ToolTip: Windows 8 Update Notifier

With the introduction of Windows 7 Microsoft started to pay attention to remove unnecessary noise from the Windows Desktop meaning reducing the number of system notification balloons. For details read the Action Center blog post on the Engineering Windows 7 blog. As you can see from the screenshot below, in Windows 7 the user can still receive notification messages about available Windows Updates. But in Windows 8 this option has disappeared, meaning that in Windows Read More …

Exploring the functions included in Microsoft.BDD.Utility.dll

While browsing through the MDT 2012 scripts, I noticed that here and there MDT uses functions included in the Microsoft.BDD.Utility.dll which is loaded by ZTIUtility.vbs. A good example is the ZTIGather.wsf where the following function is used to determine whether the system is running UEFI or native BIOS. ‘ Determine if we are running UEFI bIsUEFI = FALSE On Error Resume Next bIsUEFI = oUtility.BDDUtility.IsUEFI On Error Goto 0 So I took Nir Sofer’s DLL Read More …

List Task Sequence Variables and Values Script

For years I have been using the following script from myITforum to list Task Sequence Environment Variables and Values Set oTSEnv = CreateObject("Microsoft.SMS.TSEnvironment") For Each oVar In oTSEnv.GetVariables WScript.Echo oVar & "=" & oTSEnv(oVar) Next Because there are so many variables, the only useful way to use the script is to pipe the output into a file, then open that file and search for the variable and its value. So I have created the created Read More …

How to detect if Windows Touch is enabled

While I was actually looking for something totally different, I stumbled over the IsTouchEnabled.exe that is stored within the MDT 2012 \Tools\OSDResults folder. The name says it all, it detects whether the device supports Touch or not. So I copied the utility and ran it on a Samsung Tablet with Windows 7 installed, a HP Workstation with Windows 7 installed, on a HP Mobile workstation with Windows 8 installed and on the HP ElitePad with Read More …

How to access data from your Bitlocker enabled Windows To Go Workspace

Yesterday we looked at How to access data from the local disk when running a Windows To Go Workspace today we’re going to do the opposite. So let’s assume you’ve been working in your Windows To Go Workspace at home and saved a document locally. Now you are back in the office but didn’t start your Windows To Go Workspace but are working on a corporate Windows 7 client and require access to that file. Read More …

How to access data from the local disk when running a Windows To Go Workspace

When provisioning a Windows To Go Workspace using the Windows 8 build-in Windows To Go creator or following the step by step instructions described within the TechNet Wiki a SAN policy is applied that prevents the Windows To Go Workspace from bringing online any internally connected disks from the host system. The result is that you cannot access any data that is stored there. There are two reasons why this SAN policy should be applied. Read More …

How to configure and deploy local Group Policy settings for ThinKiosk

  In my previous post Repurpose PCs with Windows ThinPC I used Andrew Morgan’s ThinKiosk to replace the default Windows Shell to limit the user’s access to the local machine. ThinKiosk can be configured via the command line, the Registry and via Group Policy. Now unless you like to write lengthy registry manipulation scripts, configuring the settings via Group Policy is definitely the way to go. When clients are member of a domain we would Read More …

Explore the Microsoft Open Specifications

If you’re interested in reading how things really work, the Microsoft Open Specifications are a great resource. Microsoft Open Specifications is primarily intended for software developers but can also be of interest for anyone else who works with Microsoft products. The reason why these documents are little-known is because it isn’t easy to find them on MSDN where they are published. This has changed now. On the Microsoft Open Specifications Developer Center you can now Read More …

Repurpose PCs with Windows ThinPC

Many companies nowadays take advantage of some sort of VDI type solutions. In some cases where all of the users applications are made available within this environment, there is no need for providing them with a fully loaded desktop or notebook hence the reason why companies are considering the use of Thin Clients. In the long run the use of real thin clients definitely makes sense, not only are they usually cheaper than normal desktops Read More …