Robert - ConfigMgr

About Robs Blog

I'm Robert Marshall, director and principle consultant at SMSMarshall Ltd, who's specialism is in the Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager product and all of its dependent products, covering all aspects from Architecture, Implementation, Migration to Break-Fix.

I've been in front of computers for over 30 years now, with my roots in programming 8 bit computers, I've taken an often exciting journey which has led to becoming an expert in an enterprise product. I consider my career as starting 17 years ago, when I began my first serious role as a deployment engineer. I've seen 8 bit through to 64 bit, the rise and refinement of the interface we take for granted now, the rise of the Internet from land-line based modem access for the few, to the powerful broadband connections we have today for the masses, I saw mobile phones come into existence, and I've seen Microsoft evolve from more than a handful of employees to the company it is now, while pretty much tinkering with every OS they have released, as well as seeing an industry that has evolved around those humble beginnings to become what we have today. I'm a keen technical puzzle solver, I love to solve gnarly problems around my area of specialism. And, I love to share when I have time. I hope you enjoy the blog.

(2013)

Activity
  • LinkedIn advertising can make you laugh out loud

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    Had to laugh when I saw this on LinkedIn, Damn that’s a nice jacket!
  • System Center 2012 Configuration Manager R2–CU1 as arrived

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    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...
  • New tool–ManageMP for WINPE

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    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...
  • Controlling Management Point access during OSD

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    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 Awareness...
  • New tool–ConfigMgr SwitchMP

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    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...
  • Odd quirk after upgrading Visual Studio 2013 Preview Edition

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    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...
  • Windows 2012 Server Deduplication and ConfigMgr 2012

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    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...
  • BenQ BL2411 Review

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    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...
  • Beta–ConfigMgr Support Center tool from Microsoft

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    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...
  • Custom tools–Added to TechNet Gallery

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    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...
  • New Tool–CustomDDR

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    *** 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...
  • New ConfigMgr tool coming–Custom DDR

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    *** 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 *** Wrote a new tool last night, it was actually a complete...
  • Switzerland–User Group-All day with Wally Mead and Friends

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    Another awesome engineer friend of mine is giving his start-up User Group in Switzerland a go with it’s first all day event. The UG is called ConfigMgr.ch, he has an all-day event set for the 13th of Jan 2014 and the main attraction is Wally Mead along...
  • Re-awarded MVP for 2014!

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    An email arrived this afternoon, is always a treat to get an one like this! Another year of being in the MVP programme, in particular the Enterprise and Client Management (ECM) space where ConfigMgr lives, it’s just fantastic. My thanks for the year gone...
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Generation 2 virtual machine guide

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    John Howard, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft for the new Generation 2 Virtual Machine feature of Windows 8.1 rattled out ten very technical and approachable guides covering all aspects of a Generation 2 virtual machine. Over the break if you have...
  • Have a nice break!

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    Thought I’d throw in a video I made of a iRacing race before Christmas day arrives, gridded in first position, swapped places a few times and took 1st on the final 2 laps out of 26. This simulator is just plain hard, and as a result immensely fun...
  • New ConfigMgr and WSUS articles

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    Put feet up, have a read :-) ConfigMgr List of the role-based administration permissions and permission groups in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager System Center Updates Publisher 2011 Support Statement Update Why wait? Get a jumpstart...
  • And now for something completely different–The CM12R2 Toolkit is here

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    A bag of awesomeness dropped yesterday in the form of the System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Toolkit . Here’s the payload of tools: Server Based Tools * DP Job Manager - A tool that helps troubleshoot and manage ongoing content distribution jobs...
  • WMUG Event - Wally Mead–UK–November-2013

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    We had Wally Mead back over for a day covering System Center 2012 Configuration Manager R2 … WMUG produced a newsletter covering the event for those that couldn’t make it. Video will appear on the WMUG website soon, but there’s 6 hours to render into...
  • ConfigMgr 2012 R2 hotfix for per-computer task sequence variables

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    If you are not seeing this, no point installing, if you are having issues with per-computer task sequence variables, KB2907591 will resolve the issue. What is happening is that for those affected, the task sequence variables defined for newly imported...
  • WMUG Interview–Johan Arwidmark

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    I managed to get Johan Arwidmark ECM MVP (ConfigMgr + MDT) together for another in the WMUG Interview series The interview is audio only, no access to a web cam when we began the recording. Listen to the Johan Arwidmark interview here Enjoy.
  • Helium filled HDD from Western Digital

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    A gassy development in the Hard Drive industry has led to a device that consumes far less energy, is a lighter device, with 6GB of storage capacity across 7 platters, and sealed in with helium. I wants one! http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9243751...
  • Lab - System Center 2012 Configuration Manager - #6 CMTrace

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    NOTE: I had to move a few articles I wrote away from their existing location and on over to this blog, it’s old information now, since we have ConfigMgr 2012 R2! I thought I’d write some stuff about CMTrace, the Configuration Manager free log tracing...
  • Lab - System Center 2012 Configuration Manager - #5 MDT 2012

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    NOTE: I had to move a few articles I wrote away from their existing location and on over to this blog, it’s old information now, since we have MDT 2013! Here's a quick guide to installing MDT 2012 Update 1 Beta 1. There isn't much to the installation...
  • Lab - System Center 2012 Configuration Manager - #4 Setting up the Primary

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    Lab - System Center 2012 Configuration Manager - #4 Setting up the Primary NOTE: I had to move a few articles I wrote away from their existing location and on over to this blog, it’s old information now, since we have ConfigMgr 2012 R2! Following on...