IT Consultant Everyday Notes

Just some problems/solutions storage

SCCM 2012 R2: How to install a test environment with one command?

Roger Zander posted a manual of one command unattended installation of a fully functioning SCCM 2012 R2 Primary site. Cool!

Windows Phone: How to upgrade your Windows Phone to 8.1

Attending WPC 2014 (Washington) I learnt a method to upgrade your Windows 8 phone to the latest 8.1 (currently Dev Preview)

 

Step by step is here

Notes from TechEd 2014

I am back from TechEd 2014, it was in Houston this year. It was more people comparing to MMS, less sessions directly related to System Center, but still enough interesting content.

Here are my notes from the sessions:

Pre-Conference Session with Johan and Kent:

SCCM management – built-in management does not always work; it is recommended to use SQL backup and index rebuild procedures – more here: http://ola.hallengren.com/sql-server-index-and-statistics-maintenance.html 

It is recommended to create a separate DB for maintenance first instead of using MASTER (default)

Microsoft RTM’ed SCCM Client Support Center http://blogs.technet.com/b/configmgrteam/archive/2014/05/06/system-center-2012-configuration-manager-support-center-tool-has-been-released.aspx – the tool can be used for Client-side troubleshooting and collecting data for analyzing either with a special viewer or to send to MS

New SCCM Toolkit for 2012 R2 includes (with other tools)

- Library Explorer to browse Single Store Content Library to understand where the files are located

- Distribution Point Queue Manager to troubleshoot content distribution

Other tools

CoreTech Package Source Changer – http://blog.coretech.dk/jgs/coretech-package-source-changer/      Can be used during migration if sources are located on local drives and need to be changed to UNC

SCCM Client Network Traffic Estimator: http://blogs.technet.com/b/manageabilityguys/archive/2013/04/22/system-center-2012-configuration-manager-client-network-traffic-estimates-series-part-1-of-3.aspx

Kent’s SCCM SQL recommendation: http://blog.coretech.dk/kea/system-center-2012-configuration-manager-sql-recommendations/

 

Advices from MVPs:

1. Give generic names to folders (they are visible to everybody), limit visibility using security scopes

2. Use MDT to create a reference image. Benefits;

- quicker

- more universal (no SCCM Client installed), can be used for SCVMM, VDI etc..

- MDT installs apps as Administrator, so the Administrator profile will be created and CopyProfile feature can be used to copy preset configuration to Default profile (SCCM acts as SYSTEM and Administrator Profile won’t be created).

3. Do not install too many updates using SCCM, may fail. Do not use offline image update feature with SCCM – for the same reason. Recommended way to get your system fully partched:

- Create a reference image in MDT using a dedicated WSUS for updates. WSUS works fine with any number of updates

- Deploy the reference image to a target machine and add SCCM “Install Software Updates” step in Task Sequence. In this case SCCM will install only updates missed in the ref immage

4. If MDT is installed on a Server or Windows 8 you cna use Hyper-V  for fully automated gold image creation (Create a reference VM, bound a media created with MDT on it, start VM an execute the TS, capture the image and destroy VM). More information in Johan’s blog: http://www.deploymentresearch.com/Research/tabid/62/EntryId/172/Deploying-a-reference-image-VM-fully-unattended.aspx

5. Use UDI with MDT TS if dialog is necessary for OSD

6. Use email notification for approval process – Kent’s blog: http://blog.coretech.dk/kea/enabling-email-approvals-for-your-requested-applications-in-configuration-manager-2012/

7. To wrap applications (allow pre-installation dialog with a user): PowerShell Application Toolkit: https://psappdeploytoolkit.codeplex.com/

8. Software Updates

- Collection structure creation – Script from Kent:

- Create Automatic Update Rule to create an update Group Monthly and download Updates

- Create Templates for deployments for Workstation, Servers Automatic (with Maintenance Windows) and Server Available

- Use Coretech Software Update Management tool: http://blog.coretech.dk/kea/the-coretech-software-update-management-tool/

- Uninstalll updates Automatically using a script: http://blog.coretech.dk/jgs/vbscript-uninstall-updates-on-winxpwin2003-win7-and-win-2008-r2-automatically/

Third-party updates:

        Catalogs: Shavlik, PatchMyPC

        Cloud-based: Secunia,

-Montly Report: http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Configmgr-2012-SSRS-Report-34fd6d87

-Cleanup: Script to remove expired updates from source folders: http://blogs.technet.com/b/configmgrteam/archive/2012/04/12/software-update-content-cleanup-in-system-center-2012-configuration-manager.aspx

 

 

9. OSD

Custom RBAC role to import computers: http://blogs.technet.com/b/inside_osd/archive/2012/04/30/custom-role-based-administration-for-importing-computers.aspx

 

 

10. Shutdown tool (in case you need to stop some services before application installation): http://blog.coretech.dk/kea/new-version-of-the-coretech-shutdown-tool/

11. Registry key to MOF:  http://myitforum.com/cs2/files/folders/proddocs/entry152945.aspx5. Populate SCCM database with fake clients: http://thedesktopteam.com/blog/raphael/sccm-2012-cm12r2registrationrequest/ (for testing purposes Smile )

12. SCCM2012R2 HealthCheck tool: https://www.rflsystems.co.uk/sccm-2012-r2-healthcheck-toolkit/

13. Windows To Go: MDT can be used to prepare WTG stick. This stick can be tested being connected to an empty VM as a pass-through disk.

14. Microsoft published a hotfix allowing to clean old updates from WINSXS folder to make image smaller. Of course the update cannot be uninstalled after that!  : http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2014/05/13/how-to-clean-up-the-winsxs-directory-and-free-up-disk-space-on-windows-server-2008-r2-with-new-update.aspx

15. Neil Peterson article about cross-forest (and DMZ) management http://blogs.technet.com/b/neilp/archive/2012/08/20/cross-forest-support-in-system-center-2012-configuration-manager-part-1.aspx

16. Stop Catastrophic deployment. It was a discussion about big RED BUTTON you can press to stop an accidental deployment. Advices here:

1. Create a file check in TS. If file is not present in a certain folder – abort the TS. In this case you just need to remove the file to prevent TS (which not started yet) from start

2. Remove access permissions on DP

3. Collection variable etc…

17. Bitlocker

- TPM need to be enabled in BIOS – tool from Manufacturer

- Ask Manufacturer for a tool allowing disable protectors.

If non it is not possible – use REPLACE scenario instead of REFRESH

5. Other tools Johan and Kent mentioned: http://www.deploymentresearch.com/Research/tabid/62/EntryId/173/Links-from-ConfigMgr-2012-R2-preconference-at-TechEd-2014-NA.aspx

http://blog.coretech.dk/kea/community-tools-from-system-center-universe-2014/

2012 R2: File Server Cluster migration (mounting points disappear)

 

I helped one of our Customers with a File Server Cluster migration. The procedure is described in http://777notes.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/server-2012-r2-file-server-cluster-migration/

The source Cluster was 2008 R2 and were migrating to 2012 R2. backend storage – 3PAR. It was ~50 LUNs to migrate and some of them were connected as mounting points to save letters (see more: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc938934.aspx)

After migration we saw some mounting points disappeared. It turned out the mounting point folders got Hidden and System attributes assigned for some reasons. An attempt to reset the attributes was unsuccessful. Attrib command finished without errors, but attributes remained assigned Smile

In order to fix the situation we needed to unmount the mounting point, use attrib –S –H <<folder>>  to clear attributes and mount the point back to the folder. That brought the mounting points back to (visible) life.

2012 R2 Cluster: “Validate Storage Spaces Persistent Reservation” test failed with warning

 

I recently installed a Failover Cluster on two 2012 R2 nodes with 3PAR SAN storage. Cluster verification tool failed with a single abovementioned warning. Drilling down to the report I found:

Failure. Persistent Reservation not present on Test Disk 0 from node <<MY_SERVER_FQDN>> after successful call to update reservation holder’s registration key 0xb.

Test Disk 0 does not support SCSI-3 Persistent Reservations commands needed to support clustered Storage Pools. Some storage devices require specific firmware versions or settings to function properly with failover clusters. Please contact your storage administrator or storage vendor to check the configuration of the storage to allow it to function properly with failover clusters.

Important to note the validation failed in “Validate Storage Spaces Persistent Reservation” test. Google search brought an article from Microsoft  Clustering Team Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/clustering/archive/2013/05/24/10421247.aspx

The bottom line: if you are not planning to use Storage Spaces (introduced with Server 2012) in your cluster – the warning can be safely ignored. Otherwise storage firmware and drivers should be updated.

 

Here is a quote from the article:

“Question:  What should I do when I get this warning?

Check the disks that are identified in the warning message and verify whether you will ever want to use those disks with Storage Spaces.

If you want to use the disks with Storage Spaces on the cluster, then you should check your storage configuration and documentation to see if there are settings or firmware/driver versions required to support clustered storage spaces.  

If you aren’t going to use Storage Spaces with this cluster and storage, and the other storage validation tests indicate the tests passed, then you can ignore this warning.”

SCCM: OSD on Lenovo M83

I downloaded a driver pack for M83 model from Lenovo website , imported it in SCCM and tried to deploy my Win 7 image.

After driver installation the process stopped on the first boot with error:

Driver ipf63x64.inf is missing or corrupted

It looks like a known issue for Lenovo community http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Enterprise-Management-IT/Introducing-ThinkPad-Driver-Packs-for-SCCM/td-p/800691/page/9

 

Resolution:  I removed all FCoE-related components (net, SCSI and system classes) from my driver pack (for that you need to find all drivers under “Drivers” node, right-click Edit-Package and clear a checkbox corresponding to your package. Updated the package on DPs. I actually left just one network friver from multitude provided by Lenovo in the driver pack.

After that installation passed successfully.

 

As a side note – the pack from Lenovo did not impress me too much – it looks like manufacturer put all available drivers there and did not bother to test it.

Driver Grabber in its turn missed some drivers (for example Lenovo Application Integration driver – LBAI.sys).

SCOM 2012 R2: Prerequisites installation script

Inspired by this script  by Richard Qi I created a modified version for SCOM 2012 R2 on Windows Server 2012. The difference is Report Viewer 2012 (and its prerequisite – SQL Control Types)

Here is the script content (copy it to .ps1 file and run from Power Shell)

NOTE: ReportViewer URL is updated April 14th 2014

#This section installs the .NET and IIS Prereqs for Windows Server 2012#
Import-Module ServerManager
Add-WindowsFeature NET-Framework-Core,AS-HTTP-Activation,Web-Static-Content,Web-Default-Doc,Web-Dir-Browsing,Web-Http-Errors,Web-Http-Logging,Web-Request-Monitor,Web-Filtering,Web-Stat-Compression,AS-Web-Support,Web-Metabase,Web-Asp-Net,Web-Windows-Auth –restart#This section will download SQL System CLR and the Report Viewer 2012 Runtime Prereq for Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2012#
#to a folder called C:\SCOM2012SP1Prereqs. Once the file has been downloaded it will automatically install       #

$dwnld = “C:\SCOM2012SP1Prereqs”
if (!(Test-Path -path $dwnld))
{
New-Item $dwnld -type directory
}
$object = New-Object Net.WebClient

$RPTurl = ‘http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=239644&clcid=0x409′
$object.DownloadFile($RPTurl, “$dwnld\SQLSysClrTypes.msi”)
Start-Process -FilePath “msiexec.exe” -ArgumentList ” -i $dwnld\SQLSysClrTypes.msi /qb” -Wait

$RPTurl = ‘http://download.microsoft.com/download/F/B/7/FB728406-A1EE-4AB5-9C56-74EB8BDDF2FF/ENU/x86/ReportViewer.msi
$object.DownloadFile($RPTurl, “$dwnld\ReportViewer.msi”)
Start-Process -FilePath “msiexec.exe” -ArgumentList ” -i $dwnld\ReportViewer.msi /qb” -Wait

SCOM 2012: How to test e-mail notification channel in SCOM

A nice step-by-step from Microsoft is here. In addition to test the channel gives an example of basic operations.

SCOM 2012: Set-SCOMLicense cmdlet fails

I attempted to add my SCOM Product key to SCOM 2012 R2 installation using Set-SCOMLicense cmdlet as recommended by setup program.

It failed with the following error:

Requested registry access is not allowed

SNAGHTML209a8903

solution is to start a standard (non-SCOM) Power Shell as Administrator, run “Import-Module OperationsManager“  and retry Set-SCOMLicense from that window.

the solution was found in Michael’s blog  here

SCOM 2012: Setup failed–Account validation error

SCOM 2012 R2 installation failed with the following error:

One or more accounts provided could not be validated. Please provide valid user names and passwords

image

 

Only one account validation failed. This account was created while setup application was running; other accounts were pre-created.

To bypass the error I used one of pre-created accounts instead of the new one and the error disappeared.

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