#2 Week 3 – Top 1000 Tech Bloggers

On January 23, 2018, I received an email from Rise Social Media with the weekly listing of social media influencers and their respective rankings among 1000 Tech bloggers. Typically, I quickly scan the email and delete it, but this time in the week 3 newsletter, something caught my eye and it was this message:

Well done to this week’s top three Antonio GrassoHarjit Dhaliwal, and Dave Winer ?

I did a double take and clicked on the week 3 link and confirmed that I had moved up to the number 2 spot from way down the list. I was super excited and couldn’t wait to share the news with my friends and followers on social media, which is the source of my influence. I remember being just as excited when I made it to the 14th spot on week 43 in 2017 (see image below).

I was first introduced to Rise Global by my friend Richard Hay, who is well respected in the technology industry where he covers valuable news, reviews, and many other tech related matters as a tech journalist. Rich has taught me how to use several useful tools, helped me with some automation techniques, as well as shared some insightful strategies which in turn has made me successful with my social media work. We also had the opportunity to work together as the official social media journalists for the IT/Dev Connections Conference held in San Francisco in October 2017. We are looking forward to do the same at IT/Dev Connection 2018 in Dallas.

And then we have my friends Christian Buckley and Vlad Catrinescu, who are great contributors in the tech community and powerhouse Microsoft MVPs. These guys make Rise Global status ranking fun and exciting to take part in. We have a running joke and a friendly competition between us, which often involves some fun teasing to keep things challenging. We are rooting for each other to get to the top spot, and then we can call it a collective success. It will happen sooner than later!

As an IT Professional, I enjoy social media quite a bit and have a knack for it. I have developed some strong skills in this respect which has allowed me to contribute to the community in various ways from helping IT Professionals with valuable information and resources to keeping commuters safe during their daily travels. My social media activities have provided many wonderful opportunities which include travel, representation at large conferences, member of various committees, access to privileged groups, speaking engagements, contributions to technical newsletters, reviewer for products, books, and software, and some consulting work to name a few. I am humbled and grateful for these opportunities and to everyone who has helped me and continue to support me. Thank you, Thank you!

Well, I’m not naive to know that my reign on Rise Global will not last for long but I did get my five minutes of fame for what it’s worth. If you have somehow come across this blog post, please feel free to follow my social media channels, subscribe to my blog, YouTube channels, and podcasts. You’ll enjoy the information I share. Thanks.

About Me: Harjit Dhaliwal
Blog: www.harjit.us
Twitter: @Hoorge
Twitter: @TechKonnect
Facebook: TechKonnect
LinkedIn: Me
YouTube: Harjit
YouTube: Harjit & Prayer Show
Podcast: PowerShell News
Instagram: Me
Microsoft: MVP
Microsoft Ignite: Speaker
Microsoft: TechCommunity

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Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT 8450) Released

The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) has been released and the most current build (8450) can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center. This update requires the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10 version 1709 (10.1.16299.15) which is available for download on the Microsoft Hardware Dev Center.

Some of the significant changes in this update include:

  • Supported configuration updates
    • Windows ADK for Windows 10, version 1709
    • Windows 10, version 1709
    • Configuration Manager, version 1710
  • Quality updates
    • Win10 Sideloaded App dependencies and license not installed
    • CaptureOnly task sequence doesn’t allow capturing an image
    • Error received when starting an MDT task sequence: Invalid DeploymentType value “” specified. The deployment will not proceed
    • ZTIMoveStateStore looks for the state store folder in the wrong location causing it to fail to move it
    • xml contains a simple typo that caused undesirable behavior
    • Install Roles & Features doesn’t work for Windows Server 2016 IIS Management Console feature
    • Browsing for OS images in the upgrade task sequence does not work when using folders
    • MDT tool improperly provisions the TPM into a Reduced Functionality State (see KB 4018657 for more information)
    • Updates to ZTIGather chassis type detection logic
    • Upgrade OS step leaves behind SetupComplete.cmd, breaking future deployments
    • Windows 10 ADK 1607 and later UEFI boot issue on some hardware
    • Includes updated Configuration Manager task sequence binaries

The following post provides some information on How to get help with MDT, in case you need it.

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UserVoice: Microsoft Product Feedback And Feature Request Resources

I recently came across a post by Jim Naroski on The Office 365 Guy TechNet blog site. He listed the links to the UserVoice portal for the various products or topics which Microsoft utilizes to gather feedback and feature requests. One important link is missing from the TechNet blog, which is for the System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) feedback site, and I have added that to the list below. Start using this valuable resource to help improve products and make your voice heard.

Products Links
Access https://access.uservoice.com
Bookings https://outlook.uservoice.com/forums/314907-microsoft-bookings
Business Center https://office365.uservoice.com/forums/600793-office-365-business-center
ConfigMgr https://configurationmanager.uservoice.com
Excel https://excel.uservoice.com
Flow https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Flow-Feedback/ct-p/Feedback
Forms https://microsoftforms.uservoice.com
Connections https://office365.uservoice.com/forums/600610-microsoft-connections
Invoicing https://office365.uservoice.com/forums/600781-microsoft-invoicing
Listings https://office365.uservoice.com/forums/600778-microsoft-listings
Mix https://officemix.uservoice.com/
MyAnalytics https://myanalytics.uservoice.com/
Office 365 https://office365.uservoice.com
Office 365 Groups https://office365.uservoice.com/forums/286611-office-365-groups
OneDrive https://onedrive.uservoice.com
OneNote https://onenote.uservoice.com
Outlook https://outlook.uservoice.com
Planner https://planner.uservoice.com
Power BI https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas
PowerApps https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Product-Feedback/ct-p/PA-feedback
PowerPoint https://powerpoint.uservoice.com
Project https://microsoftproject.uservoice.com
SharePoint https://sharepoint.uservoice.com
StaffHub https://staffhub.uservoice.com
Skype for Business https://www.skypefeedback.com
Stream https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Stream-Ideas/idb-p/StreamIdeas
Sway https://sway.uservoice.com
Teams https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public
To-Do https://todo.uservoice.com/
Visio https://visio.uservoice.com
Word https://word.uservoice.com
Yammer https://yammer.uservoice.com

Uservoice provides an opportunity for customers or end users of products to provide feedback, request features and interact with others as well as with the product teams. If you discover a request or feedback that you agree with and would like to support, you can add a vote to that post. Each UserVoice member receives a limited number of votes to use and these votes are returned once the the particular feedback has been acknowledged and completed. See above screen capture.

Another useful feature of UserVoice is the ability to see the status of the posts such as Noted, Planned, Under Review, Started, and Completed. See examples below:

Source: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/o365guy/2018/01/02/submit-product-feedback-or-feature-requests-to-microsofts-virtual-suggestion-boxes/

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Fix For Error: Failed To Process Configuration Manager Update 0x87d20b15

With the release of version 1710 for System Center Configuration Manager Current Branch on November 20, 2017, I pursued to update my ConfigMgr 1706 site to take advantage of some of the exciting new features, which you can read more here! Use this PowerShell script to enable the early update ring for ConfigMgr 1710.

I tested the update in my test lab and the upgrade to v1710 worked just fine. As usual with my production environment, I always run the prerequisite checker to make sure nothing is flagged as an issue, which in my case all was fine with green checkmarks. However, the actual installation of the update failed on the Installation step for “Upgrade ConfigMgr database” as seen in the screen capture above. The description for the error indicates: [Failed]: Upgrading ConfigMgr database. Check cmupdate.log for details.

The following is an error was seen in the cmupdate.log: Failed to apply update changes 0x87d20b15

I located a blog post by my friend Anoop dated from October 2016 referencing a similar error code where he points to providing the NT Authority/System account in SQL with the sysadmin security role, however that was not the cause of my upgrade failure and the security roles were already defined correctly. The following TechNet thread was a dead end as well.


My post on Twitter as seen above caught the attention of another friend of mine, David James, Director of Engineering for ConfigMgr at Microsoft, who with his team were able to pinpoint the problem in no time at all and quickly provided a solution which resolved my ConfigMgr 1710 upgrade installation hang up. Thanks David and to the ConfigMgr team! The gist of the problem is that my environment had an old compatibility level 100 set for the SQL Server database for the CM_XXX database, and you can find this referenced in the cmupdate.log file. Changing it to 110 fixed the compatibility level needed for ConfigMgr 1710.

Run the following query in SQL Management Studio (please change XXX to your ConfigMgr Site Code) and retry the installation via the Update and Servicing node in the ConfigMgr Admin Console. This also addresses the issue where TRY_CONVERT is not recognized as a built-in SQL function:

ALTER DATABASE CM_XXX SET COMPATIBILITY_LEVEL = 110

SUCCESS!!

** Additional Mention **

Check out this blog post, “In Telemetry We Trust?” written by a friend and fellow ConfigMgr admin, Peter Egerton, who shares a similar experience and the positive nature of telemetry data especially in the ConfigMgr space.

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ADMX Template For Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709) Now Available

On October 17, 2017, Microsoft has started to rollout Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709) to customers worldwide. The following tools to support this latest release has been made available, which includes Windows 10 Administrative Templates (.ADMX) and Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) as previously mentioned in my blog post. I have also posted about the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Windows 10 Administrative Template (.ADMX)

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 (RSAT)

Windows 10 Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK)

Microsoft Office 2016 Administrative Templates and Office Customization Tool is also available for download.

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Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) For Windows 10 v1709

The latest version of the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 10 Falls Creators Update v1709 have been released. The download is available here. You will find the following download files available for version RS1-1.2, RS3-1.0 corresponding to x86 or x64 Operating Systems:

  • WindowsTH-RSAT_WS_1709-x64.msu (94.5MB)
  • WindowsTH-RSAT_WS_1709-x86.msu (69.9MB)
  • WindowsTH-RSAT_WS2016-x64.msu (92.3MB)
  • WindowsTH-RSAT_WS2016-x86.msu (69.5MB)

See here if you would like to determine if a computer is running 32-bit or 64-bit Windows OS.

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Windows ADK 1709 For Windows 10 Now Available

With the release of Windows 10 version 1709, the following tool to support this latest Windows 10 build, Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) version 1709 is now available.
You can download it from: Windows 10 Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK).

Note: You must use Windows 10 build 1709 with this version of the ADK.
The Windows ADK is also available to Windows Insiders. Join the Windows Insider Program to get the Windows ADK Insider Preview.

Update: April 6, 2017
** Known Issues for ADK 1703 **
ADK Drivers don’t install on systems with secure boot enabled:
Drivers on the ADK Deployment tools will not install on systems with Secure Boot (SB) enabled.  To work around the issue, disable SB on these systems.This only impacts systems with Secure Boot enabled. More info here!

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Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (v1709) Available in VLSC

The ISO download for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update edition (version 1709) has been released and is now available from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) portal. You’ll find both 32-bit and 64-bit ISO files with a download size of 3186 MB and 4347 MB respectively.

Known issues are documented here. Also, this is a good article on “How to verify if you have downloaded or installed the latest version of Windows 10”. I would recommend that you check out Michael Niehaus’ recent blog post where he shares some important information regarding the changes with the volume license media and upgrade packages with Windows 10. There is only one ISO with a single WIM (Windows Image) file that contains all the volume license images as listed below:

Here’s what’s new in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. If you are looking for the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for version 1709, you’ll find it here.

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Microsoft Ignite (2017) Community Reporter

I’m happy to announce that I’m honored to be selected as a Community Reporter for Microsoft Ignite at this year’s conference in Orlando from September 25-29, 2017. As a Community Reporter, I’ll be helping to bring the IT Pro community together in a series of interviews, recordings, live shows, social media, and much more. You will find my introduction and a Q&A on the Microsoft Tech Community site.

The Community Reporters are meticulously selected by Microsoft Ignite particularly as community influencers, Microsoft MVP, technical expertise, strong engagements with the IT Pro community, leadership, past conference planning experiences, and other unknown factors which is probably on a need to know only basis. 🙂

Here’s the announcement from Microsoft Ignite:

This year at Microsoft Ignite, we’re excited to have 10 MVPs serving as Community Reporters. Leading up to Orlando, they’ll be sharing tips and tricks for navigating Microsoft Ignite, what to pack, and a look at their session schedules. During Microsoft Ignite, the Community Reporters will be your go-to’s for live event updates. If you aren’t attending the conference this year, these reporters will be a great way to see what’s happening on-the-ground in Orlando. Check out their introductions and follow them on social to stay up-to-date on all things Microsoft Ignite!

I have the pleasure of being on the team of reporters comprised of a top notch crew (some of whom are good friends who I have known for a few years), and they are:

Check out their profiles, follow their social channels, and feel free to engage with any one of us. Thank you to the awesome folks at Microsoft Ignite and Microsoft Tech Community teams for the great opportunity. See you in Orlando!

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Speaking Gig At Microsoft Ignite 2017

I was recently approached by the Microsoft Ignite team to submit some session topics for this year’s conference in Orlando taking place from September 25-29. As an MVP in the “Windows and Devices For IT” category, the team was interested in the Windows platform as I’m regarded as a subject matter expert in that arena, although I tend to work quite a bit with Systems Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr).

Well, today (August 18, 2017) I received confirmation from Microsoft Ignite that I have been accepted to speak at the conference covering two theater sessions. This couldn’t have come at a better time since I have plans to be in the area for some personal family activities, and it’s a great way to kill two birds or maybe three with one stone. My first session, “Hey Mom I’ll Fix Your Computer” (THR1073) will be on Monday, September 25 at 1:45PM at OCCC South, Expo Theater #7, and I will cover how you can solve computer issues and provide tech support remotely with a built-in tool in Windows 10.

My second session “Cool Microsoft Edge Tips and Tricks” (THR1072) will take place at 5:05PM at the same location and on Monday as well. In this session, I will show you how you can improve your browsing experience by leveraging some features in Microsoft Edge. If you are attending Microsoft Ignite in Orlando this year, feel free to sign up and check out my sessions. In case you haven’t heard of me, here’s my profile! 🙂

I am truly honored and grateful for this amazing opportunity to speak at the largest Microsoft conference in the world and I hope I meet everyone’s expectations and will do a great job. A big Thank you to Microsoft for this awesome opportunity, and to the MVP team and to my ever so appreciative IT Pro peers for your on-going support and encouragement always. Thank you Thank you Thanks you! Time to rock #MVPJit!

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