Deploy Google Chrome

Google now allows for you to get an MSI of Chrome for deployment to your organization. You can get the MSI by clicking the link below.

http://www.google.com/chrome/eula.html?msi=true

Once you have the MSI you simply have to run it to install Chrome. As of right now there are no parameters needed. Obviously you can get the uninstall string from the registry to perform mass uninstalls of it.

Installing Administrative Tools on Windows XP

Below are the steps to enable remote administration for Windows Server technologies from a Windows XP.

  1. Go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=c16ae515-c8f4-47ef-a1e4-a8dcbacff8e3&displaylang=en and download adminpack.exe.
  2. Launch adminpak.exe and have it extract the contents to a common location.
  3. Go to the location where you had the files extracted and run adminpak.msi.
  4. Once you’ve finished installing the adminpak, you can to into the Administrative Tools folder that’s in the Control Panel and see all the available remote administration tools for Windows XP.

Installing Exchange System Manager for Exchange 2003 on Windows XP

In order to administer Exchange attributes for user accounts on Windows XP, you’ll need to install the Exchange System Manager for Exchange 2003. The steps below will guide you through the process.

  1. You must first ensure that you have IIS installed on the Windows XP machine. If it’s not installed then install it by going to Add/Remove programs, Add/Remove Windows Components, check the box for Internet Information Services (IIS), then click Next.
  2. On the Windows XP machine, go to the i386 folder within the source directory for your Exchange 2003 install, and launch Setup.
  3. Once setup has loaded and you’re presented with choosing the components to install, choose Custom for Microsoft Exchange and then Install for Microsoft Exchange System Management Tools.
  4. Once setup has successfully completed, you’ll now have Exchange tabs when looking at user accounts.

Reading WMI Information

When creating task sequences you’ll find yourself using alot of WMI filters to determine if a certain task needs ran on a machine. I’ve found WMI Reader to be an excellent tool to dig through WMI. It can be downloaded for free from softpedia.

Have your task sequence prompt for a computer name.

In the current environment I manage we name all of our physical PC’s by their serial number, however when it comes to virtual machines, naming the computer using a serial number doesn’t work out so well.

The solution I’ve come up with for this issue is a simple vbscript. The way I have the task sequence configured is that at the beginning the vbscript is ran and prompts for a computer name. It then takes what is entered and replaces the task sequence variable “OSDComputerName” with what was entered. The vbscript task only runs on machines where the model equals something like Virtual Machine or VMware, thus preventing the script from running on a physical machine.

Installing Exchange System Manager for Exchange 2003 on Windows 7

This morning my colleague decided that he wanted to upgrade his XP machine to Windows 7. Other than myself, no one else on the support team had Windows 7, so the need to have Exchange 2003 tools integrated into Windows 7 wasn’t there until this morning. ( I always remoted into a Windows XP machine or into the server.)

So after looking into how to get Exchange 2003 tools on a Windows 7 machine, I came up with this.

  1. Download the “Exchange System Manager for Windows Vista”
    (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=3403d74e-8942-421b-8738-b3664559e46f&displaylang=en)
  2. On the Windows 7 machine, go to Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows features on or off -> Expand Internet Information Services -> Expand Web Management Tools and then install all of the IIS 6 Management Compatibility tools.
  3. Open Command Prompt on the Windows 7 machine as an Administrator and navigate to where you stored ESMVISTA.msi.
  4. Run “ESMVISTA.msi /q”
  5. You should now be able to open up the properties on a user account through the ADUC and see your exchange tabs.

Deploying Server 2008 R2 Std via SCCM

I was asked to create a deployment for Server 2008 R2 today. I figured it would be easy as hell, however that wasn’t the case. The task sequence kept throwing an error on the “Setup Windows and ConfigMgr task. Ends up it was due to the product key. After messing around with the TS over and over again, I found that if I removed the product key the TS would finish successfully. I ended up finding out that the copy of Server 2008 R2 that I got off my companies licensing site doesn’t allow for a MAK key to be entered during setup. After some more searching online however I found a way to input the MAK key another way so that when the OS went to automatically activate itself it wouldn’t throw an error.

What you need to do is add a Run Command Line task to your TS that comes after the OS is already installed. Put in the command line “SLMGR.VBS -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX” and then tell it to start in %system root%system32.

By doing that you’re specifying a product key to be used during automatic activation.

ConfigMgr Console | The RPC Server is unavailable

In the event that you get the error

The RPC server is unavailable. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x800706BA)

when trying to launch the ConfigMgr console on a remote machine, the following is probably what’s going on.

You’re probably running Configuration Manager on a Server 2008 host, and you haven’t unblocked Remote Administration in the Windows Firewall. Either unblock that, or disable the Windows Firewall. Whichever you decide to do should fix your problem and allow you to manage ConfigMgr remotely.