[Windows 8] Skip “metro” screen, add a start menu and create a package for sccm 2012

This is a small blog post about extending the functionality of Windows 8. I will be concentrating on adding a start menu and skipping the “metro” screen. At the end of the article I will discuss making this into a package for SCCM.


  1. One machine with Windows 8 installed.
  2. Download Classic Shell.

Getting Organized

  1.  Make a folder in “C:\workingtemp\classic shell” and place your “ClassicShellSetup_3_6_7.exe” in this folder.
    classic shell folder stuff
  2. Now open a command prompt, change directories to classic shell and run the following command. This will extract the msi installer.ClassicShellSetup_3_6_7.exe extract64extracted msi
  3. Now that we have the msi installer, lets start setting up classic shell.

Configure Classic Shell and skip metro screen

  1. Double click your msi in the classic shell folder and install classic shell with the default options.
  2. After the installation is finished you will see your new start button.
    start button active
  3. Now hit your start button that just appeared. A menu called “Settings for Classic Start menu” will appear. Choose your start menu style and click the “All settings” option at the bottom.
    classic shell all settings
  4. Navigate through the tabs and setup the start menu how you would like.
  5. Under the “Windows 8 Settings” tab, ensure that the “Skip Metro Screen” box is checked.
  6. Once you have your start menu setup how you like you are done. Move on to the next section if you would like to save your settings for deployment to other systems.

Retrieving your saved settings (optional)

  • Note: To deploy classic shell with your custom settings, you must do this via registry settings. The “Backup” option in classic shell settings is more geared towards recovery of settings.
  1. Open “regedit” and navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\IvoSoft”. 
  2. Right click on “ClassStartMenu” and click “Export”. Name your export file something like “Classic_Shell_Settings.reg”. Export your registry settings to your “C:\workingtemp\classic shell” folder.
    export reg settings
  3. You should see your registry settings in your classic shell folder now.
    reg saved in folder
  4. Open your registry file and change “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE”. Your file should look like this when you are done.
    saved reg settings
  5. Your settings are now saved correctly and we can move on to build the batch file.

Build the batch file (optional)

  1. Create a new batch file and name it “Install-ClassicShell.cmd”. The objective of this batch file is to install classic shell silently. This will be used later when we package classic shell for sccm.
  2. Insert the following code into your batch file.REM Install Classic Shell
    ClassicShellSetup64_3_6_7.msi /qn START_MENU_FOLDER=0REM Import classic shell reg settings
    reg.exe import “.\classic_shell_settings.reg” /reg:64REM Disable first Logon Animation
    reg.exe add “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon” /v EnableFirstLogonAnimation /d 0 /t REG_DWORD /f
  3. The batch file will install classic shell silently, import your preconfigured settings and disable the windows 8 first logon animation.

Build the package (Optional)

  • Note: I am assuming you already know how to make a package in SCCM.
  1. Transfer your classic shell files to your “Data Source” for your packages.
  2. Open SCCM 2012 and navigate to packages. 
  3. Create a new package and name it. Use your batch file as the “Program”.
  4. Distribute the content and deploy to your appropriate collection.
  5. Test the package on a vanilla windows 8 box. Ensure your settings are being applied to classic shell.
    1. Note: You may have to restart for the settings to be applied.
  6. You should be done.
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Posted by on July 14, 2014 in Uncategorized


Injecting Drivers into a Boot Image

This will be a very quick post on injecting drivers into a boot image in SCCM 2012 R2 SP1.

Couple notes:

1. I’m using SCCM 2012 R2 SP1

2. I’m injecting VMware drivers into an boot image.


Inject drivers to the boot image

1. Open the SCCM console and navigate to drivers.

2. Search for the drivers you want -> select them -> right click -> edit -> boot images.

add drivers

3. A menu will appear called “Add or Remove Drivers to Boot images”. Select the boot image you want to add drivers to via check box. I would also recommend un-checking “Update Distribution points when finished”. Hit ok and let the drivers get added.
add drivers to boot image

4. Navigate to “boot images” in the sccm console -> right click your boot image -> update distribution points. This will take a while.
update distros

5. Hit next a bunch and let the update happen.

6. You should be finished.


Feel free to ask questions\comment, but please do not spam this blog. Its very annoying.

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Posted by on June 17, 2014 in SCCM


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File Server Clustering using Server 2012

NOTE: this is for quick reference for a friend… I CANNOT guarantee that this information is correct


This will be a quick blog post about setting up file server clustering. I will be expanding on another blog post that I found here. I will focus more on setting up storage and testing out clustering. I will be testing my cluster setup on a subnet on my  domain.


  • Set up a test domain. My test domain will be called “nc-net”.
  • One machine running server 2012, set up with ADDS, DNS and DHCP. I Called this “NC-ADDS”.
  • One machine running server 2012, with extra attached storage of 100 GB’s and call this “Nc-Windowsfiler”
  • Two machines running server 2012, called “SMB1” and “SMB2”. These will be our cluster node machines.
  • One machine running windows 8. This will be our client used for testing the cluster.


  • Make a domain administrator account on your test domain. Use this account to setup everything.

Setup Cluster Storage Subnet

  • My test domain “nc-net” will need a subnet for my cluster to talk to each other.
  • I made my cluster storage subnet ip range ->
  • SMB1&2 and NC-windowsFiler are all connected to this subnet with a second NIC.
  • “nc-net” does not have to connect to the internet.

Install ISCSI Target Server feature

  1. On the “NC-WindowsFiler” machine, run “Add roles and features”. In roles add “File and Storage Services” and make sure to select “iSCSI Target server”
    iscsi target server
  2. Finish the installation.

Start the iSCSI initiator on cluster nodes

  1. On SMB1 & 2, start the iSCSI initiator.
    1. Start -> Control panel -> iSCSI intiator -> let the service start.

Configure NC-windowfiler as iSCSI Target server.

  1. On “NC-WindowsFiler” bring your 100GB hard drive online. Call the virtual hard drive “SMBShared” and assign it a drive letter (I used E:).
    bring smbshared online
  2. Navigate to “File and Storage Services” -> iSCSI -> “To create an iSCSI virtual disk, start the New iSCSI Virtual Disk Wizard”.
    iscsi wizard
  3. The “New iSCSI Virtual Disk Wizard” will appear, under “Server:” you should see your “NC-windowsFiler” server. Under storage location choose your “SMBShared” hard drive and hit next.
  4. Assign the new virtual disk you are creating a name like “iscsi virtual disk”.
  5. Assign the virtual disk size.
  6. Assign the iSCSI Target -> new iSCSI Target.
  7. For the iSCSI Target name I used “iscsitarget”. Proceed to allow SMB1 & SMB2 access to this iSCSI Storage.
    1. If one of the SMB’s isnt showing up, you may need to hit “Browse” -> search for computer.
    2. If an SMB still isnt showing up, ensure that the iSCSI initiators have been started on your SMB’s.
  8. Skip Authentication for now. You may set this up later if you want.
  9. Install the iSCSI Target role and you should see this screen when the installation is finished.

Configure iSCSI initiators on cluster nodes

  1. On both SMB’s do the following.
  2. Open the iSCSI initiator.
  3. In the box next to “Target:” enter the iSCSI Target name you just set up (I inputted “iSCSITarget”).
  4. Hit “Quick connect” and a menu called “Quick Connect” will appear. Under “Discovered Targets” you should see your “iqn…iscsiTarget…” and the status should  be connected. Under progress report you should see a “Login Succeeded” notice.

Configure disks on cluster nodes

  1. Do the following on both cluster nodes.
  2. Open computer management -> disk management.
  3. Bring the new offline disk online and initialize it as a GPT partition.
    1. i think once the disk was online, the volume was already configured and called SMBshared.
  4. The disks should now be visible on both servers.

Setup the cluster

Run validation tests

  1. Again do the following for both cluster nodes.
  2. Install the fail over cluster feature.
    1. Add roles -> features -> “fail over clustering”.
  3. Open “Fail over Cluster Manager” and select “Validate Configuration”. Hit next and select your cluster nodes. You can only test one at a time.
    select servers for cluster testign
  4. Run all tests.
  5. The validation test will finish. Make sure there are no errors, though there may be a couple warnings.

Create the cluster

  1. In “Fail over Cluster manager” choose “Create Cluster” from the main menu.
  2. For the “Select servers” step, input both SMB server names as selected servers.
  3. Name the cluster “smbcluster” and assign the cluster an IP address.
  4. Hit next until the end and your cluster should be setup.

Setup Cluster Access Point

  1. In “Fail over Cluster manager”, expand “” and right click on “Roles” -> add role.
  2. Select “File Server” and hit next.
  3. For the “File Server Type”, use “Scale-Out File Server for application data”.
    scale out file server type
  4. Assign a name to the client access point. I used “clusterAP” as my name.
  5. Finish up with the installation.

Enable clients to connect through SAN subnet

  1. In “Failover Cluster manager”, expand “Networks” and open the properties of “Cluster Network 2”.
  2. Check the box “Allow clients to connect through this network”.
    cluster network 2

Setup Cluster Storage

  1. In “Failover Cluster manager”, expand the “Storage” folder and right click “Disks” -> “Add Disk”.
    1. Note: If you get a warning that states “No disks suitable for cluster disks were found. For diagnostic information about disks available to the cluster, use the validate a Configuration wizard to run storage tests” check your configuration\look at the trouble shooting at end of this blog.
  2. A menu will appear named “Add disks to cluster”. Select the available cluster disk and hit “ok”.
    select disk cluster
  3. Choose “Scale Out File server…” for your type of cluster storage.
  4. Set the path for the new shared volume you are creating. The default path should be fine. Just give the share folder a name.
    1. My cluster storage path is “C:\ClusterStorage\Volume1”.
  5. Finish the installation, and your cluster should be set up!

Setup Quorum

  1. Add another disk to your “NC-WindowsFiler” VM. Bring it online and initialize it.
  2. Add this disk to your iSCSI target.
    1. FIle and storage sevices -> iSCSI -> tasks -> New iSCSI virtual disk -> name it “witness”.
  3. Now the disk should appear on your SMB’s. Bring the disk online on both SMB nodes.

Setup Quorum for the cluster

  1. On either SMB do the following (not both):
  2. Open “Failover cluster manager” and right click your cluster name -> “More actions” -> “Configure Cluster Quorum Settings”
    configure quorum start
  3. For the “Select Quorum Configuration Option” menu, select the third option “Advanced Quorum configuration and witness selection” and hit next.
    quorum configure disk witness
  4. For “Select Voting Configuration”, select “All Nodes” and hit “Next”.
    quorum select nodes
  5. Check the box next to, “Allow cluster to dynamically manage the assignment of node votes” and hit next.
    quorum dynamically manage
  6. For “Select Quorum Witness”, select “Configure a disk witness”.
    quorum configure disk witness
  7. For “Configure Storage Witness”, put a check next to “Cluster Disk 2”.
    select disk cluster
  8. HIt next and confirm your installation settings. Install the Quorum when you are ready.
    quorum configured

Openfiler stuff

  • OpenFiler is probably not the best chioce for hosting a iSCSI target.
  • I set up an open filer vm as my iSCSI Target, but ran into problems when I tried to add a disk to the cluster. I kept receiving the error below.
    • “No disks suitable for cluster disks were found. For diagnostic information about disks available to the cluster, use the validate a Configuration wizard to run storage tests”.
  • The only way to fix this is by purchasing the 1000 euro “Advanced iSCSI Target plugin” from their website… nope!

If you have any questions\concerns please feel free to comment. Please no comment spam… I get so much already 😦

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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Uncategorized


Labview 2012 silent installation and activation

This will be a short blog post that covers installing and activating LabView 2012 silently. This was quite the task because LabView silent activation is a nightmare to deal with.


  • This guide will cover installing the 64 bit version of Labview 2012 service pack 1.
  • You will need to have valid licenses from National Instruments. I using a volume license (not on a server). I cannot confirm if this will work without a volume license.
  • To activate silently, you will need to know the “family” name of your Labview product. Labview does not publish the “family” names of its products, or at least I haven’t found any information on their website. There is a way to find out your family name from the temporary license file, which I will cover at the end of the post.


  • Please obtain Labview 2012 with Service pack 1, which can be found in NI Downloads.
  • Please obtain Labview 2012 SP1 “f2” patch, which can be found in NI Downloads.

Organize your installation files

  1. First run the two executable files that you downloaded from NI. These will download some archives from NI for you.
  2. Unzip the Labview 2012 SP1 files into a folder called “Labview 2012”.
  3. Make a folder called “patch f2” inside your “Labview 2012” directory. Your “Labview 2012” directory should look like this.
    folder structure

Setup your batch file

Labview’s installer is very similar to an msi. Many msi commands can be used on Labview’s installer.

  1. First make a batch file called “install_labview.cmd” and place this in your “Labview 2012” folder.
  2. Edit the batch file and add the following lines. Basically this will install Labview 2012 SP1 silently.

REM Install labview 2012 silent
setup.exe /qn /AcceptLicenses yes /r:n

REM Install Patch

".\patch f2\setup.exe" /qn /AcceptLicenses yes

REM Post-install Licensing
"C:\Program Files (x86)\National Instruments\Shared\License Manager\Bin\nilmUtil.exe" -family "LabVIEW_ADE_120001" -serialnumber "X##X#####" -firstname "Department Of Chemistry" -lastname "chemistry" -organizationname "The Ohio State University" -s

  • Note: “/AcceptLicenses” is for Microsoft Silverlight and other third party software. This is not dealing with Labview licensing.

Labview Licensing

Labview uses an application called “nilmUtil.exe”(included) to license its products. More information on this can be found in the Automating Activation section of NI websiteTo use nilmUtil.exe for silent licensing, you need to include 5 pieces of information. Modify your batch file licensing section with the following information.

  • The family name of the Labview product
  • serial number (you get from NI)
  • first and last name
  • organization name
  • silent switch

Troubleshooting licensing problems

After the installation, if Labview states that its in “Evaluation mode”, then the silent activation failed.This is most likely due to the “family” name being wrong in some way.Below you can see that the naming conventions for the “family name” are very product/update specific:

  • “Labview 2012” uses the famiy name  “LabVIEW_ADE_120000”
  • “Labview 2012 with SP1” uses the family name “LabVIEW_ADE_120001”

If you are having trouble with finding your family name, please look at the next section or contact NI support.

Determining your Labview product family name.

Note: I have only tested this technique on Labview 2012. I cannot guarantee that this will work for all Labview products.

  1. To determine your family name, you must do a manual installation of your Labview software.
  2. After the manual installation is finished, we can look at the temporary license file that has been given to your system.
  3. Navigate to “C:\ProgramData\National Instruments\License Manager\Licenses” and you should see a file(s) that are named something like “”.
  4. Open the license file in notepad and you should see something that looks like this.
    THIS_HOST ANY 27000 VENDOR nilm PACKAGE LabVIEW_FDS_PKG nilm 12.0001 COMPONENTS="LabVIEW_Core \ LabVIEW_Base LabVIEW_Full LabVIEW_FDS LabVIEW_Math:8.0601 \ LabVIEW_LabVIEW:7.0100 NIDAQ_DAQAssistant:7.0000" \ SIGN=72AB456ACG12C
    INCREMENT LabVIEW_FDS_PKG nilm 12.0001 1-jan-1900 uncounted \ HOSTID=DEMO vendor_info="VERSION_STRING=2012 SP1 VISIBLETO64 \ FAMILY=LabVIEW_ADE_120001 TYPE=Application LABEL=Full \ Development System \ URL=" TS_OK \ SIGN=8DSLA13233DA
  5. Looking through the license file, you should find a option called “Family= LabVIEW_blah_blah”. This is the family name of the product you are trying to license. Insert this family name into the licensing section “family” switch in our batch file. Rerun the installation and your product should activate silently.
  6. IF this section did not help you, please contact NI support. I can help no further.
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Posted by on April 30, 2013 in Uncategorized


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SCCM 2012 – Importing Drivers and Making Driver Packages

This is a quick post about making driver packages in SCCM 2012. When making driver packages, organization is key.

Folder Layout

  1. Your default folder layout for SCCM should look something like this, \\Sccm\source$. The “source” folder should contain all of your information such as software packages, drivers and updates.
  2. Make two folders in your source directory, one called “driversource” and the other called “driverpackages”. In the end it will look like this (ignore the other folders for now).
    folder layout

Driver Source

  1. Your “driversource” folder should contain a folder for each operating system you plan to use.
    driver source
  2. Lets act like we are using a win7 machine. Inside the “Win7” folder you should have a folder for each machine that will need drivers.
    driver source win7
  3. Today we will be using the “Optiplex 960” or Opti960. Make a folder and call it “opti960”. Make two subfolders for named “x64” and “x86”.
    opti960 folder settings
  4. Alright in our “x64” folder, there should be a folder for each driver to be installed. All audio drivers should be inside a folder called “audio”, chipset drivers in a “chipset”…etc. It should look something like this.
    opti960 driver source
  5. Try and keep these folders organized, if you do not, you may have to completely re-make this driver source folder in the future.

Driver Package

  1. Most of the work for this is done in SCCM. The only thing we have to do is create a folder for our “opti960” computer. Make a subfolder in \\sccm\source$\driverpackages called “opti960 Win7”.
    driver packages

Import Drivers and make driver packages

  1. Open “Software Library” and expand the “Operating Systems Folder”. Right click on “Drivers” and click “Import Driver”.
  2. A menu named “Import New Driver Wizard” will appear. Input the source folder of the driver your trying to import.
    opti960 import
  3. Note: This step is very important, ensure you make a category for each type of computer! At the bottom of the “Driver Details” menu, click the “Categories…” button. This will pop a small menu named “Manage Administrative Categories”, click the “Create” button. Specify the name of your new driver, and go to the next step.
  4. At the bottom of the “Add Driver to Packages” menu, click the “New Package” button. In the menu that appears, assign the driver package a name and path to driver package.
  5. Hit next and the import will start.
  6. The wizard will look like this is it completed successfully.
  7. Now navigate to your \\sccm\source$\driverpackages\opti960 Win7 folder. Your folder should look something like this.
    final driverpackage look
  8. You should be done!

Please leave any questions, concerns or problems!


Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Uncategorized


[Step-by-Step] Migrating SCCM 2007 to SCCM 2012

This post will concentrate on migrating Systems Center Configuration Manager 2007 to SCCM 2012. Since SCCM 2007 cannot do a in-place upgrade, Microsoft has provided a great migration tool, which I will be using for this post.


  • Our SCCM 2007 site server is named “sccm2007-server” and our SCCM 2012 site server is named “sccm2012-server”.

Configure SQL

  1. Connect to your sccm2012-server VM and open “Windows Firewall settings”.
  2. Turn off your firewall.
    turn firewall off
  3. Open “Sql Server Configuration Manager” and click on the drop down box for “SQL Server Network Configuration”. For the “Protocols for MSSQLSERVER” option, enable “TCP/IP”.
  4. Input the sccm2012-server ip address and “1433” for the “TCP Port”.
    configure tcpip

Configure Firewall Rules

  1. Open “Windows Firewall with Advanced Security” on your sccm2007-server.
  2. Right click on “Inbound Rules” and select “New Rule…”.
  3. A menu will be thrown called “New Inbound Rule Wizard”. Choose “Custom” for the rule type to be made and hit “Next”.
  4. The next menu will be called “Program”, leave the values to default and hit “Next”.
  5. The next menu will be called “Protocol and Ports”, leave the values to default and hit “Next”.
  6. The next menu will be called “Scope”. Under the second section in this menu, select “These IP addresses:”. Click the “Add” button that appears on the right and a new menu will open. Under “This IP address or subnet:” input the IP address of your sccm2012-server. Hit “Ok” and “Next when finished.
  7. The next menu will be called “Action”, leave the values to default and hit “Next”.
  8. The next menu will be called “Profile”, leave the values to default and hit “Next”.
  9. The next menu will be called “Name”, give the rule a name like “sccm2007-server to sccm2012-server” and hit “Finish”.
  10. Repeat these steps on the sccm2012-server. For Step 6, be sure to add the IP address of the sccm2007-server.
  11. In the end your firewall rules, for both servers will look like this.

Specify Source Hierarchy

  1. On your sccm2012-server open “Systems Center 2012 Configuration Manager” and click on “Administration”.
  2. Expand “Migration” and click “Source Hierarchy”. The top main menu will change. Choose the “Specify Source Hierarchy” option.
  3. This will throw a menu called “Specify Source Hierarchy”. Enter your sccm2007-server name followed by your domain in the box under “Top-level Configuration Manager 2007 site server:”.
  4. In the drop down menu called “Set…”, next to “User Account:”, click “New Account”.
  5. This will bring up a new menu called “Windows User Account”. Input a user account that has read access to the sccm SQL database.
  6. Hit “Verify >>” and the menu will be expanded. In the expanded section you will see a button called “Test Connection”. Press this button when all of your information is correctly inputted.
  7. If the connection was successful, a menu will pop up stating “The connection was successfully verified”.
  8. When everything is set up hit “Ok” and you should be done specifying the Source Hierarchy.
  9. A menu called “Data Gathering Status” will pop up. This will automatically collect data from the sccm site.

  10. When its complete, the source properties will be updated in the SCCM operations console.

Create a Migration Job

  1. Navigate to “Migrate” under Migrate and click on “Create Migration Job”.
  2. A menu will appear, name the MIgration job, set the “Job Type” and give it a description(optional).
  3. The next menu will allow you to choose the objects to be migrated. Hit “Next” when you are done with your selection.
  4. The next step will ask you to assign the website you are migrating to.
  5. The next step lets us set the “Security scope”. I’ve checked default and hit next.
  6. The next step will allow you to review you migration settings, hit next.
  7. The next screen will allow you to set the time when the migration will happen. Set the Migration to “Overwrite all objects”.
  8. The next step will ask you to “Confirm your Settings”, double check them and hit next.
  9. Hit next and the migration will begin and finish (rather quickly for me). You will see a “Successful migration screen”. Hit “Close” to finish.
  10. Navigate to “Migration Jobs” once again and you will see the migration running.
  11. When the migration finishes, you should be done!

Please leave any questions, comments or concerns!

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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


Install Dell MD Storage vCenter Plug-in

This blog post is about integrating vCenter with your Dell PowerVault storage array. This particular software enables storage system management and configuration avoiding having to flip back and forth from MD Storage Manger (array management software for MD storage arrays). This is a relatively painless process that doesn’t take long to setup.

Getting Started

Create a Service Account

Note: We have an Organizational Unit called “Service Accounts” that handles these type of accounts.

  1. Open Active Directory and navigate to your “Service Account” OU (or where ever you would like to make the account). Right Click the folder -> “New” -> “User”.
  2. Name the new user something like “service-dell_utils” and give the user a password.

Starting the Installation

  1. Open the  “dell-utils” VM and navigate to the plug-in installer (vcenterInstaller.exe).
  2. InstallAnywhere will start and finish. The vCenter Plugin main screen will appear. Select your language and hit “ok”.
  3. The introduction screen will appear, hit “Next”.
  4. The Copyright Statement will appear, hit “Next”
  5. Accept the terms and agreements and hit “Next”.
  6. A menu named “Pre-Installation Summary” will appear, confirm your settings and hit “Next”.
  7. A window will appear during the installation named “VMware ESX Provider”. This will inform you that a “VMware ESX Provider” has been deployed to your program files. This application will have to be manually installed on your ESX\ESXi Server to support SAS capabilities. Ignore this if using iSCSI.
  8. The Setup will finish. A menu will appear named “Enter the SSL and Non SSL Jetty Port Numbers”. Leave these values to default and hit “Next”.
  9. The next menu will ask you to enter the IP Address of the server that you are installing the plugin on. Input the IP address of your dell-utils VM and hit “Next”.
  10. The next menu will ask you to enter the IP Address of your vCenter server. Input the IP address in the box and hit “Next”
  11. The next step will ask for the administrative login to your vCenter server. Input the “service-dell_utils” account credentials.

Enable the Plug-In

  1. Open your vCenter Client and navigate to “Plug-ins” -> “Add Plugin”. Right click the “Dell MD Storage Array” item and choose “Enable”.
  2. Now that the plugin is enabled, navigate to “Home” and you will see your plugin under “Solutions and Applications”
  3. Click on the plugin icon and this should bring you to a screen that states “User is not authorized to use this plug-in”.

Configure Administrative Permissions

  1. Under the “View” tab, expand “Administration” and click on “Roles”.
  2. Click “Add Role” in the upper left. A menu will appear. Give the new role a title like “Storage Administrator”. Under Privileges, expand “Storage Administrator” and uncheck “Read Only”.
  3. Navigate to “Hosts and Clusters”, right click on the top “vCenter” cluster and hit “Add Permissions”.
  4. A menu called “Assign Permissions” will appear. On the right under “Assigned Role”, choose “Storage Administrator” in the drop down box.

Now you are ready to configure a Dell MD Storage Array.

Any Questions or comments, please feel free to comment!

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Posted by on December 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


Deploy Configuration Manager 2012 Client Using a Startup Script

This post is about deploying the Configuration Manager 2012 client using a startup script. This is a heavily modified script of the original made by Jason Sandy which can be found here.


  • The script and xml readme can be found here.

New Features

  • For Windows XP and 2003 machines, the certificate auto-enrollment legacy hotfix (KB968730) can now be installed by the script. New options are defined in the xml file for the legacy hotfix.
  • Input arguments are more flexible.
  • Logs can be copied to a central share.
  • Additional SCCM client arguments can now be specified in the XML.
  • CU’s now scan and install properly according to architecture.

What does it do?

  • The script will:
    • Install the SCCM 2012 client.
    • Maintain the health of the SCCM client.
    • Install Client hotfixes.
    • Install certificate enrollment hotfixes.
  • This script does not fix WMI problems at this time. That’s a feature we’re still working on.

How do I use it?

  • Make a Group Policy Object in the OU of your choice, name it “Deploy SCCM Client”. In the GPO under “Startup” scripts assign:
  • For name: Enter the path of where your script is stored plus the script name.
  • For parameters: Enter “/config:” and the path to the xml file.
    GPO settings

XML Options

See the github readme for additional options available in this version of the script.


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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


Secunia CSI 5 Integration with SCCM 2012

This post will be about integrating Secunia CSI 5 with SCCM 2012. Secunia CSI when integrated, will help automate patch detection and installation.


  1.  A SCCM Site Server with the Software Update Point role installed.
  2. Download Secunia CSI 5.

Install Secunia CSI 5

  1. Connect to your SCCM VM.
  2. Double click the installation file you received from Secunia. The first page of the installation will appear.
  3. Accept the license agreement.
  4. Choose install location and hit “Install”.
  5. The installation will finish.
  6. A menu will appear asking “Would you like to launch Secunia CSI now?”, hit “Yes”.

Configuring Secunia

  1. Login into Secunia using the Username and password they sent you. The main screen will appear after the login.
  2. Expand the “Patch” section on the left. Click on “WSUS Configuration”, then click on “Configure Upstream Sever”.
  3. A menu named “CSI WSUS Configuration Wizard” will appear. Enter the name of your WSUS Server, then enter the WSUS server port number(this may vary depending on your settings). If you have WSUS configured to accept SSL connections check the box next to “Use SSL Connection”. Hit the “Connect” button below, and if the connection was successful you will see a box with a green check in it. Hit “Next”.
  4. For the next step click “Automatically create and install certificate”. This will(should) put “WSUS Self Signed Certificates” in your “Trusted Root Certificates” and “Trusted Publishers” stores. A green check box will display when the certificates are successfully installed.
  5. Open the Certificates manager on the local computer. There should be a “WSUS Publishers Self-signed” Certificate in the stores of “Trusted Root” and “Trusted Publishers”.

  6. Export this self signed certificate in “Base-64 encoding” for future use.
  7. For “Step 3” in the “WSUS Configuration Wizard”, choose “Use SCCM to Distribute packages” and hit the “Close” button. We will configure Group Policy manually.

Group Policy for Secunia

  1. Open “Group Policy Management”. Decide where you would like to store your GPO. Right click on the folder location you chose and click “Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here…”.
  2. A menu named “New GPO” will appear. Give the GPO a name and select “none” for “Source Starter GPO”. Hit “OK” when your finished.
  3. The GPO will be created. Right click on your new GPO and hit “Edit”.
  4. Under “Computer Configuration” expand “Policies” —> “Administrative Templates” —> “Windows Components” and click on the “Windows update” folder.
  5. Edit the last option named “Allow signed updates from an intranet Microsoft update service location”. A   menu will pop up, select “Enabled” and hit “Apply” + “Ok”.
  6. Un-expand all menus on the left hand side.
  7. Expand “Computer Configuration” —> “Policies” —> “Windows Settings” —> “Public Key Policies”. Import the Certificate that you exported in the last section to the “Trusted Root and Trusted Publishers” stores.

  8. The GPO should now be setup correctly.

Please leave any comments, questions or concerns!

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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in SCCM, Secunia CSI 5


Updating Mercurial

This is a small post about updating a server that hosts a Mercurial Repository.

Get the Installation File

  • Navigate to the Mercurial Download page.
  • Click and download the “Mercurial 2.1 Python 2.6 package – x64 Windows” option.
  • Put this file on a network folder so you can access it once you open your Mercurial server.

Installing the Mercurial update

  • Open your Mercurial server and close the Mercurial Overlay Icon.
  • Open the Network folder that contains your Mercurial update install.
  • Start the installation.
  • Hit next until finished and you are done.
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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Uncategorized