GitHub embedding

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This is an example of embedding a GitHub repository script in WordPress using the WP-GitHub plugin (with customized prism.js to add PowerShell, Batch, SQL and AutoIt language support)

And an example of a custom plugin (not yet published) with shortcode: Read More Redirect
continue reading on CatapultSystems.com

January 5, 2017

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Downgrading SQL from Enterprise Edition to Standard for ConfigMgr

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At a recent client engagement we discovered that Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise edition was installed on the ConfigMgr Primary Site Server.  Technically this is not a problem, but it is only needed if you expect to have more than 50,000 clients*.  As this environment wasn’t anywhere close to the limit so there was no need to pay the extra licensing cost of Enterprise edition (Standard edition comes with the ConfigMgr licenses).

 

These steps are largely based on the Jonathan Kehayias approach as documented by Brady Upton at MSSQLTips.

Steps for SQL Enterprise to Standard downgrade

  • On each database verify that no Enterprise features are utilized (SELECT * FROM sys.dm_db_persisted_sku_features)

select ‘Master’ as [Database], * from [master].[sys].[dm_db_persisted_sku_features]

select ‘Model’ as [Database], * from Model.[sys].[dm_db_persisted_sku_features]

select ‘msdb’ as [Database], * from msdb.[sys].[dm_db_persisted_sku_features]

select ‘tempdb’ as [Database], * from tempdb.[sys].[dm_db_persisted_sku_features]

select ‘CM_P01’ as [Database], * from CM_P01.[sys].[dm_db_persisted_sku_features]

select ‘SUSDB’ as [Database], * from SUSDB.[sys].[dm_db_persisted_sku_features]

select ‘ReportServer’ as [Database], * from ReportServer.[sys].[dm_db_persisted_sku_features]

select ‘ReportServerTempDB’ as [Database], * from ReportServerTempDB.[sys].[dm_db_persisted_sku_features]

  • Document databases, security, maintenance plans, and jobs
  • Verify the SQL version number and ensure install files are available (SELECT @@VERSION)
  • Stop and disable backup software
  • Stop ConfigMgr, IIS, and Windows Update services (set to disabled if desired)
  • Backup databases (system and user)
  • Stop SQL services
  • Copy the master, model and msdb database files (.mdf and .ldf) to another location
  • Uninstall SQL Enterprise instance (all features)
    • The Shared tools do not have to be uninstalled; however, if they are not then reporting the SQL edition in the future will be confusing
  • Reboot
  • Install new SQL Standard instance as required by ConfigMgr being sure to keep the same instance name and file/folder paths.
    • Review the Required and Optional configurations for SQL server (64-bit, SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS, Database Engine, Windows Authentication, min/max Memory, nested triggers, CLR integration, static TCP ports, etc.)
    • If the original SQL ConfigurationFile.ini is still around, installing based on this file can make all of the configurations fool proof.
  • Patch SQL to the same version as before
  • Verify the SQL version and edition (SELECT @@VERSION)
  • Stop SQL Server and copy/restore the system databases
  • Configure Trace flags (see section below)
  • Start SQL server and verify databases, security, and jobs are as before
    • If login fails, use PSEXEC to start SQL Management Studio as the SYSTEM account, then recreate any SQL Logins needed
  • Enable common language runtime (CLR) integration (sp_configure ‘clr enabled’,1; reconfigure)
  • Enable and start IIS, and Windows Update services… verify WSUS is working
  • Enable and start ConfigMgr services
  • Verify event Viewer and ConfigMgr logs and monitoring to ensure ConfigMgr is healthy
  • Re-enable and start backup software

 

 

SQL Trace Logs

Using this method is simple and easy, but there is one additional thing to keep in mind… SQL Trace flags (thanks Allen for pointing this out).  When installing SQL, trace flags are not enabled / added by default; this is taken care of by the ConfigMgr installation.  Since we are not doing a ConfigMgr installation or a site reset, etc. these options need to be added manually.

  • Open SQL Server Configuration Manager
  • Navigate to SQL Server Services -> SQL Server… -> Properties
  • Add "-T8295"
  • Add "-T4199"
  • Apply, stand on one foot, OK, Close

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Executing DBCC TRACEON (4199,-1) and DBCC TRACEON (8295,-1) in SQL Server Management Studio will enable these flags as seen by executing DBCC TRACESTATUS (-1).  However, this only affects the current session and they need to be added as startup flags.

 

SQL and ConfigMgr References

Additional / Related References

April 20, 2016

Posted In: Uncategorized

ConfigMgr Status Message Viewer MFC120u.dll Missing Error

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When the ConfigMgr Admin Console version 2012 SP2 (or 2012 R2 SP1) is installed and the ConfigMgr client is not updated on the same computer you could see an error like the one below.

image

statview.exe – System Error

The program can’t start because mfc12u.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.

 

StatView is the utility that displays ConfigMgr status messages and is typically initiated from the console by navigating to

  • Monitoring \ Overview\ System Status \ Site Status
  • OR Monitoring \ Overview\ System Status \ Status Message Queries

StatView.exe requires Microsoft Visual C++ and ConfigMgr 2012 SP2 now uses VC++ 2013 which is not installed as part of the Console.

 

To resolve the issue, install Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable (x86) which can be found at \client\i386\vcredist_x86.exe">\client\i386\vcredist_x86.exe">\\PrimarySiteServer\SMS_<SiteCode>\client\i386\vcredist_x86.exe.  Notice that the x86 version is required even if you are running Windows x64.  This is because StatView is a 32-bit application.

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This will install and register mfc12u.dll and other files which should resolve the issue.

 

You can verify the installation in Programs and Features (Add/Remove Programs) as shown below.

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Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable (x86)…

 

Problem. Solved.

September 24, 2015

Posted In: Uncategorized

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ConfigMgr Reporting Services Point with complex SQL

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In a new ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1 environment the Reporting Services point was proving a bit challenging to install.  After setting all of the required permission it was finally happy. 

Required Permissions

On the SQL Server Reporting Services server, an account (in this case a domain user "functional" or "service" account) needed the following:

  • Membership in the server’s local Administrators group
  • SSRS Site Settings -> System Administrator, System User
  • SSRS Folder Settings on the root folder -> Browser, Content Manager, My Reports, Publisher, Report Builder

Scenario Details

This ConfigMgr environment has a complex configuration with 3 different SQL servers in play.

  • Server1: ConfigMgr Primary Site server
  • Server2: server running SQL Server Database Engine role and configured as the ConfigMgr Site Database server
  • Server3: server running SQL Server Reporting Services role
  • Server4: server running SQL Server Database Engine role with only the ReportServer database

With Server1 (ConfigMgr) and Server2 (SQL DB) configured and most functionality working (software deployment, software update deployment, OS deployment, inventory, etc.) it was time to install Reporting Services point.  We created a new ConfigMgr Site Server for Server3 using a domain user account.  However, when attempting to install the Reporting Services point the following error was encountered:

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  • Unable to locate any configured SRS instances on the server.  Verify SRS is installed, accessible, and correctly configured.
  • The "Reporting Services server instance" is blank.

 

We knew that SSRS was installed, configured, and working as there were two other applications already using the SRS instance in a production capacity.

We verified the domain user account could actually access the SSRS website from Server1 (the ConfigMgr server) and discovered

  • the account was a member of the local Administrators group
  • the account had System Administrator rights to the SSRS Site
  • the account could not see any existing reports or report folders and the following message displayed: "User ‘<domain>\<userID>’ does not have required permissions.  Verify that sufficient permissions have been granted and Windows User Account Control (UAC) restrictions have been addressed."

As the screen shot shows, UAC was actually disabled already.

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Once the domain user account was given rights to the root folder, the Reporting Services point role could see the Reporting Services server instance the the role installed without issue.

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After the role installed, ConfigMgr reset its own permissions to give the domain user account only "ConfigMgr Report Users, ConfigMgr report Administrators" roles.

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Also, the logs for the Reporting Services point are on the SSRS server (Server3 in this case), and located at C:\SMS\logs

August 27, 2015

Posted In: Uncategorized

Error installing Windows ADK

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When preparing a new Windows Server 2012 R2 system for a new ConfigMgr 2012 R2 site, I ran into an error installing the Windows ADK.  In this case it is version 10; however, I believe the same scenario would apply to 8.1 Update, 8.1, 8, etc.

The installation appears to be working, then performs a rollback with the following error:

image

Image path is [\??\C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Deployment Tools\amd64\DISM\wimmount.sys

Could not acquire privileges; GLE=0x514

Returning status 0x514

 

Additionally, after installation was successful, it was not possible to mount a WIM or create boot media in ConfigMgr.

Crating ConfigMgr or MDT Task Sequence Media fails with the error:

Error: 1313  A required privilege is not held by the client.  Refer to CreateTsMedia.log file to find more details.

image

CreateTSMedia.log file…

using CreateMedia.exe /K: boot … fails

 image

The PowerShell cmdlet New-CMTaskSequenceMedia -BootableMedia … fails

Mounting a WIM with DISM fails

image

DISM.exe /Mount-Image /ImageFile: …

Error: 1313  A required privilege is not held by the client.

Solution

In my case the root cause was that a default permission was removed for the local Administrators group by a domain policy.  

image

By default, the User Right Assignment for "Back up files and directories" and "Restore files and directories" is held by the "Administrators, Backup Operators".  But in this case the "Administrators" group had been removed and replaced by the "Domain Admins". 

Since my account isn’t and shouldn’t be a domain admin, I simply added it to the local "Backup Operators" group, logged off, logged back on, and presto!  Success.

Workaround

If the User Right Assignment isn’t you issue, another solution, or rather workaround, is to run the installation as the SYSTEM account.

image

Getting to the workaround

Multiple other solutions were attempted before resorting to the SYSTEM account for installation including

  • Run as Administrator
  • Run a Command Prompt as Administrator then run ‘ADKsetup.exe
  • multiple system reboots
  • manually creating the folder structure and file
  • manually running the ‘Windows Deployment Tools-x86_en-us.msi‘.  Strangely this succeeded; however, when re-running the ADKsetup.exe, the same failure occurred.
  • manually running the ‘Windows System Image Manager on amd64-x86_en-us.msi‘.  Strangely this succeeded; however, when re-running the ADKsetup.exe, the same failure occurred.
  • both the system drive (Drive C:) and a data drive (E:) were attempted
  • disabling the antivirus / antimalware software (Sophos)

None of these made any difference.

Several forum posts were found with a resolution pointing to a blog that has since been taken down.  That solution required removing the computer from the domain.  This solution was not attempted.

Executing the workaround

There are a few ways to gain SYSTEM account access; however, I took the interactive route and used PSEXEC from Sysinternals.

From an elevated Command Prompt (Run as Administrator), run ‘PSEXEC.exe -s -d -i cmd.exe

A new Command Prompt will be generated.  run ‘whoami‘ to ensure you are running as SYSTEM, then run ‘adksetup.exe

 

Thanks to Adam for working through the issue with me.

 

Other instances and workarounds

There are a few instances of the same error documented in a few blogs and forum posts.  The options basically include ensuring you are running as an administrator (and with the administrator token), running as SYSTEM (as described in my workaround), or dis-joining the computer from the domain and running as admin.

August 21, 2015

Posted In: Uncategorized

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