Windows as a Service: Sharing my PreCache and In-Place Upgrade Task Sequences – 20H2 edition, part 1

Introduction

Yes! It’s true. I’m still leveraging Task Sequences and Configuration Manager to upgrade Windows 10.

I’m also Co-managing my devices and deploy regular updates via Windows Update for Business. Just not feature updates. I fancy the full-control approach, taking the opportunity to update BIOS and drivers while at it. Everything works directly over the Internet via the Cloud Management Gateway. No hard requirements in being on-premises or on VPN.

I have previously shared my precache and in-place upgrade task sequences. A lot have happened since then, and I wanted to take the opportunity to share my updated approach in details.

I’m covering each and every step, just like I did in my previous blog posts. Some steps are exactly the same, but in order to fully supersede the old posts, I’m covering everything in details here.

Now, I can’t go over explaining my WaaS process without mentioning THE OSD experts Gary Blok,ย Mike Terrill. They are tirelessly sharing their approach as well. If you are looking for a WaaS solution on steroids, I suggest you head over to garytown.com and miketerrill.net for inspiration.

If you are looking for something less advanced, then you are at the right place. With that being said, some of the stuff I do, is done with inspiration from what Gary is sharing at garytown.com – just without the steroids. ๐Ÿ˜›

And yes! The task sequence will be available for download in the very end of the post!

Let’s get to it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Windows 10 Toast Notification Script Update: Second action button and built-in prevention from disabling toast notifications

Introduction

A new version of the Windows 10 Toast Notification Script is here. The script is now being on version 2.1.0.

This version brings the option to add a second action button to the toast notification (displayed in the illustration below), as well as a built-in functionality to prevent users from disabling toast notifications in Windows 10 altogether.

A second action button is useful in many scenarios. One being with a Windows 10 upgrade, where you, besides the actual upgrade, also have some additional information for the user. In this example, Install Now will launch the actual upgrade, while Learn More will open a specific web page in the browser.

Prevention from disabling toast notifications is stolen with pride from Trevor Jones, and is incorporated into my script. More details down below. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Deploy RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools) for Windows 10 v20H2 using ConfigMgr and PowerShell

Introduction

This is becoming quite the tradition, and based on the count of views of my previous posts, a popular one indeed. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m a man of traditions, so I’m sticking true to that, and therefore updated my PowerShell script which will enable you to install RSAT for Windows 10 v20H2 automatically and unattended.

The script received some minor changes, and is now also capable of temporarily disabling WSUS, and re-enabling it again post installation.

Over the years and since I created the first script, I have received a lot of comments saying, that if a device is configured to use WSUS, installation of Features on Demand may fail if certain configuration is not in place. So this is another attempt to have the most success with the use of my script.

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Precache and update drivers as WIM during In-Place Upgrade Task Sequences with Configuration Manager

Introduction

Not too long ago, I did a post on how to apply drivers compressed with WIM during OSD with Configuration Manager.

Continuing on the same topic and story about ‘Drivers as WIM’, I wanted to explore the option for using WIM when precaching and updating drivers during an In-Place Upgrade of Windows 10. The results made up this new blog post. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Patch your Windows 10 media (used with In-Place Upgrades in ConfigMgr) with a new Setup Dynamic Update Package

Introduction

Patch Tuesday for October 2020 brought the usual updates, but also blessed us with a security update, that addresses a vulnerability found in the setup of Windows 10.

The article tells us to download the latest refreshed media from VLSC or MSDN, or download the latest applicable Setup Dynamic Update (DU) package and patch the media ourselves.

Now, as of writing, the official downloads has not been refreshed yet, so I wanted to get rid of the vulnerability and patch my existing media manually. The process I went through, made this post.

Update 28 October: Official and affected Windows 10 downloads are still not refreshed.

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Comparing Security Baselines in Endpoint Manager using Powershell and Microsoft Graph API

Introduction

I just very recently discovered, that a new version of the Security Baseline for Windows 10 was made available in Microsoft Endpoint Manager Intune.

It’s been a while since the last version, more than a year in fact, so it was a pleasant surprise seeing an update on this area.

Security Baselines, and those for Windows 10 in particular, consist of a lot settings. So I wondered what’s changed and started browsing and comparing the various settings via the admin portal.

Then I realized how that’s not very optimal, and began looking for alternatives. I eventually got myself into trying something new, and went on to compare the Security Baselines Profiles using Powershell and the Microsoft Graph. The result of that journey is this post. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Windows 10 Toast Notification Script Update (Poolside Release): Dynamic Application deadline and custom action scripts updates

Introduction

This is just a minor release, with me making some few adjustments and further polishing of the script while being on vacation (hence the poolside reference). ๐Ÿ˜€

  • I’ve added the option to retrieve deployment deadline of applications dynamically, as well as reworked some of the custom scripts area.
  • Everything related to the script, is now located within the user’s profile in AppData\Roaming\ToastNotificationScript.
  • Custom scripts are moving away from ProgramData into AppData\Roaming\ToastNotificationScript\Scripts.

The script is now on version 2.0.2. Find all the details down below.

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Improve your Windows as a Service process: Use Toast Notifications and Powershell App Deployment Toolkit to Upgrade Windows 10

Introduction

This is just a brief storytelling on, how you can add more user-friendliness and flexibility to your Windows as a Service process with Configuration Manager.

That be whether you fancy using Task Sequences or Feature Updates, this post will show you how you can wrap the process into an initial Toast Notification, which again sends the end-user into aย PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit experience, which again will run either the Task Sequence or the Feature Updateย automatically.

Carrot on a stick: All the binaries used in these examples, are available for download throughout the post. That goes for PSADT as well as exported ConfigMgr applications.

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Windows 10 Toast Notification Script Update: Run ConfigMgr Software Updates directly from the action button

Introduction

It’s here! The new and delicious version of my Windows 10 Toast Notification Script. The script is now being on version 2.0.0.

  • First off, a huge thank you to Chad Brower for his incredible contributions to this new version. Most of the new functionality here, is a direct incorporation of Chad’s work (yet I end up spending 20 hours+ on deciphering and rewriting code, testing functionality, writing blog and updating documentation. I learned a ton!). ๐Ÿ™‚

This new version, obviously brings the option to run Software (Feature) Updates directly from the action button in the toast notification, but also removes the need to manually, and outside of the script, to create the custom protocols and scripts (those enabling you, to run anything custom from the toast notification action button).

Find all the nifty details down below.

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Endpoint Analytics: Locate devices not enrolled with Windows Hello for Business

Introduction

As promised, another use-case and example of Proactive Remediations in the new Endpoint Analytics feature inย Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Intune).

In this example, I’m locating all devices, which currently are not making use of Windows Hello for Business, and display its logged on user a Toast Notificationย to remind them to get started.

If and when any organization is promoting and requiring the use of Windows Hello for Business, you will want to make sure that the users indeed are setting this up – and if not, nag them continuously until done.

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