Customizable OSD PowerShell Web Service

Using web services for OSD is a great way to allow your task sequence to request changes to your ConfigMgr or Active Directory environment even if your devices are running from WinPE.  The problem with building web  services for many IT administrators is that they either need to find a web service online that has all of the functionality that they need, or they need to learn a web development framework to build their own.  I wrote the PowerShell Web Service to help bridge the gap – it allows you to customize all of the available web calls by writing new PowerShell scripts or editing the out of box samples. Continue reading “Customizable OSD PowerShell Web Service”

Recast 3.0 Release Preview (Part 2)

Recast 3.0 has not been released yet – we will post an announcement when the new tools are out.This blog will provide an overview of the latest features coming to both Recast RCT Free and Recast RCT Enterprise. 

Local Group Members (RCT Free and RCT Enterprise)
The System Information Tool now has a Local Group Members tab showing the users in each local group.  Right clicking on a group will show a “Remove From Group” tool that will remove the selected user(s) from the selected group(s). Continue reading “Recast 3.0 Release Preview (Part 2)”

Recast 3.0 Release Preview (Part 1)

Recast 3.0 has not been released yet – we will post an announcement when the new tools are out. This blog will provide an overview of the latest features coming to both Recast RCT Free and Recast RCT Enterprise.

RCT Builder / RCT Runner (RCT Enterprise)
The RCT Builder tool will let you right click on objects in the ConfigMgr console and create actions to be performed on those objects.  The various properties of the object can be used as input to run multiple Recast actions.
Continue reading “Recast 3.0 Release Preview (Part 1)”

Improving ImageConnect with 2Pint

ImageConnect is Now Micro’s solution for using a customer’s ConfigMgr task sequence to image devices they purchase from us.  Internally we give each ImageConnect customer a unique VLAN that’s designed to service PXE requests for their environment.  Before 2Pint, we maintained a table mapping customer to VLAN ID and our staff would need to SSH in to the appropriate switch to change the VLAN.  This blog post will describe how Now Micro uses the iPXE Anywhere solution from 2Pint Software to help us remove some of the manual steps by automating the VLAN switching process. Continue reading “Improving ImageConnect with 2Pint”

Recast 2.5 Release Feature Preview

The Recast 2.5 release is the first release that merges the free and enterprise versions into a single installer.  Previously Recast RCT Free and Recast RCT Enterprise were separate downloads with independent code bases.  Combining them allows us to more efficiently fix bugs and add features to both sets of tools.  To accommodate this, there are significant changes to both Recast RCT Free and Recast RCT Enterprise. View the Recast 2.5 Release Webinar from Sept 12th for an in depth walk through of these updates and new features.  Continue reading “Recast 2.5 Release Feature Preview”

Effective Imaging using SCCM with ImageConnect

Purchasing imaged devices from vendors can be a hassle.  Often times the images sent to the vendor need to be produced differently from the normal image deployment process, leading to extra work for the IT department.  Additionally, the images the vendor uses are quickly out of date as new updates, drivers, or applications are applied to the image deployment process.  In a typical VAR scenario, a vendor is given a point-in-time snapshot of the image.  These snapshots work great for deploying to new systems, but they become out-of-date in short order.  With ImageConnect, WIMs are no longer shipped manually to the vendor.  We utilize your existing System Center Configuration Manager environment to make sure Now Micro’s production facility always has the most up-to-date version of your image.  Since the devices are deployed in the same way as you would deploy them in house, they are ready to ship directly to the end user.  When utilizing ImageConnect, the I.T. department no longer needs to finish the image deployment process in house by manually joining the domain, encrypting the devices, or running Windows updates.

Continue reading “Effective Imaging using SCCM with ImageConnect”

StateLocker: Configuring the Unified Write Filter from within ConfigMgr

Locking down devices can be a difficult task.  Even when we take administrator permissions away, our users still find ways to defeat our best intentions. When we restrict things too much, we run the risk of making the device unusable.  One way we could prevent configuration drift is by reverting the device to a known-good state at every reboot.  There are many solutions that take this approach, but often times they fall short with ConfigMgr managed devices.  When combining ConfigMgr with state reset software, administrators need to take extra precautions to ensure their devices are patched, have the latest malware definitions, and maintain healthy ConfigMgr clients.  Often ConfigMgr administrators are forced to schedule unlock intervals to allow their workstations to receive these updates.

Continue reading “StateLocker: Configuring the Unified Write Filter from within ConfigMgr”

Efficiently Finding Folder Paths in ConfigMgr Using PowerShell

Are you currently spending an extensive amount of time to find folder paths within ConfigMgr device collections?  In this blog post we will walk through three methods and demonstrate how using different data structures can decrease the time spent when querying for large amounts of data.

Continue reading “Efficiently Finding Folder Paths in ConfigMgr Using PowerShell”

Recast RCT Free 2.4 Release

icon-48We have released Recast RCT Free 2.4.  We appreciate all of the feedback given since the release of the 2.3 version of Recast RCT Free.  We focused on improving the FQDN and DNS reverse lookup features based on that feedback.  With the 2.4 release, we’ve added the ability to enable or disable each of these features in the Configure Right Click Tools menu.

Continue reading “Recast RCT Free 2.4 Release”

Boot to Kiosk Mode: Turn Your Computers into Single Purpose Devices using the Recast tools

How often are system administrators asked to provision computer labs or groups of computers for single use type scenarios such as testing terminals, kiosks or library machines? Or make a lab available for outside groups to use a single application? This is typically accomplished by a mess of specific user credentials and group policy settings which never fully accomplish the goal and leave a lot to be desired. The Lab Manager plugin for Recast Right Click Tools Enterprise helps you use Microsoft ConfigMgr 2012 to better manage these scenarios and many more.

Continue reading “Boot to Kiosk Mode: Turn Your Computers into Single Purpose Devices using the Recast tools”