Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013 Final

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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.

Creating a Home Drive with Windows PowerShell

With the following script I will do 3 things:

1. Set the user his home folder with drive letter
2. Create a folder on your home folders file share
3. Giving users full control on there folder.


The Script:

Get-ADUser -Filter * -SearchBase “OU=wardusers,DC=wardvissers,DC=local” | Foreach-Object {
$sam = $_.SamAccountName
$sid = $_.Sid

# Assign the Drive letter and Home Drive for the user in Active Directory

SET-ADUSER $sam –HomeDrive $HomeDrive –HomeDirectory $HomeDir

# Create the folder on the root of the common Users Share

NEW-ITEM –path $HomeDir -type directory -force


# Set parameters for Access rule

$dirACE=New-Object System.Security.AccessControl.FileSystemAccessRule ($sid,$rights,$inheritance,$propagation,$allowdeny)
$dirACL=Get-Acl $HomeDir


Set-Acl -path $HomeDir -AclObject $dirACL

Write-Host $HomeDir access rights assigned


Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster

Provides a visual reference for understanding key Hyper-V technologies in Windows Server 2012 R2 and focuses on Generation 2 virtual machines, Hyper-V with virtual hard disk sharing, online virtual hard disk resizing, storage quality-of-service, enhanced session mode, live migration, Hyper-V failover clustering, and upgrading your private cloud


Free eBook: Introducing Windows Azure for IT Pro’s

There is a new and free eBook on 0131_9780735682887x_thumb_19F1014EWindows Azure from Mitch Tulloch and the Windows Azure team designed specifically for the IT Professional.  If you haven’t had a chance to try Windows Azure or your just looking to learn more then this book is a good place to start.WinAzure_logo_Cyan_rgb_D

The book goes into detail on most Windows Azure services along with screenshots to demonstrate the capabilities of the platform.  If you have a bit more experience there are some under the hood insights and expert tips from insiders who develop, test and use the Windows Azure Platform.

You can download the PDF here and there is also companion content available here.

Microsoft release a cool tool named Disk cleanup on Windows 7 Sp1

Microsoft released an update yesterday for the Disk cleanup utility. The problem Windows keeps copies of installed updates from Windows Update, even after installing newer version of updates. So the older versions of updates that are no longer needed and taking up space.

In Windows XP era the uninstalls were just hidden folders under Windows directory so easy to clean. Since Windows Vista this is now stored in the Windows Services folder WinSXS.

The space used by WinSXS can grow significant. In the past you could remove Service Pack uninstall files which helped, but Service Packs are not so common anymore. I think Windows 7 will never see SP2, yet the updates keep filling the WinSXS folder every month.

After the update is installed (no reboot needed) and you run Diskcleanup:


and when you click “Clean up system files”

You’ll see new options:


This update of diskcleanup delivers a new option Windows Update cleanup which deletes older versions of updates that are no longer needed and just taking up space.

The update is available through Windows Update as important or direct download at KB article posted below:

KB2852386: Update is available that enables you to delete outdated Windows updates by using a new option in the Disk Cleanup wizard in Windows 7 SP1

Now unfortunately this update is not available for Windows Server 2008 R2, while there are plenty scenarios where cleaning up WinSXS folder is helpful there too!

KMS Update adds support for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 clients to Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012 KMS hosts

This update extends the Key Management Service (KMS) for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012 to enable the enterprise licensing of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
KMS provides support for the following KMS client activations:

  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2012 R2

KMS uses a KMS host key to activate itself on a KMS host and to establish a local activation service in your environment. This update extends support for KMS to provide activation for Windows 8.1 and for Windows Server 2012 R2.

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