Upgrading the ADMX files to Windows 8 & 2012

When you want to use a new OS in your domain you need to upgrade de ADMX files. The easy way to get all the possible ADMX/ADML files for a particular OS without having to install all the roles/features is to simply copy them out of the winsxs directory (replace en-US in the commands below if your OS is installed in a language other than English). Here is a sample set of commands which can do this for you. You’d need to run this on both a Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 computers to capture all possible admx/adml files.

cd /d %windir%\winsxs
dir *.admx /s /b > %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\admx.txt
dir *.adml /s /b | find /i “en-us” > %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\adml_en-us.txt

mkdir %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\PolicyDefinitions
mkdir %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\PolicyDefinitions\en-US
FOR /F %i IN (%USERPROFILE%\Desktop\admx.txt) DO copy %i %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\PolicyDefinitions\
FOR /F %i IN (%USERPROFILE%\Desktop\adml_en-us.txt) DO copy %i %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\PolicyDefinitions\en-US\

Source: Upgrading the ADMX Central Store files from Windows 7/2008R2 to Windows 8/2012

Announcing Exchange 2010 Service Pack 3

The Exchange Team is pleased to announce that in the first half of calendar year 2013 we will be releasing Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 3 (SP3) to our customers. With SP3, the following new features and capabilities will be included:

Coexistence with Exchange 2013: Customers that want to introduce Exchange Server 2013 into their existing Exchange 2010 infrastructure will need the coexistence changes shipping in SP3.

Support for Windows Server 2012: With Service Pack 3, you will have the ability to install and deploy Exchange Server 2010 on machines running Windows Server 2012.

Customer Requested Fixes: All fixes contained within update rollups released prior to Service Pack 3 will also be contained within SP3. Details of our regular Exchange 2010 release rhythm can be found in Exchange 2010 Servicing.

Windows 8 en Server 2012 KMS Service Activation

For Licensing Server 2012 and Windows 8 on a Windows 2008 R2 server you need to update the KMS Service.

Install the following update: An update is available for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS hosts to support Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 as described in KB2691586.
If you don’t install this hotfix registering a Windows Server 2012 KMS will throw an Error: 0xC004F050 The Software Licensing Service reported that the product key is invalid

So request the hotfix and install it. Just follow the instructions and you’ll be fine clip_image001

We can start putting our brand new KMS key into action.

Uninstall the current KMS key using slmgr.vbs /upk clip_image002


Now you can install the new KMS key. The key listed here is obviously a demo one clip_image002[1]If you run in to any issues here, restarting the KMS Service can help. Try that first.



Now activate your brandnew KMS key running slmgr.vbs /ato

We run slmgr.vbs /dlv again and as you can see now we can activate all our Windows 2012 servers and Windows 8 computers


Windows 8 Server PosterPedia

There is a new cool Windows 8 app: Server PosterPedia.

Server Postermedia

In the app are various Microsoft posters which architecture and features are explained. Totally cool on a touch device where you can quickly zoom in and then you can slide back and forth on the poster.

Hyper-V poster

Very Nice:  Download: http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/en-US/app/server-posterpedia/f988071c-66dc-4281-8028-637ac0f09061

578:0x000004DC:0x0000001D Send-As permission with Outlook 2010 Exchange 2007

578:0x000004DC:0x0000001D Send-As permission with Outlook 2010 Exchange 2007

You are not allowed to send this message because you are trying to send on behalf of another sender without permission to do so. Please verify that you are sending on behalf of the correct sender, or ask your system administrator to help you get the required permission.

Diagnostic information for administrators:

Generating server:


#MSEXCH:MSExchangeIS:/DC=com/DC=mydomain:SERVERNAME[578:0x000004DC:0x0000001D] #SMTP

1.Close Outlook

2.Delete the offline address book folders in

Windows 7: C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\Offline Address Books
Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Offline Address Books

3.Open Outlook and let it download a new copy of the offline address book.

3.1 Send/Receive Tab
3.2. Send/Reveive Groups
3.3 Download Address Book
3.4 Choose Full Details and \Global Address List

Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012

These spreadsheets list the policy settings for computer and user configurations that are included in the Administrative template files delivered with the Windows operating systems specified. You can configure these policy settings when you edit Group Policy Objects.

You can use the filtering capabilities that are included in this spreadsheet to view a specific subset of data, based on one value or a combination of values that are available in one or more of the columns. In addition, you can click Custom in the drop-down list of any of the column headings to add additional filtering criteria within that column.
To view a specific subset of data, click the drop-down arrow in the column heading of cells that contain the value or combination of values on which you want to filter, and then click the desired value in the drop-down list. For example, to view policy settings that are available for Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8, in the Administrative Template worksheet, click the drop-down arrow next to Supported On, and then click At least Microsoft Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8.

What’s New?

The Administrative Template spreadsheet contains three columns that provide more information about each policy setting’s behavior related to reboots, logoffs, and schema extensions. These columns are the following:

  • Reboot Required: A “Yes” in this column means that the Windows operating systems requires a restart before it applies the described policy setting.
  • Logoff Required: A “Yes” in this column means that the Windows operating system requires the user to log off and log on again before it applies the described policy setting.
  • Active Directory Schema or Domain Requirements: A “Yes” in this column means that you must extend the Active Directory schema before you can deploy this policy setting.
  • Status: A “New” in this column means that the setting did not exist prior to Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. It does not mean that the setting applies only to Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. Refer to the column entitled “supported on” to determine to which operating system the policy setting applies.

Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012


Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) and vSphere 4 does not work together

When you using vSphere 4 and and using MDT 2012 update1 with Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit you run in de following error. Same thing wil also with Workstation 8.clip_image001

Solution 1: Do not install Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit on your MDT Server. You can still using MDT 2012 Update 1 with waik 3.5 if not deploying Windows 8 or Windows 2012 right now.

Solution 2: Upgrading you vSphere server to the latest version (5.1) or Upgrade Workstation to latest version (Version 9).

Copying $OEM$ files and folders with MDT 2012 Update 1

MDT 2012 Update 1 no longer uses SETUP.EXE to install Windows 7 and above. One side effect of this is that $OEM$ folders are no longer going to be copied, since that was something that SETUP.EXE did that the MDT LTIApply.wsf script doesn’t handle.

I’ve never been a big fan of using the $OEM$ folder structure, as it’s just as easy to add explicit XCOPY steps into the task sequence. But for those of you out there that are using them, you can leverage the attached script (CopyOEM.zip) in your task sequence to do that.

To set this up, first copy the script into your deployment share. Then, add a new step to the task sequence right after the “Install Operating System” step to run the script. It should look like this:


Now, it will follow the original MDT logic for locating the appropriate $OEM$ folder to use, checking in this order:

  • %DeployRoot%\Control\%TaskSequenceID%\$OEM$
  • %SourcePath%\$OEM$
  • %DeployRoot%\%Architecture%\$OEM$
  • %DeployRoot%\$OEM$

where %DeployRoot% is the path to the deployment share, %TaskSequenceID% is the ID of the running task sequence (e.g. WIN8), %SourcePath% is the path within the deployment share for the operating system being used, and %Architecture% is either X86 or X64, depending on the boot image being used.

Once it finds a folder, it will look for two folders in that $OEM$ folder and copy them to the appropriate place for the new OS:

  • $1 will be copied to the root of the volume that the new OS image was applied to.
  • $$ will be copied to the Windows folder on the volume that the new OS image was applied to.

The script doesn’t deal with any other folders because it’s too messy to do that from within Windows PE – drive letters aren’t the same as what they would end up being in the full OS

Download: CopyOEM.zip

Source: Copying $OEM$ files and folders with MDT 2012 Update 1

MDT Displaying the task sequence name

When you configure MDT you could specify an organization name  To specify these, you can configure them in CustomSettings.ini:

_SMSTSPackageName=My Package Name

That’s great if you want to hard-code the values, but what I wanted was that _SMSTSPackageName  is set to the name of the task sequence that is being executed. That’s a little harder to do, because the task sequence hasn’t yet been selected when CustomSettings.ini is being processed, and you can’t set these read-only variables once the task sequence has started.

So this is one of those cases where you have to modify one of the MDT scripts, in this case LiteTouch.wsf. Fortunately, it’s a really trivial change. Look for this line:

oEnvironment.Item("_SMSTSPackageName") = "Lite Touch Installation"

And change it like so:

oEnvironment.Item("_SMSTSPackageName") = oEnvironment.Item("TaskSequenceName")

That line is only executed if _SMSTSPackageName is blank after CustomSettings.ini has been processed, so it won’t have any effect if you manually configured a value in CustomSettings.ini.

With that change, you can now see the name of the currently-running task sequence:

You can download the file here: LiteTouch.7z (Tested with MDT 2012 Update 1)