Converting from BIOS to UEFI with Powershell (During OSD using SCCM on Lenovo laptops)

Following my previous post, this is an quick example on how to use my Powershell script to convert from BIOS to UEFI in a bare metal scenario. (Again, only Lenovo laptops is working with this script)

Most of the magic lies within the Task Sequence itself, so I will break it down in pieces:

  • Create a group in your Task Sequence called “Prepare Computer (BIOS)” with the condition _SMSTSBootUEFI not equals true (This will make sure the content of the group only runs if UEFI is not enabled already)

  • Next step, format the disk with following settings (Step: Format and Partition Disk (BIOS))
    • Disk type: Standard (MBR)
    • Partition type: Primary
    • 100% remaining disk
    • File system: NTFS

  • Next step, create a new group called Config Lenovo BIOS with following condition: SELECT * FROM Win32_BIOS WHERE Manufacturer = “Lenovo” (This will make sure the step only runs on a Lenovo computer)

  • Next step, run my Powershell script directly from a package like shown below. The parameter -EnableSecureBoot will also enforce UEFI to be enabled.

  • Next step, format the disk with following settings (Step: Format and Partition Disk (BIOS to UEFI))
    • Disk type: GPT
    • Partition type: Primary
    • Size: 600Mb
    • File System: FAT32
    • Variable: TSUEFIDrive
  • Add another partition:
    • Partition type: Primary
    • Size: 100% of remaining space
    • File system: NTFS
    • Variable: None

  • Next step, one final reboot to the boot image currently assigned to this task sequence. When the task sequence returns from the reboot, the Lenovo BIOS will be set to SecureBoot AND UEFI and Windows will continue installing.

Ultimately, you can have 2 steps to take care of when the computer is coming with either BIOS setting or UEFI, and act accordingly. Se below snippet for inspiration.

Enjoy! 🙂

 

Manage Lenovo BIOS with Powershell (During OSD with SCCM)

Update: Post and script moved to https://www.imab.dk/lenovo-bios-configurator/

I have no idea if this is something that has already been created out there, but I figured I’d do it anyway. Mostly because Powershell, I need the practice and I needed the ability to easily modify the BIOS in our Lenovo environment.

The script is inspired by the original VB script from Lenovo, which roughly does the same as my Powershell script. Lenovos script and documentation can be reached from this link (https://support.lenovo.com/dk/en/solutions/ht100612). However, it’s VB and it gives me shivers, so Powershell to the rescue.

The script is still work in progress, as it doesn’t hold all the abilities as the original Lenovo script, but I prioritized the ability to turn on/off following: Virtualization, SecureBoot, PrebootUSB-C/Thunderbolt and TPM.

You basically just run the script with parameters. Example: LenovoBIOSManagement.ps1 -EnableTPM -EnableSecureBoot -DisableVirtualization -Restart

An example from the use in my recent Windows 10 Task Sequence. The step is run prior to formatting the disk in WinPE. I have a condition on the step, to only run if a Lenovo laptop.

Enable Preboot Thunderbolt is separated as a single step, as it’s currently only the most recent Lenovo laptops which has this ability: T470s, X1 Yoga 2nd generation etc., and therefore has a condition to only run if such model is being deployed.

I’d appreciate any feedback. I’m by no means any Powershell champ, but I’m still learning – and willing to learn 🙂

Thanks!

Update: Post and script moved to https://www.imab.dk/lenovo-bios-configurator/

Configuration Manager collection based on Client Creation Date (Dates in WMI)

I just had a very specific scenario, requiring me to target all new mobile devices (post a specific date) with a different set of compliance settings, than the rest of the devices.

In that case you can separate newly created devices in their own collection, based off their creation date.

The time of when a device is created is stored in the database, and the data can be queried through WMI using WQL.

A date formatted in WMI is using following syntax: yyyymmddHHMMSS.xxxxxx±UUU and can look like this:

20170819071629.492270+120

So, if you want all devices created post July 1 2017, your query have to look like this:

The syntax for dates in WMI in details: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee198928.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

Powershell: Enable virtualization and Credential Guard in an instant (Lenovo laptops)

Windows 10 Credential Guard is currently another hot topic considering cyber security. Credential Guard is a new feature in Windows 10 (Enterprise and Education edition) that helps to protect your credentials on a machine from threats such as pass the hash.

To be able to enable Credential Guard in Windows, you need to have virtualization enabled on the CPU in the BIOS. Virtualization is rarely enabled by default, and as such you will need to enable it manually (F1, enter BIOS, modify the setting) or better yet, find a solution to do so remotely and automatically.

I have created following script in Powershell, that initially enables virtualization in the BIOS (Note: We only use Lenovo laptops, hence this is made for Lenovo laptops only) and then apply the registry-keys to enable Credential Guard. All steps are logged into c:\Windows\EnableCredentialGuard.log

The script can be targeted to the proper Windows 10 versions through SCCM collections (I this example I only target W10 1607 and 1703, as these Windows 10 versions no longer require the Isolated User Mode feature when enabling Credential Guard, as it’s now embedded into the Hypervisor)

When deploying powershell script from SCCM, remember to create the program with a command line like this: powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -NoLogo -NonInteractive -NoProfile -WindowStyle Hidden -File .\CredentialGuard\Enable-VirtualizationCredentialGuard.ps1

Snip of the logfile when everything succeeds:

WSUS maintenance for ConfigMgr

So it was my turn to face problems. I had neglected the obstacle for months excusing myself that everything was still working wonders, until today.

Following screenshot was the reality of my WSUS console when trying to run the server cleanup wizard:

wsuserror

Add so the struggle to solve the problem began and following is the facts and solution:

  • I’m using WSUS running on the internal database in Windows (WID), so I downloaded and installed SQL Server 2014 Management Studio on my server running WSUS
  • Connected to \\.\pipe\microsoft##WID\tsql\query in the Connect to Server window

studioconnecting

  • Ran the following two SQL scripts. My WSUS DB was so bloated that the reindex script from the scripting guys didn’t cut it. When that happens, the deal usually is that you have to delete updates manually directly in the DB.
    Fortunately for me, I found below script to my aid. The script runs the stored procedure EXEC spGetObsoleteUpdatesToCleanup and then deletes the updates. Beware, running these scripts may take several hours depending on the specs of the server and the amount of updates)
  1. DeleteObsoleteUpdates
  2. WSUSreindex

This is a snip of the two scripts showing directly in Management Studio, saved for later use as .sql.

studioscripts

Lesson learned:

Maintaining the SUSDB is important, and is not just something you setup and leave even though running it integrated with ConfigMgr.

**Will update this post on how I’m going to automate this in the future.

How to flash BIOS with SCCM during OSD (Lenovo ThinkPad laptop)

Note: June 3 2018: This post will be updated as soon as possible with some minor changes and reflect how I do this today 🙂

In this blog post I will go into details about how I flash the BIOS of our Lenovo ThinkPad series during OSD using ConfigMgr.

First off you obviously need to download the latest BIOS from the Lenovo support site: http://support.lenovo.com/dk/en/. In this example I’m flashing the BIOS of a ThinkPad T450s.

Go ahead and locate and download the BIOS Update Utility for Windows. The most recent version as of now for T450s is 1.21:

T450BIOS

When downloaded, extract the content to your source file library. In this case I have a folder structure equal to this: D:\Pkgsource\Applications\Lenovo\BIOS\T450S\1.21

The content of the 1.21 folder should be looking like this:

T450BIOS2

Next, mind the highlighted file: FlashBIOS.cmd. Create this file manually with following content (I exit the script with exitcode 0, as the BIOS update itself might return exitcodes seen as failures. Some might dislike this approach, but you can also translate the actual exitcode into zero using whatever method you prefer):

“%~dp0WINUPTP.exe” -s
exit 0

T450BIOS3

With this in place, go ahead and create a package in ConfigMgr with above content and distribute the package to your distribution points (I’m not going into details on this one, as this is pretty standard).

My packages in ConfigMgr looks like this (I have highlighted the package used in this example):

T450BIOS4

Next we will be using the package in our task sequence in a step of Run Command line. This is done somewhere after the step of Setup Windows and Configuration Manager like this (I put BIOS updates in the end of my task sequence as they require reboots):

T450BIOS5

As updating the BIOS to this specific version is a onetime operation, you would want to add following conditions to the Options tab:

T450BIOS6

This will make sure that the step is only run when a Lenovo Thinkpad T450 is being deployed AND when the BIOS is not already the most recent version (no need to run the step again, if the same laptop should be reinstalled in a near future)

You can run following powershell commands to display the computermodel and what BIOS version that currently is installed:

Get-WmiObject Win32_Computersystem

Get-WmiObject Win32_BIOS

T450BIOS7

Enjoy 🙂

Update 1602 for System Center Configuration Manager Current Branch

So, Update 1602 is out for SCCM Current Branch and I just updated my environment.

The new 1602 update is available from within the SCCM console, browsing: Administration > Cloud Services > Updates and Servicing. Right Click the update and select Install Update Pack.

1) Click next on the general page.

1

2) Select the desied features to be included.

2

3) Options for Client Update. I decided to test the new SCCM client on a selected test collection at first.

3

4) Finish the wizard and accept the license terms.

4

5) Go watch CMUpdate.log and wait for following line in the log: INFO: Successfully dropped update pack installed notification to HMan CFD box which translates into installation is complete.

6

Notes from the field:

  • I ran the pre-requisitecheck on the 1602 update before installing. Doing so required me to restart the SMS_EXECUTIVE service on the site server before the actual installation would continue. The status in the console was stuck on Installing, but nothing happened until the restart of the service. (CMupdate.log)
  • I decided to test the new client on a pre-production collection. Doing so actually did that the client binaries wasn’t updated (\\Siteserver\SMS_SITECODE\Client). To update the client binaries, you have to go back to the 1602 update in the console and accept the new client for production in Client Update Options. Yet again, I had to restart the SMS_EXECUTIVE service to see any action in CMupdate.log.

5

 

How to renew Apple Push Certificate for Intune (Hybrid SCCM)

It’s that time of year, where I have to renew my Apple Push Certificate for Intune. And like every other year, I keep forgetting how I did previously.

So now it’s time to put it down in writing. Here goes:

  • First off you have to create a signing certificate. You do that directly in the CM console: Administration > Cloud Services > Microsoft Intune Subscriptions. Click Create APNs certificate request in the ribbon and save the .csr file.

RequestApplePushRibbon

  • Secondly you have to upload the request to the Apple Push Certificates Portal: https://identity.apple.com/pushcert/. Go to the portal and renew your existing certificate.

PushPortal

  • Thirdly, upload the signing certificate (.csr) you just created in the first step and your certificate has been renewed. Download the renewed certificate. This is a file with the extension of .pem; MDM_ Microsoft Corporation_Certificate.pem
  • Finally, go back to your CM console: Administration > Cloud Services > Microsoft Intune Subscriptions. Click Configure Platforms in the ribbon, and select iOS in the dropdown menu. Browse to the location of your .pem file and open it.

IntuneSubProperties

  • Done. The certificate has been renewed

ConfigMgr 1511 – Notes from the field

I just updated my ConfigMgr environment to 1511 (CurrentBranch) and while the installation itself went safe and sound, following is to be noted:

  • The new Software Center never got installed properly with a shortcut in the start menu (%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft System Center\Configuration Manager)
    I had to re-enable the setting in my Client Settings (Disable the feature, OK, Enable the feature, OK and do another policy refresh)

ClientSettings

  • None of the new Windows 10 1511 software updates was synced into SCCM. I checked WSUS manually, and the classification Upgrades was not selected regardless of the Upgrades being indeed selected in SCCM. To solve this, I had to de-select all classifications in SCCM and select them again on the Software Update point. When I checked the chosen classifications in WSUS again, the proper selections was inherited from SCCM as expected and the next sync downloaded the Windows 10 Upgrades.

Classifications