Deploy Image from Stand-Alone USB on SCCM 2012 R2


This deploy will be done via USB and connect to a domain through a WPA2-Personal wireless connection. It then needs to connect to the WPA2-Enterprise connection once completed. The reason we needed to do this was because we were deploying to devices with no LAN port, only WLAN. We could have purchased a bunch of USB to LAN adapters but that required manufacturer-only adpaters and it would have been more expensive than USB drives.

Adding an action to run a script after Task Sequence is completed

Early in the sequence (any where after “Restart in Windows PE”) you need to set a Task Sequence Variable for SMSTSPostAction. This allows you to run a command or script once the Task Sequence is completed. I have set this up with a script to run gpupdate and delete our hidden wireless network profile. Because I have used a script I have had to use DISM to add the script into C:\Temp on the image. Here is instuctions on how to modify the image. The type is a Set Task Sequence Variable. In the Task Sequence Variable name you set it as SMSTSPostAction and the Value to C:\Temp\<script name> My batch script is simple and looks like this:

timeout 60
timeout 60
netsh wlan delete profile name=<profilename>
netsh wlan connect ssid=<SSID>

Naming the computer automatically

The next step is to do with naming. I have a Run Command Line sequence to set the computer’s name. This is a simple command that calls a script that I have added to a package. The script is as follows:

Set env = CreateObject("Microsoft.SMS.TSEnvironment")
Set ProgressUI = CreateObject("Microsoft.SMS.TsProgressUI")
Set SWBemlocator = CreateObject("WbemScripting.SWbemLocator")
Set objWMIService = SWBemlocator.ConnectServer(strComputer,"root\CIMV2",UserName,Password)
Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery("Select * from Win32_BIOS",,48)

For Each objItem in colItems
env("OSDComputername") = objItem.SerialNumber

Connecting to hidden wireless network

The next part was connecting to the domain over wireless. We had to create an extra SSID, which we hid, and protected with WPA2-Personal security. This required creating a connection to this network on another machine and then exporting the profile for that connection.

To export the XML after creating the connection is simple. In a command prompt you run

netsh wlan export profile key=clear

This will save it to the directory your command prompt is running from. Note that this saves your wireless network with the passphrase in clear. With this I created a new Package in SCCM which contained the XML (which I rename domainjoin.xml) and a batch script. In the batch script I had the following:

netsh wlan add profile filename=domainjoin.xml user=all
netsh wlan connect name=<SSID>
timeout 60

The timeout is required; I haven’t tested for a shorter time than 60 seconds.

Task sequence completion

After that a domain join is completed and a restart.
Once the Task Sequence completes, the script set with SMSTSPostAction will run. Sometimes it takes a few minutes before it connects to the wireless but have yet had one to fail.


SCCM 2012 Backup Configuration

I set-up a quick backup system that archives a week of SCCM backups.  If you have not configured your backup you will need to go to ConfigMgr Console > Administration > Site Configuration > Sites > Site Name > Site Maintenance.

SCCM Site Maintenance
SCCM Site Maintenance

Once your backup task is set-up and working, you can then create the AfterBackup.bat which automatically runs as part of the backup maintenance task. I used these instructions to make the archived backups with the name of the day it was created.

REM @echo off
setlocal enabledelayedexpansion
set target=\\SCCM01\ConfigMgr$\Backup\Archive\%date:~0,3%
If not exist %target% goto datacopy
RD %target% /s /q
xcopy "\\SCCM01\ConfigMgr$\Backup\WCMBackup\*" "%target%\" /E /-Y

I did a test with this and all worked perfectly. I now have a week of backups.

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 for fun

In wanted to test an upgrade from SCCM 2012 SP1 to R2 as I couldn’t find much info on how to do this yet. I also wanted to play around with Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012. We had a nice Sun server laying around that has 90GB of RAM and seems like a waste to be sitting there, so I installed Hyper-V 2012 on it.

There is only two 120GB SAS drives in the server and since it is just for stuffing around I put them in a RAID0. Install was simple. Configuration is easy too as it has a basic CLI interface. Enabled Remote Access in moments and started managing it from my Windows 8 machine.

I had some issues connecting to ISOs that were located on my machine but that was just security settings on my machine. I just added the Hyper-V server to the Administrators group and then it worked fine, not the most secure way to do it but it’s just for testing.

I then discovered we have a NAS laying around that was a few years old. It is an Iomega StorCenter ix4-200r. I attempted to use it with the StorCenter software but it was being a pain. I downloaded FreeNAS and used that instead. It worked without having to make any changes. Once the NAS was setup in a RAID10 with a single CIFS share I then moved all the Hyper-V storage to that. I have run into a problem with moving the storage though. I was unable to completely move the VMs because I was getting this error:

VM Storage Move Failure
VM Storage Move Failure

It moves all the storage successfully but doesn’t move the configuration file. I have looked around and couldn’t find a fix for it besides creating a new VM and attaching the moved Virtual HD.

Now that it is all running I have a nice little test environment. Prior to the NAS install I had tested the SCCM update and it went well. I have now updated our SCCM to 2012 R2.

I replaced the RAM in the NAS to bring it up to 4GB. Unfortunately the NAS has an old chipset that only supports 4GB max. This definitely improved the performance though.

Upgrade SCCM 2012 SP1 to SCCM 2012 R2

First thing is to make sure you have a good backup and the backup is working correctly.

Problems: Had to manually reinstall the console Install location > Tools > AdminConsole.msi

Had to disable then re-enable PXE on the Migration Point

Should have uninstalled client on the SCCM server before install.

Had to update Client Installation Settings on the site.