Monitoring A Test Task Sequence

A great way to monitor a new task sequence is by using a custom Status Message query which grabs all the exit codes from every step of the TS and reports them out to the console. All you need is the following query and the Deployment ID for your task sequence. select  SMS_StatusMessage.*,   SMS_StatMsgInsStrings.*,   SMS_StatMsgAttributes.*,   SMS_StatMsgAttributes.AttributeTime   from SMS_StatusMessage   left join SMS_StatMsgInsStrings   on SMS_StatMsgInsStrings.RecordID = SMS_StatusMessage.RecordID   left join SMS_StatMsgAttributes   on SMS_StatMsgAttributes.RecordID = SMS_StatusMessage.RecordID   where SMS_StatMsgAttributes.AttributeID = 401 and SMS_StatMsgAttributes.AttributeValue = “ABC20001” and SMS_StatMsgAttributes.AttributeTime >= ##PRM:SMS_StatMsgAttributes.AttributeTime## order by SMS_StatMsgAttributes.AttributeTime DESC Create a new Status Message Query from the Monitoring tab as follows. Give the query a new name, eg,…

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Managing Local Admins with Windows 10

You can use Group Policy Preferences to implement a fairly simple, but reliable method of managing your local admins users so they are administrators on their primary machine only. For this you need to edit Computer Group Policy Preferences in your Windows 10 Common Computer policy. The first part of the policy clears membership of the local admins group and adds the default users and groups you need to give permissions to. The second part adds the user of the computer to local admins on their PC only, but only…

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Windows 10 In-place Upgrade Fails with 0xC1900208

This error appeared during the first phase of an in-place upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10.  The error refers to the Windows 10 setup.exe exit code and was found in the smsts.log file. Windows Setup failed with hexadecimal exit code 0xC1900208 (decimal 3247440392) According to Prajwal’s article on this error, the cause could be an incompatible app installed on the old operating system.  The approach to check this is to mount the Windows 10 ISO in Windows 8.1 for example, and run a custom setup command.  I tried the…

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Group Policy for Beginners

I have had very little hands-on experience with configuring / administering Group Policy in my time as an IT bod. However, my latest assignment requires me to get my hands dirty.  Therefore, until I can share some proper personal knowledge on the subject, here is a list of a few sites I am using to help me get to grips with this area of Windows Admin.  I’ll update my progress at a later date. Click on the links in the right hand column.

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Disable Access to a Windows App – the Easy Way!

Today I’m going to share an easy way to disable or remove a Windows app, such as the Mixed Reality Portal app in Windows 10.  After following these steps, nothing will happen if someone tries to launch the app from Start Menu. All we are doing is restricting the app from executing. Windows 10 apps like these can’t be uninstalled using PowerShell as they are protected by Windows 10.  This method is easy – we just rename the folder where the app lives. 1. First of all open the following folder:…

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WMI : Useful WMIC Queries

The wmic command can be used to interrogate the local WMI repository.  The following queries return hardware related information. Check total RAM wmic MEMORYCHIP get BankLabel,DeviceLocator,Capacity,Tag Check computer model / service tag Wmic csproduct list /format Check CPU Wmic cpu get name There are many other parameters for this command listed here … https://ss64.com/nt/wmic.html  

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