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”

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”

How to Use Office 365 First Release

What is first release?

First release is a selective program that any administrator can enroll in to try out new Office 365 features before they roll out to everyone else. This is a part of all Microsoft’s Office 365 plans (with the exception of consumer plans). The features that you receive will be fully functional as they are tested by Microsoft internally before they reach your doorstep. Continue reading “How to Use Office 365 First Release”

Where to download Office Online Server 2016

So you’ve decided to deploy Office Online Server 2016, but after looking everywhere can’t find where to download it? You’re not alone.

Office Online Server, formerly known as Office Web Apps Server, provides the ability to view and edit Office files in the browser using Skype for Business, Exchange, and SharePoint on premises. Basically the same functionality you get with Office 365. Full details can be found here.

Continue reading “Where to download Office Online Server 2016”

1610 Legacy to UEFI Conversion

With the release of ConfigMgr 1610 came the ability to transition from MBR (legacy) to UEFI in a single task sequence.  This is an awesome feature and it is outlined nicely here.  And, it works great. 🙂

1-CM16-10UEFI

Let’s dig into each of these steps:

Continue reading “1610 Legacy to UEFI Conversion”

How to import boot image drivers from your exiting boot image

Significantly reduce the time needed to create usable boot media and remove one of the bigger barriers to updating the ADK you are using.  Adding the network and storage drivers you need to newly created boot media.

With the new “Current Branch” model of ConfigMgr and Windows 10 we can expect a faster release cycle of the ADK, which means new boot images pretty regularly!   Creating new boot media is really simple.  However, reimporting all of your required drivers into that boot image can be a real chore.  Here is a script that that identifies the drivers in a source boot image and imports them into a destination image.  Give it a spin and give me some feedback. 

Continue reading “How to import boot image drivers from your exiting boot image”

ConfigMgr and Intune Feedback

It’s a DevOps world, and that means the pace of change is only going to keep accelerating. But what direction is that change going to take? You are the biggest part of that answer.

 

Feedback Driven Change

The ConfigMgr and Intune teams are laser focused on customer feedback and data to drive decision making. We see evidence of that in every single major release and minor technical preview. Participating in the processes means that you help shape Continue reading “ConfigMgr and Intune Feedback”

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”

Office 365 Pro Plus Not Activating on Windows 10 1511 update

As of the recent Windows 10 1511 update Office 365 Pro Plus 2016 no longer activates, in fact when you try to activate it you end up with a cryptic Http Bad Request error after logging in. These few fixes can help get your users back up and running like it did for us.

Continue reading “Office 365 Pro Plus Not Activating on Windows 10 1511 update”

Power BI: Big Data, Big Improvements

With Microsoft’s announcement of the new E5 plans, Micah Linehan, Now Micros’ Cloud Sherpa evaluates what this gives us with Power BI

Being able to visualize and manage your data as soon as it’s reported is every organizations dream. In this brief overview, let’s take a look at a few of the things in Power BI on Office365.

Continue reading “Power BI: Big Data, Big Improvements”