• Wed, Sep 10 2014

    Branding devices using Collection Variables, Task Sequences and PowerShell

    Customer asked me to figure out a way to make it easy for them to create\manage a Machine based Environment Variable en-mass, so I came up with something that uses PowerShell, Task Sequences and Collection Variables. Save this script as SysEnvVarBranding.ps1 to a new Package Source Folder location: # Get the Task Sequence Variables $tsenv = New-Object -COMObject Microsoft.SMS.TSEnvironment # Set the Machine Environment...
    • Mon, Aug 18 2014

    WMUG Clinic–Orchestrator-20-August-2014

    WMUG has another Clinic days away, 20th of August 2014 , this time covering System Center Orchestrator, with a great bunch of knowledgeable guys, with Peter Egerton hosting, and with guest speakers Sam Erskine, Steve Beaumont (MVP), Dieter Gasser, Steve Buchanan (MVP) and Andreas Baumgarten (MVP) Check out the Clinic page for Orchestrator here . If you want to attend, check out the events landing page above for further...
    • Fri, Aug 15 2014

    WMUG Clinic-Service Manager-July-2014

    WMUG hosted a Clinic for July 2014, this time for Service Manager with a bunch of great guys, Sam Erkine, David Scambler, Andreas Baumgarten MVP, Dieter Gasser and Anton Gritsenko MVP. Covered a lot off, worth the listen. Check out the Clinic page for Service Manager here Note: This is an audio-only recording, there are slides containing the introduction, agenda and sign off, as well as at the very end the links...
    • Sun, Aug 10 2014

    New ConfigMgr Architects mailing list

    I love designing for ConfigMgr, and to boot I love sharing, so I created a new mailing list dedicated to ConfigMgr design. If you’d like to join up ping an email to architects@smsmarshall.com with SUBSCRIBE in the subject or body, and I'll add you to the list. I know a lot of you already, directly or indirectly, but I do not want to just sign people up so you’ll have to go through the one time chore of subscribing...
    • Sat, Jul 26 2014

    Enhanced Hierarchy functionality

    Some of you may already know or have guessed, controlling Management Point, and now Software Update Point usage has become a bit of a preoccupation of mine. It is a “missing” feature that I’m acutely aware of as an Architect, I have to point out to customers that this gap just has to be lived with. Designing for ConfigMgr is a real joy, but having to be an apologist because something is missing, although relatively easy...
    • Thu, Jul 10 2014

    LocationAware–Control Management Point usage

    I’ve written a pretty awesome and cheaply priced product to control System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 and R2 Management Point selection and usage, literally bringing localisation that we have today for Content to Management Points without any burden, overhead or change in the infrastructure. LocationAware maps Management Points to Boundary Groups, it consists of a Console, an Agent and a Configuration file...
    • Sun, Jul 6 2014

    LinkedIn Phishing attempts

    Keep an eye out for this bunch of LOL on LinkedIn. I received this today. (I wonder who the poor guy is in the picture!) Mr. Robert Marshall , I would start by saying thanks for your response..How is your family doing? I hope okay. My proposal is very important to me so please I want you to take the content of this mail very seriously. All I want is an honest business transaction between us. First of all, I will start...
    • Sun, Jun 22 2014

    Where’s Robert been lately?

    Where’s Robert been lately? A good question! The last few months I’ve been working for my company SMSMarshall Ltd, to produce a ConfigMgr related product, coded in C# using Visual Studio 2013, while trying to weave in day to day consultancy work, community activities, family, Baby boy arrived, friends, life. Man, Q1 and Q2 of 2014 really got crazy busy for me. I had the notion of controlling Management Point usage in...
    • Fri, Jun 13 2014

    Patch Tuesday–Some patches being reported as incompatible with OSD due to multiple reboots

    I’m seeing several sources reporting that there are a few patches in the latest Patch Tuesday cycle that are not compatible with OSD due to their requirement for multiple reboots. Keep an eye out, here’s a run down, the skinny, from Nash Pherson an ECM MVP colleague: http://myitforum.com/myitforumwp/2014/06/13/another-update-or-two-released-that-breaks-task-sequences-add-it-to-your-to-do-list/
    • Tue, Apr 22 2014

    ConfigMgr Inbox Monitor–Updated to V1.3

    Just finished up the latest revision to the ConfigMgr Inbox Monitor tool bringing it to V1.3. Here’s a shot of the slightly modified UI: There’s a big build up of files taking place there, silent but deadly, tool took mere moments to render this birds-eye view of your inboxes. Very nice. Download: ConfigMgr Inbox Monitor V1.3
    • Sun, Apr 20 2014

    WMUG Tweet chat - 15/04/204

    WMUG asked another fun question on Twitter last week, and here’s the conversation we all had, happy reading! Thanks to those involved for this question: @RobMVP, @PeterEgerton, @NickolajA, @matthewwhite,, @terencebeggs and @JasonSandys Cite a good reason for running a Hierarchy without Boundaries, please ignore assignment Peter : If you only have 1 DP? Robert : Interesting, yes that would be a use case! Pat on head! Peter...
    • Sun, Apr 20 2014

    WMUG Tweet chat - 14/04/204

    I had some fun with other MVP’s and peers in the community over last week using Twitter, asked a couple of ConfigMgr related questions and here’s the first question and replies. I hope you enjoy the read. I think this is something we’ll do regularly now at WMUG, so keep an eye on the @WMUG twitter feed for more mind-boggling and fun questions Thanks to those involved for this question: @RobMVP, @PeterEgerton, @NickolajA...
    • Sat, Apr 19 2014

    8 years ago I started posting on this blog

    I took a peek through some of my older blog posts and realised that I started blogging over 8 years ago, it doesn’t seem that long ago, certainly isn’t a world record by any means, others have been posting stuff to blogs in what is now called the System Center community for a little while longer. I realised however, that a selection of my very first blog posts tell a story, about what was happening in the System Management...
    • Wed, Apr 16 2014

    LinkedIn advertising can make you laugh out loud

    Had to laugh when I saw this on LinkedIn, Damn that’s a nice jacket!
    • Sat, Mar 29 2014

    System Center 2012 Configuration Manager R2–CU1 as arrived

    Cumulative Update 1 for System Center 20212 Configuration Manager R2 has arrived in the form of KB2938441 . Here’s the enhancements: App-V 5.0 SP2 is now supported Updated Endpoint Protection Client PowerShell changes There’s a list of bugs that have been fixed, some of which my customers are going to be very happy with. You might want to walk through the list of fixes. I’d recommend...
    • Thu, Mar 13 2014

    New tool–ManageMP for WINPE

    Wrote a small tool to do some Management Point blocking during the OSD WINPE build phase. I wanted to block MP’s very early on and using a prestart command like I showed here wasn’t very useful without some kind of conditional logic being applied to do the MP blocking, if you specify an MP then block it automatically, why specify it? So I wrote ManageMP which allows you to specify Subnets and MP’s to block if the device...
    • Tue, Mar 4 2014

    Controlling Management Point access during OSD

    *** Update - I wrote a tool called ManageMP that let's you specify MP's to be blocked and on which subnet a client has to be for the block to take place, check it out here I wrote a tool called SwitchMP to force an existing ConfigMgr Client to perform Management Point rotation, and while doing so attempt to control which Management Point the Client eventually selects to use. See, there’s no real Location...
    • Mon, Mar 3 2014

    New tool–ConfigMgr SwitchMP

    Need to point a Client at a specific MP, or block access to specific MP’s? Not many of us need to pin Clients to a specific MP, it’s not really possible, but is now. Download and instructions here There’s a Q&A feedback tab on that page, if you could give me feedback on your experiences, if it wobbles, I’d appreciate it!
    • Thu, Feb 27 2014

    Odd quirk after upgrading Visual Studio 2013 Preview Edition

    I had an odd error when loading existing projects after I upgraded from Visual Studio 2013 Preview edition to the RTM edition: The project file could not be loaded. Root element is missing. C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\12.0\bin\Microsoft.CSharp.targets I noticed I had a left over entry for Preview as well as Ultimate editions available in Programs and Features, so I uninstalled Preview, repaired Ultimate, still the...
    • Fri, Feb 21 2014

    Windows 2012 Server Deduplication and ConfigMgr 2012

    Windows Server 2012 brought along a really nice bunch of features, and a lot of work went into Disk Management, we saw Storage Pools, and a feature that I hadn’t check out, Deduplication. Since Windows 2012 we’ve been able to make use of this feature in the data center, Johan Arwidmark reminded me of the ConfigMgr team blog article on ConfigMgr and Deduplication for Distribution Point Content Libraries, so I thought I...
    • Tue, Feb 18 2014

    BenQ BL2411 Review

    I’m very fortunate to be sitting in front of a new panel I’ve got for review purposes, the BenQ BL2411PT , it’s a 16:10 (1920x1200) 24” IPS panel with quite a lot of features, and just so happens to be involved in a hot debate on whether the Dell U2412M 16:10 24” IPS panel has finally been usurped. I have an ancient BenQ FP241VW 16:10 24” panel that I’ve used as my main (middle) for quite a few years now. Was one of the...
    • Wed, Feb 5 2014

    Beta–ConfigMgr Support Center tool from Microsoft

    There’s a new ConfigMgr tool just released from Microsoft called Support Center, in it’s beta stage, and open to the public. It’s primary purpose is for passing on Client diagnostic information to Microsoft Support Services, but it goes beyond that and, as you will see, has a selection of features for regular day-to-day activities that’ll make using this tool common-place for many. First let’s go through the features...
    • Thu, Jan 23 2014

    Custom tools–Added to TechNet Gallery

    I added my ConfigMgr tools to the TechNet Gallery and thought I’d offer up the links. I was using SourceForge before, think I’ll post to both repositories from here on in. You can check these out over on TechNet Gallery as well as all the other cool tools residing there: CustomDDR Client Push Manager Component Manager Inbox Monitor
    • Mon, Jan 20 2014

    New Tool–CustomDDR

    *** UPDATE *** I updated the script a bit to V1.2 and produced some instructions, check it out here ( http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/CustomDDR-for-ConfigMgr-831d30d5 ) *** UPDATE *** I’ve written a new ConfigMgr related tool to handle retrieving properties from WMI, Registry, Environment Variables, Task Sequence Variables or direct injection of a static value, and placing the property into a Resource...