Category: Windows 7

MAP 5.5 (beta) gives you total control over IE migration

This week has been really intensive with a 5 day course on depoying Windows 7, including the MAP (Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit). As always there were a lot of interesting discussions related to Internet Explorer, which many times casues problems when migrating to a later operating system. One of the major problems with IE migrations are that we have little control and historically had problems assessing the current IE, web apps or web browser status. The answer came a couple of nights ago, in the latest beta MAP.

MAP 5.5 beta brings the possibility to inventory for which IE and third party browsers that are used in your organization, which default browsers are set but you will also see all activex controls and browser helper objects are being used, including a count number ith how many times for instance a particular activex control has been used. This is some really great information that will for sure help us in the migrating process when deploying Windows 7.

Get your hands on the beta from Microsoft Connect.

Optimize your VDI clients using VBscript tool

When running Windows clients in the “cloud”, i.e. virtual Windows clients, there are several things to note and to take into considerations. For instance what will happen every wednesday night at 01:00 when all your X number of Windows clients will start defragmenting their virtual disks? Probably this scenario will significantly impact performance negatively on your virtual cluster disks.

There are many more actions you can take to optimize your clients in a VDI scenario and thanks to Jonathan Bennett this action is very smooth. Run the tool VDI Optimizer and choose what you want to be turned off and out comes a VBscript that you can run for instance at deploy time.

HOW TO: Search non indexed libraries in Start menu

By default when you search using the search box in the start menu in Windows 7, it only returns indexed content. This is by design. However there might be scenarios where you might want to also search libraries which are not indexed and for this scenario there is a hotfix that enables a registry settings that controls this behavior. It is documented in Microsoft KB article 2268596.

RemoteApps integrated in Windows 7 – does not need 2008 R2 fully

Just a quick tip that you do not need to have your entire RDS environment at the Windows Server 2008 R2 level to be able to utilize the nice integration features of RemoteApps in Windows 7. I am referring to the feature of subscribing to a feed of applications and thereby have a dynamic publishing of RemoteApps for the ends users, in the users start menu.

To get this working all you need is a Windows Server 2008 R2 to host the RDS Web Access role, which then can include and publish RemoteApp sources that are based on Windows Server 2008 hosts (no R2 requirements there).

Windows client security lockdown with nifty tool from Microsoft

It’s been around for some time and if you did not already know about it Microsoft provide the free tool called Security Compliance Manager. You can use it to very easily manage and export a set of pre-configured (or settings that you configure on your own) settings that improve security. You can then export these settings to for instance a group policy and import it into your domain.

There are templates with pre-configured security lockdowns for Windows XP, Windows Vista and of course also Windows 7. The tool works great for creating a security baseline for your client machines but the only downside is that you cannot import nor in a convenient way compare the settings in the templates with what you currently have.

No more duplicate drivers in ConfigMgr, thanks to a patch!

So to end the pain of handling duplicate drivers in System Center Configuration Manager there has been a hotfix released that resolves the issue with “The selected driver has already been imported at this site”, at least partly, depening on what method your are using to apply drivers. Read more about the affected scenarios at the Mike Niehaus blog and download the hotfix from Microsoft.

Group policies messing with your Windows 7 deployment

There a number of group policies that can interfere when you are deploying Windows 7 machines, one of them being the “Admin approval mode for the built-in local administrator account” which if set to enabled breaks deployment using the Lite Touch scenario using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.

My fellow MVP and now also colleague Johan Arwidmark has a blog post on two methods for handling problems related to group policies when dpeloying machines, either by settings filters on your group policies or postponing the domain join process.

HOW TO: Cleanup pre-SP1 components in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

Many of you surely remember the tools “vsp1clean” and “compcln” which was used after service pack 1 and service pack 2 installation to remove older Windows packages which was superseded by the service pack. These tools freed some disk space and as it removed all previous Windows components it made the service pack installation permanent, meaning it was not uninstallable after running the tools.

Anyway enough with history, when you have installed SP1 for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 you can make it permanent by using the below command.

%windir%\system32\dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /spsuperseded

You can also use Disk Cleanup to accomplish this, choose to clean your system disk and then choose “Clean up system files”, choose your system disk once again and then make sure that you select “Backup files required to uninstall service pack”.

NOTE 1: As SP1 is in beta at the time of this writing, I must warn you that running the above command will make it impossible to uninstall the SP1 beta, in practice meaning you will have to reinstall your machine once SP1 final release is made available.