Wednesday, April 29, 2009

MMS2009 Reporting: Managing drivers with MS Technologies

I attended the session by Michael Nieuhaus on how to manage drivers with WDS, MDT2010 and Config Manager 2007. Unfortunately i missed the first part on WDS but here's what i heard about MDT2010 and ConfigMgr 2007...

With Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010, it supports the following:

  • Inject drivers 'just in time' for WinXP and above except for mass storage
  • Now you can specify auto apply or apply all drivers to a specific group
  • Drag and drop is available
  • Integration with WSUS is available
  • Potentially can be used with inventory tools like MAP and ACT (App Compat) to assist in assessment

The Demo that was showed was importing the drivers with MDT2010. Here's what i noticed about the demo:

  • When he imported the driver it detected that the driver exists, it won't copy it again but rather populate the group with the same drivers.
  • MDT didn't detect automatically the platform of the driver for the machine so you'll have to de-select if the appropriate drivers
  • MDT can read CAB files directly. It will automatically extract it and read the INFs

Michael then proceeded to talk about driver management with Config Mgr 2007.When import a driver into SCCM, it doesn't import into the DB. It creates a DB entry to point to the driver stored in the specified location.

'Driver packages' in Config Mgr are then created for distribution to Distribution Points or "Forced" driver installation

Here are some of the supported features for drivers in Config Mgr:

  • Just in time driver injections are supported
  • Auto Apply drivers
  • Drivers matched by PnP ID and can be filtered by categories
  • Apply diver package
  • All drivers are injected
  • Categories can't be used
  • Only choice for XP/2003 mass storage drivers
  • Can be used with Task Sequence

Some Complications can arise with Config Mgr though..

  • It will not import duplicates. To do this, you would either need to modify the folder contents everytime you need to import, or create a customized import process using the SDK
  • Chipset drivers requires extra handling because the INFs include some redirection to other in-box INFs which makes them really challenging to inject. For this, you may want to consider including them into the image

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

System Center Central

Announcing today the launch of System Center Central, the site which focuses on providing all the knowledge and community breadth on everything Microsoft System Center. This site will serve as a central location for alot of system center related sites out there today. The System Center User Group of Malaysia is proud to be now associated with System Center Central.

Check it out at

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Scenarios I faced between Hyper-V R2 Beta and Hyper-V v1

While testing out Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta with Hyper-V in our environment, we noticed a few scenarios that had some incompatibilities.

  1. We had 3 VMs in a Saved State on a server with Hyper-V v1 and proceeded to upgrade the OS. After the upgrade was sucessfully complete, the VMs could not be recovered from its Saved State. The Saved State had to be deleted. Once that was done, the VMs started out fine
  2. We Exported a VM from a Hyper-V v1 server. The VM contained snapshots and proceeded to Import it into the Hyper-V R2 Beta server. The VM would not import and contain errors. We proceeded to remove the snapshot and imported it again
  3. We Exported a VM from a Hyper-V v1 server. The VM did not contain any snapshots and was in an Off state. When we imported it to the Hyper-V R2 Beta server, the VM could start but when Connecting to the VM, the screen was simply black. We proceeded to create a new VM with the exisiting Hard Disk and it worked fine
  4. After Importing a VM into Hyper-V R2 server from a Hyper-V v1 server, the Network connection was Disabled. Enabling it would not work. We proceeded to Re-install the Integration Services and the Network connection was working again. I suspect it was because of a different version of Integration Services.

I will be adding to this list as I go along. I hope these issues will be fixed at RTM.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

MP Update: SQL Server MP 6.0.6549.0 is released

There is a new update to the SQL Server MP.

The following is what is updated:

  • Fixed performance issues caused by excessive CPU utilization and script timeouts from Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) queries in the following management pack discoveries: Discover SQL Server 2005 Database Engines (Windows Server), Discover SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (Windows Server), Discover SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services (Windows Server), Discover SQL Server 2008 Database Engines (Windows Server), Discover SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services (Windows Server), Discover SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services (Windows Server).
  • Fixed an issue where SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services and Reporting Services discoveries were not reliably discovering these objects on instances of SQL Server that did not have the Database Engine installed.
  • Removed the hard-coded exception in rules and monitors that prevented the monitoring of the System, Temp, and Master databases.
  • Improved the means by which database discoveries recognize auto growth enabled settings. Database discoveries now recognize both “KB” and “%” growth settings; previously the database discoveries recognized only the “KB” growth setting.
  • Corrected typographical errors in product knowledge and improved the quality of the text

The above was described by the MP creator, Cory Delamarter and can be found on this blog post

To download the updated MP, go to the MP Catalog: