SCCM2012 Windows 8.1 OSD with DotNet3.5

Installing dotnet3.5 on windows 8.1 ….
Wow, this was an extremely long and difficult process for me to achieve, but in the end a simple solution was the answer – DISM!

One of our corp apps requires .NetFramework 3.5 (dotnet3) and as you know, windows 8 comes pre-loaded with dotnet4.

We are going to use System Center (SCCM2012) server to deploy a windows 8.1 image (that was built using the build and capture process) and "update" it with dotnet3.5 using DISM on the OFFLINE image (wim) file.

Note: I tried countless times to use the WDS, OSD process to install dotnet3.5, i tried using powershell, creating package files, using the "roles and features", nothing worked. now there was one process i didnt try
here -


which basically involved copying the SXS source files to the local c drive – to me this seems counter intuitive, I *should* be able to use the source files on a network share, but reading many blogs; the consensus was that the way to do this was to copy the sxs locally and run a script install.

Even using the MDT "install roles and Features" didnt work:
I tried setting a Task Sequence Variable "WindowsSource" and pointed to \\sccmserver\Sources\win8_sxs_dir

No dice!

The Process:
In any case, this is the following method i used to make it work for me. and at the end of the day, does what i need it to do.

Here we are assuming that, you have SCCM2012 r2 in a working environment, you know how to build and capture, deploy application etc etc.

1. I copied my Windows 8 image file (incase sometime borked up) and named it with -"dotnet"; this would ten be the image file that includes dotnet.

2. now using powershell or cmd prompt we are going to perform an offline install for the "roles and features" using DISM.
on the SCCM server:

Dism /Get-ImageInfo /ImageFile:"E:\Sources\Operating Systems\Images\Windows 8.1\Win8.1u1-x64-dotnet.wim"

//mount the image to a local folder (create a new folder if it doesnt exist e.g. c:\temp\win")

Dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:"E:\Sources\Operating Systems\Images\Windows 8.1\Win8.1u1-x64-dotnet.wim" /index:2 /MountDir:C:\temp\win

// USE DISM to install-dotnet into the image

DISM /Image:C:\temp\win /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:NetFx3 /All /LimitAccess /Source:E:\Sources\win8_sxs

// Check the installation

DISM /Image:c:\temp\win /Get-Features /Format:Table

//Commit the changes

Dism /Commit-Image /MountDir:C:\temp\win

//I ran the check again, it showed "pending" but after deploying it worked so seems to be all good.

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 3.19.51 pm

//now unmount the image
Dism /Unmount-Image /MountDir:C:\temp\win /commit

3. Now we have a new Image file, we need to upload this into SCCM.

and distribute content to the DP.

4. I copied my previous Task Sequence, renamed it to include "dotnet"

Make sure you update your Image locations for the "apply data image 1" and "Apply Operating System".

Also update your OS image
Make sure you have 2-2 selected (for your OS partition – *note* this may depend on your image file and build process)

5. PXE boot and test the deployment
(*note* on my initial deployment I disabled installing applications and updates in the Task Sequence, in order to speed up the deployment and test that its working as required)

6. check ".NET Framework 3.5" is enabled

(now head down to your local and turn down a glass or three…)

7. Now after i know this works, I deployed "scheduled updates" to the image file and once completed updated the DP.

8. In the Task Sequence I re-enabled "install updates" and "install applications" deployments.
9. Test deploying the Task Sequence again and make sure everything is working for workstation deployment

802.11x Authentication with Cisco WiFi Kit + AD

This was a good tutorial on howto set 802.11x authentication with Cisco Wireless Kit + AD

impelmented this within a few hours…

Tutorial: 802.1X Authentication via WiFi – Active Directory + Network Policy Server + Cisco WLAN + Group Policy


Yammer DSync and accidentally introducing the social workplace

With the slow introduction of office365 I thought I would get my hands wet with yammer and its DSync (Directory Sync) application.

Now unfortunately the Yammer DSync tool doesn't do password sync, unlike "Azure AD" DirSync which introduced password sync some time ago. before this users would have to mange their local AD user account to login to their computer and also a separate "office365" user account to access email = not cool! thankfully that was sorted many moons ago…

On the roadmap for Microsoft office365 and yammer is eventual integration/merge of the two distinct products as well as the single user account – utilising Azure AD

Some of the pluses of Yammer DSync was that it actually worked in syncing the on-premise AD user accounts with Yammer along with the users details, position title etc.  The issue for me was that once the new user account is setup in yammer it sends out emails to the new user to sign in.

whoops… i just introduced the org to yammer and the whole world of "Social Productivity" …

Some users though it was spam (delete!), some jumped in and tested the waters and some well … just dont want another system to manage….

in IT the only constant is change, however change is difficult, and changing the way people work is … a challenge


I really like the simplicity of yammer, and the potential it can bring to an orginsation to increase social collaboration and new ways to work.  The future of office 365 and yammer is exciting.


Sophos UTM workaround to access videos (TechEd) in Safari OSX

Not sure if this also applies to non apple devices however with TechEd 2014 video being released on Channel 9 I found I was unable to stream the video in Safari on Apple OSX.

As a workaround solution I found the following to work with success after reading some hints on the forums

Under Web Protection > Filtering Options > Exceptions

I added the following two rules to bypass the issue on the rule:- [Work around iPad/Iphone Byterange Bug]


Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 12.09.35 pm

Announcing the Corporate “App” store – using SCCM2012 Software Centre to manage and deploy applications

After a few months of kicking the tyres (in between BAU and other projects) I've finally come to the point to deploying SCCM2012 to replace SC2010essentials for Application Deployment and Management.

A neat feature of SCCM2012 is the Software Centre – which gives end users a portal for self service of application management (of approved applications)


How to Announce the "app Store" to your end users - 

Apple started it … Googles done it … even Microsoft has followed!




now its available for you!
Introducing the (corporate) APP STOREScreen Shot 2014-01-28 at 9.57.40 am
What is it?

The Software Center is essentially a catalog which allows users to install available corporate approved applications.


How to Use it?

on the start button > search for: software centre 

Click on “Software Center” application to load up the catalog



then select the application and click install





System Administration is like a Theatre Production

14 January 2014                 31. Perception and Visibility                      
When done correctly, system administration is like good theater: The audience sees a wonderful show and never realizes how many months of planning were required to create the show or how much backstage work was happening during the performance. The majority of the work required for any performance is invisible to the audience.

All Excerpts From

Thomas A. Limoncelli;Christina J. Hogan;Strata R. Chalup. “The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition.” Addison-Wesley Professional, 2002-01-02T00:00:00+00:00. iBooks. 
This material may be protected by copyright.


Such a great analogy being that I work at a performing arts venue.

Sent from my iPhone

Migrating Exchange Public Folders from 2003 to 2010

We have successfully implemented a new Exchange 2010 server which was running along side the old Exchange 2003 server.

In order to decommission the exchange server I followed this guid to move the Public folders over.

Note that there doesnt appear to be any good notification of the status of public folder migration. So I let the old server run for about a week to ensure that everything had moved over.

Resources used:

Exchange Server Pro


Once I felt confident that all Exchange 2003 Services had been migrated over to Exchange 2010, I disabled all the 2003 services from loading.

I then monitored for any issues for about a week.

Upgraded to Exchange 2010

We finally migrated over from exchange 2003 and implemented our new Exchange 2010 server. 


clean up process to begin early Jan.

One of the new features that I'm looking forward to using is the - In built Archiving (no more PST files! woop!)

Moving from VMWare ESXi to Microsoft Hyper-v

I've almost finished moving all my servers from ESXi to Hyper-V. It has been very easy to do this using a free tool – 5nine V2V easy converter

In the future I will be using Microsoft System Centre Essentials 2010 to perform P2V and V2V conversions.  I have used MSSCE2010 to perform a few (P/V)2V conversions already, however as I had to move the SQL server (which is a virtual guest that has the MSSCE2010 database) – …yes i know that not best practise to do and it just bit me in the ankle…

So i had to find another way to move the SQL server.

Information Technology Professional