In telemetry we trust?

More than patches

Telemetry is one of those things that tends to divide a room. On one hand it’s productive and accurate feedback for your product of choice and on the other hand it’s big brother spying on what you’re doing in that product. I wanted to share a recent experience with you based on my recent upgrade of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to the recent 1710 release as it may make you change your mind.

The long awaited 1710 release was made available last week a little before midnight in the UK on 20/11/17 (or 11/20 in the US Smile). The next morning I fired up my lab which runs the current branch version of SCCM, ran the early update ring PowerShell script and proceeded to whizz through the wizard in a speedy not hastily fashion. This was lab after all so on with the day job and I’ll check…

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Power BI : Active Directory v/s SCCM Boundaries : [FREE PBIX]

Purpose :

Active Directory Sites and System Center Configuration Manager Boundaries are hard to keep in sync – especially in an environment where there are regular changes and several team managing each technology separately.

This Power BI dashboard solution will help analyze and reduce down the gaps in SCCM. The dashboard will help SCCM administrators / architects to resolve issues where clients are not covered – this helps in Client Health / Reporting and Compliance.

The dashboard is based off the Powershell script posted on Technet by Scott Breen and can be downloaded from here : https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Validate-Boundary-Group-d85ed496

How to use this :

A. The script can be configured to run on schedule via Scheduled Tasks on a server or via System Center Orchestrator.

B. The output CSV can be placed on a network share on local folder.

C. Power BI will read this csv and perform the necessary DAX operations.

D. Power BI can further be used to publish on o365 on the Power BI portal. Power BI gateway can be configured so that the content is autoupdated on a schedule. Embedded Power BI options can be used to inject the dashboard into Sharepoint or any site.

Backend engine :

The output [download csv here] of the script needs some work to be done and looks like this >

output

The last column is most important in this csv output – the result ‘False’ indicates the machine is not covered by any SCCM Boundary. The other columns provide plenty of information – but its not really presentable or understandable from the get go.

The conversion of the csv data from crude data to human readable format is performed by Power BI and via DAX. The csv file before conversion is available here – BoundaryCheck-csv

The PowerBI dashboard is configured to pull information from C:\PowerBI\adsite-vs-boundaries\Boundarycheck.csv

Get it now !

 

Download the PBIX.

ConfigMgr : OSD : Build failure Troubleshooting and Logs gathering

win101

During the Build process if you encounter any issues you can perform further investigation with the below mandatory information

  • Machine model
  • Error code with snapshot
  • Error stage with snapshot (may be hiding behind the Task Sequence error window)
  • Single system failure OR multiple systems failures
  • Build Failure Logs (as described below)
  • Mention if any HW component has been replaced on the machine

Troubleshooting Steps

  1. Do not restart the system when the build failure occurs and shows the Task Sequence error
  2. Please note the error code with snapshot
  3. Note the error stage – the stage build got failed (may be behind the Task Sequence error window)
  4. Press F8 key for Command Prompt
  5. Refer the below table OSD Logs Path for logs location based on failure stage
  6. Copy all the log files to the USB drive connected to System
  7. Attach the gathered logs with incident / email to us for investigation

OSD Logs Path

Smsts.log is found in different locations depending on the stage of failure:

Build Failure Stage Log file location
WindowsPE, before HDD format x:\windows\temp\smstslog\smsts.log
WindowsPE, after HDD format x:\smstslog\smsts.log
Windows, SCCM agent not installed c:\_SMSTaskSequence\Logs\Smstslog\smsts.log
Windows x64, SCCM agent installed c:\windows\sysWOW64\ccm\logs\Smstslog\smsts.log
Task Sequence completed x64 c:\windows\sysWOW64\ccm\logs\smsts.log

Network Setup and Domain Join

For issues related to Build failure at domain joining step please gather the below logs

% SystemRoot %\debug\netsetup.log