The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

Blooper Video

In a conversation with Garth Jones last week at MMS I mentioned that if I had time I was going to put together a blooper video from the various snippets that I shot for the ConfigMgr Child Labor video. I think I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 “takes” during the filming. Garth mentioned that conversation on his blog yesterday, so I guess I need to follow through on that idea! I’ll try to throw something together this week before heading to TechEd next week.

May 3, 2009 Posted by | MMS, video | Leave a comment

Links from my MMS Session

Just finished my MMS session a while ago. Had a really fun time with it and felt like it went really well. Had a good time interacting with some of the attendees both before and after the session. In the session I promised a list of links that I referred to during the time. Some are on my blog, some are elsewhere.

By request, I will be posting the task sequence demo videos later…I want to do a voice over of the videos to make them more valuable. I will also be posting my Front End HTA and Back End VBS script later. I will update my post after doing so.

I think all of the links that I referred to that are on my blog are also on the My Favorite Ramblings page, so I will just link to that one. This includes the “Run a CMD Prompt as System” post that I referred to. Just scroll down past the personal section to the “ConfigMgr” section.

The “ConfigMgr Child Labor” video:

Johan’s blog and specific posts:

Johan’s post on Device Driver management

Michael Niehaus’s blog.

Deployment Guys blog.

TechNet forum. ConfigMgr forum.

April 29, 2009 Posted by | ConfigMgr, MMS | 5 Comments

ConfigMgr Child Labor Video

This is the follow up to the video that was shown at MMS 2008 showing my five year old daughter deploying systems using ConfigMgr. I used this during the intro to my “Operating System Deployment in the Real World” session at MMS 2009.

April 29, 2009 Posted by | comedy, ConfigMgr, kids, MMS, video | 8 Comments

Video at MMS 2009

Last year at MMS I had a touch with fame when Bill Anderson used a video (during the “State of the Nation” address) of me and my five year old daughter doing Operating System Deployment with ConfigMgr. It was shocking to me how much face recognition that video gave me last year.

Well…I am presenting at MMS this year on “Operating System Deployment in the Real World." If you are at MMS, that session is Wednesday at 2:15 in Bellini 2001B. During that session I will be debuting a follow up video to the one shown last year. If you want to see it, don’t be late. I will also be posting the video here after the session.

April 27, 2009 Posted by | ConfigMgr, kids, MMS | Leave a comment

MMS Bible Study – Last Call

Wanted to put out a final reminder…if you are interested in coming to the 2nd Annual MMS Bible Study, let me know ASAP. We will be meeting in Rod Trent’s room again this year. I will be sending location info via an email to anyone interested, but I will not be posting that to my blog…to protect Rod. Either email me directly or use my contact form. The Bible study will be Tuesday through Friday mornings before breakfast…probably 7:00-7:30am.

See you in Vegas…very soon!

April 24, 2009 Posted by | Jesus, MMS | 1 Comment

Bible Study at MMS and TechEd

Last year before MMS, I put out a call to see if anyone was interested in doing a Bible study during the week of MMS. I got a lot of very positive response, and so last year a group of us met in the morning before breakfast and spent some time studying the book of Philemon before the day started. Rod and Megan Trent volunteered to let us use their room to host the study. Around Thursday of that week, someone in the group mentioned that being the “1st Annual MMS Bible Study”.

So…who’s ready for the “2nd Annual” study? We are going to change the format up a bit this year. We’ll probably spend a bit more time in praise and worship than we did last year. Also…last year I intentionally chose a book of the Bible that people were likely to be unfamiliar with…this year we will be looking at a book that people are more likely to have read…Philippians. Specifically we will be looking at what that letter has to say about the way we treat those around us. I also plan to do a similar Bible Study at TechEd in LA this year.

So…who’s interested? If you are, please either send me an email or use this blog’s contact form. Let me know which of the two (MMS, TechEd or both) that you are interested in.

Looking forward to seeing you in Vegas or LA!

March 26, 2009 Posted by | devotional, Jesus, MMS, TechEd | 5 Comments

No Assigned Task Sequence

I’ve been setting up a virtual ConfigMgr environment on my laptop to use both for demonstrating at client locations as well as to use for the demo portions of my presentations at MMS and TechEd. It’s running inside Virtual PC 2007, and the server VM is running Windows Server 2008 and ConfigMgr 2007 SP1 R2. It actually runs pretty peppy…I do have the VM running on an external 7200 RPM hard drive connected to my laptop via an eSATA cable.

Anyway…I set up a Task Sequence to do my OS build and capture. It worked fine. Then I imported that WIM file and set up another Task Sequence to deploy that image. It was advertised to both the “All Unknown Computers” collection as well as a special OSD Deploy collection that I had created and imported the name and MAC address of the new VM into.

After booting the new VM with the Bootable Task Sequence media CD, it kept giving me this error message: “Failed to Run Task Sequence” “There are no task sequences available for this computer.” If I looked in the smsts.log file located at “X:\windows\temp\smsts”, I saw an error entry stating: “No assigned task sequence.” Looking through the log file, I could see that it was reading the correct MAC address and had the right SMS GUID that was assigned to the system that I imported. So it was clearly recognizing the machine. It was talking to ConfigMgr correctly. It was downloading policy, but it was determining that none of those policies were applicable. If I looked at the properties of either the Collection or the system, it showed that the advertisement for the Task Sequence was applicable to that computer. So…why would it show as applicable in the GUI, but not be evaluated as applicable during the task sequence?

After beating on this for entirely too long, I finally figured it out this afternoon. I had done a housekeeping task on my VM to move all of the default “All…” collections off of the root of the Collections node (see this post). After doing so, I had forgotten to update those collections after “moving” them. Shouldn’t matter…except that the “All Unknown Computers” collection was completely empty…including not having the “x86 Unknown Computer (x86 Unknown Computer)” or “x64 Unknown Computer (x64 Unknown Computer)” entries.

When the new VM was evaluating policy, it went through the following steps in the SMSTS.log.

Client Identity: GUID:24e41bb6-2d68-451a-9802-29f9f1bdd1ea
Netbios name: NewComputer
Client GUID = GUID:24e41bb6-2d68-451a-9802-29f9f1bdd1ea, Netbios name = NewComputer, State = Unknown
Client is unprovisioned
Using unknown machine GUID: 1b554c94-8eeb-490a-8b10-ae10bd579d3d
Unknown client identity: GUID:24e41bb6-2d68-451a-9802-29f9f1bdd1ea
Preparing Policy Assignment Request.
    Setting transport.
    Setting site code = CM1.
    Setting client ID = 1b554c94-8eeb-490a-8b10-ae10bd579d3d.
Executing Policy Assignment Request.

Note what happens to the GUID. It starts off with the GUID that starts with “24e41…” and a state of “Unknown”. It then switches the GUID that it is going to use for the rest of the process to the “unknown machine GUID” which on my system starts with “1b554…”…this is the GUID for the “x86 Unknown Computer (x86 Unknown Computer)” resource that should be in the “All Unknown Computers” collection. After switching the GUID, you see the last line that I pasted in above where it is “Executing Policy Assignment Request.”

Because I had not updated the collection…and the “x86 Unknown Computer (x86 Unknown Computer)” resource didn’t exist in any collection…there wasn’t any advertisement that was applicable to that GUID. It behaved exactly like it should have. It just took me a long long time to figure out why it was failing. Once I updated the collection, the “problem” went away.

In this instance, it was definitely a PEBKAC issue…Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.

March 20, 2009 Posted by | ConfigMgr, Microsoft, MMS, TechEd | 4 Comments

ConfigMgr Version Numbers

This post is out of date. A more complete listing of both site server version numbers as well as client version numbers can be found in this new blog post.

I have been installing ConfigMgr in a virtual environment on my laptop this week. This will serve as both a Demo environment for my MMS/TechEd presentations as well as a “Proof of Concept” environment when I am talking with clients.

I was wanting to check which version of ConfigMgr I had installed but wasn’t able to quickly locate the version numbers for each version, so I figured I’d post this out to help others.

Go to ConfigMgr Console / Site Database / Site Management, then right click your site and choose Properties. The version will be listed on the properties screen.

ConfigMgr RTM 4.00.5931.0000
ConfigMgr SP1 4.00.6221.1000
The “R2 installed” field will state “No”. (See the screenshot below.)
ConfigMgr R2 4.00.6221.1000
The “R2 installed” field will state “Yes”.
ConfigMgr R2 SP2 (RC) 4.00.6468.2001
ConfigMgr R2 SP2 (RTM) 4.00.6487.2000


March 10, 2009 Posted by | ConfigMgr, MMS, TechEd | 2 Comments

Presenting at TechEd Too???

Last week I had big news about being invited to be a presenter at the Microsoft Management Summit. That was huge and very encouraging…a very big week. Then came Friday afternoon…

I’m at my daughter’s school watching her in a Geography Bowl competition (which she won!). Just as it was starting, my phone buzzed…an email. I took a quick glance just to see who sent the email. It was from Martin Dey again. Here is part of what it said (copied with Martin’s permission):

The product team liked your topic “Operating System Deployment (OSD) in the Real World” so much they asked me to also propose it for the TechEd US event. They felt this was one of the strongest industry proposals we had received across both MMS and TechEd .

So I went ahead and cross-submitted your topic, and I’m pleased to report it has also been selected for the TechEd US event in Los Angeles in May.

I almost dropped the phone. Wide eyed, I looked over at my wife and told her, “I just received a really big email. We need to talk after this is over.” I spent the rest of the afternoon shaking my head and repeating “Wow”. To say that I am excited would be an understatement! And honestly, that statement from Martin is both honoring and humbling at the same time. Wow was that encouraging. As a family, we went out to celebrate Friday night. Laurel wanted McDonald’s. I wanted Chinese. We did both!

I still need to confirm that I can get the time from Virteva to do the TechEd event, but I don’t think it will be a problem!

Update: Just found out from my leadership that I can officially accept the TechEd speaking invitation!

January 26, 2009 Posted by | Microsoft, MMS, TechEd | 6 Comments

Presenting at MMS 2009

This morning I got an email from Martin Dey (Microsoft) confirming that my session proposal for MMS 2009 has been accepted! I will be presenting at the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas! My session is titled “Operating System Deployment in the Real World”.

I’ll admit…there is certainly a combination of excitement and terror going through my head at this point. Looking forward to it…but I’m also aware that there is going to be a lot of work between now and April 27 to prepare for the session.

See you in Vegas!

January 22, 2009 Posted by | ConfigMgr, Microsoft, MMS | 6 Comments