2012
05.09

I’m currently on a 2 week project on a customer site to install System Center 2012 Configuration Manager with a focus on OS deployment to bare metal and application installation.  It’s been fun dong my first production install of ConfigMgr 2012.  You can really only push it so far in a virtualised lab and quite a bit has changed since 2007 R3 – it’s kind of like moving from XP to Windows 8 Smile  The biggest challenge is finding where things have moved to.

Today we moved to physical machine testing, verifying the drivers were installed, and IDing/importing those that got missed out.  Interestingly, the recently released HP all-inclusive driver pack for PCs/laptops is missing quite a few drivers.  We’re finding them in the per-model archives with no issues, as we are for the Dell machines.

One of the nice finds today was that I’d forgot to turn on Multicast on the distribution point and set the network speed in Multicast.  By default it is 100 Mbps.  I switched that sucker up to 1 Gbps.  Two things happened:

  1. All deployments that were on-going broke as the DP was updated.  This wasn’t instant either, taking a couple of minutes.
  2. Damn, OS deployment became so much quicker afterwards, as one would expect.

One of the nasties was a 3G modem “driver” by Ericsson on one of the HP laptops.  I say “driver” because there isn’t the usual collection of files including a .sys and .inf.  Instead, it’s a setup.exe.  Extract that and you get more files and another setup.exe.  Crap!  Maybe it has a silent install.  Maybe if it does we can package it up, and distribute it to a collection based on the model name of the laptop in question.  I’m even wondering if we can make it a conditional step in the task sequence where the condition is based on a ZTIGather model discovery.   It’s the only 3G modem we’ve had like this in about 8 or so laptop models so it sucks that it stands out like a sore thumb.

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