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.

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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