• BGBSetup.log “Fatal MSI Error - bgbisapi.msi could not be installed.” 0x8004D01B

    During a Configuration Manager implementation I am working on for a customer at the moment I experienced an issue installing a management point role onto a server. This is a fresh build with new servers and the management point seemed to partly install. I could see components in IIS and I could see the relevant folders on the server but the status messages were telling me otherwise. In amongst the 4 messages:


    I saw this…

    • Tue, Apr 14 2015
  • Configuration Manager & Hyper-V Replica

    I’ve been having some conversations over the last few days around whether or not Hyper-V replica is a supported solution for providing some level of high availability within a Configuration Manager environment and to be honest I still don’t have a straight answer for you but some guidance you can work to.

    Personally I have always recommended Hyper-V replica as a good option to provide some resilience in a…

    • Tue, Feb 10 2015
  • Configuration Manager 2012 R2 Cumulative Update 4

    As the title suggests Cumulative Update 4 for Configuration Manager 2012 R2 was just released. As luck would have it I’m in the middle of a new implementation so I installed it and thought I would share the experience. I’ll be honest the process is much the same as any other cumulative update but I know some people want to run through what to expect up front.

    You can get the update here http://support.microsoft.com/kb…

    • Tue, Feb 3 2015
  • Auto-create Endpoint Protection policies for System Center

    As the title suggests, this post is about automatic creation of and Endpoint Protection policy for System Center servers and clients. It seems odd to me as a consultant that we would make recommendations on antivirus exclusions but each time a new environment is implemented we  would manually create an Endpoint Protection policy. So I’m going to use PowerShell and a template policy to show you how, you can always use to…

    • Wed, Jan 28 2015
  • Orchestrator Get Group Activity and AD Distinguished Name


    Slightly off from my usual topics but recently I’ve been working more with Orchestrator and although what I am about to tell you is not unknown to people I didn’t find it easy to get the answers from the web so I though I should share. I got a lot of help on this one out of this TechNet thread but information elsewhere didn’t come so easily hence I’m writing this post - https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en…

    • Fri, Nov 7 2014
  • PowerShell Invoke-Command pipelines tip

    I was working with Orchestrator recently and needed to implement some PowerShell to remotely manage Microsoft Exchange 2010 so I suppose I have 2 tips on one for you here. If you are trying to use the Exchange Admin Integration Pack you should be aware that this only supports basic authentication to your Exchange environment. If you are using Kerberos (as you probably should be) then this integration pack will be a no…

    • Wed, Nov 5 2014
  • WMUG MMS Minnesota ticket Giveaway!!


    We've teamed up with the guys from MMS Minnesota to offer a giveaway exclusively to all registered WMUG members. I'm sure you'll already know about the MMS Minnesota event but just in case you haven't, go and check it out here - mms.mnscug.org. It promises to be an awesome event for all System Center enthusiasts with over 100 sessions from some of the best speakers around diving deep on many aspects of the product…

    • Tue, Oct 21 2014
  • ConfigMgr 2012 R2 CU3 hotfix for fast device wipe and retire


    On October 8th Microsoft released a hotfix which can be installed over System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 CU3 which on the whole seems to have gone un-noticed. The hotfix essentially provides fast channel communication to mobile devices when you send remote wipe or retire commands to an enrolled device. I should be clear that this is a hotfix for ConfigMgr and is used in a unified device management scenario…

    • Thu, Oct 16 2014
  • Microsoft Unified Device Management in 3 minutes!

    I recently entered the Microsoft TechEd Challenge competition organised by the Microsoft UK TechNet team and the challenge was to produce a video of around 3 minutes which was innovative and demonstrated a deep technical knowledge of a particular area. This was split into 4 categories – Cloud Ninja & Rackman, Dr Desktop,  Captain Code and Kick-ass Female. I entered the below video into the Dr Desktop category…

    • Thu, Oct 2 2014
  • New ConfigMgr book – Advanced Deployment

    I thought I would share the news that there is a new Configuration Manager book in town and I understand that it will be available within the next few days. My friend and colleague Martyn Coupland has spent much of his time in the last 12 months or so writing his debut into the world of authoring – Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Advanced Deployment. Having chatted with Martyn in recent months about this…

    • Tue, Sep 23 2014
  • System Center Orchestrator AV exclusions


    I was asked recently about antivirus/antimalware exclusions for Orchestrator and after some digging it seems Microsoft do not publish such a thing. So after bouncing the question around to a few experienced people I have drawn up this initial list and added it to the TechNet Wiki.  I also updated the generic AV exclusion wiki page which is worth checking out if you haven’t already seen it.

    This is a first effort and hopefully…

    • Fri, Sep 12 2014
  • Bulk changing Configuration Manager & SCEP policy priorities

    This is one that has caused me unnecessary effort in the past when working on migrations with customers. There is a limitation in the Configuration Manager 2012 console whereby if you want to amend the priority of either a client settings or endpoint protection policy your only option is to right click or hit the ribbon and either increase or decrease priority.


    Your other option is to use PowerShell with the Set-CMClientSetting…

    • Tue, Sep 9 2014
  • Microsoft VDI and RDS in Server 2012 R2

    This week I delivered a couple of sessions for Microsoft on Microsoft VDI/RDS as part of their People Centric IT Road show which WMUG hosted the Reading session. I thought it only right that I should therefore share some of that information with those who couldn’t attend, that and it’s a subject I don’t often write about but is pretty cool and often forgotten about.

    So what is Microsoft VDI and RDS?

    Well VDI is a fairly…

    • Fri, Jun 20 2014
  • Configuration Manager 2012 Security Role ID

    Here’s a snippet I wrote a little while ago but realised I hadn’t shared it with WMUG.

    I’ve been using powershell with Configuration Manager recently and I’ve been looking at security roles. If you’re looking to create your own security roles with powershell and you don’t already have a template, you’ll first need to copy one of the existing roles to get started. To do this you need to know the role ID for the source…

    • Fri, Jun 20 2014
  • Configuration Manager 2012 Console Parameters

    It seems not everyone is aware that there are a handful of command line parameters available for the ConfigMgr console executable. They are listed here on the MSDN Library and can be used for advanced troubleshooting, maybe some scripting or even if you just want to take a look around.

    So if you want to run them you should fire up a command prompt or even edit your shortcut and run the ConfigMgr console executable follow…

    • Mon, May 12 2014
  • Free online training from Microsoft MVP’s

    If you have not heard about this one then you should definitely go check it out. On 31st March and 1st April Microsoft are publishing a series of videos where UK and Ireland MVP’s take you through different components of the Cloud OS. This incorporates Windows Server, Windows Client, Azure and System Center but includes pearls of wisdom from the UK and Ireland’s finest along the way.

    The schedule is below, get yourself…

    • Mon, Mar 31 2014
  • Configuration Manager DP Configuration Status and Content Validation

    I was working with a customer recently on a new Configuration Manager 2012 R2 implementation and we started to come across some content mismatches between the content library and the distribution point. This is nothing new to Configuration Manager and there is lots documented about this from 2007 and 2012 version of the product. One particular issue we had was to do with the Distribution Point Configuration Status falsely…

    • Wed, Mar 19 2014
  • Failed to find CCM_SoftwareDistribution object - Driver Packages

    Inspired by this blog post from 2011, I set about fixing my customers new ConfigMgr 2012 R2 implementation today. The situation is this:

    An OSD Task sequence references a driver package (or several) and upon starting the task sequence it fails to run with no specific message. However when you check the SMSTS.log file you see the following:

    Failed to find CCM_SoftwareDistribution object for AdvertID="AB1201A2", PackageID…

    • Wed, Jan 15 2014
  • WMUG event location

    We want to hear from you again. Where would be your preferable location for a WMUG event? Join in the poll on our LinkedIn group page - http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=118888 



    If you’re not already a group member then get yourself added and you can keep up to date with what’s going on at WMUG.

    • Mon, Dec 16 2013
  • Adding an SMS Provider with MP Replica in existence

    I’ve been implementing a Configuration Manager 2012 R2 environment this week and stumbled across a few ‘quirks’ which I thought I would share. To set the picture, lets say we have 2 servers – 1 Primary Site Server with a local SQL installation and a second server which will have Management Point, Replicated DB and SMS provider.


    Now I previously installed the management point and database replica on Server 2 and configured…

    • Thu, Dec 12 2013
  • ConfigMgr 2012 SP1/R2 BgbServer.log - Error in FirewallDetection

    Just a quick post this - If you find yourself using the BgbServer.log file in System Center Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 or R2 and you come across this error:

    ERROR: Error in FirewallDetection. Exception: Creating an instance of the COM component with CLSID {304CE942-6E39-40D8-943A-B913C40C9CD4} from the IClassFactory failed due to the following error: 800706d9 There are no more endpoints available from the endpoint…

    • Wed, Dec 11 2013
  • Kreyos Smart Watch – WP8 Compatible

    This is a slightly off topic blog post for me but interesting all the same, although some may say that’s a matter of opinion. I’m sure most of you have heard about smart watches but I wonder how much people actually know about their capabilities or even how they work. Very simply, they hook up to your phone using bluetooth and allow you to perform limited functions of your phone such as read and write text messages, emails…

    • Thu, Nov 28 2013
  • What do you want to hear about? Get in touch

    We’re making plans for our next WMUG event, the biggest one yet. So we wondered, what do you guys really want to know about?

    It can be anything related to the System Center product suite and it’s interoperability with other products. Azure, Virtualisation, HA, Design best practices, Intune, Orchestrator or anything else you can come up with.



    Email me, tweet me, comment on linkedin, carrier pigeon, comment below or whatever…

    • Fri, Nov 22 2013
  • Data Protection Manager 2012 Installation Gotcha

    I was installing System Center Data Protection Manager recently in my lab environment and came across a rather annoying little gotcha, if you don’t know it’s there you could be scratching your head for a little while.

    So here’s the start of the installation procedure…

    The obligatory splash GUI:



    The obligatory license agreement:






    Here’s the one to watch out for:


    When you’re making the connection to your SQL server you…

    • Tue, Oct 15 2013
  • TrainSignal Giveaway

    We are giving away 30 day TrainSignal subscriptions Monday 7th October to Friday 11th October.

    Simply follow @wmug on twitter and retweet us!

    There will be one 30 day subscription given away each day, you may win only once in the week. You will be sent the subscription details by email, twitter private message or post – your choice. Each draw will be made at random each day with the cut off for entries at 8pm each day.…

    • Mon, Oct 7 2013