HTA to prompt for computer name and time zone in OSD of Configuration Manager

A common requirement of new operating system deployments from Configuration Manager is to have the ability to prompt for variables such as a computer name, time zone, and whether or not to install applications and updates. You could add MDT integration to Configuration Manager or you could create your own HTA using basic HTML and VBScript. However there are limitations with HTA files you should be aware of and you’ll need to tweak your task sequences. Continue reading…

WSUS virtual machine high CPU usage

I was recently deploying a WSUS server as part of a System Center Configuration Manager implementation when my Configuration Manager server’s CPU became pegged at 100%. It was clear the issue was being caused by the WsusPool IIS application pool. I was expecting the CPU to struggle for a few hours during the initial check-ins by Windows Clients. I had also made the recommended changes to the WsusPool to service the demands of Windows 10 clients. However after 24 hours the server was still struggling with 8 vCPU using 99% CPU.

Eventually I noticed VMTools was absent from the virtual machine. I researched whether this could have an enormous performance impact and as it turns out, it can. The storage drivers alone vastly improve I/O performance for intensive workloads.Installing VMTools immediately resolved the issue. The WsusPool continued to be intensive for a few more hours while it processed client check-ins but used only 20-30% CPU while the IIS Worker Process was able to grow to consume 12GB of memory. But a few hours later initial client check-ins had completed and everything was back to normal.

Conclusion: Install VMTools.

Windows 10 Express Updates in Configuration Manager taking a long time to download and install

Windows 10 and Server 2016 Express Updates may not be what we think they are. I was recently implementing System Center Configuration Manager 1702 and thought I’d try enabling Microsoft’s newly released Express Updates functionality which become fully supported as of the April 2017 Cumulative Update. However I quickly discovered there’s major consequences of enabling the global settings.

Continue reading…