RE : Software Assurance Pays Off Remote Connection to WinPE during MDT SCCM deployments

25 10 2012

I was trying to use “unattend.xml” to enable remote control using DART 7 Remote Connection tool during WinPE
as demonstrated here:

The “unattend.xml” is residing in the root of the boot.wim – X:\Unattend.xml
The first time the machine boots in to WinPE from PXE it uses this Unattend.xml and everything works great.

However, if a step to restart the computer to the boot image assigned for the task sequence which is the same boot.wim then after the restart the original “Unattend.xml” will not be used, instead a different xml called “winpeunattend.xml” which is located at “C:\_SMSTaskSequence\WinPE\WinPEUnattend.xml”
And that XML is being created “on the fly” or in runtime, when the TS is “Staging boot.wim”
and the SMSTS.log will log: “Creating WinPE Answer File” and “Successfully saved … C:\_SMSTaskSequence\WinPE\WinPEUnattend.xml”

The task sequence is from SCCM 2007 R3 with SP2 and the Advertisement is Mandatory and configured as “Access content directly from Distribution Point”.

I finally decided to go around the problem as even in Microsoft Communities I couldn’t get this answered answered

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Quickly locate what went wrong in CCMSETUP when troubleshooting SCCM Client installation issues

6 08 2012

When CCMSETUP is run it usually creates a folder with logs and source files under these locations:

32bit OS:


64bit OS:


the folder contains the following main logs:

ccmsetup.log – this log focuses on CCMSETUP install operations

client.msi.log – this log contains post CCMSETUP install operations

KB(number).log – this log contains info on required BITS patch operations

I use trace32 (i think i developed OCD for trace32) to view the logs (SCCM2007), notice that in SCCM2012 the trace utility changed to CCMTRACE.

when ever i have a problem with installing the client that i need to troubleshoot i lookup in client.msi.log for this string:

“Value 3”

this will find the check operation that didn’t validate thus failing the install operation,

if i don’t find it i continue to go through the log.

How to disable Kerberos to test NTLM

24 07 2012

So today I encountered an issue where i wanted to mimic the behavior of a server 2003 in an un-trusted forest to which i had no physical access to, The issue was that I was trying to take advantage of the NTLM Passthrough  authentication like described here:

And it was successful for some of the authentication requests from a winPE 3 based task sequence, At some point during the task sequence I received what looked like an innocent error in from the task sequence, something about that the task sequence couldn’t find the WIM image during the “Apply OS Image” step, when i looked in the server 2003 BDP event viewer i saw an event for “Unknown User Name or Bad Password” and i know the password is correct because that same task sequence run daily in the organization i work in,

To cut a long story short (i’ll post that adventure on a later post) Read the rest of this entry »