Archive for the ‘System Center Configuration Manager’ Category

ConfigMgr 1606 Feature Highlight – Pre-release features consent

August 2, 2016 Leave a comment

Time for another feature highlight in Configuration Manager Current Branch (CB) 1606. For this post we will focus on the pre-release feature consent which is required as of update 1606.

As you will learn later in this post this just requires you to tick one single checkbox but before doing so there are some important things (and consequences) to take into account.

What are pre-release features?

As stated by Microsoft : Pre-release features are included in the product for early testing in a production environment, but should not be considered production ready. Also – according to the docs -  there is no guarantee these features will be stamped production ready – there is a chance they never evolve beyond the pre-release state.

In the updates and servicing node the feature type column will indicate whether a feature is pre-release or not.


Note 1: yes – I did also notice the anomaly with the Conditional Access for Managed PC’s feature. Not sure why the name indicates pre-release and the feature type says release.

Note 2: the Windows Store for Business Integration feature is listed as a release feature but you cannot enable it. Bottom line: it behaves like a pre-release feature so you can only enable it if you have giving consent to pre-release features.


How to give consent to use pre-release features?

Giving consent is done through the hierarchy settings as shown in the screenshot below.

Important: this is a one time action which cannot be undone. Once enabled the entire section of the dialog box is greyed out – you can not uncheck the box.


Once you have given consent you can enable pre-release features in 1606  from within the Updates and Servicing node. For future releases this can then also be done through the wizard when you are actually installing the update

What happens if we do not give consent?

When installing an update in the future, the pre-release features will be visible in the Updates and Servicing Wizard but will be greyed out. They cannot be enabled.

Once the update is installed the pre-release features will be visible as well – but we cannot turn them on until consent has been given in the hierarchy settings. This is shown in the screenshot below.



That’s it for this feature highlight – up to you to decide whether or not to enable this in your production environments.

Until next time!



ConfigMgr 1606 Feature Highlight – Software Center improvements

July 27, 2016 6 comments

Time for another quick feature highlight and this time I would like to focus on the client side of things. With version 1606 the Software Center also has some nice new improvements – lets have a look into what has changed:

1 – Installed Software merged into Installation Status

Prior to version 1606 there was a tab named Installed Software. This tab is no longer visible on the new client. Instead the information related to installed software is merged into the Installation Status tab.

This is what it looks like on a lab Windows 7 client not yet upgraded:


And this is what an upgraded Windows 10 client looks like:



2 – New tabs for Updates and Operating Systems

Prior to 1606 Applications, Updates and Task Sequences were all listed under the Applications tab. This has now been properly split as two new tabs for Updates and Task Sequences have been added.



3 – Installing multiple updates

Multiple updates can now be selected for installation or by using the Install All button all updates can be installed in one single click.



4 – Applications List view

In older versions the applications tab only supported a tile view – although this is nice it can be rather annoying in the scenario where you have a large set of applications. As of 1606 you can now toggle between list view and tile view.

An example of the list view from our lab:



This last one was actually a request I had filed on UserVoice in February and it is really nice to see how fast this made it into the product. This is just one example but it shows the importance and relevance of logging any feature requests and feedback on UserVoice.

Until next time!


ConfigMgr 1606 Feature Highlight – Updates and Servicing View cleanup

July 25, 2016 Leave a comment

After my earlier post on the 1606 update process I have been exploring some of the new features in this build. A small yet nice change in 1606 is the cleaning up of the Updates and Servicing view.

With this release you will see only the most recently installed update and any new updates that are available for installation. The older entries will no longer be listed.

So after just installing 1606 in our environment it looks like this:


And what if we want to know what path this site has followed to come up to this level? Easy – just hit the history button and the answer to that question pops up:


Note : this only becomes available after your console has been updated also! If you still run an older version of the console you can simply close and then restart it to trigger the update process.

Until next time!


Installing Configuration Manager Update 1606

July 22, 2016 1 comment

With the release of Update 1606 today I decided to update one of my lab environments and document the experience. This particular lab environment has a single primary with a few clients and has been running on current branch 1602 for quite some time already.

Enabling the update ring

As I looked at the sites and servicing node the 1606 update was not yet listed.


To get the update we first need to run a script that will put the site into the early update ring.

Run the script from an elevated command prompt following the instructions documented on Technet.


Then from the console we can check for updates in the updates and servicing node once again.


You can check the dmpdownloader.log for details on what is happening under the hood.


Click refresh in the updates and servicing node and the 1606 update should be listed.



Prereq Check


Prior to running the upgrade we can run a prerequisite check. This is also done from the sites and servicing node.


To see the outcome of the check we need to go to the monitoring workspace and select Site Servicing Status. Select the 1606 update and then click the show status button to see the details.


For the under the hood details we can check the ConfigMgrPrereq.log on the root of the system drive.



1606 Installation

Once we have passed all prerequisite checks we are now ready to install the 1606 update.

This is done from sites and servicing also.


Click next when the wizard starts.


Select or deselect any features and click next.


Configure the options for client updating and click next. In our site we do use preproduction clients to run some tests first.


Accept the license terms and click next.


Review the summary and click next.


Click close once the wizard has completed successfully.


While the installation process in ongoing you can see some more details in the site servicing status node in the monitoring workspace. More details can also be found in the cmupdate.log.


Upon successful installation the state in the sites and servicing node should also change to installed.


The site version should be 5.0.8412.1000. The can be checked in the About dialog box.


Or you can also validate it in the site properties (on the General tab)



Console Updates


To upgrade the console all we need to do is close it and launch it again.

A message will be displayed indicating a newer version of the console is available. Click OK to install the new version.


This will take a few minutes. A progress dialog box is shown during the update process.


More details can be found in the ConfigMgrAdminUISetup.log and ConfigMgrAdminUISetupVerbose.log files on the root of the system drive.


The console is launched automatically as soon as the installation is completed.

The console version should be 5.0.8412.1003





Updating clients in this lab will be done in two phases by using the built-in client piloting features. For now we upgrading pre-production clients only.


Once we have verified no issues occur on the clients we will approve the upgrade for all clients in the hierarchy.

In the meantime we can track progress in the client deployment nodes in the monitoring workspace.



That’s it for the update installation in our lab – as you can see again a very smooth experience!

Make sure to come back in the upcoming days for more details on this release and its features!


Configuration Manager Update 1606 now available!

July 22, 2016 Leave a comment

Earlier today Microsoft has released version 1606 of System Center Configuration Manager current branch.

If you are already on current branch the update should soon become visible in the Updates and Servicing node of your Configuration Manager console. The global rollout is done in waves so it might not become available to you straight away. Similar to the earlier 1602 release you can also speed up the process a bit by running a script that adds the site to the early update ring.


Some relevant links to this release:

Time to spin up the lab! More details will follow later.


ITPROCeed 2016 Speaker

June 13, 2016 2 comments

Tomorrow I will be presenting at ITPROCeed, Belgium’s biggest ITPro Conference.

Together with my partner in crime Kenny Buntinx I will be outlining a few pitfalls to avoid when upgrading to Configuration Manager current branch.

During this session we will bring our little black book with notes from the field. After this session you should be able to steer away from the troubles we have encountered during various upgrades.


There will be time for your specific upgrade questions during the Q&A at the end of the session or you can simply talk to us at the event – we will be around for the entire day so do not be afraid to reach out!

Interested? It is not too late to register!

Hope to see you tomorrow!


Configuration Manager Technical Preview 1604 available

April 22, 2016 Leave a comment

Microsoft has just released update 1604 for Configuration Manager Technical Preview.

The update includes the following new features:

  • Windows Store for Business integration – You can now manage and deploy applications purchased through the Windows Store for Business portal for both online and offline licensed apps.
  • Passport for Work policies – You can now deploy Passport for Work policies to domain-joined Windows 10 PCs managed by the ConfigMgr client as well as mobile devices managed by Microsoft Intune.
  • On-premises Health Attestation Service integration – You can now configure devices that cannot connect to the cloud-based Health Attestation Service to connect with the on-premises Health Attestation Service instead.
  • VPN for Windows 10 – You can now deploy VPN profiles with 3rd-party providers to Windows 10 devices managed with ConfigMgr client.
  • Software Updates Compliance dashboard – You can now use this dashboard to view the current compliance status of devices in your organization and quickly analyze the data to see which devices are at risk.

And an additional feature for hybrid setups:

  • New setting for Android devices – You now have an option to configure Smart Lock setting for Android 5.X devices in order to prevent users from bypassing the lock screen.

    On the Technet evaluation center the baseline version for new installations has also been updated. The Technical Preview 5 available for download is actually based on build 1603.

    More details on the release can be found on the Configuration Manager Team Blog.

    For details on the upgrading experience please have a look at my previous blog post.

    Quick sidenote: As I just upgraded a first lab environment with the 1604 TP build it seems the updates and servicing node gets cleaned up also. Previous builds (installed or not) are no longer listed after the upgrade.


    Have fun in your labs!