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Avoid the traffic jam – Remotely Deploy Windows Service Packs

Shane CorellianShane Corellian

Photo by Lingaraj G J

We have a client that uses Microsoft SCCM to manage about 1,700 computers. The problem is that 130 of these computers needed to have the U.S. Government Configuration Baseline (USGCB) – formerly known as FDCC – version 2.4. These 130 computers had the 2.1 version of USGCB which still uses Vista Service Pack 1.

Performing the “USGCB Migration” to version 2.4 is a rather cumbersome exercise considering all of the updated applications and OS configuration changes it needs to make. The process (using SCCM) can take a few days even when the SCCM Service Windows are ignored. Many users were experiencing computers rebooting in the middle of the day as a result of the migration.

In an effort to minimize the reboots during the day (all the Migrations were started in the evening but due to SCCM polling and HW scan intervals the migration process always spilled into the work day) we used the new PDQ Deploy to quickly deploy applications that comprised the various parts of the Migration without having to wait for next Machine Policy or Advertisement. We started with the biggest reboot offender, Windows Vista SP2.

We simply ran a query in Admin Arsenal showing all machines that had Service Pack 1 of Vista and then, in the evening, deployed SP 2 with the following arguments:

/quiet /warnrestart:120

Within 3 hours almost all of the 130 computers had successfully installed Service Pack 2. We then deployed another “package” which was simply a CMD file which forced a hardware scan. (This client is not allowed to modify the set schedules that scans are run with SCCM). The CMD file ran one command which utilizes WMI to initiate an SCCM hardware scan.

WMIC /namespace:\\root\ccm path sms_client CALL TriggerSchedule “{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001}” /NOINTERACTIVE

This was, to say the least, very painless.

Use PDQ Deploy. It is free and fully functional only from Admin Arsenal.

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