Author Archives: admin

Windows Analytics – Upgrade Readiness

Windows Analytics is a set of tools provided by Microsoft that once configured will provide you with quite a bit data about the devices in your environment. Currently Microsoft provide three solutions which can be used together or as individual products, the one I am going to focus on in this blog post is Upgrade Readiness. More information on each of the tools can be found here https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/update/windows-analytics-overview.

As a quick overview, Upgrade Readiness allows you to plan and manage the upgrade process end to end ensuring application and driver compatibility with each release. As you get into the flow of Windows as a Server (WaaS), this will allow a quicker adoption of new Windows releases more quickly as you become more confident in the application and driver compatibility status of your estate. Upgrade Readiness supports upgrade management from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 and also Windows 10 upgrades as part of the WaaS model.

Upgrade Readiness can be integrated with SCCM enabling you to access compatibility data in the SCCM admin console, support for this integration was added in SCCM 1610 however this was considerably improved with SCCM 1706. This blog post will cover setting up Upgrade Readiness and then the integration with SCCM. If you are running a multi-site environment then Upgrade Readiness needs to be configured on your CAS, likewise if you were to enver introduce a CAS to your environment you will have to delete and then recreate the connection on the newly installed CAS.

Before continuing, my post assumes that you already have a valid Azure Subscription, if not you can sign up for a free account here https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/free/. Any SCCM configuration shown in the post is on SCCM 1802.

Configuring Upgrade Readiness in Azure

  • Sign into your Azure portal
  • Select Create a resource and then search for Upgrade Readiness
  • Select Upgrade Readiness and then click Create
  • Click on Select a Workspace
  • Select an existing Workspace if you are using other Windows Analytics solutions or click Create New Workspace and complete the required fields
  • Click Create

Once the deployment is complete you will get a notification in the portal, click on the notification and then select Pin to Dashboard. The upgrade readiness portal can then be accessed directly from the Dashboard.

Integrating with SCCM

  • Open the Azure Management portal (https://portal.azure.com)
  • Select Azure Active Directory / App Registrations
  • Click New Application Registration and then enter the following information:
    • Name:
    • Type:
    • Sign-on URL: (This doesn’t need to be valid)
  • Click Create

  • Select your application and click on Settings
  • Click on Keys, enter a name, select a duration and click Save.
  • Copy the Key from this page. It will be needed later.
  • Still in your application, click on General, then Properties and copy the Application ID and the App ID URI

One final step is to configure the Azure AD App permissions in order to access the Upgrade Readiness service.

  • Go to Resource groups and select the resource group created earlier
  • Select Access Control (IAM)
  • Click Add Role Assignment
  • Select the Contributor Role and select the application created previously
  • Click Save
  • Open the SCCM Console
  • Go to Administration / Cloud Services / Azure Services
  • Right-click Azure Services and select Configure Azure Services
  • On the Azure Services tab, name your connection and select Upgrade Readiness Connector

On the App Properties page, select your Azure environment and click Import and specify the following:

  • Azure AD Tenant Name: Specify any name
  • Azure AD Tenant ID: Specify the Azure AD tenant (this can be found under Azure Active Directory / Properties)
  • Application Name – Specify your application name
  • Client ID: Specify the Application ID for the Azure AD app created previously
  • Secret key: Specify the secret key of the Azure AD app
  • Secret Key expiry: Specify the expiration date of the secret key
  • App ID URI: Specify the App ID URI of the Azure AD app
  • Click verify and assuming there are no issues click OK
  • Click Next
  • On the Configuration screen, click Next
  • On the Summary screen, click Next
  • On the Completion screen, click Close

Upgrading to SCCM 1511

This week I finally found some time to upgrade my lab environment to SCCM 1511.  My previous SCCM environment was running SCCM 2012 R2 CU4 so upgrading from this version was in the supported upgrade path so there was no need to apply any additional updates.  If you are running any of the below flavours of SCCM you are good to upgrade to 1511:

  • SCCM 2012 SP1
  • SCCM 2012 SP2
  • SCCM 2012 R2
  • SCCM 2012 R2 SP1

If you are running SCCM 2012 then you should upgrade to at least SP1 in order to do an in place upgrade.  SCCM 1511 can be downloaded from here.  Once downloaded you will need to extract the files.

Continue reading

Another SCCM gotcha

I’ve seen this a couple of times before but as a colleague of mine experienced it recently whilst trying to build a desktop using an SCCM offline media build that he had taken out to a client site I thought I’d post about the problem.

The build started and installed the OS and ConfigMgr client ok but it then failed at the point it started the application installations.  As he was on a remote site I asked my colleague to email the log files across to me so that I could take a look.  Continue reading

Powershell Script with True or False query values

This is a quick post again more as a reminder for me as I got caught out when writing a powershell script the other day.  When using TRUE and False boolean values in a script, the correct usage is $True and $False, if you were to use just True it would return the value True however if you were to use False it would return the value True.

This link provides a good explanation of why http://blogs.msdn.com/b/powershell/archive/2006/12/24/boolean-values-and-operators.aspx

SCCM 2012 OSD Gotcha

When deploying operating systems using SCCM 2012 you may find that your operating system has been deployed to any drive but the C: drive. This can be very frustrating when you have sat there for an hour waiting for your build to be deployed only to find the operating system has been deployed to wrong drive letter. Continue reading

SCCM 2012 R2 PXE boot error: Could not find boot image

This post is more of a reminder for myself however I thought I would share it just in case anyone else experiences the same issue.  I was playing around in my lab today working on a new Task Sequence to deploy Windows 10.  I created a new Boot Image and imported it into SCCM remembering to distribute the content to my DP.  The first attempt at PXE booting just hung on the Contacting Server…. Continue reading