The 12 tips of SCCM

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I’m feeling festive so I’m writing a holiday themed blog… Well kinda. Okay so here’s a list of 12 SCCM tricks/tips that I use throughout many of my engagements. Some of them you will be familiar with, others you may not, either way here we go!

  •  Controlling SCCM with Hidden Files – Sure everyone has heard of NO_SMS_ON_DRIVE.SMS, but do you know the other files? If not please read about them here: Controlling SCCM with Hidden Files
  • Afterbackup.bat – Using this gem you can initiate some automation post SCCM backup, which is great! See this article on calling PowerShell from the Batch file: AfterBackup.Bat with PowerShell
  • Customization with Display Columns – Okay so you’re thinking this is weak sauce right? WRONG! Many administrators need a quick way to determine the client ratios per Management Point, or what domain machines belong to; the list goes on and on. The easiest way for admin to find a bunch of relevant information quickly is the customizable columns. To get to the menu of columns right click on the column heading bar (red circles) and you’ll be presented with a menu of columns to choose from.

 

 

  • Automatic Naming of PC’s during Imaging (MDT Toolkit Integration) – This is some slick stuff… It’s been around for a long time now, but back in the BDD days this was the cat’s meow. Nowadays this should be a standard among organizations, but we find that is frequently not the case. Using the machines data to build the computer name automatically removes the human error elements and as locations change (assuming you’ve accommodated for locations) and you re-image, you’re golden.

  • Stamping the Registry whilst in a Task Sequence – There are a million (at least 10) reasons to use registry keys during imaging. Some of the reasons include being able to quickly identify trending issues with specific builds, or determining when a machine was built. While you can typically find this information from other sources, stamping during the task sequence makes life much easier.

  • Inventorying the Registry Stamps – Many blogs have been written to cover this topic, but extending the hardware inventory for SCCM is nearly a necessity for every environment. Using the registry keys from above, now we can inventory them with some custom extensions. This will allow you to build queries, reports, and collections based on this data and will prove to be very helpful down the road.

  • SQL Query (Report) to query for machines not in a MW – This is a great little query for determining what machines are not in a maintenance window. You could put this into a report as well.

  • CM Trace – Not sure I need to state anything else… Sorry Wally.
  • Port Query UI – My love for this tool has recently been rekindled with a project. If you’re looking to chase down port related issues, this is the tool for you and can be found here: Port Query UI
  • PowerShell Scripts – There’s a ton of these in existence but I rather enjoy this one for creating and managing collections which can be found here: CM Membership Script
  • Model Custom Reports – We developed some pretty unique reports to assist in a multitude of areas with SCCM administration. One of the reports is the SCCM client health dashboard… Good stuff

 

 

 

  • Cloud Management Gateway – THIS IS COOL – You can easily replace your IBCM with this Azure service. Read about it here: Cloud Management Gateway.

 

 


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