Sold Out!! – Microsoft Ignite Atlanta 2016

In case you missed the announcement, Microsoft Ignite Conference to be held in Atlanta, Georgia from September 26-30, 2016 is now sold out! You can watch a livestream from Day 1 from the following link:

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The above tweet was posted by the Microsoft Ignite team announcing the close of registration using their official @MS_Ignite Twitter account. Follow them as well as the hashtag #MSIgnite for further on-going information. If you received a late approval to attend Microsoft Ignite from your employer but you’re not able to register at this point, you still have the ability to win a free pass from a couple of vendors, Such as Adaptiva and HyperGrid. Check them out, follow their Twitter and Facebook feeds and Good Luck!

See ya soon at Microsoft Ignite, September 26-30, 2016 at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

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MDT 2013 Update 2 Released

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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 5.0 RTM Now Available

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PowerShell 5.0 has finally RTM-ed, just in time for Christmas as announced on the PowerShell team blog. Windows Management Framework (WMF) 5.0 RTM replaces WMF 5.0 Production Preview and it’s supported on Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7 SP1.

WMF 5.0 adds new management functionality which includes Just Enough Admin (JEA), PowerShell Classes, PackageManagement, PowerShellGet, and improvement to existing technologies such as Desired State Configuration (DSC), PowerShell Script Debugging, Software Inventory Logging and etc.

Download WMF 5.0 from the Microsoft Download Center. WMF 5.0 requires .NET Framework 4.5 or higher which you can also obtain from the Download Center.

**IMPORTANT**
Systems that are running the following server applications should not run Windows Management Framework 5.0 at this time:

    • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
    • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP3
    • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
    • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
    • System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager

Servers running System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (ConfigMgr) can install and run WMF 5.0.

If you would like to provide any feedback to the PowerShell team, you can do so by using the UserVoice site.

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The following is a post by Neema Saeedi on MSDN which I’ve added for additional details:

Download the correct package for your operating system and architecture:

Operating System Architecture Package Name
Windows Server 2012 R2 x64 W2K12R2-KB3094174-x64.msu
Windows Server 2012 x64 W2K12-KB3094175-x64.msu
Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 W2K8R2-KB3094176-x64.msu
Windows 8.1 x64 W2K12R2-KB3094174-x64.msu
Windows 8.1 x86 Win8.1-KB3094174-x86.msu
Windows 7 SP1 x64 W2K8R2-KB3094176-x64.msu
Windows 7 SP1 x86 Win7-KB3094176-x86.msu

To install WMF 5.0 from Windows Explorer (or File Explorer in Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1):

  1. Navigate to the folder into which you downloaded the MSU file.
  2. Double-click the MSU to run it.

To install WMF 5.0 from Command Prompt:

  1. After downloading the correct package for your computer’s architecture, open a Command Prompt window with elevated user rights (Run as Administrator). On the Server Core installation options of Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Command Prompt opens with elevated user rights by default.
  2. Change directories to the folder into which you have downloaded or copied the WMF 5.0 installation package.
  3. Run one of the following commands:
    • On computers that are running Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows 8.1 x64, run W2K12R2-KB3094174-x64.msu /quiet.
    • On computers that are running Windows Server 2012, run W2K12-KB3094175-x64.msu /quiet.
    • On computers that are running Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or Windows 7 SP1 x64, run W2K8R2-KB3094176-x64.msu /quiet.
    • On computers that are running Windows 8.1 x86, run Win8.1-KB3094174-x86.msu /quiet.
    • On computers that are running Windows 7 SP1 x86, run Win7-KB3094176-x86.msu /quiet.

Additional Installation Notes for Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7:

Ensure following prerequisites have been met:

  • Latest service pack is installed.
  • WMF 4.0 is installed

WinRM Dependency: Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) depends on WinRM. WinRM is not enabled by default on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. To enable WinRM, in a Windows PowerShell elevated session, run Set-WSManQuickConfig.

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You Get To Keep Your Free OneDrive Storage

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Last month on November, 2, 2015, Microsoft made a surprising announcement regarding changes to it’s OneDrive storage plans, which resulted in a backlash from the OneDrive user community. Over 70,000 votes were generated in a form of a protest called “Give us back our storage” which was launched on the UserVoice site, forcing Microsoft to address this issue. And they did today.

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The above feedback on UserVoice was closed by Douglas Pearce, Microsoft Group Program Manager, who also offered this statement:

In November we made a business decision to reduce storage limits for OneDrive. Since then, we’ve heard clearly from our Windows and OneDrive fans about the frustration and disappointment we have caused. We realize the announcement came across as blaming customers for using our product. For this, we are truly sorry and would like to apologize to the community.

While we are not changing our overall plans, we’d like to clarify what we are doing for customers impacted by the changes and share a new offer which we hope will go a long way in making the situation better for our biggest fans.

Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscriptions will continue to include 1 TB of storage. Any subscriber who received additional storage as part of our unlimited offer will keep it for at least 12 months. For anyone unhappy with the decision to not offer unlimited storage, we will offer a full refund.

For customers of our free service who have over 5 GB of content and who are directly impacted by the storage change, we will offer one free year of Office 365 Personal, which includes 1 TB of storage. These customers will receive an email with redemption information early next year.

In addition, for our biggest fans who have been loyal advocates for OneDrive, we are adding a new offer that lets you keep your existing 15 GB of free storage when the changes happen next year. If you also have the 15 GB camera roll bonus, you’ll be able to keep that as well. From now until the end of January, you can sign up to keep your storage at the link below.

http://aka.ms/onedrivestorage

We are all genuinely sorry for the frustration this decision has caused and for the way it was communicated. Thank you for sticking with us.

Bottom line, if you want to keep your 15 GB free storage as well as the 15 GB bonus for using the Camera Roll feature, head over to https://preview.onedrive.com/bonus/ before the end of January 2016 to lock that in for each individual account you use.
OneDrive_KeepFreeStorage

Once you have done so, you’ll be glowing with success!
OneDrive_success

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ADMX, ADK, RSAT Released For Windows 10 (Version 1511)

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With the release of Windows 10 version 1511, the following tools to support this latest release has been made available, which includes Windows 10 Administrative Templates (.ADMX), Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK), Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), as well as the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.

Windows 10 Administrative Template (.ADMX)

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 (RSAT)

Windows 10 Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK)

Windows 10 Media Creation Tool

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

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Update – Windows ADK For Windows 10 (Version 1511)

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Update / Warning:

Aaron Czechowski, Senior Program Manager, Enterprise Client and Mobility has issued a warning regarding the latest release of Windows ADK for Windows 10, version 1511:

“…….there is a serious issue with it that blocks the following Configuration Manager OS deployment scenarios:

  • From Software Center, launch a task sequence that uses a Windows PE v10.0.10586 boot image. When the computer restarts into Windows PE, it will fail when “Initializing hardware devices” with the error: “Windows PE initialization failed with error code 0x80220014.”

At this time, we do not recommend that Configuration Manager customers use the 1511 version of the Windows 10 ADK.”

Johan Arwidmark, a System Center and OSD expert had also posted a warning on November 15, 2015 on his blog post “Inside Windows 10 ADK Build 10586“.

Warning: Do NOT upgrade your ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1 or MDT 2013 Update 1 environments to this build yet. For ConfigMgr, even though it seems to fix the x64 UEFI / PXE and Powershell/.NET issue, which is great, the new ADK does break Computer Refresh scenarios (Bare metal works). The error code is 0x80220014. Research and discussions with the product teams in progress… MDT 2013 Update 1 yet to be validated, but error comments on twitter does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.”

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Original post: November 20, 2015.

The Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10, version 1511 is now available from Microsoft’s “Download Kits and Tools for Windows 10” site.

The Windows ADK now includes:

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Windows 10 Enterprise Build 1511 ISO Available on VLSC

win10-ent3

Microsoft Volume License customers will now find the Windows 10 Enterprise (build 1511) downloads (ISO files) are now available on the Microsoft Volume Licensing Center (VLSC) portal (as of November 16, 2015).

There are two downloads available for this edition (see image below):

  1. Windows 10 Enterprise (Released Jul ’15)
  2. Windows 10 Enterprise, Version 1511 (Released Nov ’15)

win10-ent2

** Windows 10 Enterprise, Version 1511 is a Current Branch and includes the latest updates and features. For Current Branch for Business, install Windows 10 Enterprise (Released Jul ’15).

  • System Requirements for Windows 10:

    Processor: 1 GHz processor or faster
    Memory: 1 GB ( 32-bit ) and 2 GB (64-bit)
    Drive Space: Up to 20 GB available hard disk space
    Operating System: Windows 10

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FINAL – Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show (Ep. 14) – Ignite 101

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It’s the FINAL Countdown! Rick Claus (@RicksterCDN) and Joey Snow (@JoeySnow) finish the season with the Microsoft Ignite Countdown Shows with episode 14, in which they give you a condensed version of their ever popular Ignite 101 sessions on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 9:00AM and at 1:00PM in room S102. Check them out for a good rundown on Ignite, conference logistics, and much more.

I’ll warn ya that this episode is a lengthy one but it’s filled with good info and worth the time to watch. I can’t do justice covering everything they talk about here, so check out the video and the blog post for all the details.

Check out this episode on Channel 9 or you can watch it directly below:

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to ask on the Microsoft Ignite Forums, via Twitter, as well as in the Comments section under the video. The Microsoft Ignite team monitors all questions and will respond as they have the answers or information.

See ya soon at Microsoft Ignite, May 4-8, 2015 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

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Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show (Ep. 13) – The One About The Attendee Celebration and Live Broadcast

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So, Lucky number 13 of the Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show, with Rick Claus (@RicksterCDN) and Joey Snow (@JoeySnow) covers everything you need to know about the Microsoft Ignite Attendee Celebration on Thursday, May 7, 2015 and the Live Broadcasts starting on Monday, May 4, 2015. Rick and Joey are joined by a special guest, Alex Bradley, who provides details on the celebration and broadcasts.

So, who is the entertainer, you ask. Well, it’s Chicago’s own, multi-platinum, Grammy nominated band, Fall Out Boy.

Let’s break this down first with the Attendee Celebration.

When and Where: 
Thursday, May 7, 2015
6:30 PM–10:30 PM
Lakeside Center, McCormick Place
Right after your last session on Thursday, take a short walk and start celebrating.

Food and Beverage:
With Chicago being a foodie city, there’s going to be a crazy selection of local cuisine to sample and enjoy. Microsoft Ignite is bringing 30 of the best local restaurants to serve complimentary samples. Check out the list of restaurants posted on Twitter.
Also, there’ll be no shortage of beverages, including one of the Midwest’s largest craft breweries, Goose Island, who will have a beer garden and will provide a variety of their latest craft beer. Beer reps, beer geeks, and even a few certified Cicerones.

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Entertainment:
Head outside to the East Fountain Terrace, for a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan, take in the laid back atmosphere, network with fellow attendees and friends, enjoy the food trucks, a beer truck, and a cool local band.

Hall D is where you’ll find music, activities, and entertainment. Experience a sampling of Chicago’s popular neighborhoods as you walk around discovering all the cool stuff to see and do. Concert begins at 9:00 PM at the Main Stage, which you’ll be able to view throughout the hall.
No professional cameras or audio equipment are permitted during the concert.
Your conference name badge is your ticket into the concert event.

Logistics:

  • Bag check – If you need to leave your bags before heading to the Attendee Celebration, there will be a bag check service available in Hall B. You may want bring a pen and paper or use OneNote on your mobile device on Thursday instead of carrying your bag.
  • Shuttle service – Bus service will be available from 6:15PM-10:45PM between McCormick Place and the conference hotels.

Now, we close out with the Live Broadcast piece.

Broadcast:
On Monday, May 4, Alex and Joey will broadcast starting at 8:30 AM Central Time, before the keynote (which starts at 9:00 AM). Stay tuned immediately following the keynote for a recap and highlights of the morning keynote followed by live session room content and Channel 9 Live.

Channel 9 Live will broadcast deep technical interviews between the live streamed sessions and during break times. Make sure you catch Jeffrey Snover, Mark Russinovich, Paula Januszkiewicz and Brad Anderson on the Channel 9 stage during the week!

To see the live streams during the event, go to ignite.microsoft.com.

Last But Not Least:
Look out for one more Countdown Show next week. In this final episode, Rick and Joey will feature a mini-version of Ignite 101.

Share your tips and tricks, ask questions, and start networking on the Microsoft Ignite Forums and social networks. Join the Yammer network and discuss with speakers and other attendees to maximize your Ignite experience!

Check out this episode on Channel 9 or you can watch it directly below:

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to ask on the Microsoft Ignite Forums, via Twitter, as well as in the Comments section under the video. The Microsoft Ignite team monitors all questions and will respond as they have the answers or information.

See ya soon at Microsoft Ignite, May 4-8, 2015 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

For conversations and interactions, join the following channels:

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