disable Windows 8.1 Apps Store Feature
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsStore]
"RemoveWindowsStore"=dword:00000001

Disable Windows 8.1 Lock Screen

Operational

One of the most ignoring things about Windows 8.1 is the Lock Screen. You have to click on it to view your username so you can log into your machine. Okay, I understand it looks cool and it makes sense for a touch screen device like a tablet. But, come on not for a desktop user that just wants to log into their machine to work on that document that is due the next day. Here is a quick way in disabling the lock screen in Windows 8.1.


*note – copy and paste the code below into notepad and save it as a *.reg file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
; Disable Windows 8.1 Lock Screen
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization]
"NoLockScreen"=dword:00000001

image created hoyvinmayvin @ Flickr 

Linked Deployment Shares in MDT: Update

So, in a previous post, I noted the benefits of using a Linked Deployment Share with MDT. I also pointed out an issue with the way MDT handles CustomSettings.ini and BootStrap.ini when copying the replicated content. As it turns out, this is by design.

I was doing a little more testing with MDT 2013 and was trying to figure out why my MDT database wasn’t filling in the details I needed it to fill in. During this process, I looked in to the properties of the Linked Deployment Share and found a note at the bottom of said properties that states: “To modify the Windows PE settings for a linked deployment share, open the deployment share using the “Open Deployment Share” wizard.  Once opened, the settings can be modified through the Properties action.”

So, basically, the Linked Deployment Share will have all the information in needs copied over to the share, but you need to then right click on the Deployment Shares folder, select “Open Deployment Share” and then specify the location of the Linked Deployment Share (ie: \\server\DeploymentShare$). When this second deployment share opens up, all of the data from the original deployment share is copied over, with the exception of the CustomSettings.ini and BootStrap.ini, and your SQL database connection if you’ve configured it. At this point, copy the CustomSettings.ini and BootStrap.ini data from the original share over to the linked share, setup you database connection if you’re using it, then update the new share.

The only reason I can think of off the top of my head for this setup is one that I brought up in the original post: testing versus production. You can test everything on your “desktop” share (aka Test Share), when it’s all working, you can replicate it to a “server” share (aka Production Share). This way you can test your custom settings on the desktop side and replicate the changes to the production side when you know they are working.

Linked Deployment Shares in MDT 2010/2012/2013

deploymentshare_linkage

MDT versions from 2010 to 2013 have an option under Advanced Configuration called “Linked Deployment Shares” that I’d like to touch on for just a moment, and also an issue all these versions seem to have.

Basically, creating a Linked Deployment Share allows you to copy the Deployment Share to one or more other locations. One of the benefits of this is that you can install the MDT on a technician machine instead of a server so that all the testing can be done on the tech machine. The benefit this provides is that you can test your MDT deployment in a controlled environment before pushing everything to the server. That way, you can keep your server deployment share as your production and your tech machine deployment share as your test bed. Anytime you need to make a change, do it on the tech machine, then use the ISO in the Boot folder, or create a full ISO will all the info on it, then load it on a test machine and see how it works. If all is fine, copy it to the Linked Deployment Share and use that share on the server in WDS.

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Ultimate Guide of MDT Driver Management

MDT Driver Management

One of the hardest part in management dealing with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit is the Driver node. The number one question asked is how to manage all the drivers for all the different models in an infrastructure. The question is really hard to answer because it really depends on your environment and how many models you have in your office. I have three scenarios that works great for any situation, but it really depends on how you wants to make MDT work for your environment.

The first step is to take care of your WinPE drivers for booting

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Branding Your MDT Image

mdt_custom_wp_header

I was asked on how I customize my image for each client I deal with in deploying operating systems. There isn’t really a good or bad way in doing this, but the way I customize my image is by inserting a “cookie” file stating the image version and date of deployment. I also like playing around in the computer’s system properties and adding the version – what I’m really doing is changing the OEM information.

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