More on Displaying the Bitlocker Wizard with Windows 8 and MDT 2012 U1

I a previous post, I detailed how to get the Bitlocker wizard page to appear when deploying Windows 8 pro.

I recently confirmed another case where the wizard does not show up. I became aware of this thread on Technet because another user linked to my previously mentioned blog post.

I was able to confirm after a bit of testing, that when using the Windows 8 Enterprise evaluation media, MDT does not show the Bitlocker wizard page. At this point, I am not sure of the reason for this.

Sending Email Notification from MDT 2012

In my recent rework of my Build and Capture sequences that are used for updating my reference images, I thought it would be nice to have an email notification when the process was done.  This post is to show how I did this.

I did this using Powershell’s Send-MailMessage cmdlet.  This provides a simple way to send a message via SMTP, and this MDT 2012u1 provides support for Powershell scripts it seemed a logical choice.  Since I wanted to send the message at the end of a Capture process, I needed to be able to send the message from the WindowsPE environment. Continue reading

Displaying the Bitlocker Wizard Pane with Windows 8 Pro and MDT 2012 Update 1

Using MDT 2012 Update 1 with ADK, I built and captured a Windows 8 Pro image to enable my institution to more easily do some testing with Windows 8. After setting up a task sequence to deploy this reference image I noticed something unexpected. When choosing the Win 8 task sequence, I was not presented with the Bitlocker wizard pane. The wizard pane was showing up fine for my Win 7 task sequences.

I posed the question on the MDT-OSD email list, and Michael Niehaus to the rescue! Turns out there is logic in the MDT scripts to determine if the edition of Windows is a “Premium SKU” to determine what features are available. Since I was using Windows 8 Pro instead of Enterprise it was not getting marked as a premium SKU.

Of course, since Win 8 Pro does support Bitlocker (Win 7 Pro did not), this is a bug. A user posted a bug report to Microsoft along with some work around code. If you have a Connect account, you can see the bug report here.

The work around :

In ZTIUtility.vbs add the following two lines of code after line 3846 :

</p><p></p><p>case "PROFESSIONAL", "PROFESSIONALE", "PROFESSIONALN"</p><p> If Left(oEnvironment.Item("OSCurrentVersion"), 3) &gt;= 6.2 Then IsHighEndSKUEx = True</p><p></p><p>

Update 1-14-2014 :

Hat tip to this Post on This bug still exists in MDT 2013 and Windows 8.1 has been released since the writing of this post. The above lines of code have been changed to allow for Windows 8.1 (changed from equal to greater than or equal).

Installing Novell ZCM Adaptive Agent in MDT 2012

The Novell ZCM Adaptive Agent is an example of an application that needs to be installed at deployment time and should not be included in the reference image.  In general, MDT Lite Touch handles installing applications at deployment time quite nicely.

The Adaptive agent, however is an example of an install process that does not play nice with MDT.  It really is a quite horrible installer.  First, lets take a look at the installer and what it does. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Troubleshooting MDT Deployments

So, a colleague hands me two laptops that are going to be added to our loaner pool.  No problem…  just add the the computer’s information into the MDT database and image them.

Both machines were taking quite a long time for the wizard to come up, and when it did it was obvious that none of the values from the database were coming down.  Both machines were connecting to the deployment share, and had valid IP addresses.  I even booted up a Virtual Machine I use for testing and verified that it was connecting to the database properly.  So what the heck is up with the two problem machines? Continue reading

Changing the OS Associated with a Task Sequence

This is something that bugged me for a while, and I just stumbled across an answer…

When you create a new “Standard Client Task Sequence” to deploy an OS, the first thing you are prompted for after choosing the template is the OS.  I wanted to know how to specify a different OS for an existing task Sequence.   The obvious scenario for this would be when have updated a reference image but do not want to recreate a custom task sequence.

Continue reading

Problem Updating Deployment Share

I have had an issue where I was no longer able to update my deployment share to update my boot images.  If I installed MDT on another computer and connected to the share, I could then do the update, so the problem is not with the share itself but with the computer doing the updating.

I had tried uninstalling WAIK and then reinstalling it, but that did not help.  I did some googling and did not come up with anything either…  I was suspecting that some temp files were a problem, so I started poking around.  When I looked in Users\username\AppData\Local\Temp I found some directories named MDTUpdate.XXX that were rather large.

For some reason I could not delete these files.  I finally had to boot to a live CD to delete the files.  Once I deleted these files, I could update my Deployment Share again.

Application Bundles in MDT 2010

In MDT 2010, you can create application bundles.  An application bundle is simply a list of dependencies or a list of applications to be installed.  In this example, an application bundle can be used to bundle 32bit and 64bit versions of an application.  Here is how to do this :

We will assume that we have set up both the 32bit and 64bit version of the software.  In this example I am using AVG

Now we need to limit the platform that each application can install on.  This is done on the Details tab of the application properties.  To limit to only 32 bit versions of Windows, we select “All x86 Pre-Vista” and “All x86 Vista and Newer”  This will cover all 32 bit version of Windows.  For the 64 bit version of the software, we simply choose the corresponding x64 options. Continue reading