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Updated Management Pack for Windows Client 2000/XP/Vista Operating System February 25, 2009

Posted by Björn Axéll in MP, SCE, SCOM.
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In the old release of the Windows Client MP, the discovery didn’t really work for Windows Vista machines. This is now fixed in the updated version (6.0.6520.0)

Download Windows Client 2000/XP/Vista MP from Microsoft

New IIS MP released, now supports IIS7 February 23, 2009

Posted by Björn Axéll in MP, SCE, SCOM.
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If you are using Windows Server 2008 with IIS 7 you might want to download the new IIS MP. Note that you need to install the KB957123 update to SCE/SCOM before importing the MP.

Download Windows Server Internet Information Services MP from from Microsoft

UPDATE – The update is removed due to some problems after it is installed. More information about this and how to fix it can be found at http://blogs.technet.com/momteam/archive/2009/02/25/problem-with-the-iis-modules-qfe-957123.aspx


Download the KB957123 update from Microsoft

Microsoft TechDays 2009 December 22, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in Press, SCE, SCOM.
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Anders Bengtsson (also Ops Mgr MVP) and I will deliver two sessions at TechDays 2009 in Västerås/Sweden. Our sessions are

  • Operations Manager 2007 och System Center Essentials Tips and Tricks
  • Managing Unix/Linux with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Cross Platform

I out first session we will be showing a lot of tips and tricks from the real world, answers to common questions, and ways to work with the products to get more out of them. In our second session we will be showing how you can monitor non Microsoft boxes with Operations Manager 2007 R2.

You can find more info about the event here.

System Center Updates Publisher 4.5 is now released December 15, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in SCE, SCUP.
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System Center Updates Publisher  (SCUP) is a stand-alone tool that you can use to create your own update catalogs that can be imported in SCE and SCCM. A new version of System Center Updates Publisher is now available to download from Microsoft. New features in this release is:

  • Synchronization command line tool (SCUPSync.exe) which enables you to import and publish updates without using the Updates Publisher console interface.
  • Ability to publish updates as “metadata only”, which publishes the software update definition without the associated update file.
  • Ability to configure proxy server credentials in the Updates Publisher console


Download System Center Updates Publisher 4.5 from Microsoft

How do you uninstall exe based applications in SCE? September 10, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in How-To, SCE.
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As we all know, you can install both exe and msi based application with SCE. Unfortunately, there is two limitation when you need to add an exe file (if you ask me). If you add an exe based application:

  1. You can’t uninstall it in an easy way
  2. If you (or the user that use the computer) manually uninstall an exe based application that has been deployed with SCE from the local client, it will never be reinstalled by SCE. If you compare this with an msi based application, it would be reinstalled at the next detection interval

So – how can we get around these problems? In this post I will explain how you can use a “Setup wrapper” to fix both of these problems. Note! The tools I use in this example are free to use and can be downloaded from web.

Before you start to deploy a solution based on this post – be sure to test it. All applications are unique and needs to be tested. The post is just an example of how you can do it. 

Preparations steps

  1. Download and install Windows Installer Wrapper Wizard 0.2.0 (WIWW) from VinsVision
  2. Download and install Orca (a msi database edit from Microsoft. Note that this download is not from Microsoft since they only provide a bundled with Microsoft® Windows Server 2003 SP1 Platform SDK)
  3. Create a directory on your desktop called “My first wrapper”
  4. Download or copy your exe based application, save it to “My first wrapper” folder . In my example I use XnView ( a free software to view and convert graphic files) Note! The setup engine need to be able to support silent/unattended install/uninstall

“Investigating” the application (find shortcuts and registry keys)

  1. Manually install the application on a client
  2. Open Regedit and brows to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall]. Here you will find your application and the UninstallString value.
  3. Copy the text to a notepad document, we will need this information in a later step
  4. Open Program menu and have a look if the application have added a uninstall shortcut. In my example you will find one and it is located under “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\XnView”. Copy the shortcut path to the notepad document, we will need this information in a later step.
  5. In the “My first wrapper” folder, create a bat file and add the following:

REM The below line will hide the uninstallation information for the original setup shown i Add/Remove Programs. Since we will build our own setup, we don’t want to have multiple registration in Add/Remove Programs)
reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\XnView_is1 /v SystemComponent /t REG_Dword /d 1
REM The below line will remove the shortcut the applicatiuon added. Since we don’t want our users to use this we have to remove it
del %allusersprofile%\Start Menu\Programs\XnView\XnView uninstall.lnk

Build the MSI wrapper

  1. Start the WIWW from the Program Manu
  2. On the Welcome screen, click Next to start
  3. On the Windows Installer file screen, click Brows and brows to your “My first wrapper” folder. Add a name to your file. In my example I use xnView.msi. Click Next to continue
  4. On the Install command screen, click Add
    Select to Use SourceDir
    Click Brows and select your exe setup file. In my example I use XnView-win.exe
    As parameters add /silent
  5. Click Ok to save
  6. Click Add a new command to run
    Select to Use SourceDir
    Click Brows and select your bat file you created earlier. In my example I use fix.bat
  7. Click Ok to save
  8. Click Next to continue
  9. On the Uninstall command screen, click Add
    Select a Windows Installer Installer Folder property = Select [ProgramFilesFolder]
    Brows or type the program to run = Brows to Program Files\XnView\unins000.exe
    (this information was found during the investigation steps above)
    Specify an program parameter = /Silent (this information was found during the investigation steps above)
  10. Click Ok to save
  11. Click Next to continue
  12. On the Product Appearance and Requirements screen, click Next to accept the default values
  13. On the Package Meta Data and Language change to:
    Product name = XnView
    Product version = 1.94.2
  14. Click Next to continue
  15. On the The wizard is ready to create your wrapper, click Next followed by Finish to create and save your package
  16. Right click the new xnView.msi and select “Edit with Orca” (Note that you must have installed Orca to have this option)
  17. On the left side, select the Property table. Change the below (Note! This is an important step since this information will be the information you will get in the inventory reports in SCE)
    ARPHELPLINK = http://www.xnview.com
    Manufacturer = XnView
    ARPCOMMENTS = This will install XnView
    ARPURLINFOABOUT = http://www.xnview.com
    ProductVersion = 1.94.2

Add Package in SCE and test

You are now ready to add this package to SCE. In the Add Software wizard you need to make sure to select “Include all files and sub folders in this location” since you need to add all 3 files to get this package to run. Be sure to only deploy it to a small test group before you deploy it to all your computers. After you successfully deployed the application, test:

  1. To manually uninstall the application from the client.
    1. Uninstall the application
    2. Run c:\Windows\System32\wuauclt.exe /detectnow
    3. The Yellow icon will now appear and the application will be reinstalled
  2. Uninstall the application from all computers
    1. In the SCE console, select to uninstall it to a group of computers that has it installed

This post have shown you an easy way to  handle uninstallation of exe based applications in SCE and still use the standard installation engine provided by the software vendor (instead of doing a msi repackaging of the hole application). On top of that, the application will reinstalled if someone manually uninstall it on the client computer which will help you to have all computers complaint with the right software. 


Hope this can be valuable for you. If you have any comments, feel free to post them

Would you like to be able to schedule reports in SCE? August 13, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in How-To, SCE.
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Have you ever wanted to get a report sent by mail or saved to a file share on a schedule basis? In System Center Operations Manager, you have this function directly in the System Center Operations Manager Console but for System Center Essentials, this feature was not included (because the limitation in SQL Express that is included in Essentials 2007).


So – how can we fix this? Since Essentials use SQL 2005 Reporting engine, we can configure this from the Report Manager (Note that this will not work if you use SQL 2005 Express or SQL 2005 Workgroup since they don’t have this feature). The example below we will configure so you get the Update Deployment report in your inbox every morning. Note that this is just an example, you can schedule every report available in Essentials.


  1. First we need to verify that the Reporting server is configured to send report via mail.
  2. Start the Reporting Services Configuration from the start menu
  3. At the Instance selection dialog box, click to connect to your local server
  4. Select the E-mail node and enter a e-mail address (this is the from address) and the name of your mail server, click apply and exit
  5. Open Internet Explorer and enter http://localhost/reports as address
  6. Reporting Manager will now start and you can see all available reports that are installed (number of reports will vary depending on what Management packs you have installed)
  7. Click Microsoft.SystemCenter.Essentials.Report.Library and select the Microsoft.SystemCenter.Essentials.Report.UpdateDeployment report (the one without the rpdl extension)
  8. When the report is shown, click on the subscription link and then New subscription
  9. In the Report Delivery option and Subscription Processing option add:
    Delivered by = E-mail (if e-mail is not available to select, you have missed the first 4 steps). Note! If you add a “external” e-mail address you need to make sure the reporting server are permitted to “relay” mail traffic.
    Render format = in this example we use Web Archive
    Select scheduling = Select the time and how often you want the report
    In the Report Parameter Values = Unselect default and select only the type of status you want to see (in my example I only select Not installed, Downloaded and failed).  You also need to specify a group of computers you want to run this report again’s (in my example I select All Servers)
  10. When you done your selections, click ok to save. You will receive the report in your inbox
  11. Below is an example of a report

Updated Management Packs from Dell – Version 3.1, A01 August 8, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in MP, SCE, SCOM.
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Dell just released an updated version of there Management Pack for System Center Operations Manager 2007 and System Center Essentials 2007.

New feature in this release is:

Separate MP’s for:

  1. Dell Server and Printer
  2. Dell Clients (Optiplex, Precision and Latitude)
  3. Dell Storage Array

Update – Kevin Holman has written some important information about the Dell MP that you should read before installing it.

Keep up the good work Dell, I hope other hardware/software vendors do the same


Download the Dell Management Pack v3.1, A01 from Dell

Opsmgr and SCE is now fully supported on Windows Server 2008 August 8, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in KB, SCE, SCOM.
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Last week Microsoft released the update 954049 that adds support to run/install System Center Operations Manager 2007 and System Center Essentials 2007 components on a Windows Server 2008 system.

More information about this update

Download the 954049 update from Microsoft

Important update to your SCE/WSUS server July 17, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in KB, SCE, WSUS.
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Dustin from the SCE team just posted a blog about two issues that can affect your SCE server (since SCE uses WSUS), have a look at the post and make sure you install the KB954960 hotfix on your SCE server.

Deploying scripts with SCE June 2, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in How-To, SCE.
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I have seen allot of questions in the forums and news groups if SCE can deploy scripts – and the answer is Yes. The last week, me and my Ty from the SCE products team has done some tests. Here is a sample where we have a vbs script that copy files.

  1. Create a vbs script (call it Copy.VBS for this example)
  2. Dim oFS
    Dim oShell
    Dim strDestDir
    Set oShell = CreateObject(”WScript.Shell”)
    Set oFS=CreateObject(”Scripting.FileSystemObject”)
    strDestDir=oShell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings _
    (”%ALLUSERSPROFILE%”) + “\”
    If oFS.FolderExists(”SourceFiles”) Then
    On Error Resume Next
    'Copy the files
    oFS.CopyFolder “SourceFiles”, strDestDir
    'If there was an error copying the files, quit with the specific error code
    If Err.Number <> 0 Then
    End If
    ‘Exit with file copied, if no error occurred
    End If
    ‘Exit without Success
    WScript.Quit (1)

  3. Create a working folder, and store within it the following files:


    b. Working Directory

    c. Copy.VBS (from above)

    d. Place any needed files within the SourceFiles directory


  4. Create a new software distribution package within System Center Essentials

    a.Package setup file: browse to the cscript.exe location from step #1

    b.Command line parameters: -nologo copy.vbs


  5. Deploy the package to the appropriate managed machines


  6. Review the desired result


When the package is deployed, the Windows Update Agent will call into Cscript.exe, and that program will reference the script which is located in the same working directory. Your end users will see a “flash” of a CMD window briefly while the script is executing.


Like with any other package, this one will execute in the context of the user unless it is launched from any of the following installation actions:

· Install-at-shutdown

· Scheduled installation

· Deadline installation

If your script requires to be in the user context, it is important to mark “requires input from the user during installation”. This flag will prevent execution in the above installation actions.

I want to thank Ty for helping me validating this scenario