January 24 2012

Force SCCM optional advertisement to run

I needed a script that was going to run tigger optional SCCM advertisement to run. Why? Because I was using Opalis to trigger multiple advertisements across multiple systems in a certain sequence. I had tried the SCCM Client Center Integration Pack for Opalis, however the Run Advertisements function didn’t seem to work. So my Opalis workbook simply calls the below script and passes it the SCCM package ID and program name (ie force_run.vbs PACKAGEID PROGRAMNAME). See below for VBScript:

' Purpose: Forces optional advertised programs that meet packageID and program name criteria to run
' Note: There must already be a SCCM advertisement in place
' Use: force_run.vbs PACKAGEID PROGRAMNAME (case sensitive)
' Author: blog.danovich.com.au

' Get input parameters
Dim Arg, packageID, programName
Set Arg = WScript.Arguments
packageID = Arg(0)
programName = Arg(1)
Set uiResource = CreateObject("UIResource.UIResourceMgr")
Set programList = uiResource.GetAvailableApplications

' Set flags for error tracking
flag_package = "notavailable"
flag_program = "notavailable"

' Match each given packageID and program name against applications available to the machine
For each p in programList
If p.PackageID = packageID then
flag_package = "available"
If p.Name = programName Then
uiResource.ExecuteProgram p.ID, p.PackageID,True
flag_program = "available"
Exit For
End If
End If

' Give feedback if the given packageID or program name do not match available applications
If flag_package = "notavailable" then
wscript.echo packageID & " does not match any Package ID in available applications"
End If
If flag_program = "notavailable" and flag_package = "available" then
wscript.echo programName & " does not match any program name in available applications or is not associated with Package ID " & packageID
End If

' Give feedback if everything matches
If flag_program = "available" and flag_package = "available" then
wscript.echo "Program name " & programName & " from package ID " & packageID & " ran successfully."
End If

' Clean up
Set uiResource = Nothing
Set Arg = Nothing


January 20 2012

Windows 7 on NCR RealPOS 7402

A project that I recently worked on was using SCCM to upgrade their fleet to Windows 7. The 7402 uses integrated graphics in the 852GM and 852GME chip. The problem here is that this is very old and unsupported by NCR and Intel – so when installing Intel 852GM/852GME/855GM/855GME Series video driver Windows 7 reverts back to Standard VGA adapter after restart. After a day of banging my head against a wall, I came up with a solution for this. The solution is automated and deployable via SCCM. At the moment I cannot reveal the exact process, but for anyone that is experiencing the same problem, contact me and I can possibly point you in the right direction….



January 19 2012

Free online training for System Center 2012 including SCCM

I’ve come across a couple of good free online training websites to update your skills for the System Center 2012 releases, which includes SCCM 2012.

The first is the Microsoft Virtual Academy – http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/ . In their own words – “Improve your IT skill set and help advance your career with a free, easy to access training portal. Learn at your own pace, focusing on Microsoft technologies, gain points and get recognition”. One of the track you can do is “Overview and Infrastructure Changes in SCCM 2012” which has 6 modules covering a lot of the functionality that SCCM 2012 provides. The direct link for this is – http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/tracks/overview-and-infrastructure-changes-in-sccm-2012

The second resource is the Microsoft TechNet Virtual Labs: System Center located at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/systemcenter/bb539977. There are 5 SCCM 2012 virtual labs available at the moment. In their own words “TechNet Virtual Labs enable you to quickly evaluate and test Microsoft’s newest products and technologies through a series of guided, hands-on labs that you can complete in 90 minutes or less. There is no complex setup or installation required, and you can use TechNet Virtual Labs online immediately, free”. Personally, I think these are great because you get to use the Microsoft virtual machines to do whatever you want, even if its not the lab material – so it save you time as you don’t need to run up your own test lab.

On a side note there is also the hydration kit available for SCCM 2012 RC 1 – see http://www.deploymentresearch.com/Blog/tabid/62/EntryId/48/The-Hydration-Kit-for-ConfigMgr-2012-RC1-is-available-for-download.aspx


January 5 2012

SCCM Task Sequence Monitor

This is a great tool for automatically backing up SCCM task sequences. It basically monitors task sequences and will back them up whenever anyone attempts to change one. It’s very good for version / change control when there are potentially multiple people working on task sequences.

I have implemented this before but can never find the URL for it when I want it, so here it is for all to see: