ConfigMgr Tech Preview 1701 Released

The Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) team has been doing a great job with implementing new features and improving the product on a regular basis following the Software as a Service (SaaS) model and using feedback from the community on the Microsoft Connect site, as well as paying close attention to feature and enhancement requests on the ConfigMgr UserVoice forum.

The 45th President of the United States of America was inaugurated on Friday, January 20th and on this day the ConfigMgr team released SCCM Tech Preview build 1701 which is the first new release of 2017. This update has a number of new features (as listed in the Enterprise Mobility & Security blogpost) which include:

  • UEFI inventory data – Hardware inventory can now determine whether the device is UEFI-enabled.
  • Express files support for Windows 10 Cumulative Update – Configuration Manager can support Windows 10 Cumulative Update using Express files. This functionality is only supported in Windows 10 version 1607 with a Windows Update Agent update included with the updates released on January 10, 2017 (Patch Tuesday). For more information see https://docs.microsoft.com/sccm/core/get-started/capabilities-in-technical-preview-1612#express-installation-files-support-for-windows-10-updates.
  • Validate Device Health Attestation Data via Management Point – You can now configure management points to validate health attestation reporting data for cloud or on-premises health attestation service.
  • Updated Content Library Cleanup Tool – The command line tool (ContentLibraryCleanup.exe) used to remove content that is no longer associated with any package or application from a distribution point (orphaned content) has been updated with fixes for known issues.
  • Host software updates on cloud-based distribution points – Beginning with this preview version, you can use a cloud-based distribution point to host a software update package.
  • Support for Microsoft Azure Government cloud added to Operations Management Suite (OMS) Connector feature – You can now configure an OMS connector for the OMS workspace on Microsoft Azure Government cloud.
  • Additional boundary groups improvements – Clients now find software update points using Boundary Group associations.

You can update to the 1701 Tech Preview release via the ConfigMgr console under the Updates & Servicing node. You will need the baseline version of Tech Preview 1610 if you are installing it brand new.

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ConfigMgr Version Numbers

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Release/Update Version Build
ConfigMgr 2012 RTM 5.00.7711.0000 7711
ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 5.00.7804.1000 7804
ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 CU1 5.00.7804.1202 7804
ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 CU2 5.00.7804.1300 7804
ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 CU3 5.00.7804.1400 7804
ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 CU4 5.00.7804.1500 7804
ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 CU5 5.00.7804.1600 7804
ConfigMgr 2012 SP2 5.00.8239.1000 8239
ConfigMgr 2012 SP2 CU1 5.00.8239.1203 8239
ConfigMgr 2012 SP2 CU2 5.00.8239.1301 8239
ConfigMgr 2012 R2 5.00.7958.1000 7958
ConfigMgr 2012 R2 CU1 5.00.7958.1203 7958
ConfigMgr 2012 R2 CU2 5.00.7958.1303 7958
ConfigMgr 2012 R2 CU3 5.00.7958.1401 7958
ConfigMgr 2012 R2 CU4 5.00.7958.1501 7958
ConfigMgr 2012 R2 CU5 5.00.7958.1604 7958
ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1 5.00.8239.1000 8239
ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1 CU1 5.00.8239.1203 8239
ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1 CU2 5.00.8239.1301 8239
ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1 CU3 5.00.8239.1403 8239
ConfigMgr Version 1511 5.00.8325.1000 8325
ConfigMgr Version 1602 5.00.8355.1000 8355
ConfigMgr Version 1602 (Update Rollup 1) 5.00.8355.1306 8355
ConfigMgr Version 1606 5.00.8412.1000 8412

Source: ConfigMgr 2012 Version Numbers

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Review – System Center Configuration Manager Reporting Unleashed

SCCM_Reporting_Unleashed

System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) is a robust and complex tool used by SysAdmins to manage systems in their organizations. Similarly, working with reports, creating reports, and generating reports with ConfigMgr can become a complex task and challenging.

We all know that the built-in reports are not the best and often don’t yield the results we want to achieve. To get around some of the limitations, you either need to create your own reports or use third party solutions such as the wonderful reports from Enhansoft which are easy to install, configure, and to use. Well, Garth Jones, the owner of Enhansoft has released an awesome book to help clear the mystery of reports and make it super simple for anyone to follow the step-by-step instructions with the intelligently laid out chapters. The high level contents of the book is provided below but it doesn’t come close to listing the in-depth wealth of information this book provides.

SCCM_Reporting_Unleashed2

Whether you’re a beginner and want to learn how to create and work with ConfigMgr reports, or an expert who want to improve your reporting skills and rock it to the next level, this book is for you – I highly recommend it. The book is available on Amazon and comes in various formats. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Garth, who contributes tremendously to the ConfigMgr community via Twitter, Facebook, and various forums, to name a few.

Garth Jones – @GarthMJ
Enhansoft – @Enhansoft

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MDT 2013 Update 2 Released

mdt2013update2

The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013 Update 2 has been released and the most current version (6.3.8330) can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center.

According to the MDT blog post by Aaron Czechowski (Senior Program Manager), MDT 2013 Update 2 is basically a quality release which does not contain any new features. Some of the significant changes in this update include:

  • Security- and cryptographic-related improvements:
    • Relaxed permissions on newly created deployment shares (still secure by default, but now also functional by default)
    • Creating deployment shares via Windows PowerShell adds same default permissions
    • Updated hash algorithm usage from SHA1 to SHA256
  • Includes the latest Configuration Manager task sequence binaries
  • Enhanced user experience for Windows 10 in-place upgrade task sequence
  • Enhanced split WIM functionality
  • Fixed OSDJoinAccount account usage in UDI scenario
  • Fixed issues with installation of Windows 10 language packs
  • Various accessibility improvements
  • Monitoring correctly displays progress for all scenarios including upgrade
  • Improvements to smsts.log verbosity

There are no significant known issues in this release, however the previous post for MDT 2013 Update 1 has some information that may still be applicable, other than the fixes list above. The following post provides some information on How to get help with MDT, in case you need it.

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PowerShell & ConfigMgr Blogs

SCCM_Love_PS

My good friend Deepak Dhami (aka Dexter), who is an expert in PowerShell and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) is a frequent contributor for great information and resource in these fields. He conducts various user groups and workshops in India to help ConfigMgr admins improve their skills. Dexter has provided the links below on his blog and has generously allowed me to share them on mine in order to further share the goodness.

Feel free to follow and reach out to him. He is always happy to help.
PowerShell MVP profile
Blog
Twitter

Links:

Cmdlet ReferenceDavid O Brien’s Blog
PowerShell Script Repo by ConfigMgr MVP Kaido
Kaido’s personal blog
Coretech Blog by MVP kaido
Ronnie Jakobsen’s blog
Kent Agerlund’s blog
Johan Arwidmark’s blog
Henrik Hoe’s blog
PFE Heath’s Blog
Adam Meltzer’s Blog
Steve Rachui’s Blog
Nickolaj Andersen’s blog
Rob Looman’s Blog
Sean Lillis (Author of PS App deployment Toolkit)
Alex Verboon’s Blog
Laurie Rhodes’s Blog
Adam Bertram’s Blog
Stephane’s Blog

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