You are browsing the archive for 2011 November.

SCCM 2012 RC the features that I like

4:03 pm in Uncategorized by nsienaert


Hi There,

It’s clear that SCCM 2012 has a bunch of new features and improvments on board. Don’t know if anyone found some time to make the list but what I know is that the list will be long, very long.

After testing a while the RC version following improvements make me very happy. (so this is personal of course Knipogende emoticon)

A lot of cool stuff on Client Settings side:

– Suspend Bitlocker PIN on restart.

How cool is that. I know quite some customers that didn’t want the Bitlocker PIN because of application installs that need a reboot. With this setting they don’t have to bother anymore.

– No escape anymore. Set Execution policy for Powershell

– Set install permissions (all users, no users, only admins, only admins & primary users)

– Configure firewall settings for remote control

Discovery methods:

With CM07 I was always confused with “System Group Discovery” and “Security Group Discovery”. Probably I was not the only one, as they changed it now.

With RC “System Group” is removed and “Security Group” is renamd to “Group Discovery”.

So now it’s clear with “Group Discovery” you discover groups and membership of these groups.

AD Forest/Group/System/User Discovery, sounds more obvious to me.

Delta Discovery:

Introduced in CM07 R3, cool feature but quite annoying that it only worked for new resources in AD. In Beta2 there were already some impromvents in RC it rocks!

delta discovery


  • Auto Remediation in DCM is very nice but with RC DCM respects Maintenance Windows. NICE
  • Client health state is from now live data instead of summarized data.
  • Our favorite tool to read logs (I know some prefer Notepad… WallyGlimlach) is now part of the installation so you don’t need to install a toolkit. It’s also renamed into “cmtrace”. You can find it in the Installation Directory under “Tools”.
  • Simulate Application deployments, called preflight. Very nice to analyze your application deployment type behaviour without installing anything.

          CAUTION: A simulated deployments counts as a real one which prevents a real  

          deployment being targeted to the same collection as a simulation is targeted.


Till next time!

Nico Sienaert


Use DaRT RemoteViewer to monitor your OSD Deployments

8:26 am in Uncategorized by nsienaert

Hi There!

Last week I presented a Technet Livemeeting talking about DaRT 7.0.

For people that missed it you can find the recording HERE.

During the presentation we talked about tHe new DaRT feature, Remote Connection and how we can use the involved files to monitor OSD Deployments.

The Remote Connection tool works with the DaRT Remote Viewer tool where the ticketnumber of the remote sessions, IP address and port needs to be provided to establish the remote RDP connection.

Remote Viewer tool:

Dart OSD 4

As in quite some circumstances IT people are not available “on the other side” to communicate the appropriate info to the IT Admin that wants to establish the remote connection. I have created a script that automates this process. Without the script the RDP connection will stay in a pending state as showed in the picture below until someone fills in the info in the Remote Viewer tool.

Dart OSD 2

So what is the script doing exactly? Well quite simple…

– it will look into inv32.xml to find the IP Address, Port and TicketNumber of the remote   session.

– it will create a batch file on a central store with the necessary parameters:

ex.: DartRemoteViewer.exe -ticket=361-970-210 -IPaddress= -port=3388

Make sure following files are in the central store:

Dart osd 3

-If you as admin want to remote view, just hit the batch file and the connection will be established.

Dart osd 5

If some stuff is not clear, please check the recording first.

The script:


‘ NAME: Automate Remote Monitoring (DaRT)

‘ AUTHOR: Nico Sienaert,
‘ DATE  : 20/09/2011


‘Map network drive

Set objNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
strDriveLetter = "M:"
strHomeServer = "\\<SERVER>\DaRT_Remote$"
strusername = "<domain>\<account>"
strPassword = "<password>"
strprofile = "false"
objNetwork.MapNetworkDrive strDriveLetter, strHomeServer, strprofile, strUsername, strPassword

Set oFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
sFile = "X:\windows\system32\inv32.xml"
If oFSO.FileExists(sFile) Then 
        Set oFile = oFSO.OpenTextFile(sFile, 1)  
        Do While Not oFile.AtEndOfStream   
        sText = oFile.ReadLine    
                If Trim(sText) <> "" Then     
                ‘Find Session ID
                strfindID = InStr(sText, "ID=")
                strfindID1 = strfindID + 4
                strtofindID = Mid(sText,strfindID1,11)
                ‘Find Port
                strfindPort = InStr(sText, "P=")
                strfindPort1 = strfindPort + 3
                strtofindPort = Mid(sText,strfindPort1,4)
                ‘Find IP Address
                strcomputer = "."
                Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:" _
                & "{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
                Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery _ 
                ("Select * From Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration Where IPEnabled = True")  
                strCount = 1
                            For Each objitem in colItems
                              If strCount = 1 Then
                                  stripaddress = objitem.IPAddress(0)
                                    ‘Create Batch File
                                    Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
                                    ‘Open write stream
                                    Set outFile = objFSO.CreateTextFile("M:\"& strtofindid &".cmd", True)
                                    ‘Write each command line
                                    outFile.WriteLine "DartRemoteViewer.exe" & " " & "-ticket=" & strtofindid & " " & "-IPaddress=" & stripaddress & " " & "-port=" & strtofindport
                                    ‘Close write stream
                             End If

                End If  




‘WScript.Echo "The file was not there."

End If

Till next time!

Nico Sienaert


Package Conversion Manager

7:53 am in Uncategorized by nsienaert

Hi there!

As I explained already in my previous posts deploying MSI software is really they way to go in SCCM 2012. Also, Packages (with their program(s)) like we know them with SCCM 2007 are not the prefered way anymore since there is the new Application model in SCCM 2012.

As I explained in my Migration posts you can still migrate such Packages, so yes SCCM 2012 does still support them. But to get benefit of the new Application model and to get control of your complete Application Life Cycle management it’s strongly recommended to move away from Packages.

Well, to help you with this Microsoft created Package Conversion Manager (PCM) to convert such Packages into Applications. PCM integrates seamlessly with SCCM 2012 and is available since last week on Connect.

Chris Adams wrote some great high level blogs about PCM, explaining:

The look and feel in the SCCM Console

Automatic Conversion

“Manual” Conversion (Fix & Convert)

Till next time!

Nico Sienaert


MDOP IT Pro Event

7:28 pm in Uncategorized by nsienaert


Hi there!

Microsoft is organizing an MDOP IT Pro Event. I will be one of the speakers.

If you want a showcase of some MDOP tooling register now.



Hope to see you there!

Nico Sienaert