Windows 8 Enterprise to Windows 8.1 Enterprise update

When Microsoft released the Windows 8.1 update for Windows 8 operating systems some time back, users were able to download the and install the updated through the store. Unfortunately the below specified Windows 8 editions do not support the update from the store.

  • Windows 8 Enterprise. Talk to your system admin about updating to Windows 8.1.
  • Windows 8 Pro, if installed by an organization or a program that uses Volume Licensing. Talk to your system admin, or the administrator of the program that was used to install Windows 8. If you’re the administrator, you can find more info and links to Windows 8.1 ISOs in the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation.
  • Windows 8 Pro, if installed using an MSDN or TechNet ISO, and activated using Multiple Activation Keys. You might be able to download a Windows 8.1 ISO from MSDN or TechNet.
  • Windows 8.1 Preview or Windows RT 8.1 Preview. You might still be able to update from the Store. For more info, see Update from Windows 8.1 Preview to Windows 8.1.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/why-can-t-find-update-store#

If you have a Windows 8 Enterprise and you cannot find the Windows 8.1 update in the store, download the step by step guide form the below link. To achieve this you shall require the Windows 8.1 Enterprise DVD which can be downloaded from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center

Windows Update Step by Step Guide http://1drv.ms/1r86qvq

Safely remove hardware/USB from your computer

If you unplug a storage device or removable drive from your computer while it’s transferring or saving information, you might risk losing some information. In Windows you can do the following to safely remove such devices.

  • Click on the upward arrow on the taskbar by the clock and your will see the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon

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  • Right click on it and select eject external drive

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Another way to do this is to create a shortcut on your desktop to remove the drive. So that whenever you want remove a drive, double click on the icon, select the drive and click ok.

  • Right Click on desktop select New and click on Shortcutimage
  • Type in the below in the location of the item field and click next

C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll

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  • Provide a name for the shortcut and click finish

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  • Double click on the shortcut you created located on the desktop, select the drive and click stop

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Hiberfil.sys file in Windows

If you are reading this article then most probably your computer has ran out of available hard drive space in the system drive and you have tried cleaning up the drive and suddenly come a hidden file named hiberfil.sys which is huge in size and wondering if it can be deleted.

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The Hiberfil.sys file is a hidden system file located in the drive where Windows is installed. Windows creates this file when the Hibernation power feature is enabled. the size of this file is approximately equal to total RAM is installed on the computer. The more the RAM the bigger the file size will be.

When the Hibernation feature is enabled in Windows and when the computer is hibernated, Windows store all the files, programs, etc. which are open to this file. In other words Windows stores a copy of the RAM to the hard disk using this file.

This file is generated only when Hibernation is enabled and when hibernation is disabled the file will be deleted and you can recover some valuable disk space.

To disable hibernation

  • Open Command prompt (in admin mode)
  • Type powercfg –h off

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Disabling Automatic Restart on System Failure in Windows

As a safety feature and as a precaution Windows always restarts immediately when it encounters a serious/critical error (such as a blue screen stop error). This immediate restart prevents us to read/note the necessary error codes or the detailed error message that prompts on the screen to further troubleshoot to avoid similar errors in the future.

By following the below steps, one can disable the Automatic Restart to gain more time to read and note down the error messages and error codes.

  • Right click My Computer and select properties

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  • Click on Advanced System Settings

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  • Click on settings under Startup & Recovery

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  • Uncheck Automatic Restart and click Ok

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The next time you receive a stop error you will have enough time to note down the error codes and the error messages which will help you to trouble shoot further

Windows 8.1 (with Update 1) Deployment using MDT 2013 and WDS-Part 4

This is the final part of the 4 part deployment series

In the first 3 parts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) I covered on how to installing and configure Windows Deployment Services (WDS), install and configure Windows Assessment & Deployment Kit (WADK) and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013 (MDT), importing operating system image to MDT, creating task sequence in MDT and finally preparing WDS for deployment.

Now that our backend infrastructure is all setup for client deployment, lets start our client and boot the machine over LAN (PXE Boot).

Press F12 for network service boot

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The machine will get an IP from the DHCP and contact the WDS server

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Through the WDS server the machine will provide the list of available Lite Touch Windows PE boot media’s to select from

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Upon the selection of Lite Touch Windows PE, the machine will start loading the WinPE files over the network

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Loading

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From the Solution Accelerator screen the MDT setup will start

Click on Run the deployment wizard to install a new Operating System

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Enter the admin creds and click OK

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From the task sequence screen select the task sequence you created in your MDT 2013 and click next

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Provide the relevant details accordingly and click next

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Select do not move data option as this is a fresh installation and click next

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Select do not restore user data as this is a fresh installation and click next

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Provide the correct settings according to your region and click Next

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Specify the local admin account password and click next

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Select the necessary option for BitLocker settings and click next

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Review your settings in the ready to begin section and click Begin

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The installation has started

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Windows is loading

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Operating System Deployment is successful. click finish

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Review the settings , computer automatically joined to the domain and the name is also changed

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Most of the questions the Windows Deployment Wizard prompts can be disabled from MDT 2013 by customizing the deployment share rules and editing the Bootstrap.ini files. The above is the default settings.

 

Windows 8.1 (with Update 1) Deployment using MDT 2013 and WDS-Part 3

This is the 3rd part of the 4 part deployment series.

In my first and second article I wrote on how to install and configure WDS, install and configure MDT 2013. Now that we have installed and configured MDT 2013, lets see on how to import an operating system (Windows 8.1) image to the MDT Deployment Share we created, how to create a task sequence within MDT 2013 and finally we will look at how to configure WDS to respond to client PXE boot requests.

Import Windows 8.1 image to MDT

Open the deployment workbench MMC

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Right Click on the Operating Systems folder and select Import Operating Systems

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On the Import Operating System Wizard select “full set of source files” and click next

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Browse and select the folder where your operating system files are stored. (in this scenario I am using the Windows 8.1 DVD, hence I will select my DVD drive which is D:\) and click Next

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Specify a meaningful name to the destination directory and click next

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Review the summary and click next

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The progress will begin

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Once the progress is successful, the confirmation will display the results. click finish after reviewing

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Operating System is now successfully imported

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Operating system successfully added inside the DeploymentShare folder

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Similarly you can add multiple operating systems (x86 and x64) according to your requirement

Updating the Deployment Share

Upon adding your required Operating systems, applications, drivers, etc. You will need to update the Deployment Share. This process will make sure that all the latest tools and settings are copied to the deployment share. You will need to do this every time you make some changes to the image, add/remove applications within MDT 2013 so it will be updated.

To update the Deployment Share

Right Click on the MDT Deployment Share and select Update Deployment Share

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In the update deployment share wizard make sure the “Optimize the boot image updating process” is selected and click next

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Click next on the summary page

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The progress will start

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Click finish after reviewing the results in the confirmation page

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The updated DeploymentShare containing the LiteTouchPE iso, WIM, and the XML files

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Configuring WDS by adding the necessary boot images

After importing the Operating system and updating the Deployment share, you will need to configure and add the necessary WinPe (LiteTouchPE) images to WDS. This will enable you to boot your clients using PXE boot.

Open the Windows Deployment Services (WDS) mmc

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Right click on boot images and select Add images

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In the Add Image Wizard browse and select the location where the LiteTouchPE WIM images are stored within the DeploymentShare folder (E:\DeploymentShare\Boot) and click next

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Give it a meaningful name and description. Click next

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Review the setting in the summary page and click next

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The image is added

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Click Finish

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Since we added only the x64 LietTouchPE.wim I will repeat the process to add the x86 wim as well so that we can deploy operating system under both platforms

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Images are added in to WDS

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Creating Task Sequence

A task sequence is a bunch of settings or instructions bundled together as a task and will be presented to be selected from the client during the deployment. Depending on the selected task sequence, the OS, Applications, settings, drivers, etc. will be deployed to the client. Basically task sequence is similar to an answer file.

Open the Deployment Workbench MMC and right lick on task sequence and select new task sequence

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Provide a Unique Task Seq1uence ID, a meaningful name and a description. Click next

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From the Task Sequence template dropdown, select “Standard Client Task Sequence” and click next

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From the list of available Operating Systems (that are imported to MDT 2013) select the appropriate OS you want to deploy through this Task Sequence and click next

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you provide the necessary values and click next (for this lab I will select the first option)

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Specify the OS settings details and click next

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specify the admin password (this is the password for the local administrator account and not for the domain administrator) and click next

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review the summary and click next

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click finish

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Task sequence is created and visible in the Deployment Workbench MMC

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