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Speaker at Community Days

8:04 pm in Uncategorized by nsienaert

Hi all,

Next month the sixth edition of Community Day 2012 will take place in Utopolis Mechelen, Belguim on Thursday 21st of June.

17 user groups are working together to bring you a full day of sessions for both the Developer and IT-Pro community!

6 paralles tracks, more than 40 sessions, already over 400 registrations and still counting! 

This is a great opportunity to increase your knowledge and to network with your peers.

I will present a session talking about System Center 2012 and how it deals with challenges like Cloud, BYOD and Windows 8.

As Getronics is Gold Sponsor we will have booth where we will demonstrate some System Center Private Cloud concepts.

Don’t miss it! Register your free spot now.

Click here to download the Outlook Calendar file (*.ics) to save the date in your agenda!

See you there!

Nico Sienaert (twitter: @nsienaert)

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Day!

6:51 am in Uncategorized by nsienaert


Hello everyone!


Besides the preparations for Community Day and Best of MMS, is preparing another great event for you.

We will organize a Configuration Manager Day, a day full of deep dive ConfigMgr content.

As we are still in the middle of preparing the event not much can be communicated yet,

only the following:

– Put the 4th of July in your agenda

– The complete team will be available delivering content and answering your System Center questions

– and oh yeah… Wally Mead is coming as well.

So no kidding, the rising star of the ConfigMgr Product Team will be on the scene.

Stay tuned for more details like location and agenda!


See you there!


If you haven’t registered yet for Community Day or Best of MMS, do it now!


Nico Sienaert


SCORCH Runbooks not visible in Service Manager 2012

10:26 am in Uncategorized by nsienaert

Hi there!

For those that are already testing with Service Manager 2012. It might be possible that you run into the following behaviour.

I noticed that my Orchestrator Runbooks did not show up in Service Manager.

My SCORCH connector in Service Manager was setup correctly and when syncrhonizing I saw a successful entry in Service Manager but in fact nothing happened.

The reason of this behaviour is that the Orchestrator Console is refreshing every 10 minutes.

Flushing the cache of the Orchestrator database can speed this up.

TRUNCATE TABLE[Microsoft.SystemCenter.Orchestrator.Internal].AuthorizationCache

Till next time!


Nico Sienaert


Error when installing Service Manager 2012

8:22 pm in Uncategorized by nsienaert

Hi there!

When installing the latest release of Service Manager I bumped on an odd issue during the installation. Almost at the end of the installation I received following error and a rollback of my installation happened.

Error: “the upgrade has failed before permanent modifications were made…”

Just to be clear, I’m not upgrading this is just a fresh installs so not a real helpful error.


When investigating the SCCMInstall log file (which is located under %temp%) with my favorite CMTrace tool Knipogende emoticon I could see only one red line telling me the MSI 1603 error which isn’t really helpful either.


When analysing the log file more in detail the following was specified:


I decided to reinstall SQL and hey guess what…


Till next time.

Nico Sienaert


Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter

2:41 pm in Uncategorized by nsienaert

Hi there!


The Solution Accelerator team has released recently a new interesting tool, MVMC which is in CTP.

Today the only supported way to convert VMDK files to VHD files was using System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

Nothing wrong with that but as we all will massively convert our VMDK files to VHD format with Windows 8 Client its Hyper-v role that is coming up, it would be nice to have a lite tool for this isn’t it? Knipogende emoticon

Well that’s exactly when MVMC comes along.

Currenlty it’s a very simple command line tool which will do your conversion, nothing more nothing less.

Command line:

mvmc.exe “<path>\test.vmdk” “<path>\test.vdh” /dyn

The “/dyn” switch is optional if you want to create a dynamic VHD disk instead of a fixed VHD.

Here you have a screenshot of the user experience. You execute the command line and you will see that your VHD will be created.


Some notes you have to be aware of:

– only support of Windows Vista \ Server 2008 and above

– disks up to 150GB are currrently not supported

– Bulk conversion of multiple virtual machines are not supported

– Full machine conversion is unsupported for this release.

For more details, download the tool and read the Release Notes at the Connect site.

Till next time!


Nico Sienaert

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SCCM 2012 Offline Event @ Microsoft Belgium

11:16 am in Uncategorized by nsienaert

Hi There!

On Thursday March 22 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (GMT+0100) SCUG organizes an SCCM 2012 “offline” event in the Microsoft premises at Zaventem, Belgium


Kenny Buntinx: Package Conversion Manager

Nico Sienaert: What’s new on OS Deployment?


Pizza will be foreseen.

Hope to see you all there!

Nico Sienaert


SCCM 2012: 10 troubleshooting tricks and other tips

8:08 am in Uncategorized by nsienaert

Hi There,

Now RC is out for a few weeks, it’s time to share some experience.

1. Did you know that you cannot deploy a Task Sequence when using the Configuration Manager Client Agent Package that is created during setup?

The reference to the default client agent package is not valid in a task sequence.

You have to create a new package.

2. If you want to deploy Client Settings you can find the ADM files on your installation media: SMSSetup\Tools\ConfigMgrADMTemplates. Yes ADM files, no ADMX but there are tools to convert. I haven’t tested yet for these kind of policies.

3. How do Deployment Types get evaluated?

The deployment types will be evaluated by priority. By default this is the order when they are created but you can change that. The evaluation happens top down until a DT is found that meets the requirements and that moment the process stops.

4. Reports not visible in the ConfigMgr console, message “No items found”. When browsing to the Reports URL the “ConfigMgr_SiteCode” folder is visible but without reports below.

First of all in case of SQL reporting issues you should look into srsrp.log

In this case I found a line:

“The operation you are attempting requires a secure connection (HTTPS). “

This issue occurs when the SRS report server config file specifies that secure connections are required, but the SRS installation itself is not configured for SSL. This can be solved by doing the following:

1. Open the file rsreportserver.config in notepad (%programfiles%\Microsoft SQL Server\INSTANCE\Reporting Services\ReportServer\rsreportserver.config)
2. Find the entry for <add Key=”SecureConnectionLevel”>, the value attribute is most likely set to 2. Change the value to 0.
3. Save and close the file
4. Stop and start the report server service “net stop reportserver”, “net start reportserver”

OR you can enable HTTPS but then you need to reinstall the RSP role.

5.  Did you realize that Dependencies are considered ONLY for install but not for uninstall?

If App A depends on App B. An install deployment of A will install B followed by A. An uninstall deployment of A will uninstall ONLY A and will not try to uninstall B.

6. When deploying an OSD task sequence the deployment option “Run from distribution point” is missing.

The reason for this is that for each package that you want to use for OSD you have to enable them to use a package share. At that time you can “run from DP”. All packages of the appropriate Task Sequence need to have this set before you the “Run from DP” option.

7. In Beta2 there was a setting “this site manages only ConfigMgr 2012 clients”. This check box has been renamed to “Require SHA-256″ and is on the Signing and Encryption tab of the Site Properties dialog box.

8. How to limit package storage to one drive?

During the installation of a DP you can specify a drive letter for package storage. But are you sure only that drive will be used to store packages?

Not really, the single drive will be used until it is full (disk space left of 50mb by default) and then automatically another drive will be found. The only option to avoid this is the good old NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS file as DP Server Shares do not exist anymore.

9. As mentioned in my earlier blogs Global Data and Site data is replicated via SQL Replication. In the ConfigMgr console you have the Monitoring node to troubleshoot Database Replication. The corresponding log file is rcmctrl.log and you might have a chance to see more details in there.

10. Don’t panic if your Software Inventory is blank, it does not mean your inventory does not work. By default the software scanning is not including any files or file types other than with CM07.

– UPDATE and another important one:

There is no way anymore to control the location of the .PCK files. (cf. CM07 Component Configuration\Software Distribution in Site Management). You need to use the SDK if you want to control this.

If you haven’t tried SCCM 2012 yet or you want to test one of the other tools of the System Center 2012 family you can find them here:

Till next time!

Nico Sienaert

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TechNet Livemeeting: Microsoft Deployment Toolkit

8:41 pm in Uncategorized by nsienaert

Hi There!


17th of January at 7.30 pm (GMT + 1) I will present a TechNet LiveMeeting talking about Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012.

ZTI, LTI, UDI, Thin, Thick, Hybrid,… all this image terminology what is it all about?

Do you want to see how MDT can help you with your Windows 7 image approach?

Do you want to know why you might consider this to integrate with SCCM?

Do you want to learn some best practices?

And what about Windows 8?

Long story short, if you want to learn about MDT you cannot miss this session!

You can register here! Hope to meet you there!

Till next time!


Nico Sienaert

MEET180x150    imagesCAIOYXPP


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