Monday, 25 September 2017 17:56

The Case of Duplicate Firmware Objects in BCD

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A few months ago a customer complained that on a Dell Optiplex 7040 MiniTower the boot menu contained multiple entries for the "Windows Boot Manager". Given that we were in the process of deploying Windows 10 client and the importance of the customer, I immediately started troubleshooting. This particular case is especially interesting because it might affect a large number of users and the vendor was not aware of the issue.

Thursday, 21 September 2017 18:39

TPM Upgrade Process on Dell & HP Systems Using MDT

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In my last blog post, I discussed clearing Trusted Platform Module (TPM) using PowerShell and MDT. This time I’m turning my attention to another issue: field upgrading TPM from 1.2 to 2.0 specification on HP and Dell systems which support discreet TPM switching.

Systems that shipped with Windows 7 from the factory will have TPM 1.2, however, most modern systems feature a firmware based component running in a trusted execution environment on a general purpose SoC, which allows discrete TPM mode switching in real time. Customers I worked with in the past couple of months and which roll out Windows 10 intend to make use of important security advantages of TPM 2.0 specification including greater crypto agility by being more flexible with respect to cryptographic algorithms, newer algorithms, which can improve drive signing and key generation performance, a more consistent experience across different implementations and a consistent dictionary attack protection guarantee.

Friday, 15 September 2017 23:40

How to Clear the TPM Chip Using MDT

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Before a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) can be used for advanced scenarios it must be provisioned. Windows 10 automatically provisions a TPM, but if you are planning to reinstall the operating system, you may have to clear the TPM before reinstalling so that Windows 10 can take full advantage of the TPM. In today's blog post, I will take a closer look how to clear the TPM ownership using WMI in Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), allowing Windows 10 to automatically take ownership of the TPM on the next boot (TPM AutoProvisioning). Clearing the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) cancels TPM ownership and invalidates cryptographic materials created by the previous owner.

Thursday, 14 September 2017 13:17

The Case of Existing Email Address

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This case is my favorite kind of case, one where I get to learn something new to solve a problem. The other day I was creating a couple of users in my Office 365 environment and assigning Exchange Online licenses when I was interrupted with a message that informed me that "The email address "This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." is already being used by contact (Christopher Blair) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Use a different email address.".

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