CM: Deployment Requirements

I was recently asked about how to deploy a single application but with varying installation command line parameters, using Configuration Manager. Luckily we can do this fairly easily using the Requirements screen on your Application Deployment Type.

In this scenario we were installing a school classroom management program, and needed to provide a different string in the install command line depending upon what kind of PC it was going to – e.g. setup.exe /template=TEACHER or setup.exe /template=TECHNICIAN. The PCs were already organised by Organisational Unit in Active Directory so that was the obvious target. The other way we could have done this was to create multiple device collections in Config Manager, and then multiple applications, and deploy to each of them – but we wanted to keep all this within a single application.

The basic concept behind this is to create multiple deployment types within the single application, and optionally a fallback entry at the end if you want the software installing where none of the requirements have been met, perhaps with a generic template passed via command line.

In this example I’ve created a simple program which just drops a text file onto the C drive, with the content of the command line string, as proof of concept but this technique should work for most use cases – depending on device OU, registry setting values, or even CPU speed, RAM, Disk space. I’ve targeted device OU here, and split my VMs into two OUs – Azure and Garage (for Azure hosted VMs, and those running off a Hyper-V server in my garage).

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CM: Deploying Apps from the Windows Store

There’s a lot of apps in the Windows Store, and one of the best bits about them is we don’t have to worry about managing their updates. Luckily we can deploy these through MEMCM and it is fairly easy to do.

You will need a subscription which creates an Azure tenancy (e.g. Office 365) to link MEMCM with the Microsoft Store for Business (or Microsoft Store for Education) – the Business and Education versions are pretty much the same just with different phrasing in places. Continue reading “CM: Deploying Apps from the Windows Store”

CM: Enabling BitLocker

Enable BitLocker to protect your data in case of device theft.

MEMCM comes with a Bitlocker Management section (under Endpoint Protection), however as far as I can tell this just allows you to set the Bitlocker policy but not force drives to be encrypted – at least I couldn’t get it to do anything on devices it claimed were compliant.

I’ve got an OS deployment task sequence which installs Windows, and has a few BitLocker steps – however I forgot to set a variable telling it to use the TPM chips without additional PIN/password/keys for Bitlocker – so my computers built without Bitlocker being enabled.

Not wanting to go through the build process again for all these devices, I decided to push it out to existing devices through MEMCM. Continue reading “CM: Enabling BitLocker”

CM: Delving into the “Last PXE Advertisement” flag

This post has actually come from having a look at the search queries coming up in my blog visit stats – “all active pxe flag deployements” – which seems like a good thing to look into.

If you’re trying to make a device collection you’ll find the LastPXEAdvertisement doesn’t appear to be available through the query builder UI. Here I’ll look into getting the data through PowerShell and then also putting it into a Device Collection within MEMCM. Continue reading “CM: Delving into the “Last PXE Advertisement” flag”

CM: Support Centre

Tools installed as part of the Support Centre

I’m not sure how long it’s been around, but one of the neat things I discovered lately is the Support Centre. The installer for this can be found on your MEMCM server, in the installation directory\tools\SupportCenter.

The Support Centre contains a variety of tools to help troubleshoot all things MEMCM. I’m just going to do a very brief look at it here so the best thing to do is install it and have a look for yourself!

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CM: Run Task Sequences using bootable USB media

No onboard LAN? No problem.

If you’ve had to deploy any laptops recently you’ll have noticed that it’s very difficult to find smaller (lower budget) devices with onboard LAN any more. We recently replaced two trolleys of laptops and the only choice to keep within budget was sacrifice the network port. While this isn’t a problem for their day to day use (as we have full site wireless coverage), when it comes to deploying and updating them… not so great. Well it’s MEMCM to the rescue again with bootable media.

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Deploying the new Edge (Edgium!)

Microsoft Edge (based on Chromium)’s shiny new logo

I’ve been following the new Edge browser for a while, using the Dev version as my main browser for almost a year now. Now that it’s been released I want to update my network to replace the old Edge with the new one – which I call Edgium. What better way to do this than using the built in Edge management section which appeared recently when I updated my¬† MEMCM installation?

If you’re just looking for Edge MSI installer it’s available from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/edge/business/download however we don’t need this if doing the deployment through MEMCM. Continue reading “Deploying the new Edge (Edgium!)”

CM: Scripts and updating the client Windows edition

winver showing Education edition

We took delivery of 5 Surface Go tablets a while ago, as we are trialling a Surface Go paired up with a Microsoft Wireless Display adapter on the projector, to replace the traditional PC + interactive whiteboard. They came with Win 10 Pro pre-installed and I didn’t fancy re-imaging them (given at the time I didn’t have any Surface Docks, so no way to plug into the network). This post covers creating and running Powershell scripts through MEMCM as well as the script required to bump up the Windows edition.

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The Missing PXE Advertisement

Today I had “The Case of the Missing PXE Advertisement” with a PC. Bit of background – I’ve an OSDeploy device collection which has a zero touch MDT Task Sequence deployed to it, advertised to PXE and Media only, and set to always rerun program. So anything in this collection will automatically get the deployment. Infinite loops are prevented by the “PXE Deployments” flag that is automatically set on computer objects once they have started a PXE deployment. To re-image a PC I just drop it back in the collection and clear the flag. I’ve also got one which prompts for the computer name, advertised as optional to all Unknown Computers. New kit I boot to this and put the name in and off it goes. Continue reading “The Missing PXE Advertisement”