Some new Features in MDT 2012

I’ve been working with MDT 2012 in my test environment, and here are three new features that I really like.

Dirty Environment Cleanup

Some times a deployment fails from some reason, and you just want to restart the process of a bare metal install.  In MDT 2010, the task sequence would read the logs written to the hard drive and realize that a deployment was still in progress.  At this point, MDT 2010 will halt the process with an error.  Pressing F8 and using diskpart to wipe the disk is my usual work around, but it is a bit clumsy for less experienced technicians.

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Getting Started with The Luggage

When administering and or deploying Mac OS systems, it becomes very useful to be able to create packages.  This can be to repackage an app to automate deployment, or package up scripts or configuration files.  One such tool to do this is The Luggage.  Written by Joe Block, it is a command line tool that makes use of Apple’s Packagemaker as well as Make.  More information can be found here.

This post is intended to walk you through getting up and running with luggage from ground zero.  A future post will look at using The Luggage.  This tutorial is assuming you are running Mac OS 10.7. Continue reading

What the heck are Directory Junction Points?

So I recently fielded a question from someone new to Windows 7 about some “directories” that they were being denied access to.  This seemed odd, because it was under the user profile so they should not have been a permissions issue.

I inquired about some more specifics, and the list of problem directories were Application Data, Cookies, Local Settings, etc…  I recognized right away that these were Windows XP directories which should not normally show up for a user in Windows 7.  What these really are is Directory Junction points provided by Microsoft to maintain compatibility with software written for previous versions of Windows.  Starting with Windows Vista, Microsoft changed the structure of the user profile namespace.  The result of this is that Directory Junction points are needed to route files to the new locations even when the old style path is specified. Continue reading