One CM SQL View to Rule them All

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Posted by PaulW on Sat, 09/12/2020 - 12:03am

A few months ago, I learned of a View in the CM database that is basically every column that you can add in the devices node.  Too many times someone wants a report that just lists exactly what they see in the Devices node.  So, this view gives you that without having to do any of those wonderful SQL JOINs we always have so much fun with.

This week in the MMS Tips and Tricks, I decided to show this view, along with using SSMS to filter views.  So lets take a look at the view.

Troubleshooting Desktop Analytics - Part 2

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Posted by PaulW on Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:30pm

A few months ago, I wrote a post about troubleshooting desktop analytics as I had come across an issue getting it set up and the troubleshooting available was little and far between.  After working with an outstanding support representative from Microsoft, we discovered that my issue was rooted in poor group policy decisions that we made 2 years ago related to sending telemetry to Microsoft.  These group policies were rooted in not only machine settings but also user settings.

Troubleshooting Desktop Analytics - Part 1

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Posted by PaulW on Wed, 02/19/2020 - 10:51pm

For some time now, I've been hearing Desktop Analytics will provide some excellent data for your environment to assist with planning and deploying for your next Windows 10 feature update.  And from the demos that I have seen, especially at MMS Jazz Edition, I believe it.  The other thing I've been told multiple times over is that it's easy to set up.  Just a few clicks and then wait a little bit and you have data.  That's awesome!  And I'm sure it is easy to set up, except.......when it isn't easy and doesn't work like it should.

RegKeyToMof - A Bit on How it Works

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Posted by PaulW on Sun, 07/28/2019 - 10:10pm

I'd been using RegKeyToMof for the first time in a while in the last few months and thought some of us may want a deeper dive into how it works.  I'm not going to cover directly on how to use it as Garth has covered that quite well over here:

This post will be more on what it is doing.  Hope you find it useful or interesting.

Compare AD Computers to CM Computers

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Posted by PaulW on Sat, 06/29/2019 - 04:00pm

It comes up all the time when I want to know if anything in AD is not listed in CM and has a client, etc.  If you work for an organization that is blessed with having excellent asset management, you could compare CM directly against your CMDB.  But, everyone is not this blessed as it turns out.  And reality being, you really should compare everything in AD to everything in CM.  If its a domain joined computer, you'll probably want to know if it is or is not being managed by CM.

Number Your Task Sequence Steps

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Posted by PaulW on Tue, 06/25/2019 - 10:45pm

On several occasions at the local user group and at MMS, I have heard the discussion about wanting to have numbers in the task sequence steps that corresponds to the execution steps reported in the smsts.log file and those reported back to the ConfigMgr database (these are both the same numbering of course).  There is also a user voice that exists for this very item and has been there for quite some time.

An animation of a sample TS getting numbered

OSD Gather.vbs Script - Help Replace MDT!

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Posted by PaulW on Tue, 02/26/2019 - 10:36pm

Its seems that getting away from Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) has been all the buzz lately.  And really, for many of us, there is good reason to leave it behind.  Garytown recently posted a great article about getting off of MDT, and the goods and bads of having it.

Here is my own version of a custom Gather script to handle this payload in VBScript.

Architecture = X64
IsOnBattery = True
Model = Surface Book 2
Vendor = Microsoft Corporation
Make = Microsoft Corporation
IsVM = False
VMPlatform = 
Memory = 16308
Product = Surface Book 2
SerialNumber = 002123456789
BIOSVersion = 389.2370.769
..................and more..................

Post Upgrade Task Sequence Payload to User

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Posted by PaulW on Wed, 02/13/2019 - 06:53pm

For part of our upgrade process, we decided that we wanted to give users the opportunity to complete a survey to give us their feedback on the upgrade process.  We thought of an email but, figured that would be just as well ignored as any other bulk email.  So, I thought we could just dump something in the run once, or startup for the user that initiated the upgrade.  So, the first thing I needed to do was capture the user to a task sequence variable.  Sounds easy but, remember, the task sequence runs as system.

Quickly Compare User’s AD Group Membership in PowerShell

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Posted by PaulW on Sun, 02/10/2019 - 11:22pm

Often I get access requests, especially for new employees, for setting up someone’s network permissions like Dan's in the marketing department.  Dan is new to the Marketing team and his manager wants his account set up like Paul's account.  So, normally, I would do a side by side comparison in ADUC and then fill in the gaps.  That sounds a little tedious.  So, I wrote a quick function to compare groups and output those that are common between each and unique to each.  Here is a sample of the output from the function: