Upgrade Windows 10 over the Internet with In-Place Upgrade Task Sequences and ConfigMgr

Introduction

This is not exactly an A-Z guide on the topic, but rather a story of my experiences with upgrading Windows 10 over the Internet with In-Place Upgrade (IPU) Task Sequence using ConfigMgr and how it works in my environment.

I’m using a Cloud Management Gateway (CMG) with enhanced HTTP as well as initially being connected to the on-premises infrastructure with Always On VPN. The VPN in this scenario is a user-initiated tunnel and thus obviously disconnects once the upgrade restarts the computer. It’s not completely without challenges and I will try to cover those during this post.

Curious? Read on 🙂

Oh yeah, seeing I now allow IPU to happen over the Internet, I also created something in Powershell App Deployment Toolkit which extraordinarily warns the user if the upgrade is being initiated from outside the office network. A preview of that in the end of the post 🙂

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Deploy RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools) for Windows 10 v1903 using SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) and Powershell

Introduction

Similar to when Windows 10 v1809 was released back in October 2018 and RSAT debuted as “Features on Demand”, the way of installing RSAT continues with the v1903 release.

Back then I did a Powershell script which is able to install and uninstall the RSAT features. I have now rewritten the script to also include Windows 10 v1903.

Find my 1809 post here: https://www.imab.dk/deploy-rsat-remote-server-administration-tools-for-windows-10-v1809-using-sccm-system-center-configuration-manager/

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Almost Modern Driver Management with ConfigMgr and Powershell

Introduction

First off, bear with me here during the intro. I know introductions usually are boring, but I do have a few words to share with you first.

The following is by no means any substitution for any other Modern Driver Management solution out there. This is purely me exploring, learning and sharing that experience with anyone who’s interested. When I find something useful, I usually try to do my own thing for various reasons, but mainly to learn and also for being less dependent on others work and future maintenance plans.

Now, this post is primarily about a Powershell script and how that Powershell script is designed to run on a given device and export the device drivers into your ConfigMgr source file library or locally. In the process, the script is able to create a regular package in ConfigMgr containing those drivers. The post is also about how to use the regular packages for applying drivers, but the script is what took the most of my time 🙂

The idea here is, that you fire up a given device with a given version of Windows (preferably Windows 10) and install ALL the drivers (preferably the latest drivers) and verify that everything works in that combination of  Windows, drivers and hardware model.

Note: Most vendors provide a tool which checks online for latest drivers and gives you option to install those. This is pretty handy when building new drivers for a given computer model.

Now knowing that everything works, this is the drivers you want to apply to future deployments of this computer model, so you run the script and everything is automatically exported and a package in ConfigMgr is created.

In lack of a better name, this is what I call ‘Almost Modern Driver Management‘. 😀

PS. If you’re looking for a truly nifty and ‘modern’ approach, I suggest you head over to SCConfigMgr.com and take a peek at their solutions for both BIOS and drivers.

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Windows as a Service: PreCaching drivers before In-Place Upgrades with ConfigMgr Task Sequences

Introduction

Since my previous WaaS posts, I have received a few inquiries about how to do drivers when precaching the content prior to running the actual In-Place upgrade. As of such, I figured it would make a great blog post covering the approach I’m currently using.

So this is me doing just that, as a small addition to what I have previously covered with my PreCache and In-Place Upgrade Task Sequences.

Note: I’m brewing on a complete WaaS section on here, sharing all and everything I do in details in regards to Windows Servicing. This will be available from this link once I get there: https://www.imab.dk/windows-as-a-service/

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Install Google Chrome Extensions using Microsoft Intune in 3 different ways (Powershell, ADMX ingestion and MSI)

Introduction

I have previously covered the approach on how to install Google Chrome extensions using System Center Configuration Manager. Find my post here: https://www.imab.dk/forcefully-deploy-the-windows-defender-google-chrome-extension-using-configuration-manager/

Then it came to my attention that Microsoft released another and new extension for Chrome last week. It’s called Microsoft Web Activities. This made me go through the approach again, and figured I wanted to cover the methods on how to install Google Chrome Extensions using Microsoft Intune.

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PXE boot your way into Windows AutoPilot and Windows 10 Shared PC

Introduction

This is a continuation of my previous post on Windows AutoPilot for existing devices. This time covering a similar scenario, where I’m PXE booting an existing device (known or unknown to ConfigMgr) into a Windows 10 Shared PC with Windows AutoPilot and Microsoft Intune

Now, the scenario might have many similarities compared to last week, but nevertheless there’s a real purpose with the crazyness. This is about getting started with Windows AutoPilot and giving you inspiration on how to do that. In my environment, it’s a whole lot easier to make the switch into AutoPilot for non-user devices (I bet I’m not alone on this one). That be devices which are shared between users in public spaces and kiosk devices in particular.

Also, devices in this category are quite often not brand new and might even be old repurposed user-devices (hence we cannot ask our reseller to add them into AutoPilot prior to delivery and thus we have to do it ourselves) 🙂

A peek into the AutoPilot Deployment Profiles in my environment

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AutoPilot for existing devices: Move from Windows 7 to modern Co-managed Windows 10 in a jiffy using ConfigMgr

Introduction

Lately I have been preparing our own shift from old school device provisioning with PXE and ConfigMgr, to the modern alternative with Windows AutoPilot. The preparation is two folded, where the mindset of the IT pros working with the technologies needs a shift, but obviously also the technologies and features involved.

We’ve been hitting F12 and preparing devices within IT for many years and while it’s easy to persuade IT pros into using new and exciting technologies, the businesses we serve also needs maturing. We are not quite there yet, but we are getting closer, and the first step is obviously to embrace the technology and start using it.

We don’t have any devices running Windows 7 in our environment (phew), but this is an approach that can be used with previous versions of Windows 10 as well. For example when moving from 1803 to 1809.

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Windows as a Service: Remind users of pending Windows upgrades using Windows toast notifications, part 3

Introduction

UPDATE: The script used here has been severely updated: https://www.imab.dk/windows-10-toast-notification-script/. The scenario described here is still relevant though, so I recommend that you still read through this 🙂

This will be a small but exciting contribution to my ‘Windows as a Service’ series!

The usual story here is, that everyone wants to add more user-friendliness to the whole experience around Windows Servicing.

End-users generally doesn’t care about new versions of Windows and they also, generally speaking, find interruptions in their work annoying, especially if those interruptions come unexpected.

So we come up with clever solutions to solve those problems and this will be an addition to that; remind the user with a big nice Windows toast notification when a Windows upgrade is pending. This is for the obvious reminder, but also to lure the end-user into a voluntary participation.

Find some of my previous WaaS posts here:

Part 1: https://www.imab.dk/windows-as-a-service-sharing-my-precache-and-in-place-upgrade-task-sequences-part-1/
Part 2: https://www.imab.dk/windows-as-a-service-sharing-my-precache-and-in-place-upgrade-task-sequences-part-2/

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Windows as a Service: Sharing my PreCache and In-Place Upgrade Task Sequences, part 2

Introduction

This is an extremely hot topic and I do know that we have some awesome OSD experts out there sharing their content already (Gary BlokMike Terrill etc.).  Now, their content is way superior to mine and probably suit a lot of needs already, but I think that content around WaaS in particular is interesting and especially when sharing how one does Windows Servicing in details.

So, this is me doing just that – sharing my precaching and in-place upgrade task sequences – in details. This will be a lengthy post, so grab a good cup of coffee ?

Also, this is based on a mid-size company in Denmark and we don’t manage thousands and thousands of devices. WaaS is a small part of my daily job and I’m the only one doing it, so the time and effort put into this is reflecting the size of the company and the resources available, but is still done with an eye on the detail. With that being said, some of the stuff I do here is done with inspiration from how some of the mentioned people does it (credit where due during the posts). If you find yourself in similar position or just need some more inspiration – then this will be for you ?

Part 1: https://www.imab.dk/windows-as-a-service-sharing-my-precache-and-in-place-upgrade-task-sequences-part-1/

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

Introduction

This is an extremely hot topic and I do know that we have some awesome OSD experts out there sharing their content already (Gary Blok, Mike Terrill etc.).  Now, their content is way superior to mine and probably satisfy a lot of needs already, but I think that content around WaaS in particular is interesting and especially when sharing how one does Windows Servicing in details.

So, this is me doing just that – sharing my precaching and in-place upgrade task sequences – in details. This will be a lengthy post, so grab a good cup of coffee 🙂

Also, this is based on a mid-size company in Denmark and we don’t manage thousands and thousands of devices. WaaS is a small part of my daily job and I’m the only one doing it, so the time and effort put into this is reflecting the size of the company and the resources available, but is still done with an eye on the detail. With that being said, some of the stuff I do here is done with inspiration from how some of the mentioned people does it (credit where due during the posts). If you find yourself in similar position or just need some more inspiration – then this will be for you 🙂

Part 2: https://www.imab.dk/windows-as-a-service-sharing-my-precache-and-in-place-upgrade-task-sequences-part-2/

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