Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Apply group policy with a power plan

I've been try to move some settings away from my Windows 7 image and into group policy.  Also using the balanced power plan, which puts the computer to sleep after 30 min.

Here are some of the issues I have run into:

1) Group policy doesn't update consistently.  The default is every 90 minutes with a random offset of 30 minutes. Combined with the computer going to sleep in 30 min, the settings don't update predictably. It might be fine if the computer is in regular use, but if it isn't...

2) Trying to use Delete user profiles older than a specified number of days on system restart. Need to schedule a restart so that the profiles will delete.

3) GP is a little picky with scheduled tasks.  I tried to schedule a reboot at 6am and couldn't use the same task as in my previous images. Difference is that the password must be stored, even for a reboot.

4) Deploying printers using Deploy Printers in Computer Configuration seems to work ok. Setting the default using the Preference works too.  Except I need to set a different default for certain machines in the same lab.  Using a vbs or batch script doesn't work at all.  I have to go back to using a batch script to install printers.

5) Sleeping the computer means it needs to be woken up. WOL is so yesterday and unreliable.  In Windows 7, the computer can be woken up using a TCP SYN packet. So RDP or anything the queries the computer over the network should do the trick. Problem is the first packet wakes the computer. Then a wait for it to wake up. So if touching multiple PCs now I need a script (net view \\computername) and nbtstat to double check to wake before I run what I need to do.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Windows 7 not activating via KMS

So I have an interesting problem.  I build my images using a machine that is not on the domain for MDT.  Problem with this is that when sysprep finishes it leaves the machine unactivated.  When it is joined to the domain, activation is not a problem. I've found a couple ways around it.

1) Use slmgr -skms to set the KMS server and slmgr -ato to activate.  I will probably have to script this in MDT somewhere.

2) Add a DNS suffix search list that corresponds to the domain.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff793406.aspx

Neither is particularily appealing as it means an extra step.  I think it should be automatic as it is when the machine is joined to the domain.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Power management in Windows 7

I did not realize this... but Windows 7 seems to have moved beyond WOL.  I just discovered that W7 can wake to TCP SYN and a couple of other protocols... No longer do we have to rely on Magic Packet.  At least if the computer is in sleep mode.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee617165%28WS.10%29.aspx