Five Routine’s That Sums Up Desktop Management

IT departments play a major role in systems maintenance and it takes some effort for a system administrator to keep servers and end user workstations up and running for stability and productivity reasons. Lets take a look at system administrator’s daily routine and the importance of it.

1. Downloading and Deploying patches to user computers

System administrator has to identify required patches (3rd party) on systems, download them from the vendor websites and deploy them to end user computers. Managing these patches on a one of basis seems straightforward but it becomes cumbersome on a routine basis and especially when there are many systems to patch. Using a Patch Management solution, these routine tasks can be automated and scheduled to lessen the cumbersome workload on system administrators.

2. Installing software to user computers

Manually installing software on remote computers can be a daunting task and is challenging. A Software Management solution can resolve this complication by allowing a system administrator to deploy software from any location, handle tickets with ease and assist users demands in software installation with simplicity.

3.Troubleshooting remote computers

Troubleshooting servers and workstations for Operating System issues, software installations, security patches, system crashes can be remedied much easily with software management solutions, especially with remote capabilities and centralized management interface.

4. Managing IT assets in your network

Asset tracking for hardware and software in your organization is highly important and can be done with ease with the use of an asset management software. Apart from tracking the hardware and software in the organization, software license management, hardware warranty management, and identifying the usage of software particularly for licensing, restricting unwanted software in your network is important as well. An asset management solution provides a systems administrator the tools needed to effectively gather and manage this data.

5. Deploying configurations and managing mobile devices

Managing and configuring devices such as computers, tablets, phones, and peripherals in a growing organization with rapid demands for technology can be a challenging task for system administrators. MDM and desktop management solutions provide much flexibility and the tools needed to handle these technology challenges in the enterprise.

ManageEngine Desktop Central is one such ideal solution for desktop management, with its bundle of features and pricing compared to some known industry solutions. Desktop Central offers Patch management, Software management, Asset management, Remote support, Mobile device management, Failover Service, and Auditing capabilities. Desktop Central supports heterogeneous platform in 16 different languages. Finally, Desktop Central offers a fully functioning edition to manage 50 endpoints completely free with no hidden cost.

Download Desktop Central now and experience simplified IT management.

Follow @Hoorge on Twitter and join Tech Konnect on Facebook and Twitter to stay current on technology related matters.

Please like & share:

Windows ADK 1703 For Windows 10 Now Available

With the release of Windows 10 version 1703, the following tool to support this latest Windows 10 build, Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) version 1703 is now available.
You can download it from: Windows 10 Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK).

Note: You must use Windows 10 build 1703 with this version of the ADK.

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!

Follow me (@Hoorge) on Twitter and join Tech Konnect on Facebook and Twitter (@TechKonnect) to stay current on technology related matters.

Please like & share:

Review – Microsoft Systems Center Endpoint Protection Cookbook

System endpoint security is a critical aspect of modern day computing and we all have had our fair share in dealing with malware infections, and in some cases ransomware and cryptolocker attacks in our organizations. Microsoft has made great efforts in mitigating these security risks by providing a superior product called System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) for enterprises and Windows Defender which by default is included with Windows 10.

A System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr or SCCM) or a Microsoft Intune administrator is familiar with SCEP as it is the way to administer and manage SCEP in the enterprise. However, there are many aspects and intricacies of SCEP one is not aware of and has not fully utilized, and should. While I was dealing with some SCEP updates and anti-malware policies in my organization, I came across this awesome book written by Nicolai Henriksen, a Microsoft MVP in Enterprise Mobility. I decided to write a non-biased review of this book and credit the wonderful information contained within it.

Nicolai’s SCEP cookbook is well written and vetted by another well respected Microsoft MVP in Enterprise Mobility, Ronni Pedersen, who I often interact with on social media on all things ConfigMgr. This book is shy of 200 pages and is laid out in eight easily digestible chapters and covers everything you need to know about SCEP from soup to nuts. You’ll learn how to plan and get started with SCEP, configuration, operations and maintenance, updates, security and privacy, configure advance protection, troubleshooting, and malware handling to name a few. It’s an information filled book with great tips and how to’s, and I particularly enjoyed how Nicolai included little segments throughout the book with tidbits such as “Getting ready….”, “How it works….”, and “How to do it….” which was perfect for my learning and understanding of the various concepts presented.

The Table of Contents of this book:

As a ConfigMgr admin who has been working with the product for a number of years including working with System Center Endpoint Protection, I have learned things that I didn’t know, picked up some tips and tricks, have a better insight and understanding of SCEP, and I have gained a great reference for the product. I highly recommend this book to all ConfigMgr and Intune admins. This book is available for purchase in Kindle and Paperback format on Amazon. If you would like to connect with Nicolai and have some feedback or suggestions, you’ll find him on Twitter as @nicolaitwitt.

Follow me (@Hoorge) on Twitter and join Tech Konnect on Facebook and Twitter (@TechKonnect) to stay current on technology related matters.

Please like & share:

Tips for IT admins In Windows 10 Get Started App

get-started-app

In Windows 10, version 1607 aka the Anniversary Update, Microsoft added a new section to the Get Started app targeting enterprise IT professionals called “Tips for IT Administrators.” This is only available with the Enterprise edition of Windows 10 version 1607 or later.

This tool enables a Windows admin to quickly access step-by-step instructions on common enterprise IT tasks, for example:

  1. Change the default browser
  2. Create a private store
  3. Work with Windows Update for Business
  4. Links to deployment and management tools, including Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) and the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK)

To access Tips for IT Administrators:

  1. Press the Windows logo key, search for Get Started, then press Enter
  2. Go to Browse topics and select Tips for IT administrators

If you would like to see additional topics added to the Tips for IT Administrators section and have ideas or feedback for the Get Started app, send an email to: winpro@microsoft.com.

Follow (@Hoorge) on Twitter and join Tech Konnect on Facebook and Twitter (@TechKonnect) to stay current on technology related matters.

Please like & share:

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT 8443) Released

mdt_2013-8443

The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) has been released and the most current build (8443) can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center. This update requires the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10 version 1607 (10.1.14393.0) which is available for download on the Microsoft Hardware Dev Center.

According to the MDT blog post by Aaron Czechowski (Senior Program Manager), MDT is now tagless without the year and version number and going forward, new releases will be identified by their build numbers only.

You may notice that we are not tagging this release with a year or update version. To better align with the current branches of Windows 10 and Configuration Manager, and to simplify the branding and release process, we are now just referring to it as the “Microsoft Deployment Toolkit”, using the build number to distinguish each release. This is not necessarily a “current branch” of MDT; we are committed to updating MDT as needed with revisions to Windows, the Windows ADK, and Configuration Manager.

Some of the significant changes in this update include:

  • Supported configuration updates
    • Windows ADK for Windows 10, version 1607
    • Windows 10, version 1607
    • Windows Server 2016
    • Configuration Manager, version 1606
  • Quality updates
    • Deployment Wizard scaling on high DPI devices
    • Johan’s “uber bug” for computer replace scenario
    • Multiple fixes for the Windows 10 in-place upgrade scenario
    • Several fixes to Configure ADDS step
    • Removed imagex/ocsetup dependencies, rely solely on DISM
    • Includes the latest Configuration Manager task sequence binaries (version 1606)

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

Follow (@Hoorge) on Twitter and join Tech Konnect on Facebook and Twitter (@TechKonnect) to stay current on technology related matters.

Please like & share:

Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) Version 1.2 For Windows 10

rsat

The latest version of the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 10 have been released. The download is available here. You will find the following two download files available for version 1.2 corresponding to x86 or x64 Operating Systems:

  • 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.

Follow (@Hoorge) on Twitter and join Tech Konnect on Facebook and Twitter (@TechKonnect) to stay current on technology related matters.

Please like & share:

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

Computer_update_comic

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.

Follow me on Twitter (@Hoorge) and join Tech Konnect on Facebook to stay current on technology related matters.

Please like & share:

Update – Windows ADK For Windows 10 (Version 1511)

windows10_adk

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.”

——————————————————————————————————————–
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:

Follow me on Twitter (@Hoorge) and join Tech Konnect on Facebook to stay current on technology related matters.

Please like & share: