These days a lot of my blog posts start off with a question on Twitter and this one is no different. At least, this time around the question was relatively simple: How do you restore a modern application which was fully deprovisioned from a Windows 10 installation during OS deployment? Assuming you have the necessary source files handy, the steps involved are relatively straight forward.
As Windows 10 April 2019 Update Update (codenamed 19H1) development winds down, it’s the grandiose time to examine updated and new Group Policy settings. There might be a few changes to Group Policy settings before Windows 10, version 1903 hits RTM, but it still can't hurt to poke around current ADMX files because there are truly several things duller in our line of work than comparing thousands of lines of text. Right?
This case is my favorite kind of case, one where I use PowerShell to solve an issue affecting a customer. The problem at the root of it is also one you might run into if you are using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to apply language packs and features on demand during OSD, making it an ideal troubleshooting example to document and share.
Automated reference image creation became common as IT professionals use tools like Microsoft Deployment Toolkit or System Center Configuration Manager. In most cases, creating a Windows reference image is fairly straightforward if you follow established best practices. However, there are still issues out there that may catch you off guard and you will suffer the consequences.
The development of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809, codenamed "Redstone 5") is now heading towards the finishing line. We can assume that Windows 10, version 1809 is now feature-complete and as such, I can't stress it highly enough that you should start testing the newest features and functionality in this Semi-Annual Channel release as soon as possible in preparation for broad deployment to the devices in your organization. As part of this process, you should take a look at provisioned apps - most likely you want to ensure that only a choice selection of apps is being installed, whenever a user logs on either for the first time or after installing a feature update on a Windows 10 computer, because app installation directly impacts logon times.
As Windows 10 Redstone 5 Update (1809) development winds down and Microsoft is now beginning the phase of checking in final code to prepare for the final release of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, it’s that time again to examine updated and new Group Policy settings. There is (obviously) no official documentation from the Group Policy team at this point. However, since the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is pretty much feature complete and is undergoing the final round of testing, it can't hurt to poke around ADMX files because there are truly several things duller in our line of work than comparing thousands of lines of text. Right?
As a reminder, Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7 SP1 on January 14, 2020. I've had multiple enterprise customer engagements over the past several months and with less than two years left, I wanted to take a look at how you can potentially optimize your OS image and successfully transition to a Windows 10 environment. The clock is ticking!
The topic of Windows 10 optimizations comes up often enough, so I figured I should address it in a separate blog post. There are a lot of customers I've worked with who have heard "somewhere" (not sure where) that they should be optimizing their operating system by minimizing connections from Windows to Microsoft services and by disabling unnecessary services and features to improve performance. Now, I've seen a few optimization scripts on the net that will reduce the functionality and security configuration of your devices and may also put you into an untested and unsupported configuration. Consequently, I thought I would share the Windows 10 optimization script that I put together based on my conversations with enterprise customers. Several organizations used this script as part of their deployment to rapidly drive successful Windows 10 adoption and to thrive within a Windows as a Service environment.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me, so I’m slowly going through a backlog of things to cover. The push to get modern continues with the third part of my series on automating the process of transitioning from BIOS to UEFI using MDT. Today's blog post discusses the process of configuring BIOS settings on supported Dell Inc. enterprise systems.
This is the second post in my series that explores one of the most common questions I’ve been asked from folks who are migrating to Windows 10: "How do I go about transitioning from BIOS to UEFI?". So naturally, I’m addressing this question. This time, I am going to discuss automating firmware configuration on supported HP (Hewlett-Packard) notebook, desktop, and workstation models. Now, it's not as if it's been no-man's-land before. I am fully aware that there are blogs out there that talk about doing this kind of thing and I’ve tried a few of the solutions with various rates of success. Still, the feedback I've been getting over the past few weeks has been that I should share my approach when working with the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), so, here's my attempt to do precisely that.
This article is the first blog post in a series I'll write over the coming days that will provide a comprehensive overview that explains how you can automate the process of transitioning from BIOS to UEFI during "wipe-and-load" OS deployment scenario. To be able to migrate from BIOS to UEFI effectively you need to understand how to configure firmware settings, such as secure boot, legacy support, and TPM device configuration, as well as how to use the MBR2GPT tool. Unfortunately, though it seems like a relatively straightforward process when using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, based on questions I received as well as threads posted on TechNet over the past few weeks, there is still some confusion around this in the Windows technical community. Converting a device to UEFI comes with quite a few benefits including the ability to make full use of Windows 10 modern security features, so I thought it would be worth taking a few minutes to share my approach to dealing with BIOS to UEFI conversions.