Free ebook: Deploying Windows 10: Automating deployment by using System Center Configuration Manager

We’re happy to announce the release of our newest free ebook, Deploying Windows 10: Automating deployment by using System Center Configuration Manager (ISBN 9781509301867), by Andre Della Monica, Russ Rimmerman, Alessandro Cesarini, and Victor Silveira.

5282.9781509301867_6F8A5B58

This ebook is also available for download at the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA).

Get a head start deploying Windows 10—with tips and best practices from experts in the field. This guide shows you how to deploy Windows 10 in an automated way without impacting end users by leveraging System Center Configuration Manager, which is the most used product to deploy Microsoft operating systems in the industry today.

MDT 2013 Update 2 (6.3.8330) Released

The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013 Update 2 (6.3.8330) is now available on the Microsoft Download Center. This update requires the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10, available on the Microsoft Hardware Dev Center. (Note that there are known issues with the v1511 release of the Windows 10 ADK and System Center Configuration Manager; these issues do not directly affect MDT although may still impact ZTI or UDI scenarios.)

MDT 2013 Update 2 is primarily a quality release; there are no new major features. The following is a summary of the significant changes in this update:

  • Security- and cryptographic-related improvements:
    • Relaxed permissions on newly created deployment shares (still secure by default, but now also functional by default)
    • Creating deployment shares via Windows PowerShell adds same default permissions
    • Updated hash algorithm usage from SHA1 to SHA256
  • Includes the latest Configuration Manager task sequence binaries
  • Enhanced user experience for Windows 10 in-place upgrade task sequence
  • Enhanced split WIM functionality
  • Fixed OSDJoinAccount account usage in UDI scenario
  • Fixed issues with installation of Windows 10 language packs
  • Various accessibility improvements
  • Monitoring correctly displays progress for all scenarios including upgrade
  • Improvements to smsts.log verbosity

There are no other new release notes or significant known issues. See the previous post for more information as much of it is still applicable (other than the fix list above).

See the following post on How to get help with MDT.

Frequently Asked Questions

In anticipation of some questions that you may have about this release (or MDT in general):

Q: Should I expect a release of MDT with every new Windows 10 and/or Configuration Manager build release?

No. We shipped multiple MDT releases this year due to the timing of Windows 10 and Configuration Manager releases, but do not intend to keep that same cadence going forward.

Q: What branches of Windows 10 does MDT support?

MDT supports both the current branch of Windows 10 as well as the long-term servicing branch.

Q: What branches of System Center Configuration Manager does MDT support?

For ZTI and UDI scenarios MDT 2013 Update 2 supports the current branch of System Center Configuration Manager (currently version 1511) for an integrated solution for deploying Windows 10 current branch as well as prior Windows versions.

Q: When is the next planned release of MDT?

We do not currently have a timeframe. We will release any tactical changes as needed which may be required to support new builds of Windows 10 or Configuration Manager, but do not currently expect this to be needed.

Q: Is this the last release of MDT?

No, we will continue to iterate and invest in the product.

Q: Why is it still “MDT 2013” when the year is almost 2016?

Two primary reasons. First, we have only made minor changes to MDT which in our opinion does not constitute a major version revision. Second, per the MDT support lifecycle, a new major version will drop support for MDT2012 Update 1 which still supports legacy platforms.

Source

MDT 2013 Update 1 re-released (build 8298)

MDT Team have released a newer build (8298) to address many of these issues. The Download Center is updated with the new build and is still considered MDT 2013 Update 1. Build 8290 is no longer available, no longer supported, and superseded by build 8298.

NOTE: it can take time for the files to fully propagate through the live downloads cluster, and to be refreshed on the Akamai caches. Please ensure the build version under Details is 8298. I have seen the updated page on a non-internal system; it’s there, just be patient. Use the time to review the release notes below!

The following issues are fixed in build 8298
  • Multiple drive partitioning issues are addressed by significant revisions to the Format and Partition Disk step (see release note below), including:
    • Upgrading to MDT 2013 Update 1 does not work for UEFI systems
    • An extra unneeded partition is created on both UEFI and BIOS systems
    • You cannot specify a custom partition layout containing a “Recovery”-type partition needed for UEFI systems
    • LTIApply error, “There is not enough space on the disk”
    • WINRE_DRIVE_SIZE from ZTIDiskpart.wsf is Too Small
  • Multiple issues related to XML processing:
    • Application bundles returning error 87
    • Selecting a keyboard locale in the Deployment Wizard
    • Deployments failing due to Unattend.xml errors
    • ZTIPatches returning error “Object required (424)”
    • Cleanup after image capture doesn’t remove LTIBootstrap entry
  • Several issues with the Windows 10 in-place upgrade task sequence including:
    • The upgrade process ends with warnings “Unable to create WebService class”
    • The upgrade task sequence is available from Windows PE
    • After upgrade a System_License_Violation blue screen appears
  • Applications that use a command file start using System32 as the working directory
  • Spanned images cannot be applied

Below are the revised release notes and list of known issues. These inclusive lists supersede the previously published lists. New entries are marked with an asterisk (*).

Release Notes

TechNet documentation is not updated

The MDT product documentation published on TechNet is current as of MDT 2013; it has not yet been updated for MDT 2013 Update 1.

Do not upgrade from Preview to RTM

MDT 2013 Update 1 Preview should be uninstalled before installing the final MDT 2013 Update 1. Do not attempt to upgrade a preview installation or deployment share. Although the product documentation is not updated for MDT 2013 Update 1, the information on upgrading an installation still holds true.

Windows System Image Manager will fail to validate MDT Unattend.xml templates

The Windows System Image Manager (WSIM, a component of the Windows ADK used to create and modify unattended installation answer files) does not allow blank values which exist in the default MDT Unattend.xml templates. When using WSIM option, Validate Answer File, it will return validation errors, such as “The ‘HorizontalResolution’ element is invalid – The value ” is invalid according to its datatype ‘HorizontalResolutionType’ – The string ” is not a valid UInt32 value.”

MDT removes blank values before injecting the file during deployment, so Windows always receives a valid XML answer file.

Integrating with System Center Configuration Manager

When integrating MDT with Configuration Manager, follow the version of the Windows ADK. MDT 2013 Update 1 only works with the Windows 10 ADK, so make sure it is used with a version of Configuration Manager that supports and also uses the Windows 10 ADK.

Image files larger than 4 GB are not split by default

Split image (.SWM) support is now off by default. It must be enabled by modifying %DeployRoot%\Control\Settings.xml with the following:

<SkipWimSplit>False</SkipWimSplit>

Using HideShell with Windows 10

The behavior of the HideShell option changed with Windows 10. Michael Niehaus explains this in great detail on his blog.

Changes to the Format and Partition Disk step *

The Format and Partition Disk step in the task sequence is now more closely aligned with the similar step in Configuration Manager; it will explicitly show all of the partitions that are created when the task sequence runs.

  • Backwards compatibility remains when using a task sequence that was created in a prior version of MDT. You should expect the same behavior as previously.
  • The DoNotCreateExtraPartition variable is deprecated. It should not be used with new task sequences (as the partitions are explicitly created by the task sequence step).
Changes to permissions of new deployment shares *

New deployment shares will now be created with more restrictive permissions. You should review these permissions and adjust accordingly for your access requirements.

Upgraded deployment shares are not modified, but the former default permissions are overly permissive. You should review the permissions on the share and directory and adjust accordingly for your environment.

MDT Known Issues

Static IP not restored when using media deployment

When doing a media deployment and using a static IP the static IP does not get restored.

Workarounds:

  • Modify Litetouch.wsf to enable MEDIA deployments (Keith Garner explains in this forum post)
    or
  • Add an extra Apply Network Settings action (alternative suggested by Johan Arwidmark on his blog)
Static IP not set in Network Adapter Configuration Wizard

When initializing a deployment in Windows PE and clicking Configure Static IP Address, if you uncheck Enable DHCP and enter static IP information, the following Network Settings Error will display:

WMI Function: Adapter.EnableStatic(IPAddress,SubnetMask) FAILURE: -2147467259

This warning may also be seen in the results screen and log files during a deployment.

Workaround: a static IP can be manually set from Windows PE using netsh, but otherwise there are no workarounds at this time.

UDI wizard does not handle the domain join account user name *

When using the OSDJoinAccount variable in CustomSettings.ini for a UDI task sequence, the wizard cannot be completed because the domain join account user name is encoded. The New Computer Details page will display an error, “User name format is invalid. Example is domain\user.”

Workarounds:

  • Specify the OSDJoinAccount variable in the task sequence before the UDI wizard starts.
  • Alternatively, require the user to manually specify credentials in the UDI wizard.
Unable to browse for user data path *

In the LTI Deployment Wizard, on the User Data page, when selecting the Browse button, the Browse for Folder window does not display anything for selecting a path.

Workarounds:

  • Manually enter the path (do not browse).
  • Set the UserDataLocation variable in CustomSettings.ini.
The ZTIWinRE.wsf script and PrepareWinRE variable do not function properly *

If you specify PrepareWinRE=YES in CustomSettings.ini, Windows RE does not get enabled because the commandline is malformed.

The ZTIWinRE.wsf script is deprecated and should not be used.

Windows 10 language packs may not install *

We are still investigating an issue where Windows 10 language packs may not install during LTI.

Issues after successful Windows 10 in-place upgrade *

Following a successful upgrade to Windows 10:

  • Monitoring will continue to show the task sequence in progress until a user logs on.
  • A low rights user may receive an error at logon. This is a non-fatal error; the MDT script requires administrator elevation in order to display the final summary screen. Avoid this by using the variable, SkipFinalSummary.

Windows 10 Known Issues

The following are issues that are known to the MDT product team when doing Windows 10 deployments.

Issues with CopyProfile *

We are aware of reports of issues regarding the CopyProfile property in Unattend.xml. We have not been able to reproduce this issue, and are working with the Windows team to investigate further. If you have a reproducible issue with CopyProfile, please open a case with Microsoft Support to troubleshoot.

USMT LoadState fails on Windows 7 *

Using MDT 2013 Update 1 to deploy Windows 7 to an existing machine (refresh scenario), and using USMT 10 to capture and restore the user data will result in an error (“DismApi.DLL is missing”) while restoring the user state on Windows 7. This is a known issue with loadstate; see https://support.microsoft.com/kb/3084782 for more information.

MDAC component fails being added to Windows PE

This is a known bug with DISM; it is external to MDT. DISM can sometimes fail to add the MDAC component to WinPE boot images. This seems to be a timing issue which most commonly occur when you are using SSD disks.

Workarounds:

  • Remove MDAC. On the deployment share properties, Windows PE tab, Features subtab, uncheck Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC/ADO) support.
  • If you need MDAC for database connectivity, you can try updating your boot images from a system where the %TMP% directory is located on a non-SSD drive. This is not a guaranteed workaround, but has been seen to work

NOTE: we are also aware of reports of issues regarding the WMI component in Windows PE. We have not been able to reproduce this issue, and are working with the Windows team to investigate further. If you have a reproducible issue with Windows PE optional components, please open a case with Microsoft Support to troubleshoot.

Issues with Windows PowerShell in Windows PE

Windows PowerShell cmdlets in Windows PE may not function as expected. We are investigating this issue with the Windows team. If you have a reproducible issue with Windows PE optional components, please open a case with Microsoft Support to troubleshoot.

MDT 2013 Update 1 Release Notes and Known Issues

This post is to serve as the release notes and known issues list for the current release of MDT 2013 Update 1 (v6.3.8290). Source: http://blogs.technet.com/b/msdeployment/archive/2015/08/25/mdt-2013-update-1-release-notes-and-known-issues.aspx

The list of known issues below provides a number of workarounds that are currently available to help unblock affected customers. We will revise the list as needed. Given the number of issues with this build we will release a newer build of MDT 2013 Update 1 in the next several weeks to address as many of these issues as we can. Watch this blog for more information.

Release Notes

TechNet documentation is not updated

The MDT product documentation published on TechNet is current as of MDT 2013; it has not yet been updated for MDT 2013 Update 1.

Do not upgrade from Preview to RTM

MDT 2013 Update 1 Preview should be uninstalled before installing the final MDT 2013 Update 1. Do not attempt to upgrade a preview installation or deployment share. Although the product documentation is not updated for MDT 2013 Update 1, the information on upgrading an installation still holds true.

Windows System Image Manager will fail to validate MDT Unattend.xml templates

The Windows System Image Manager (WSIM, a component of the Windows ADK used to create and modify unattended installation answer files) does not allow blank values which exist in the default MDT Unattend.xml templates. MDT removes blank values before injecting the file during deployment, so Windows always receives a valid XML answer file.

Integrating with System Center Configuration Manager

When integrating MDT with Configuration Manager, follow the version of the Windows ADK. MDT 2013 Update 1 only works with the Windows 10 ADK, so make sure it is used with a version of Configuration Manager that supports and also uses the Windows 10 ADK.

Image files larger than 4 GB are not split by default

Split image (.SWM) support is now off by default. It must be enabled by modifying %DeployRoot%\Control\Settings.xml with the following:

<SkipWimSplit>False</SkipWimSplit>

Using HideShell with Windows 10

The behavior of the HideShell option changed with Windows 10. Michael Niehaus explains this in great detail on his blog.

Known Issues

Disk partitioning issues

Symptoms:

  • Recovery partition consumes the majority of the disk on BIOS systems
    • LTIApply fails with DISM error 112, There is not enough space on the disk.
  • Recovery partition is unnecessarily visible on both UEFI and BIOS systems
  • You can’t specify a custom partition layout containing a recovery partition for UEFI systems

Workarounds: Keith Garner provides some suggestions on his blog: uberbug06 and uberbug07.

Static IP not restored when using media deployment

When doing a media deployment and using a static IP the static IP does not get restored.

Workarounds:

  • Modify Litetouch.wsf to enable MEDIA deployments (Keith Garner explains in this forum post)
    or
  • Add an extra Apply Network Settings action (alternative suggested by Johan Arwidmark on his blog)
Static IP not set in Network Adapter Configuration Wizard

When initializing a deployment in Windows PE and clicking Configure Static IP Address, if you uncheck Enable DHCP and enter static IP information, the following Network Settings Error will display:

WMI Function: Adapter.EnableStatic(IPAddress,SubnetMask) FAILURE: -2147467259

This warning may also be seen in the results screen and log files during a deployment.

Workaround: a static IP can be manually set from Windows PE using netsh, but otherwise there are no workarounds at this time.

Monitoring does not work after Windows 10 upgrade

After successfully upgrading a system to Windows 10 the MDT monitoring fails to report information. You will see the following warnings:

Unable to create WebService class

Workaround: None.

MDAC component fails being added to Windows PE

This is a known bug with DISM; it is external to MDT. DISM can sometimes fail to add the MDAC component to WinPE boot images. This seems to be a timing issue which most commonly occur when you are using SSD disks.

Workarounds:

  • Remove MDAC. On the deployment share properties, Windows PE tab, Features subtab, uncheck Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC/ADO) support.
  • If you need MDAC for database connectivity, you can try updating your boot images from a system where the %TMP% directory is located on a non-SSD drive. This is not a guaranteed workaround, but has been seen to work.

NOTE: we are also aware of reports of similar issues regarding Windows PowerShell and WMI components in Windows PE (as well as some functional issues with these components). We have not been able to reproduce these issues, and are working with the Windows team to investigate further. If you have a reproducible issue with these components in Windows PE, please open a case with Microsoft Support to troubleshoot.

Upgrade task sequences are displayed when not applicable

Windows 10 upgrade task sequences are available when starting a deployment from Windows PE or on a non-matching architecture, however the in-place upgrade scenario is only supported when started from the full OS (it cannot be started from Windows PE) and from the correct architecture.

Workaround: Modify your upgrade task sequence properties to exclude client platforms that are not applicable. On the task sequence properties, General tab, select This can run only on the specified client platforms and then choose platforms that you want to target, for example, All x86 Windows 7 Client. This example will exclude Windows PE and Windows 7 x64 systems.

Applications with a command file (.cmd) use a Windows system working directory

If you have an application that uses a command file (.cmd) as the installation command line it will be launched from C:\Windows\System32 instead of the application’s working directory.

Workaround: See the associated bug on Connect for sample edits to ZTIApplications.wsf.

Application bundles successfully install but log an error

Application bundles will successfully install but the following warning is logged in ZTIApplications.log:

SelectSingleNodeString(CommandLine) Missing Node.

as well as the following error:

Application <app bundle name> returned an unexpected return code: 87

Workaround: See the associated bug on Connect for sample edits to ZTIApplications.wsf.

Deployment Wizard error for Keyboard Locale

Changing the keyboard locale in the Deployment Wizard will result in a script error:

Type mismatch: 'SetNewKeyboardLayout'

This error is non-fatal. Click Yes and continue.

Workarounds:

  • Specify the keyboard locale in CustomSettings.ini and hide this wizard page.
  • Edit %DeployRoot%\Scripts\DeployWiz_LanguageUI.xml to remove onchange="SetNewKeyboardLayout" from line 62.
ZTI: Offline installation of language packs or software updates fails

Using the “Install Language Packs Offline” or “Install Updates Offline” step in an MDT-integrated task sequence in Configuration Manager results in the language packs or updates not injected, and the following errors in the ZTIPatches.log:

ZTI ERROR - Unhandled error returned by ZTIPatches: Object required (424)

This error is only seen in logs, the deployment appears to be successful otherwise.

Workaround: apply updates and language packs online

Split image files do not apply

If you split a large image file to create .SWM file(s), then applying this split image file will fail.

Workaround: edit %DeployRoot%\Scripts\LTIApply.wsf, both lines 915 and 918, to add a colon and remove a space, for example on line 915 change:

sCmd = sCmd & " /SWMFile """ & sRWMPath & """"
to
sCmd = sCmd & " /SWMFile:""" & sRWMPath & """"

Do the same on line 918.

Deployment fails due to unattend.xml errors during oobeSystem

If you have edited unattend.xml and then start a deployment with the wizard page for administrator password enabled, or specified AdminPassword in CustomSettings.ini, the deployment will fail during Windows OOBE:

Windows could not parse or process Unattend answer file [C:\Windows\Panther\unattend.xml\ for pass [oobeSystem]. The settings specified in the answer file cannot be applied. The error was detected while processing settings for component [Microsoft-Windows=Shell-Setup].

Workaround: edit %DeployoRoot%\Scripts\ZTIConfigure.wsf lines 343 and 344 to append unattend: before PlainText. For example, on line 344 change:

oCurrent.parentNode.selectSingleNode("PlainText").text = "true"
to
oCurrent.parentNode.selectSingleNode("unattend:PlainText").text = "true"

Do the same on line 343.

ZTI: LTIBootstrap.vbs script not found

Towards the end of a MDT-integrated task sequence deployment in Configuration Manager a Windows Script Host popup will appear with a message similar to the following:

Can not find script file "C:\LTIBootstrap.vbs".

(The drive letter may be different depending upon the specific scenario.)

Workaround: Script changes are possible but difficult and challenging. Johan Arwidmark provides an option on his blog (see Issue #2).

LTI: Cleanup is not complete after image capture

After capturing an image and rebooting back to the drive, autologon is still configured and an error will appear about LTIBootstrap is not found. This is a minor, non-fatal error that does not affect the captured image.

Workaround: Script changes are possible but difficult and challenging, especially given the minor severity of the issue.

DISM returns error 87 when applying image

A deployment fails with the following error from DISM:

Error: 87 (The parameter is incorrect)

With further detail in the dism.log:

Failed to get the filename extension of the image file

Workarounds: This is seen when the server name is only two characters, for example DC, such that the /ImageFile parameter is similar to the following:

"\\dc\DeploymentShare$\Operating Systems\Windows 10 Enterprise x64\sources\install.wim"

Use a deployment share on a server whose name is three or more characters.

If you must use a server with a two-character name, specify its fully qualified domain name in bootstrap.ini, for example

DeployRoot=\\DC.contoso.com\DeploymentShare$

MDT 2013 Update 1 Now Available

The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013 Update 1 is now available on the Microsoft Download Center. This update requires the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10, available on the Microsoft Hardware Dev Center. (Scroll to the bottom of the page to the section, “Customize, assess, and deploy Windows on your hardware.” The page also includes other Windows kits; remember for deployment you only need the Windows ADK for Windows 10.)

Significant changes in MDT 2013 Update 1:

  • Support for the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10
  • Support for deployment and upgrade of Windows 10
  • Support for integration with System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1 with the Windows 10 ADK (seethis post on the Configuration Manager Team blog for more information on using the Windows 10 ADK with Configuration Manager)

Here is a more detailed list of some specific changes in this release:

  • Support for new Enterprise LTSB and Education editions of Windows 10
  • Support for modern app (.appx) dependencies and bundles
  • Improved support for split image files (.swm)
  • Switched to using DISM for imaging processes (instead of deprecated ImageX)
  • Deployment Workbench revisions for deprecated content
  • Enhanced accessibility within the Deployment Workbench
  • Revised lists of time zones, regions and languages in the Deployment Wizard
  • Removed Start menu shortcut for “Remove PXE Filter”
  • Several MVP recommended fixes for Windows Updates, password handling, and PowerShell cmdlets
  • Added missing OOBE settings to Unattend.xml
  • Unattend.xml default screen resolution changed to allow for automatic scaling
  • Updated task sequence binaries from System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1
  • New GetMajorMinorVersion function for integer comparison of Windows version numbers

Manage Exchange 2010 Database Log Growth by Using the Troubleshoot-DatabaseSpace.ps1 Script in the Shell

The Troubleshoot-DatabaseSpace.ps1 script is used by Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 to detect and correct any excess log growth or Microsoft Exchange database (.edb) file growth that, if unchecked, may cause database downtime. By default, System Center Operations Manager 2007 runs the script every 15 minutes. However, you can use Task Scheduler to configure and run this script to monitor database log and file growth.

The Troubleshoot-DatabaseSpace.ps1 script performs the following actions:

  1. Keeps track of log generation rate for the highest log generators per database. This helps determine which users are logging too heavily and potentially causing space issues.
  2. Keeps track of the available disk space for both the database and the log files. If either of these is within a configurable threshold of being full, further action must be taken.
  3. Keeps track of the log generation rate. If it appears that the disk is going to run out of space within the value specified by the HourThreshold parameter (based on the log generation rate), further action must be taken.

    noteNote:

    To avoid critical issues, make sure the value for the HourThreshold parameter is large enough to give you time to react during normal business hours while enough free space is available. If drives are filling up faster than the value specified, immediate action must be taken to protect the disk.

  4. If all of the preceding conditions are fulfilled, the script determines the list of top 25 users who accessed the database during the last one-hour period. The script then quarantines the top high-usage mailboxes for which the sum of the log generation rate is greater than the difference between the current generation rate and the sustainable generation rate that would allow tiding over the configurable time threshold. These users are quarantined for six hours, during which they won’t have access to e-mail.
  5. If the troubleshooter is unsuccessful at dropping the log generation rate to below the threshold level, it will write out events that translate into health model alerts. At this point, the script removes the database from provisioning by running the Set-MailboxDatabase cmdlet with the ExcludeFromProvisioning parameter set to $true against the specified database. You may need to move mailboxes to a new server to rebalance space.
  6. If the troubleshooter quarantines more than 10 users, this indicates a systemic issue, which you need to follow up on. The health model will trigger an urgent alert from this condition.

The default settings used in the Troubleshoot-DatabaseSpace.ps1 script are defined in the StoreTSConstants.ps1 script.

Command: .\Troubleshoot-databasespace.ps1 -server MBX01 -PercentLogFreeSpace 10 -PercentEDBFreeSpace 10 -HourThreshold 5 -Quarantine

Taskscheduler: powershell.exe -PSConsoleFile “C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\bin\exshell.psc1” -command “. ‘C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Scripts\Troubleshoot-databasespace.ps1’ –server EX01 -PercentLogFreeSpace 10 -PercentEDBFreeSpace 10 -HourThreshold 1 -Quarantine”

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 2.0

    Microsoft® Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) is a Microsoft-supported, stand-alone solution for the information technology (IT) pro or solution provider who wants to convert virtual machines and disks from VMware hosts to Hyper-V® hosts and Windows Azure™.
    MVMC can be deployed with minimal dependencies. Because MVMC provides native support for Windows PowerShell®, it enables scripting and integration with data center automation workflows such as those authored and run within Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 R2. It can also be invoked through the Windows PowerShell® command-line interface. The solution is simple to download, install, and use. In addition to the Windows PowerShell capability, MVMC provides a wizard-driven GUI to facilitate virtual machine conversion.
    New Features in MVMC 2.0
    MVMC 2.0 release of MVMC includes the following new features:

    • Converts virtual disks that are attached to a VMware virtual machine to virtual hard disks (VHDs) that can be uploaded to Windows Azure.
    • Provides native Windows PowerShell capability that enables scripting and integration into IT automation workflows.
      Note The command-line interface (CLI) in MVMC 1.0 has been replaced by Windows PowerShell in MVMC 2.0.
    • Supports conversion and provisioning of Linux-based guest operating systems from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts.
    • Supports conversion of offline virtual machines.
    • Supports the new virtual hard disk format (VHDX) when converting and provisioning in Hyper-V in Windows Server® 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012.
    • Supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 5.5, VMware vSphere 5.1, and VMware vSphere 4.1 hosts Hyper-V virtual machines.
    • Supports Windows Server® 2012 R2, Windows Server® 2012, and Windows® 8 as guest operating systems that you can select for conversion.
    Standard MVMC Features
    In addition to the new features previously identified, MVMC provides the following functionality:

    • Converts and deploys virtual machines from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts on any of the following operating systems:
    • Windows Server® 2012 R2
    • Windows Server® 2012
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
    • Converts VMware virtual machines, virtual disks, and configurations for memory, virtual processor, and other virtual computing resources from the source to Hyper-V.
    • Adds virtual network interface cards (NICs) to the converted virtual machine on Hyper-V.
    • Supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 5.5, VMware vSphere 5.0, and VMware vSphere 4.1 hosts to Hyper-V.
    • Has a wizard-driven GUI, which simplifies performing virtual machine conversions.
    • Uninstalls VMware Tools before online conversion (online only) to provide a clean way to migrate VMware-based virtual machines to Hyper-V.
      Important MVMC takes a snapshot of the virtual machine that you are converting before you uninstall VMware Tools, and then shuts down the source machine to preserve state during conversion. The virtual machine is restored to its previous state after the source disks that are attached to the virtual machine are successfully copied to the machine where the conversion process is run. At that point, the source machine in VMware can be turned on, if required.
      Important MVMC does not uninstall VMware Tools in an offline conversion. Instead, it disables VMware services, drivers, and programs only for Windows Server guest operating systems. For file conversions with Linux guest operating systems, VMware Tools are not disabled or uninstalled. We highly recommend that you manually uninstall VMware Tools when you convert an offline virtual machine.
    • Supports Windows Server and Linux guest operating system conversion. For more details, see the section “Supported Configurations for Virtual Machine Conversion” in this guide.
    • Includes Windows PowerShell capability for offline conversions of VMware-based virtual hard disks (VMDK) to a Hyper-V–based virtual hard disk file format (.vhd file).
      Note The offline disk conversion does not include driver fixes.

Download

Free ebook: Microsoft System Center: Troubleshooting Configuration Manager

There is a Free ebook available for download offering from Microsoft Press. These unique (and free) ebooks bring System Center experts together to discuss designing, deploying, and troubleshooting some of the most complex and mission critical aspects of key System Center capabilities.

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Get the Book

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013 Final

Download from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40796

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013 is a Solution Accelerator for operating system and application deployment. MDT 2013 supports deployment of Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Feature Summary

  • Deploy Windows and Office with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013. MDT is the recommended process and toolset for automating desktop and server deployment. MDT provides you with the following benefits:
  • Unified tools and processes, including a set of guidance, for deploying desktops and servers in a common deployment console.
  • Reduced deployment time and standardized desktop and server images

Some of the key changes in MDT 2013 are:

  • Support for the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 8.1. Download final release here 
  • Support for deployment of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
  • Support for System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager.
  • Improved support x86-based Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) systems.

System Center Summer Night

For wo that missed the Dutch System Center Summer Night community event. Here are the slides: