January 27 2010

SCCM 2007 PXE boot error – The SMS PXE Service Point does not have a boot image matching the processor architetcure

I recently came across an error in SCCM 2007 R2 when using the Operating System Deployment task sequence. I was trying to PXE boot and deploy an operating system, however it was continuously failing and the below error showing in the SCCM logs:

The SMS PXE Service Point does not have a boot image matching the processor architetcure of the PXE booting device..

Device MAC Address:<replaced_mac_address> SMBIOS GUID:<replaced_guid>. Boot
Image Architecture:0

And yes, ‘architetcure’ is spelt incorrectly, just as it is in the SCCM error logs!!

Eventually I realised that I hadn’t yet added the boot images to the PXE service point and a quick check of \servernameSMSPXEIMAGES$ confirmed this because the folder was empty.

To add boot images to the PXE service point (taken straight from the Technet article http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb932177.aspx):

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, navigate to System Center Configuration Manager Site DatabaseComputer Management /Operating System DeploymentBoot Images.

  2. Run the Manage Distribution Points Wizard by right-clicking the boot image you want to add to the PXE service point, and then selectManage Distribution Points.

  3. On the Welcome page, click Next.

  4. On the Select Destination Distribution Point page, specify the task you want to perform, and then click Next.

  5. On the Package page, select the PXE service point you want to copy the image to, and then click Next.

    The PXE service point displays in the list with the associated SMSPXEIMAGES$ shared folder displayed in the path.

  6. On the Completion page, verify the boot image you are copying to the PXE service point, and then click Next.

  7. On the Summary page, click Next.

  8. To close the wizard, click Close.



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January 25 2010

Unable to manage Office Communicator Group Policy settings – Extra Registry Settings

I recently had a situation where I was unable to manage Office Communicator Group Policy settings – some of the settings now appeared as Extra Registry Settings in the Group Policy Management console.  This seemed to happen around the time that I had upgraded the ADM template to the Office Communicator 2007 R2 ADM template released in January 2010, so I can only assume that some of these settings have been depreciated or superseded.

Unmanagable settings
Unmanagable settings

I was particularly concerned about one setting – softwarepoliciesmicrosoftcommunicatorServerAddress – even though I could no longer manage this settings, the Office Communicator client still used the value in the setting for its configuration! I wanted to manage this setting, so I created a ADM template to manage a few of the unmanageable settings – here it is for your reference:

CLASS USER

CATEGORY "Shared UC Settings"
KEYNAME SoftwareMicrosoftSharedUcClient
POLICY ServerAddressInternal
EXPLAIN "Controls the SoftwareMicrosoftSharedUcClientServerAddressInternal registry value"
PART ServerAddressInternal EDITTEXT
VALUENAME "ServerAddressInternal"
END PART
END POLICY
END CATEGORY

CATEGORY "Communicator Settings"
KEYNAME SoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftCommunicator
POLICY ServerAddress
EXPLAIN "Controls the HKCUSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftCommunicatorServerAddress registry value"
PART ServerAddress EDITTEXT
VALUENAME "ServerAddress"
END PART
END POLICY
END CATEGORY

CLASS MACHINE

CATEGORY "Communicator Settings"
KEYNAME SoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftCommunicator
POLICY ServerAddress
EXPLAIN "Controls the HKLMSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftCommunicatorServerAddress registry value"
PART ServerAddress EDITTEXT
VALUENAME "ServerAddress"
END PART
END POLICY
END CATEGORY

January 22 2010

How to tell what version of SQL is running?

I’ve often needed to work out what service pack level SQL is running or whether it is a Enterprise or Standard installation. It’s not obvious how to do this and it’s not as simple as going to Help –> About.

The following query will work in SQL 2000 and above. To run it, for example in SQL 2005, open SQL Server Management Studio, enter your credentials and click ‘New Query’ in the top left. Enter the follow, then hit the ‘Execute’ button:

SELECT 'SQL Server '
+ CAST(SERVERPROPERTY('productversion') AS VARCHAR) + ' - '
+ CAST(SERVERPROPERTY('productlevel') AS VARCHAR) + ' ('
+ CAST(SERVERPROPERTY('edition') AS VARCHAR) + ')'

This will return some values in the Result tab, for example the Service Pack level and edition that is running.

SQL screenshot

January 8 2010

Change Windows 7 logon screen background image

To change the background image shown when Windows 7 starts up and you are prompted to select a user account, do the following:

Browse to ‘%windir%System32oobeInfoBackgrounds’ – if the Info or Backgrounds folders do not exist, simply create them.  In this folder place the image that you would like to be the background – the file must be named ‘backgroundDefault.jpg’, be in the JPG image format and be less than 256 KB in size.

Next, open up the registry and head to ‘HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionAuthenticationLogonUIBackground’.  Create a DWORD value named ‘OEMBackground’ and set the data value to 1.

Registry entry

The machine does not need to be restarted – simply log off and you should now see the new image displayed as the background.

Category: Windows | LEAVE A COMMENT
January 6 2010

Review of I-Music IM 888 mini phone

I recently purchased a mobile phone in Bangkok to keep me going until I got back to Australia. The brand was ‘I-Music’ (http://www.i-music.in.th/) and was relatively unheard of, even in Thailand. The phone was the ‘IM 888 mini’ and I decided that since it was cheap it would do for a few months.

The phone has turned out to be surprisingly good. It has some really good features and seems to combine the good parts of several phones, including the i-Phone and Blackberry.

All of the good features are, however, overshadowed by one design flaw which was very frustrating to me – there is only a touch screen keyboard to compose SMS messages and there is no dictionary or auto-complete feature. This means that writing a SMS message is very time consuming and tedious, since the on-screen keyboard is very small and there is no pen provided, so you need to use the very tip of your finger to ensure you get the right letter. This is a very bad design flaw and affects someone like me who uses SMS as my primary communication tool.

I-Music IM 888 mini
I-Music IM 888 mini

Favourite points:

– 2 SIM cards
– Built in analogue TV and radio with extendable antenna
– Touch screen
– Slide to unlock feature
– Easy, one button screen lock
– 12 mega pixel camera
– Cheap – around $AU100

Negative points:

– Must use touch screen with small on-screen keyboard to write SMS text messages – no pen is included and there is no dictionary or auto-complete features

VALUE FOR MONEY 10/10
PERFORMANCE 8/10
FEATURES 6/10
EASE OF USE 4/10
OVERALL 6/10

Category: Geek, Tools | LEAVE A COMMENT