Back to the Old-Skool! Deploy Windows XP Regional Settings with ConfigMgr.

As a relative newcomer to OSD with ConfigMgr, it seems that in the rush to perfect my Windows 7 and Office 2010 deployment skills I have been neglecting the fact that I really needed to grow my understanding of deploying Windows XP with ConfigMgr.  If you have ever tried applying different regional settings to a Windows XP deployment using ConfigMgr integrated with MDT 2010 you will know that it can be very frustrating!

No matter how hard I tried, I simply could not get Windows XP to deploy with the InputLocale, SystemLocale and UserLocale I was pushing down in my task sequence variables.  The Timezone value went down fine.  I could see ZTIConfigure taking my variables and injecting them into the sysprep.inf file to be used by mini-setup but they just refused to take effect.

It turned out that the sysprep.inf template made by the MDT Task Sequence wizard has a couple of settings that need to be commented out/removed – otherwise your regional settings will be ignored.  Here’s what my post-ZTIConfigure Regional setting section in my sysprep.inf looks like, with the entries from the sysprep.inf template made by the MDT wizard commented out;

;    LanguageGroup=1
;    Language=00000409

For this to work, you MUST also add the following to the [Unattended] section in the sysprep.inf template made by MDT;


It does not matter what value you use for this setting.

A useful tip for troubleshooting your deployments is to enable command prompt support for the WinPE boot image and hit F8 when the task sequence starts, so that after ZTIConfigure has done it’s thing but before the machine reboots into the OS setup phase you can hold the task sequence and examine/take a copy of the merged sysprep.inf file that the mini-setup will use.



ConfigMgr Run Advertised Programs Tool not showing Non-Mandatory User Policies

I’ve been investigating an issue for one of my colleagues where the ConfigMgr 2007 SP1 Run Advertised Program tool isn’t showing some users their Non-Mandatorily assigned Programs.  The SMSCLIUI.LOG shows that the RAP tool should be showing ‘x scripts available’ for the user to run, and PolicySpy confirms that the currently logged in user’s SID has the policies showing in the ‘Requested’ and ‘Actual’ stores – alas, nothing in the RAP Tool.

Interestingly, we found that if the test user logged into a system they had never logged into before (evidenced by lack of the users SID folder in the PolicySpy tool) they would see a couple of machine targeted Non-Mandatory Programs in the RAP Tool – that is until a User Policy Refresh occured and then even those would disappear!

It seems that restarting the SMS Agent Host whilst the user is logged in rectifies this annoying little issue but I’d like to get to the root cause.  After a reboot or logout/login the RAP Tool seems to continue to behave itself and the programs remain visible.  It’s as though the User policies coming down are somehow freaking the SMS Agent Host out and it doesn’t continue with the task of ‘presenting’ them once they’ve arrived.

I’ll no doubt be roped into continuing to look into this issue tomorrow and I’ll think I’ll start with enabling verbose/debuglogging of the SMS Agent Host.

To be continued…