Sys Admin Systems Center 2012 Windows

Automatic Deployment Rules – Download Failed – System Center 2012 Configuration Manager

I have just started setting up a new System Center 2012 Configuration Manager server to test in my environment came up against an error that really didn’t make any sense at first.

After running the Automatic Deployment Rule it came up with the Error Code 0x87D20417 further investigation inside the logs in (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Logs) found the following entry in the ruleengine.log

Failed to download the update from internet. Error = 5

There was also a status message from SMS_RULE_ENGINE with Severity: Error

Content download failed.
Message: Failed to download one or more content files.
Source: SMS Rule Engine.

When I configured the the new Deployment Package in the “Select deployment package for this automatic deployment rule” section I created a new file share for the package. I set the NTFS permissions as specified in the documentation “Operations and Maintenance for Software Updates in Configuration Manager“.

What I failed to do was allow CHANGE permissions at the share level as I left that at the default READ ONLY setting.

Once I added the CHANGE permission the Automatic Deployment Rule ran and downloaded the software successfully.

Group Policy Windows

Targeting User Group Policy Settings to a Specific Machine

Have you ever tried to set User Group Policies that you only want to work on a single machine or a set of machines? You will find that if you apply the group policy to a specific OU/Group of computers then unless the user accounts are in the same OU you will find that the User policies don’t get applied.

What you need is Loopback processing (See here for more details Loopback processing is most often needed for kiosk type machine or common use computer lab scenarios.

Open up the Group Policy Object and navigate to “Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Group Policy“.

Open the “User Group Policy loopback processing mode” policy and set it to “Enabled“.

The next option is the “Mode” to use. Set the mode to “Replace” if you want no other User Policies to be in effect on the particular machines you are targeting, or “Merge” if you want all other User Policy settings to apply as well as the settings specified in the loopback policy.

I have been around Group Policy for a while and have never needed this setting before (the need for user targeted policies to a set of machines has never come up), so going through all the motions of setting policy security restrictions and changing the OU location of both the policy, the machines and the users in testing chewed up well over an hour of fiddling time. Setting a policy for loopback processing is easy, the hard part is realising that loopback processing is what you need to do in the first place.

Exchange Sys Admin Windows

Exchange System Manager Tools on Windows 7 – The Easy Way

Since my migration to Windows 7 there have still been a few things missing that would be nice to have. One of those is the Exchange System Manager tools. There are ways and methods out there to getting this to work but most will involve uninstalling outlook and reinstalling after you have installed ESM tools.

I have been waiting for the ESM tools for Exchange 2010 to hopefully work with Exchange 2003 but that hasn’t happened either. Although I did find a really quick and easy solution this morning after reading the following posts on TechNet (Exchange System Manager for exchange 2003)

You will need to download the Exchange System Manager for Windows Vista then use something like WinRAR to extract the contents.

You will also need to make sure you already have the RSAT tools installed (Remote Server Admin Tools)

Finally open up a Command Prompt as Administrator. Browse to the directory that contains the ESMVISTA.MSI file. Run the following:


Once this is done you should be able to open the “Active Directory and Computers” and edit an Exchange User with all the required email tabs.

VMWare Windows

VMWare ESX 4.0 Update 1 Supports Windows 7!

Good news! VMWare have decided to finally add support for Windows 7. I would say a little too late given the general availability of the RTM for the last couple of months.

The upgrade the VMWare ESX 4.0 Update 1 ran smoothly and all hosts came back to life after the upgrade as they should. Installation of the client on Windows 7 was also painless, and best of all it actually worked.

To anyone from VMWare who may be watching, it would be nice if you had some form of announcements mailing list so we could be informed of these updates being made available.

VMWare Windows

VMWare vSphere Client on Windows 7 doesn’t work

The latest in a relatively short line of annoyances with the upgrade to Windows 7 is the lack of support for the VMWare vSphere Client.

There are certain things that when it doesn’t work you wouldn’t be surprised. We all have that application that hasn’t been updated in years but we still need to use on a regular basis. I can somewhat understand why these things don’t work within a new operating system. But for something that gets updated on a regular basis to not work, that is a different story altogether and that really annoys me.