More than a transaction: the rise of experiential retail

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Technology has transformed the way we shop. With access to countless goods at the click of a button, consumers now have much more power than their counterparts of yesteryear. They can enjoy the convenience of making purchases online and they can compare and contrast deals within an instant. This might be great news for shoppers, … Read more

Restart SCCM OSD Task Sequence within Windows PE

System Center Configuration Manager SCCM

If you want to restart SCCM OSD Task Sequence from within Windows PE without having to reboot the machine and start the PXE boot sequence again, you can quickly press F8 to bring up a command prompt and enter the following command:

x:\sms\bin\i386\TsmBootstrap.exe /env:WinPE /configpath:x:\smsdata

This will then restart the task sequence process for you without having to reboot.

Comments

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How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD

System Center Configuration Manager SCCM

If you have a new model of computer and you have PXE booted it and you do not get a network connection or IP address, then this is because the network card driver for that model is not available either within Windows PE or the boot image you have used to PXE boot the machine.

To fix this can be very difficult as you have to identify the correct the model of the network card, then download the correct driver, test that driver within Windows PE, then once you have got the correct driver, you have to import it into SCCM and then inject into your boot image.

Instructions

To do this, you first have to PXE boot the affected computer and once into Windows PE, press F8 quickly to start a command prompt. To ensure that you are looking at the correct problem, type in IPConfig and press enter. You should find that if it is a network card error, you are receiving no IP address. If this is the case, you should now take steps to identify the network card.

Whilst in your command prompt, you will need to run the WMI test tool, you can do this by typing in WBEMTEST and it will bring up a box like this:

How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD 1

You should then click the Connect button and connect to the following location:

root\cimv\2

This will enable all the other buttons and now allow you to click the Query button:

How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD 2

You then need to enter a query to identify the hardware details of your network card. The query you should run is:

Select * from Win32_PNPEntity where description LIKE “%ethernet%”

You should then click the Apply button:

How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD 3

This will then bring up the Query Result dialogue box and will look similar to this:

How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD 4

You should then double click each result (most cases there will only be one result but we have Hype-V installed on our test machine so there is two..) and it should bring up a box like this:

How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD 5

In the Properties window space, you should scroll down and then look for two things to identify the network card. One is the Caption and the other is the DeviceID:

How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD 6

How to identify a missing NIC driver during SCCM OSD 7

You have then identified the network card driver that is required. But there is now also a simple way of getting that driver. If you take a copy of the DeviceID, you should then go to the Windows Update Catalog which is here:

https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/home.aspx

You can then enter the DeviceID into the search and download the required driver.

Once you are happy that you have the correct driver, copy the driver files to a memory stick and plug it into the machine with the issue.

You should then go back to your command prompt and browse to the location of the network card drivers on the memory stick. Then, you should run the following command:

Drvload “networkcarddriver.inf”

where “networkcarddriver.inf” being whatever the name of the network card driver inf is.

When it has loaded, you should then type in IPConfig – if you get an IP address, you have the correct driver and you can then import it into SCCM and add to your boot image.

If you do not get an IP address, you have the incorrect driver and you should find another one.

REMEMBER– you are getting the driver for the Windows PE version you are using, not the Windows Operating system you are hoping to install.

Credit

Thanks for the original guide from Niall Brady’s blog.

Feedback

If you have any questions or comments on this guide then please feel free to leave us a message below using our comments section.

Skype 7.5 Released – MSI Download Link & Silent Install Instructions

skype logo open graph

Skype version 7.5 has now been released and if you would like to either add this to your Configuration Manager Software Catalog or even have it available through WDS or Group Policy, then you will want to download the MSI file for it.

Skype do provide a direct download link for its Skype software and the installer is packaged as an MSI file. This means that it can be easily used by IT and System Center Administrators for distribution.

The direct download link for Skype MSI 7.5 is below:

Download

If you want to distribute Skype as a silent install, then you can use the code as below:

WDS or Group Policy

SkypeSetup.msi /q /norestart

Configuration Manager

msiexec /i “SkypeSetup.msi” /q /norestart

Comments

If you have any questions or comments on this release, then please feel free to use our comments system below.

Adobe Reader 11.0.11 Released

Adobe Reader DC version 2001

Adobe have now released an update to their Acrobat Reader software to take it up to version 11.0.11.

You can now download the MSI, EXE and MSP files for this release from their FTP site which you can get to using the download button below:

Downloads

Download

Comments

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SCCM Collection based on Active Directory Organisation Unit (OU) Membership

sccm logo 600x400

You may want to create a Configuration Manager Collection based upon an Active Directory Organisation Unit. To do this you can use the following WQL code and then simply amend the last part to be the Organisation Unit that you want to base the Collection on:

SELECT
SMS_R_USER.ResourceID,
SMS_R_USER.ResourceType,
SMS_R_USER.Name,
SMS_R_USER.UniqueUserName,
SMS_R_USER.WindowsNTDomain
FROM
SMS_R_User
WHERE
SMS_R_User.UserOUName = “LOCALDOMAIN.COM/COMPANYNAME/TECHYGEEKSHOME”

More Queries

Our full range of SQL and WQL Collection queries are available here.

Feedback

If you have any questions or feedback about this post, or if you would like us to create any queries for you, please go ahead and leave us a message below in the comments section and we will get back to you as quick as we can.

Adobe Flash Player 17.0.0.188 Released – MSI Download

Adobe Flash Player MSI Package

Adobe have released another update to their Adobe Flash Player software, this time taking it up to version 17.0.0.188.

As always, you can download the executable file or get the MSI file so that you can load it into your Configuration Manager Software Catalog.

The update is also now available to import through System Center Update Publisher (SCUP) so you can inject it into your WSUS or Configuration Manager systems.

You can the download in all formats for all browsers for Windows and Mac directly from Adobe by clicking the download button below.

Download

COMMENTS

If you have any comments or questions, please use our comments system below.

Java 7 Update 79 Released – MSI and Offline Installer

Java MSI

Java have now released update 79 of version 7 of their Java Client software. The update is available as an offline installer and using our guide below, you can extract the MSI from it and use it for deployment by using Windows Updates to update current machines or add to your Configuration Manager Application Catalog … Read more

Microsoft Xbox One Package – Special Offer Code for TechyGeeksHome.co.uk Guests

xbox one s

We have the opportunity here for someone to take advantage of an amazing offer we can provide to you for a Microsoft Xbox One Package Deal for just £314.99 GBP.

As part of the deal, you will receive the following:

  • Xbox One console (including one wireless controller)
  • Forza Horizon 2 for Xbox One
  • 3-month Xbox Live Gold Membership
  • 12-month EA Access subscription

All you have to do is click the link below:

Microsoft Xbox One Package Deal

Then you have to ensure that you enter the code below:

33wfjotq3

Into the “Enter Promo Code” section and then click the Apply Discount button:

Microsoft Xbox One Package - Special Offer Code for TechyGeeksHome.co.uk Guests 8

You can then complete your checkout process to obtain the special package deal.

DOSBox – 16-Bit Application Emulator

Disk Space Saver Utility

If you have an old 16-bit application that you need to run on Windows 7 or 8.1 or maybe even an old classic game you want to play, you will find that the chances are the modern operating systems will not run them and you will run into an error like this for Windows 7:

DOSBox - 16-Bit Application Emulator 9

Or this one for Windows 8:

DOSBox - 16-Bit Application Emulator 10

So, what can you do?

Well there is hope! There is an excellent DOS emulator that we have tested and now using called DOSBox. It seems to work with all of the DOS programs that we have tested it with and we even downloaded some old DOS games to test it and all worked perfectly.

With a little bit of simple configuration, the DOSBox emulator loads your DOS program in no time and allows you access back into these old programs.

DOWNLOAD

You can download the latest version of the DOSBox program from SourceForge using the link below:

DosBox Download

INSTRUCTIONS

Once you have downloaded the DOSBox program there is a little configuration you have to carry out in the options to get your program “mounted” and then to run, but it is extremely simple to do. Below is a video guide on how to configure the program to run:

VIDEO DEMO

COMMENTS

If you are still struggling or have any questions or comments, then please feel free to leave us to message below using our comments section and we will try and get back to you as soon as we can.

Show Distribution Point in use during Task Sequence

sccm logo 600x400

We recently came across issues where our Configuration Manager Operating System Deployments (OSD) where running extremely slowly and we could not figure out why.

After some investigation, we found out that one of our remote Distribution Points (DP) was not working correctly and that rebuilds on one of the sites where actually pulling the image and application data from another site (another DP as a fallback).

So, we already use custom backgrounds and BGInfo with MDT integration, so we thought it would be nice to add to the BGInfo the current distribution point that is being used. This would quickly and easily identify whether the current build was using the correct distribution point.

We were going to work on this ourselves, but instead a quick Google and we found exactly what we were looking for and this is an excellent and quick way of getting the job done.

Take a look at this guide from SCCM Guru and show your own distribution points during OSD!

Show DP in use during Task Sequence

Comments

If you have any comments or questions about this post, then please feel free to leave us a message below using our comments section.

VMWare ESXi 5.5 – Adding RealTek and Atheros Network Card Drivers – Version 2.0

vmware

We have been trying to set up a new virtual host using VMWare ESXi 5.5.0 Update 1 with an Atheros AR8161 network card. As this is one of the unsupported network cards, it kept failing upon the bootup setup process – as expected of course.

As most of you will know, you can “inject” network card drivers into the ISO installation media for VMWare ESXi so we thought that this would be a good place to start to try and get this working. This turned out to be a much harder task than we thought but after 14 hours of messing about and about 20 CDR’s later, we got it working.

Quick Note

Although this guide and our own testing process is based on the Atheros AR8161, this should work for most other network cards and we will add further below in this guide links to four different VIB files for Atheros and RealTek network card drivers that you can use without having to go through the pain we had to go through to find them!

Guide – Part 1

First of all, you should identify your network card driver. In our case it is a Qualcomm Atheros AR8161 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (NDIS 6.30). You then need to acquire the VIB file for this network card driver to enable you to “inject” it into the ISO installation media. We will provide the ones that we can for you to download, but if your network card is not one of the ones in the package below then you need to spend a bit of time Googling to find your own network card VIB file.

We would like to ask that if you have others that you would like to share with the community, please contact us so that we can add a list of VIB files to this page for others to use or just post a link in the comments section to the VIB download.

Downloads

The download is now available from our Downloads microsite by clicking the button below, just browse through the Downloads section on the microsite to find the file.

The VIB files included in this current download package are:

  • Atheros AR8161 VIB Driver
  • Atheros AR8151 VIB Driver
  • Realtek R8168 VIB Driver
  • Realtek R8169 VIB Driver

Download VIB NIC Packs

When you are happy that you have the correct VIB file for your network card driver, then you need the following things to continue:

Guide – Part 2

The ESXi Customizer Tool is what you will use to “inject” the VIB network card driver into your clean ISO installation media.

So, start up the ESXi Customize Tool by running the ESXi-Customizer.cmd file:

VMWare ESXi 5.5 - Adding RealTek and Atheros Network Card Drivers - Version 2.0 11

You will then be presented with the tool and you need to browse to the following items:

  • Clean ISO Installation Media File
  • VIB Network Card Driver File
  • Output Directory for Custom ISO Installation Media

When you have entered all your necessary details, you should see something similar to this:

VMWare ESXi 5.5 - Adding RealTek and Atheros Network Card Drivers - Version 2.0 12

You should then click the Run! button to start the customization process. The process will run in a DOS box like below:

VMWare ESXi 5.5 - Adding RealTek and Atheros Network Card Drivers - Version 2.0 13

Once that is completed successfully, you should see a pop-up dialog box telling you of the outcome:

VMWare ESXi 5.5 - Adding RealTek and Atheros Network Card Drivers - Version 2.0 14

If you now browse to the above location, you will find that you now have a ESXi-5.x-Custom.iso file – this can now be burnt to CDR and you should now find that your virtual host will install to completion.

Feedback

If you have any questions, comments or would like to add any VIB files to our list, then please can you leave a comment below using our comments section and we will get back to you as soon as we can.