Windows AutoPilot Deployment

Microsoft has announced that Windows AutoPilot Deployment – a new cloud service that enables IT professionals and partners to customize the Windows 10 out of box setup experience. It used cloud configuration, delivering a self-service deployment experience with new Windows 10 Pro devices. It is now available through CSP.

For Windows AutoPilot Deployment feature overviews and demos please see below:


Add Updates to Windows 10 Images

Due to the issues with the Windows 10 1607 build and WSUS updates, I have added the April 2017 Cumulative update into my Windows 10 image (install.wim).

Here are the steps that I completed:

  1. md C:\mount\Windows
    Dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:"C:\Servicing\Images\install.wim" /Index:1 /MountDir:C:\Servicing\mount\Windows
    Dism /Add-Package /Servicing/Image:C:\Servicing\mount\Windows /PackagePath:C:\Servicing\MSU\windows10.0-kb4016635-x64_2b1b48aa6ec51c019187f15059b768b1638a21ab.msu /LogPath C:\Servicing\AddPackage.log
    Dism /Unmount-Image /MountDir:C:\Servicing\mount\Windows /Commit

Once completed the Windows 10 WIM image will have the latest cumulative update installed.

Microsoft Premier Workshop – EMS + S Technical Workshop

Microsoft Premier Workshop – EMS + S Technical Workshop

The four-day EMS + S Technical Workshop for Spark will provide members of the Spark technical support and delivery team the skills required to understand and successfully configure and support Spark’s EMS customer solution.

The topics included within this Workshop include

  • EMS Introduction
  • Managing client access
  • Defining and managing security & rights management
  • Implementing & applying user templates
  • Working with customer self-service options

In this Workshop, students will learn the tools used in EMS to help define and manage individual customer requirements within Sparks shared customer environment.  This Workshop contains Level 300 content.

Key Features and Benefits 

Each module is designed to provide participants with in-depth expertise, tools and experience in configuring and managing various EMS scenarios.  As an exclusive Spark event students, will be able to deep dive on the Spark solution to define specific customer requirements.  A series of User Scenarios will provide participants with the practical application of the features and functions they learn about.

Technical Highlights 

This Workshop will include the following topics

EMS Pre-Requisites 

  • The Solution
  • Connecting a customer


  • Mobile device management
  • Controlling conditional access – device and applications
  • Managing compliance rules
  • Applying exemptions
  • Mobile application rules

Rights Management (RMS)

  • Activating RMS
  • Invoking and managing file protection
  • Configuring templates
  • Applying templates
  • User experience

Azure Active Directory Premium (AADP)

  • Identity and access management – Single Sign-On to access cloud apps from Windows, iOS and Android devices
  • Data protection
  • Self-service for employees – password and group management
  • Password resets
  • Group management
  • Customized MyApps portal
  • Integration with On-premises

User Scenarios – practical experience in applying the learning of the Workshop

Oh dear: Non-zero return code from catalog utility, rc = -532462766

When the deadline is near last thing to need to see is this error.

I am trying to edit the unattend.xml with MDT 2013.

The error arrives, looks like it is time to reinstall the ADK.

Unhandled Exception: System.IO.FileLoadException: Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.ComponentStudio.ComponentPlatformInterface, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35’ or one of its dependencies. A strongly-named assembly is required. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131044) —> System.IO.FileLoadException: A strongly-named assembly is required. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131044)
   — End of inner exception stack trace —
   at Microsoft.BDD.Catalog.Program.DoCatalog()
   at Microsoft.BDD.Catalog.Program.Main(String[] args)

Non-zero return code from catalog utility, rc = -532462766


MDT Installing Office 365 – Check license and the correct Product ID

Always good to make sure you have the correct Product ID in you configuration file when installing Office 365. An easy way to do this is to check you license in the Office 365 Portal.

  1. Login to the Office 365 Admin Center and click Billing then Licenses.
  2. Then go to the TechNet page: Product IDs that are supported by the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run
  3. The page lists all the Product IDs that are supported by the Microsoft Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run
  4. Ensure you select the right one when downloading and install the appropriate Office application.
    In my example I would use:

    <Product ID="O365BusinessRetail">

Reference for Click-to-Run configuration.xml file


SkipTaskSequence=YES Error with Offline Media Builds

I have ran into this issue a number of times.

In MDT, I am creating offline media build for deployment via USB drive. I would like to make the deployment as simple as possible. So in the CustomSettings.ini there are lots of Skip syntax.

Whe you use the SkipTaskSequence=YES command the build fails after the wizard with a comment: Invalid DeploymentType “”.

Turns out you can’t use the SkipTaskSequence=YES syntax in the CustomSettings.ini because there is no DeployRoot variable in BootStrap.ini file. Add a DeployRoot in and it works fine (but we dont use one when using offline media, grrr).

Have a look at this social TechNet page, the last entry.


Missing Internet Explorer Maintenance settings for Internet Explorer 11

Internet Explorer Maintenance settings have been deprecated in favour of Group Policy Preferences, Administrative Templates and the IE Administration Kit 11.

Because of this change, Internet Explorer Maintenance configured settings will no longer work on computers running Internet Explorer 10 or newer.

Have a look at these Microsoft article for more details:


Windows 10 Technical Training

With Windows 10 being released, more customers are asking about it and looking to start their proof of concepts so they can evaluate how it can best fit within their organization. This is a great opportunity for you to start engaging with customers to drive project and managed services opportunities.

As a valuable Windows deployment partner, we want to help you with this by offering you the opportunity to learn the technical aspects of Windows 10 from Microsoft experts. Ace and Auldhouse, will each be hosting a three-day training session in Auckland.

Here you will learn about topics such as how to deploy and manage Windows 10, and the security features you can use to help protect a customer’s data, identity, and devices. You will come away with a better understanding of how Windows is becoming more like a service and how new features will be added over time. After this training you should be able to walk into your customer’s organization and help them deploy Windows 10.

As part of this event you will have the opportunity to use hands on labs (HOL) to help reinforce the topics discussed. To use the HOL, you will need to bring a laptop that runs Windows 8.0 or higher, Server 2012 R2 or higher, Hyper-V role installed, 8GB of RAM or more, 100GB Free disk space, and a modern CPU (Core i5 or better preferred).

Location: Auldhouse Computer Training Centre
Date: Tuesday, 27 October 2015 9:00 a.m. till Wednesday, 4 November 2015 5:00 p.m.