November 8 2011

Lync notifications to the foreground

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I came across this free addon for Lync 2010 that brings IM notifications to the foreground. A great idea in the right circumstance. See for more info.


I use a maximum of one Google Ad per post to help offset some of my blog hosting costs.


October 19 2011

How to set date format and timezone in WinPE

I had a need for an accurate timezone and specific date format during Windows PE session when using SCCM OSD.

To change timezone:

At the start of the task sequence, run a command like “reg.exe import AUS_EST.reg”
This is simply an export of HKLMSystemCurrentControlSetControlTimeZoneInformation.
In my case, the contents of AUS_EST.reg looked like:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

“StandardName”=”AUS Eastern Standard Time”
“DaylightName”=”AUS Eastern Daylight Time”

To change date format in WinPE:

Mount WIM using DISM
Load hive “mount”WindowsSystem32configDEFAULT into registry
Navigate to the loaded hive then Control PanelInternational
Update the values you need to in here such as sLongDate and sShortDate
Unload hive
Unmount WIM using DISM, ensuring that you use the /commit switch

For more info on editing the registry for a WIM file, see my other post

October 17 2011

Microsoft System Center ROI tool

I came across an interesting and free tool. In their own words, this tool Quickly Generate Credible, Personalized ROI presentations and Proposals for System Center. The System Center ROI/TCO tool enables a comprehensive business case for the entire System Center suite including:

System Center Operations Manager
System Center Configuration Manager
System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)
System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM)
System Center Service Manager

This generates a pretty good starting point for a business case for any of the System Center products and the output includes predefined Word and Powerpoint documents.

See here for more info –


October 10 2011

Outlook 2010 settings not migrated during SCCM OSD with USMT

I had an issue recently where Outlook 2010 settings and signatures were not being migrated to the new machine when using USMT in conjunction with SCCM OSD. There is a Microsoft hotfix for USMT 4.0 to specifically address this, essentially it is an update of the executables, DLLs and XML files to support the Office 2010 application. See

October 7 2011

Extend the validity period of a Certificate Authority certificate

During a new deployment of a Certificate Services, I needed to increase the validity period of the CA certificate issued from the root (and offline) CA to the issuing CA (online and domain joined). By default this is only valid for 1 year. After unsuccessful hunting around the GUI options, I realised that this is going to be a registry change:

Find ValidityPeriod. Set the value one of the following – Days, Weeks, Months or Years.
Find ValidityPeriodUnits and set this to the numeric value that you want.
Then restart the Certificate Services NT service.

I made this change on both the root CA and issuing CA because I wanted to increase the validity period of not just the CA certificate that is issued from the root CA, but also any certificates that are issued from the issuing CA also. Be aware that validity period may also be set in the certificate template and templates supported by Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition cannot be modified. Templates supported by Windows Server Enterprise Edition (Version 2 templates) do support modification.

There is a bit more detail here if required –


September 15 2011

SCCM clients not downloading content from DPs

I’d been looking at an issue where SCCM clients were constantly waiting for content from a local DP even though I had confirmed the content was present and accounted for on the local DP disk (my DP are running Windows Server 2008 R2 which is IIS 7.5). I checked the IIS logs on the local DP and found an interesting line, something like:

HEAD /SMS_DP_SMSPKGD$/APH000CC//filename.config - 80 - Microsoft+BITS/7.0 404 7 0 15

The ‘404 7’ section was interesting because this is a HTTP status code for ‘404.7 – File extension denied’ – according to

I found a few articles via Google mentioning this problem and that I should edit the %windir%System32inetsrvconfigapplicationHost.config file to allow the .config file type. This didn’t seem to fix the problem for me. After adjusting this and restarting IIS, when I looked in the IIS management GUI in the Request Filtering section, the .config extension was still blocked. I needed to change the HTTP request filters because by default in IIS 7.5 there are a list of file extensions that IIS will not provide to clients via WebDav. This included the ‘.config’ file type which I needed to deploy as part of an application package.

I didn’t want to manually do this via the GUI on all of my DPs so I used the appcmd.exe command and then restarted IIS:

%WinDir%System32InetSrvappcmd.exe set config "Default Web Site" -section:system.webServer/security/requestFiltering /-"fileExtensions.[fileExtension='.config']"

This did the trick – my clients then downloaded the content from their local DP including the previously problematic .config files.

For more info see some of these links: