The Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) team has kicked off 2018 with a brand new release of the ConfigMgr Technical Preview branch with version 1801. As always, new features and improvements to the product derive from the feedback they receive from the community on the ConfigMgr UserVoice forum. Now, you can also provide feedback directly from within Windows 10 by using the Feedback Hub App. See additional documentation to provide ConfigMgr feedback.
This update has a number of new features (as listed in the Enterprise Mobility & Security blogpost) which include:
Run Scripts – You can now import and run signed scripts and monitor the script results.
Moving Distribution Points between sites – You can now move an eligible distribution point from one primary site to another primary site or from under a secondary site to a primary site . For information about requirements for moving a distribution point see “Reassign Distribution Point”.
Improvements to client settings for Software Center – Client settings for Software Center now has a customize button where you can preview your customizations before deploying them to machines. You can also hide unapproved applications in Software Center.
New settings for Windows Defender Application Guard – For Windows 10 version 1709 and later devices, there are two new host interaction settings for Windows Defender Application Guard. Websites can be given access to the host’s virtual graphics processor and files downloaded inside the container can be persisted on the host.
Co-management reporting – You can now view a dashboard with information about co-management in your environment.
Phased Deployments – You can use phased deployments to automate a coordinated, sequenced rollout of software without creating multiple deployments.
Support for hardware inventory strings greater than 255 characters in length – For newly added classes, you can specify string lengths greater than 255 characters for hardware inventory properties that are not keys.
Improvements to Automatic Deployment Rule evaluation schedule – You can now schedule Automatic Deployment Rule evaluation to be offset from a base day.
You can update to the 1801 Tech Preview release via the ConfigMgr console under the Updates & Servicing node. The baseline version of the Technical Preview branch is now at version 1711 and available on the TechNet Evaluation Center.
The following document provides further details on the capabilities in Technical Preview 1801 for System Center Configuration Manager.
Here’s my video tutorial which I did for version 1701. The steps are the same for 1801.
Here are the step-by-step upgrade guide (if you prefer not to watch the video) to get your current ConfigMgr Technical Preview site to version 1801:
You will find the 1801 update available in the ConfigMgr console under Administration > Updates and Servicing. If you don’t see it, click on Check for Updates in the menu ribbon.
Right-click on Configuration Manager Technical Preview 1801 and click on Install Update Pack. If you prefer, you can also use the Install Update Pack option from the ribbon menu. I recommend that you run the prerequisite check first to make sure there are no issues reported with your site server. Otherwise, you will need to address the issues before proceeding with the update.
Click Next and select the checkbox if you want to ignore the prerequisite check warning.
Select the features desired for install in the update pack. You can choose to do this later under the Updates and Servicing node.
Pick your option to validate or not to validate the upgrade against a collection. For my production Current Branch site, I generally select Validate in pre-production collection and choose one of my test collections for the first phase of the upgrade. However, since this is the Technical Preview site and only used in a test environment, you can continue with the option, Upgrade without validating.
Select the license terms and click Next.
Click Next to confirm the settings.
You can now monitor the status of the upgrade under Monitoring > Updates and Servicing Status. Then select the update package name and click on Show Status in the ribbon menu.
The window below will show the stages of the upgrade process where you can monitor it’s progress. If there are any issues, you will see it listed here with a warning and the details provided in the description box in the bottom of the window.
Upon successful completion of the hotfix installation, you will be presented with the pop-up window as seen below to indicate a console upgrade from version 126.96.36.19995.1000 to 5.1802.1050.1000 is available.
You can verify the console upgrade in the About System Center Configuration Manager drop down menu from the console.
Version 1801 for Technical Preview
Console version: 5.1802.1050.1000
Site version: 5.0.8611.1000
And you now have ConfigMgr Technical Preview 1801 running in your test environment.
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:
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.
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
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
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.
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:
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:
See here if you would like to determine if a computer is running 32-bit or 64-bit Windows OS.
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!
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!