Windows 10 Must-have Customizations

I’ve performed a number of Windows 10 Deployment projects, and have compiled this handy list of must-have customizations that I deploy at build time using SCCM, or that I bake into the image when capturing it.

Hope it helps, and I’ll keep updating it as I find more good things to tweak.

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SCCM v Intune Showdown

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If you’re an SCCM Administrator you’ve likely heard of InTune and might be wondering when to use it.

In this post, we’ll cover how SCCM and Intune are able to manage Windows 10 full desktop computers (including laptops and Windows tablets like the Surface or Surface book.)

If instead you’re wondering about managing the Surface RT, lol, enjoy your metro cutting board.

Best use for a Surface RT in 2016

To understand where InTune really shines, let’s think of where SCCM works best:

  • known and defined network infrastructure
  • well connected end-point devices (less of an issue today)
  • standardized hardware models
  • standardized, company owned hardware
  • Active Directory Domain (all SCCM servers must be domain members)
  • Managed machines are either domain joined, or need certificates (certs =PKI =Even more infrastructure and configuration)
  • Wonderfully powerful imaging capabilities

It becomes pretty obvious, SCCM is for the big enterprise,  which its also expensive and has some serious requirements.

Now, let’s contrast this to the management story we have from Intune:

  • No requirement for local hardware or infrastructure
  • No on premises Active Directory requirement
  • Works very well with Azure AD
  • Works great with user owned and heterogeneous devices
  • Literally zero imaging options

For the rest of this post, I’ll list the big capabilities of an Enterprise Client Management tool and contrast how each of these tools perform at that task, we’ll cover: Continue reading

SCCM 1602 Query – All Online Machines

Quickpost: SCCM 1602 Query – All Online Machines

With the Advent of client activity indicators in SCCM 1606:

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We can now see which machines are online at a given time.  I love these green checkboxes.

I thought it would be cool to try to make a collection of only currently online machines.  So, into the query editor we go!  We’ll add a new query rule, and then use the wizard to add a new value.  This is all that you need to grab only the currently online systems.

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This collection works VERY well for Incremental Updates.  However, Scheduled Updates don’t make much sense

And the end result:

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They’re all online!  So green!

 

SCCM 1602 – Unable to upgrade client solved

This was a bit tricky!  We completed an SCCM upgrade for one customer from SCCM 1511 to 1602, and made use of the nice pre-production client validation feature.

This allows you to specify a collection of test systems to receive the new SCCM client, for you to validate in your environment.

After a few days of validation, we were ready to pull the trigger and upgrade everyone. This is done under Administration \ Cloud Services \ Updates and Servicing \ Client Update Options.  However, when we tried to do this, it was grayed out!

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Root Cause

Before trying to upgrade the client, I thought we should un-check the pre-production Collection box in Hierarchy Settings.  This is done in Administration \ Sites\ Hierarchy Settings.

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Don’t do this!  If you uncheck this box, the SCCM ui will detect it, and gray out the SCCM won’t display the UX we need to promote the SCCM client to production.

Fix

Make sure that you check the Pre-production client box.  If this isn’t checked, SCCM doesn’t know to show you the UI for upgrading the client across production!

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Once this is done, you can go to Updates and Servicing, and click Client Update Options.

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Complete this UI and SCCM will automatically uncheck the pre-production client for you as well.  Thanks SCCM!

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SCCM 1511 Upgrade Hangs Fix

Recently for a customer, we ran into an issue in which the SCCM 1511 upgrade was hanging at the following screen.

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Backing up files for upgrade

If we open the SCCM install log file on the primary site, found at C:\ConfigMgrSetup.log, we will see the following message:

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Notifying Site Component Manager of Site Shutdown

This step should only take a few minutes to complete, if you’ve waited a while, like 20 minutes for us–then go ahead and help SCCM out.

It’s trying to kill the SMS Component Manager service, and the SMS Exec service. If you’ve got a complex environment, it can take a long time to complete this step. Go ahead and stop the services manually using the task manager.

If this doesn’t work (it didn’t work for me, the services hung at ‘stopping’), you can use powershell to kill the service instead.

From the Task manager, look at the process ID for your SMS component manager service, and then run

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Stop-Process -ID SMSExecID,SMS_SITE_COMPONENT_MGRID

And your install should proceed with no issues!