Windows 7 Slow Boot Performance – Part 02

Publicerat: juni 2013 

This is the second post in a series of blog posts about Windows 7 and Slow Boot Performance.

This post picks up where the first post left of, we know we have a problem so how do we troubleshoot it! We are going to describe the procedure for installing the necessary software that will allow us to further troubleshoot our Slow Boot / Slow Login.

As of Windows 8, Microsoft has released an updated version of the tool previously known as XPerf. The Windows Performance Toolkit is, in my opinion, a fantastic improvement over the old XPerf as it allows for easier analysis of the problem.

The Windows Performance Toolkit consists primarily of two components

  • Windows Performance Recorder
  • Windows Performance Analyzer

Windows Performance Recorder does exactly what you believe it does, it records a so called trace that basically captures a lot of useful data during for example system boot / login.

Windows Performance Analyzer does exactly what you believe it does as well! Allows you to analyze the data captured by Windows Performance Recorder.

With that said, let’s dive into the fun part, install and setup of everything!

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Windows 7 Slow Boot Performance – Part 01

Publicerat: januari 2013 

This is the first post in a series of blog posts about Windows 7 and Slow Boot Performance.

In a corporate environment one introduces various numbers of components not often seen in a home environment that can introduce additional time required to start up / logon to a computer. For example usage of Group Policy Objects, various software such as Citrix Receiver, App-V Client or other 3rd Party clients that usually start during logon.

There are a numerous reasons why it takes long time to boot, ranging from network related issues, software resources hogs or time outs. Each case is different and there is no silver bullet that will solve all performance issues. This series of blog posts aims to give a quick introduction into the various tools available to debug slow boot and logon times and how they can be used to identify the culprit(s).

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How to migrate only one specific folder with USMT.

Publicerat: januari 2012 

I really had to scratch my head to solve this task. Maybe there’s an easier way to do this but this is how I solved a problem with a customer that only wanted to migrate one specific folder with USMT. All their users save all their personal data on their C-drive in a folder with a common name. I’ll call the local folder ”Personal Data” in this blog post.

USMT is not good at opting in specific folders only. It’s more built to migrate everything plus that extra folder you need and then opt out some folders or filetypes that shouldn’t be included. But how do you exclude the C-Drive and at the same time include only one folder from the same drive?

Simply exclude C:\ and Include the ”Personal Data”-folder and use the parameter to disregard all profiles. USMT can handle an Inclusion that is part of an Exclusion as long as the folders are in different components in the XML-file. See below. (Look at this article on Technet for more info on how USMT handles conflicts and precedence.)

That almost works.

It turns out USMT has some very quirky behavour. It did migrate my ”Personal Data” folder but it also migrated all my *.wav default sounds in the Windows folder, some fax-coversheets and even some *.dll files that definitely wasn’t specified by me to be included. So, the solution was to exclude three folders that USMT tried to migrate anyway. The folders that were included by USMT contrary to my settings where these: C:\Program Files,  C:\Windows and C:\ProgramData.

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Build and Capture + Software Updates in Native mode

Publicerat: november 2011 

The goal of  this article is to describe how to insert Software Updates into the Base Image, the Windows-image you want to base your Operating System deployment on, in SCCM Native Mode.

In order to shorten the installation time of the operating system for your end-users you want to include as many patches and updates as possible in the image you’re deploying. But you want to include as few programs as possible so that you don’t end up updating your Golden base image every two weeks…

Obviously you will want to update your image with new Software Updates every once in a while – but that will not be manual labour but automated in the task-sequence that builds the Base Image.

I could have written a book about all the things I tried to get this to work… Let’s just establish the fact that Software Updates and in particular WSUS must have been written the morning after some very big Microsoft launch party…  😉

That said. I finally managed to get this to work. It took a a week of Googling, trial and error, troubleshooting, late nights and lots of coffee. And the silly thing is that’s it pretty easy to get it to work – if you know exactly what to do. As always.

I’ll summarize what this article does:

  1. Use only one Hotfix (KB2509007).
  2. Use SLP as a parameter for your CM-client.
  3. Check ”Allow HTTP for roaming…” and rebuild the boot-image.
  4. Run a script to trigger software updates scan and run it a couple of times!

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Intryck av Windows 8 utvecklarkonferens, deployment-perspektiv

Publicerat: november 2011 
En rad nyheter för Windows-världen men inte några revolutionerande nyheter. Kändes litet för mycket som ”catch up” med Apple. Dock så känns Windows 8 som klart det intressantaste operativsystem på länge från Microsoft. Skall bli kul att paketera och distribuera Windows 8 men fruktar lite för hur företagsvärlden tar emot ”Metro”, det nya gränssnittet på Windows 8. Största problemet är som alltid utbildning av användare. Nu kommer inte bara Windows fönsterhanterare att se helt annorlunda ut, utan även nästan alla applikationer. I alla fall om man skall köra den senaste versionen av applikationerna med ”Metro-gränssnittet”. Det finns givetvis ett kompabilitetsläge med ett klassiskt Windows-skrivbord som säkert många kommer att välja.
En annan rolig nyhet för oss som arbetar med SCCM, BDD och OSD mm är att det kommer att gå att installera om datorn utan att alla applikationer försvinner. Antagligen är det en vidareutveckling av USMT (User State Migration Tool) som möjliggör detta.
Andra nyheter är en ny uppdaterad variant av roaming profiles, där allt lagras i molnet. Även inställningar i t ex Exchange, Facebook, Twitter följer med. Det betyder att oavsett var användaren loggar in i välden så kommer hans eller hennes lokala e-postklient att konfigureras automatiskt. Användaren loggar in på en godtycklig dator och får tillgång till e-post, kalendrar, SkyDrive mm. Denna funktion kommer även vara tillgänglig för 3:e parts programvara.
En dator med Windows 8 kommer att få en mycket snabbare uppstart tack vare en ny supersnabb kärna som läggs i  ”hybernation” vid avstängning av dator i kombination med UEFI bios och ändrad bootrutin . Windows 8 har även betydligt mindre behov av RAM-minne och processorkraft. Det tar från ett par sekunder för en supersnabb dator till kanske 8 sek för en normal laptop att göra en kallstart.
BILD
En rad nyheter för Windows-världen men inte några revolutionerande nyheter. Kändes litet för mycket som ”catch up” med Apple. Dock så känns Windows 8 som klart det intressantaste operativsystem på länge från Microsoft. Skall bli kul att paketera och distribuera Windows 8 men fruktar lite för hur företagsvärlden tar emot ”Metro”, det nya gränssnittet på Windows 8. Största problemet är som alltid utbildning av användare. Nu kommer inte bara Windows fönsterhanterare att se helt annorlunda ut, utan även nästan alla applikationer. I alla fall om man skall köra den senaste versionen av applikationerna med ”Metro-gränssnittet”. Det finns givetvis ett kompabilitetsläge med ett klassiskt Windows-skrivbord som säkert många kommer att välja.En annan rolig nyhet för oss som arbetar med SCCM, BDD och OSD mm är att det kommer att gå att installera om datorn utan att alla applikationer försvinner. Antagligen är det en vidareutveckling av USMT (User State Migration Tool) som möjliggör detta.Andra nyheter är en ny uppdaterad variant av roaming profiles, där allt lagras i molnet. Även inställningar i t ex Exchange, Facebook, Twitter följer med. Det betyder att oavsett var användaren loggar in i välden så kommer hans eller hennes lokala e-postklient att konfigureras automatiskt. Användaren loggar in på en godtycklig dator och får tillgång till e-post, kalendrar, SkyDrive mm. Denna funktion kommer även vara tillgänglig för 3:e parts programvara.En dator med Windows 8 kommer att få en mycket snabbare uppstart tack vare en ny supersnabb kärna som läggs i  ”hybernation” vid avstängning av dator i kombination med UEFI bios och ändrad bootrutin . Windows 8 har även betydligt mindre behov av RAM-minne och processorkraft. Det tar från ett par sekunder för en supersnabb dator till kanske 8 sek för en normal laptop att göra en kallstart.
Kanske den största nyheten var Microsoft variant på Apple App Store. Eftersom Windows 8 kommer att gå att installera på både x86 samt ARM baserade datorer beräknas Microsoft ”App Store” få över 500 miljoner möjliga konsumenter. Kommer att bli hyperintressant att se vad det innebär i framtiden.
Givetvis finns det en uppsjö av fler intressant nyheter som USB 3.0 stöd, antivirus inbyggt i kärnan mm men ovan var det intressanta för oss ur ett deployment-perspektiv.

En rad nyheter för Windows-världen men inte några revolutionerande nyheter. Kändes litet för mycket som ”catch up” med Apple. Dock så känns Windows 8 som klart det intressantaste operativsystem på länge från Microsoft. Skall bli kul att paketera och distribuera Windows 8 men fruktar lite för hur företagsvärlden tar emot ”Metro”, det nya gränssnittet på Windows 8. Största problemet är som alltid utbildning av användare. Nu kommer inte bara Windows fönsterhanterare att se helt annorlunda ut, utan även nästan alla applikationer. I alla fall om man skall köra den senaste versionen av applikationerna med ”Metro-gränssnittet”. Det finns givetvis ett kompabilitetsläge med ett klassiskt Windows-skrivbord som säkert många kommer att välja.

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Remove computer from collection after installation

Publicerat: november 2011 

I just have to mention this great link. When you’re done with an OS-Deployment and eventually want to remove the computer from the install collection, a common way to do this is with a script in the end of the Task Sequence. But this is a much sexier way to do it, by removing the computer from the CM-server when the status message from the Task Sequence is marked as finished.

Danovich is the author.
http://blog.danovich.com.au/2010/03/12/remove-computer-association-from-collection-after-sccm-task-sequence/

SCCM 2012 RC is out

Publicerat: oktober 2011 

The long awaited Release Candidate for System Center Configuration Manager 2012 is out.
Get it from Microsoft here.

Niall Brady, quick as a bat, has already written a guide how to install it.

/Mathias

Software gets stuck in download phase ( waiting for content ) with SCCM 2007 and 2012.

Publicerat: september 2011 

A few years ago I encountered a problem with specific software ( if I recall correctly it was AutoCAD 2010 ) that was to be distributed via SCCM 2007 R2. I can’t recall the name however I clearly recall the problem as I a few weeks ago encountered the same type of problem with distributing IBM iSeries Access For Windows V6R1M0.

The software was packaged in msi format and it was correctly uploaded to SCCM and distributed to all distribution points without and issues at all. Still, when an end-user tried to install the software via Run Advertised Programs the software started to download and then simply got stuck at 0% and did not move for over 24 hours.

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IE9 in SCCM

Publicerat: april 2011 

I noticed a few people have been googling for this so I just thought I’ll post a short how-to on this.

Let me first say that before the combined IE9 + language pack came out I tried to bundle IE9 and the language pack with the Internet Explorer Administrator Toolkit (IEAK). That worked fine but I wasn’t able to deploy that package in the Task Sequence. I don’t know why this didn’t work because the package deployed fine with normal software deployment.

Since then MS has released IE with the integrated language pack, you can find all versions here: 32bit and 64bit

Deploying is very simple. Simply create a package with the following program Command Line,  depending a little bit on which IE9-exe file you’ve downloaded:

ie9-windows7-x86-enu.exe /update-no /quiet /norestart

Advertise the program or put it in your Task-Sequence after ”Setup Windows and ConfigMgr”.

Update1 :

If you want to be able to choose between languages for Internet Explorer in your Task-sequence you can always bundle the English IE9-version in your base-image and then run the language-packs on top of that. The language packs for IE9 and Windows 7 are found here.

The language packs come as MSU-files that are installable through the WUSA-command. So to install the 64bit version of the Swedish language pack on top of an English Internet Explorer 9, simply run:

wusa IE9-Windows6.1-LanguagePack-x64-sve.msu /quiet /norestart
 

Of course, remember to download the matching version of the language pack depending on if you’re using 32- or 64bit Windows.

Important Update2:
Internet Explorer 9 Setup does a really evil thing in the registry. It creates this key:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\NoIE4StubProcessing

This little registry key breaks all Active Setup commands for 64-bit Windows 7! Note that this regkey is not set on the SysWOW64 registry folder so it only applies  to 64-bit Active Setup. Therefore the command that’s supposed to create shortcuts for the taskbar and Start Menu doesn’t run. Instead you might end up with a broken IE9-icon that points to the users Home Directory (i.e. H:) !

Apparently, this key was used in IE5(!) when you wanted the installation to be really, really quiet.

So in order to have a successful installation, delete this reg-key after the installation of IE9. Here’s a link how to do it:

I found the information regarding this bug here.

Was this helpful? Please leave a comment.
/Mathias

[EDIT: WUSA. Not WUSE. Thanks Kcirtap!]

USMT Offline Migration in Windows PE with Hardlinks

Publicerat: april 2011 

This is something I wanted to do a long time and thanks to Niall Bradys excellent guide at Windows-Noob.com it was easy. Except for the parts that were hard. 🙂 There seems to be a few problems with USMT4 at the moment. Especially with 64-bit Windows 7. I’ll tell you in a sec. what I ran into…

I also wanted to make Niall’s Task Sequence a little shorter with VBScript, I like my Task Sequences short and snappy. Or at least, as short as they can be. Peter van der Woude also has a post on this, but hey, I’m using VBScript! 🙂

Let’s get on with it. What are we talking about here? User backup of all important files, bookmarks, user profiles and their desktops using Microsoft User State Migration Toolkit v4. We want to do this not from within Windows but during the Windows PE state before we apply a new OS.

The good thing about doing this in Windows PE and with Hardlinks is pronounced Speed. Hardlinks make file copying locally and over the network unnecessary. It needs no extra disk space and there won’t be any locked files as when you’re doing migrations from within Windows. It’s not magic but it’s pretty close.

Also if you have a computer that doesn’t boot into Windows but has lots of important files on it and with a readable disk – this is the only way to copy that data.

The only thing you can’t do with USMT and Hardlinks in Windows PE is if you’re replacing the hardware. USMT with hardlinks in Windows PE mode is for re-installing the computer with a new OS (or OS version) only. For other scenarios you need a server-state store. That method is not covered in this post.

Let’s jump straight to business. Here’s what my Task-sequence looks like, stripped off stuff that’s not important for what we’re trying to illustrate here.

First a short overview of what it does. All the meaty details are further below. You can download the entire Task Sequence here. (Rename it to *.xml and import into SCCM.)

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