Category Archives: Windows 10

Simple Configurable Front End SCCM

The business of adding a front end for a PXE-driven SCCM OS build is generally a pretty important consideration if you want to specify some basic information prior to deployment. It’s also something that I’ve felt has never been properly addressed by the SCCM development team. To be fair you could argue it’s not their job to do this but with more functionality being adding to every single aspect of SCCM in every new release, it does feel like something that probably should be looked at in the future.

For now, there are plenty of examples of great front ends on the internet – look up ‘Pretty Good FrontEnd’ by Johan Arwidmark or ‘Pretty Good Front End Clone’ by Maik Koster. These two have been around donkey’s years. One of my favourites is Nicolaj Andersen’s very neat ConfigMgr Front End which offers a whole world of features. Additional infrastructure is necessary to accommodate this however, in the form of web services.

So why create another? Well I’m certainly not pretending to  set the world alight with some kind of ingenious new approach but I always felt there was just a little too much fiddling about with most of the solutions I saw elsewhere. What I wanted was something I could ideally just drop straight into my WinPE image which would just work.  There are certainly features I could add (and may indeed do so if enough people ask) such as ability to remove certain sections, eg, domain, OS, etc. However in an effort to keep things simple I have left this for now.

The Front End

This is a typical illustration of what it looks like in my lab. Most aspects are configurable via a small ini file (yes I know it’s a bit 90’s but let’s face it, it’s a damn sight easier to use than an xml file for this kind of thing). The ini file below is configurable for the OUs in your environment, the domain (or domains) and even colour and font size. One area I went a little off the beaten track is the ability to select different images you want to use in your task sequence. This is great in my lab as I often want to test stuff out on different OS’s and will routinely add a new image when necessary to my tried and trusted task sequence.  As such I’ll detail this a little more.

If you want to use the same task sequence but have different images available in that sequence, you can enter them in the ini file. Just be sure to enter the appropriate option/filter in appropriate task sequence step. For example, in the image above we have  a number of different OS’s which relate to separate images. Under the INSTALL section of your task sequence you might have one or more separate steps to Install Windows 10, Install Server 2016, etc. On each of these steps, click Options and add a Task Sequence Variable condition, eg:

TS VARIABLE: OSDImage Equals <Windows 10 1803>

It is important that the text in the OS box above equals the OSDImage value of your condition. 

Of course, you can just add a description in the Config.ini file instead and have one image step in your task sequence with no condition set and all will be well. I suspect this is what most people will want. The option to do it this way is just there if you want it.

CONFIG.INI

Typical Config.ini settings below. This file must always exist in the exact same folder as the NewFrontEnd.exe executable.

:: [ORG_UNIT] - Enter all OUs you want displayed in format OU=Dept, OU=Org, DC=domain, DC=suffix one after the other.
:: [DOMAIN] - In most cases, this is more for show but can be used to build a workgroup machine too if WORKGROUP is specified underneath the primary domain.
:: [OS] - If your task sequence can build more than one image, add it here, eg Windows 10 1607 LTSB. Then add a task sequence variable condition called OSDIMAGE and equal it to the image name in your TS.

:: [MISC]
:: LOGO, recommended max size is approx W:120, H:120 for a font size of 8-10
:: BACKGROUND, Enter standard OS colour names, eg Red, DarkRed, Marroon, MidnightBlue, etc
:: FONTSIZE, recommend, 8-10 but it will go bigger. Seems to jump in 2s, eg, 8,10,12, etc. This has a bearing on the size of the form.
:: FONTCOLOR (American spelling, sorry) see BACKGROUND, above.
:: SMSTSPREFERREDADVERTID, If specified, enter the Deployment ID of the task sequence you want to run. This will override any other advertised task sequence either 'available' or 'required' and the wizard won't show.

:: HIRESDISPLAY, If HIRESDISPLAY=True the size of the form is increased so it doesn't get 'scrunched up' on the display. This has been tested against a Surface Pro 4.

:: NOTE - [ORG_UNIT], [DOMAIN] and [OS] should all have at least one value (ideally) so the interface has something to show. Settings under [MISC] can be removed or ignored by adding a semicolon before the setting.

[ORG_UNIT]
OU=Workstations,OU=Bondynet,DC=BONDYNET,DC=org
OU=Servers,OU=Bondynet,DC=BONDYNET,DC=org
OU=Secure Workstations,OU=Bondynet,DC=BONDYNET,DC=org

[DOMAIN]
BONDYNET.org
WORKGROUP

[OS]
Windows 10 1803
Windows 10 1607
Windows Server 2016
Windows 2012 R2
Windows 10 1607 LTSB
Windows 7
Windows 8.1
Windows Server 2008

[MISC]
LOGO=logo-3.png
BACKGROUND=LightSteelBlue
FONTSIZE=8
FONTCOLOR=Black
SMSTSPREFERREDADVERTID=PR120019

WinPE Setup

So how do you get this working in WinPE?

  1. Create a share somewhere and drop NewFrontEnd.exe, Config.ini and your company logo png into it (and/or possibly RunFEUI.vbs – see end of post)
  2. In SCCM go to your chosen boot image, right-click | properties | Optional Components. Select Microsoft .NET (WinPE-NetFx). This is a C# application so it needs this option available in your boot image binaries.
  3. Select the Customisation tab. Under Prestart Command Settings enter “X:\sms\PKG\SMS10000\NewFrontEnd.exe”
  4. Select Include files for the prestart command
  5. Select the share you created above with the files in for the source directory.

If you want to, add a background, click OK  and you’re done. After the update distribution points wizard has completed, double check the Last Update information in the bottom section of the SCCM console to ensure the time matches the time you ran the wizard and everything has updated as it should. This is important as it hasn’t usually finished updating just because the wizard progress bar has completed.

.

For The Adventurous.

One of the neat things about using the above method is that there is no ugly command prompt in the background as it brings up the front end interface. However the downside of this is that all the files are inside your WinPE image so if you want to update them you have to go through the above process once again which is both time consuming and laborious. One solution though is to simply point to a script that will map a drive to a share that exists elsewhere on your network and execute the files from there instead. This facilitates updating the files on the fly.

In the zip file included below, there is a file called RunFEUI.vbs. Simply open it and edit it to fit your environment (ie edit line 4 with the appropriate drive mapping and account).

DOWNLOAD HERE:

NewFrontEnd_v1.2

Please ask any questions or suggestions for improvements in the comments below.

[*** UPDATE ***]

I have added a new variable, HIRESDISPLAY=True. If you have a Surface or another slate type device, it is common to see forms get squashed up. Set this if you need a larger form to display.

Error Code 1 – Using Invoke-MbamClientDeployment.ps1 in SCCM OSD

I know I’m not alone in the misery of getting this less-than-perfect script to work during OSD and after a good couple of weeks of on-off testing I can finally say I got my desired result and it most certainly deserved a post. Please note, you may need to click on the pictures to see them fully.

GOAL:

Encrypt used space only with XTSAES256 encryption and escrow keys in MBAM database during SCCM OSD task sequence. I also need a PIN to be requested automatically at first logon.

I’m not going to detail the ins and outs of what I tried because this post will be far longer than necessary so I’ll concentrate on the steps that finally got it working for me. Don’t get me wrong, this is a buggy script that should really have been updated by Microsoft by now.  Error code 1 is an extremely common problem and can result for any number of reasons.

I would suggest you create an MBAM section in the task sequence, filtering on laptops or whatever criteria you require and add the steps below to this section.

High Level:

    1. DISABLE ALL BITLOCKER PRE-PROVISION STEPS
    2. DISABLE ROOT CERTIFICATE UPDATE
    3. STOP THE MBAM SERVICE
    4. ADD ENCRYPTIONMETHOD
    5.  ADD OSENCRYPTIONTYPE
    6. ADD  ENCRYPTIONMETHODWITHXTSOS
    7. ADD  ENACTONFIRSTLOGINREQUIRED
    8. REMOVE STARTUP DELAY
    9. START MBAM SERVICE
    10. FORCE USER TO SELECT A NEW PIN ON FIRST LOGIN
    11. RUN INVOKE-MBAMCLIENTDEPLOYMENT.PS1 SCRIPT
    12. RE-ENABLE ROOT CERTIFICATE UPDATE

1. DISABLE ALL BITLOCKER PRE-PROVISION STEPS

Contrary to what I have read elsewhere, the pre-provision step in the task sequence isn’t necessary. In fact, it’ inclusion will cause the error code 1. These steps should be disabled.

2. DISABLE ROOT CERTIFICATE UPDATE

This is a strange one but I have had trouble getting the Invoke-MbamClientDeployment.ps1 to run properly without first disabling the certificate update mechanism in Windows. Trust me, just do it, reboot, run the rest of the steps and make sure you remember to re-enable afterwards.

REG ADD HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\SystemCertificates\AuthRoot /v DisableRootAutoUpdate /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

3. STOP THE MBAM SERVICE
The assumption is that you have installed the MBAM 2.5 SP1 client with the August 2017 hotfix by this stage so there will be an MBAM Agent service running on the machine.

Net stop mbamagent

4.  ENCRYPTIONMETHOD

Now I am recreating what worked for me here and despite my requirement for XTSAES256 the below setting seems to work fine for this in my task sequence. However evidence elsewhere suggests the DWORD value should be 7. Feel free to test in your own environment though and let me know how you get on.

REG ADD HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\FVE /v EncryptionMethod /t REG_DWORD /d 2 /f

5.  ADD OSENCRYPTIONTYPE
We want used space only as this is quickest. See here for other values. Be careful though – if you want the PIN prompt to appear at first logon the disk has to be ‘fully encrypted’, ie with used space only OR full disk. If the disk is still encrypting when the user logs on, they won’t be prompted for the PIN.

REG ADD HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\FVE /v OSEncryptionType /t REG_DWORD /d 2 /f

6. ADD ENCRYPTIONMETHODWITHXTSOS

This is where * I believe * stage 3 gets overwritten (tbc). Essentially this will set the OS encryption to XTSAES256.

REG ADD HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\FVE /v EncryptionMethodWithXtsOs /t REG_DWORD /d 7 /f


7. ADD  ENACTONFIRSTLOGINREQUIRED

Call the MBAMClientUI on first login. Technically this shouldn't be needed as I have a step further down which will call this anyway but no harm in adding.
REG ADD HKLM\Software\Microsoft\MBAM /v EnactOnFirstLoginRequired /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

8. REMOVE STARTUP DELAY
Force MBAM client to wake up within a minute.

REG ADD HKLM\Software\Microsoft\MBAM /v NoStartupDelay /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

9. RE-START MBAM SERVICE

Net start mbamagent


10. FORCE USER TO SELECT A NEW PIN ON FIRST LOGIN
This adds a setting to the default user so that every NEW user that logs onto the machine gets prompted for a new MBAM PIN for startup. Note, this will only fire if the disk is fully encrypted to type, ie used space only or full disk. Since we’re aiming for used space only here, disk encryption is pretty quick but it still needs to complete before the prompt will appear. If you log on before encryption is complete then the automatic prompt won’t appear and you will instead need to rely on GPO.

powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -command "reg load HKLM\DefaultUser C:\Users\Default\NTUSER.DAT; New-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\Defaultuser\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce' -Name PromptForPIN -Value '""C:\Program Files\Microsoft\MDOP MBAM\MBAMClientUI.exe"""' -Type String; reg unload HKLM\DefaultUser"

11. RUN INVOKE-MBAMCLIENTDEPLOYMENT.PS1 SCRIPT
The script itself. Note the encryption method, Unspecified. Because we have specified the encryption method earlier, the XTSAES256 encryption is automatically derived from that. Strangely, I couldn’t get this script to work unless I used this parameter and manually set the reg entry. Also note, I am running the script from the local installation of the MBAM client. This ensures that I am running the script that is aligned to that version of the client, ie it should contain any updates provided by any client upgrades you’ve applied, eg August 2017 update.

powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\MDOP MBAM\Invoke-MbamClientDeployment.ps1" https://MBAMSERVER.local/MBAMRecoveryAndHardwareService/CoreService.svc -EncryptionMethod UNSPECIFIED


12. RE-ENABLE ROOT CERTIFICATE UPDATE
Don’t forget to re-enable this otherwise you’ll end up with all sorts of certificate errors when trying to reach HTTPS sites.

 

That’s it. One would assume much of this legwork should automatically be taken care of by the script itself but unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the case. Don’t forget, you will also need to make sure that no MBAM policies are in place when the script runs. This isn’t a problem with SCCM as GPOs will be suppressed but if you’re using native MDT this can be an issue.

Hopefully this will save some of you a few hours (more likely days) of frustration!

Simon