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Corrupt applications when deploying Windows 8.1 with App-V 5.0 to Lenovo Yoga S1

shaun molnar on October 24th, 2014 with 0 Comments »

So we came across a real doozie of a problem that took a few weeks to solve. We thought we could save some grey hairs out there and share our solution.

The Scenario:
SCCM 2012 R2 CU1 deploying a WIM which contained Windows 8.1 with App-V 5.0 SP2 CU5. We cached approx. 50 AppV packages in the image. This process has been working great for the last 12 months on all hardware models (8) in the environment. In walks the Lenovo Yoga S1. Now don’t get me wrong, I think the Yoga S1 is an amazing device. One of the best on the market for the last 12 months. We added the drivers and utilities to SCCM and started deploying them. Over 300 in total. It wasn’t until weeks later we started getting minor complaints that applications were coming up as unregistered, or files were missing. This was only happening on the Lenovo Yoga S1.

We did a test deploy and found that straight after a deployment the AppV apps were indeed broken. Not all of them, just some. Seeminlgy random apps, but nonetheless they didn’t work, yet on a Dell XT3 sitting right next to it, everything worked perfectly.

The troubleshooting began, and we found that permissions on the App-V VFS folder differed between the Lenovo Yoga and the Dell XT3. Weird right? this is the same image just deployed to different models, and permissions were different.

We ran out of ideas and troubleshooting tests eventually and decided to log a call with Microsoft. Five support teams later and it wasn’t looking good. Was it AppV? Was it Windows 8.1? Was it a security patch? Was it a driver? Nobody knows.

Finally we had a good hard think about what is so different between the two devices. The ONLY thing that remained was that the Lenovo Yoga S1 was running UEFI, not Legacy BIOS. We switched the BIOS settings back to Legacy and that is all she wrote.

On top of that, moving back to the legacy BIOS has also resolved one of the biggest problems with the Yoga S1, which was the unstable and extremely dodgy external USB Ethernet dongle. The device as a whole is now solid as a rock. Deploying perfectly every time. All we can think of is that at some point early on in the Yoga lifetime, a BIOS update has broken UEFI which in turn is affecting App-V of all things. Now I say that because it was the most obvious problem, however the Yoga has had all sorts of random issues. But not anymore!

How to enable service broker service for SCOM 2012 Discovery

shaun molnar on September 28th, 2012 with 0 Comments »

In System Center Operations Manager 2012 if you want your System Discovery to work you may need to enable the SQL Service Broker Service. To do this, open up your SQL Management Studio. Select the Operations Manager Database, then run the following query:

To enable:

to disable:

Enable the Instant Messaging Notification in System Center 2012 Operations Manager

shaun molnar on September 28th, 2012 with 0 Comments »

Here’s how to enable instant message (IM) notifications in System Center 2012 Operations Manager

1. Install the Unified Communications Managed API 3.0 (UCMA) Runtime on all management servers in the Notifications Resource Pool. By default, this pool contains the first and all additional management servers in the management group (gateway servers are not included).

-Download the UCMA runtime at

-After installation, visit Microsoft Updates several times as needed. Updates for Unified Communications
Managed API 3.0 include KB2500448, KB2500449, and KB2568557; these should be detected by Microsoft Updates.

2. If you do not have an OpsMgr notification action account (NAA), create one using a domain user account. The NAA does not require an Exchange mailbox, but does require a regular Active Directory (AD) user account.

3. Log on to the Lync server, as a user that has the right to Lync-enable domain users, and run the Lync Control Panel to enable the NAA AD user account for Lync. To enable the NAA account, perform the following steps:

-Click on the Users button in the left navigation panel.

-Click the Enable users task just below the search panel.

-Click the Add button on the right side of the Users list.

-Using the search and find commands, locate and select the user to enable. Click OK.

-In the Assign users to a pool field, click the drop-down arrow on the right and select the name of a Lync standard server or Lync enterprise front end pool. The Lync server(s) must be in the same domain, or a trusted domain, of the OpsMgr management servers.

-Click the Enable button at the top of the form.

As an alternative to using the Lync Control panel, consider the following command line for use in the Lync Server Management Shell:
Enable-CsUser –Identity “” –RegistrarPool -SipAddress “sip:

4. Log on to the computer running the OpsMgr console with a user account that is a member of the Operations Manager Administrator role.

5. Create a Run As account in OpsMgr that contains the AD account of the NAA. Follow these steps:
-Navigate in the OpsMgr console to the Administration –> Run As Configuration -> Run As Account, right-click, and select Create Run As Account.
-Select the default Run As type of Windows, type the name Notification Action Account for the Display name, and click Next.

-Enter the credential information for the NAA domain account, and click Next.

-At the Select a distribution security option, select the default More Secure and push Create.

6. Distribute the Run As Account credentials to your management servers:

-Select the Run As Account you just created in the Account -> Windows list, right-click, and select Properties.

-On the Distribution tab, push the Add button.

-Locate and add the Windows computer object of each of the management servers. When all management servers are listed, push the Add button.

7. Associate the Run As Account with the Notification Account Profile:

-Navigate in the OpsMgr console to the Administration –> Run As Configuration -> Profiles, and double-click on the Notification Account.

-Advance through the wizard to the Add Run As Accounts page, and push the Add button.

-Locate and select the NAA Run As Account by the name you previously typed, such as Notification Action Account.

-Leave the default All targeted objects setting and click OK.

8. In the Operations console, click Administration. In the navigation pane, under Notifications, right-click Channels. Click New channel, and then point to Instant Message (IM).

9. Type a name for the channel, such as IM channel and optionally provide a description. Click Next.

10. In the IM server box, type the FQDN of a Lync 2010 Standard server or a Lync 2010 Enterprise Front End Pool. The Lync server(s) must be in the same domain, or a trusted domain, of the OpsMgr management servers.

11. Type the Return Address that should appear on instant message notifications. Preface the address with sip:. In the Protocol option list, select TLS (Transport Layer Security) as the protocol used to send the instant messages. In the Authentication method list, select NTLM as the authentication method for users. In the IM port box, the instant messaging port of 5061 is entered. Click Next.

The return address should be a dedicated address that is used only for Operations Manager notifications, such as the Notification Action Account (NAA).

12. In the Default instant messaging notification format area, in the IM message box, specify the text that is sent to notification subscribers. The IM message box contains a default message that includes text and variables. You can edit the default message or delete it and replace it with another message.

The right arrow next to the IM message box displays a list of variables that you can add to the message. If you select a variable, it is appended to the end of your current IM message with no spaces or explanatory text. Consider including the Source and Web Console Link variables to your IM text to increase the actionable IM content.

13. In the Encoding box, select the text format that your IM server and notification subscribers use for transmission. By default, Unicode (UTF-8) is used. Click the arrow to view the entire list of available formatting.

14. Click Finish and then click Close to return to the Operations console.

Final activities that cause alerts to be delivered as IMs to selected recipients :

-Create a Notification Subscriber of the Instant Message (IM) type.

-Create a Notification Subscription that associates a subscriber with some or all alerts to be relayed as IMs.

-An alert condition occurs that is in scope for an IM-enabled Notification Subscription.

System Center 2012 SP1 on Windows Server 2012 with SQL 2012 Server

shaun molnar on September 28th, 2012 with 0 Comments »

The Beta of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (“SP1”) enables System Center customers to jointly evaluate System Center 2012 with Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. We have been testing the new Beta Service Pack 1 with the following configuration:

SCOM 2012 SP1:
Extra Pre-Reqs include .Net Framework 4.5 Features –> WCF Services –> HTTP Activation
Windows Process Activation Service –> Configuration API’s –> Process Model
ISAPI and CGI Restrictions in IIS are already enabled so the manual process to enable these is no longer required.

SCCM 2012 SP1

Running on Windows Server 2012, both System Center Products using SQL 2012 Server. Make sure you enable full text index searching, then restart SQL before starting the System Center SP1 Installation.

System Center SP1 looks to bring support for SQL Server 2012 which I know will make many people happy. We certainly are!

The Beta includes updates and enhancements to the following System Center 2012 components:

-Virtual Machine Manager ◦Improved Support for Network Virtualization
-Extend the VMM console with Add-ins
-Support for Windows Standards-Based Storage Management Service, thin provisioning of logical units and discovery of SAS storage
-Ability to convert VHD to VHDX, use VHDX as base Operating System image

-Configuration Manager ◦Deployment and management of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
-Distribution point for Windows Azure to help reduce infrastructure costs
-Automation of administrative tasks through PowerShell support
-Management of Mac OS X clients and Linux and UNIX servers
-Real-time administrative actions for Endpoint Protection related tasks

-Data Protection Manager ◦Improved backup performance of Hyper-V over CSV 2.0
-Protection for Hyper-V over remote SMB share
-Protection for Windows Server 2012 de-duplicated volumes
-Uninterrupted protection for VM live migration

-App Controller ◦Service Provider Foundation API to create and operate Virtual Machines
-Support for Azure VM; migrate VHDs from VMM to Windows Azure, manage from on-premise System Center

-Operations Manager ◦Support for IIS 8
-Monitoring of WCF, MVC and .NET NT services
-Azure SDK support
-Monitoring of SharePoint 2010 with APM (.NET application performance monitoring)
-Integration with Team Foundation Server 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2012
-Conversion of Application Performance Monitoring events to IntelliTrace format
-Support for monitoring of CentOS, Debian, and Ubuntu Linux
-Improved Heartbeat monitoring for Unix/Linux
-ACS support for Dynamic Access Control in Windows Server 2012
-Global Service Monitor – cloud based capability to monitor the health of your web applications from geo-distributed perspective
-Additional network devices models supported
-Visibility into virtual network switches in vicinity dashboard – thru integration with Virtual Machine Manager

-Orchestrator ◦Support for Integration Packs, including 3rd party
-Manage VMM self-service User Roles
-Manage multiple VMM ‘stamps’ (scale units), aggregate results from multiple stamps
-Integration with App Controller to consume Hosted clouds

-Service Manager ◦Apply price sheets to VMM clouds
-Create chargeback reports
-Pivot by cost center, VMM clouds, Pricesheets

-Server App-V ◦Support for applications that create scheduled tasks during packaging
-Create virtual application packages from applications installed remotely on native server

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 now available for download

shaun molnar on May 1st, 2012 with 0 Comments »

MDT 2012 now with support for Windows 8 Consumer Preview!

Reliable and Flexible OS Deployment—now with support for Windows 8, Windows Server “8” Beta, and System Center 2012

The Solution Accelerators team is pleased to announce Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012 is now available for download.

Visit the Download Center to download Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 now.

New features include:

  • Support for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager
  • Integration with Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset 7 (DaRT) and Security Compliance Manager (SCM)
  • Support for Windows 8 Consumer Preview for deployments in a lab environment
  • Support for Windows Server “8” Beta


Support for Configuration Manager 2012: MDT 2012 provides support for Configuration Manager 2012 RC2 releases. MDT 2012 fully leverages the capabilities provided by Configuration Manager 2012 for OS deployment. Users now also have the ability to migrate MDT 2012 task sequences from Configuration Manager 2007 to Configuration Manager 2012.

Ease Lite Touch installation: The Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolkit (DaRT) is now integrated with Lite Touch Installation, providing remote control and diagnostics. New monitoring capabilities are available to check on the status of currently running deployments. LTI now has an improved deployment wizard user experience. Enhanced partitioning support ensures that deployments work regardless of the current structure.

Support for Windows 8: MDT 2012 provides support for deploying Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Windows Server “8” Beta in a lab environment.

Tell your peers and customers about Solution Accelerators! Please forward this to anyone who wants to learn more about OS deployment with MDT, and Microsoft Solution Accelerators.

Already using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit? We’d like to hear about your experiences.

effectual IT attains Microsoft Silver Partner status

shaun molnar on November 24th, 2011 with 0 Comments »

effectual IT achieves Silver Certification in desktop from Microsoft Corporation in Melbourne Australia 14/10/2011

effectual IT announced today it has achieved Silver Certification from Microsoft® in desktop. To earn Silver Certification, effectual IT had to meet rigorous standards for desktop competency set forth by Microsoft which enable partners to better serve customer requirements.

“We are extremely happy to have accomplished so much this year. Achieving the Silver Certification from Microsoft really qualifies the hard work and commitment from everyone here at effectual IT” said Shaun Molnar, Managing Director of effectual IT, Melbourne Australia.

“Microsoft Silver competency in desktop helps our business partners demonstrate expertise by aligning to our customers’ needs and making certifications more recognisable to prospective customers. Earning a Silver competency enables partners to differentiate their business and capitalise on benefits tailored to their specific business needs. We are committed to supporting our Silver level competency partners by enabling them with the right set of tools, training and information that will help them delight our customers through leading-edge Microsoft based solutions and services offerings that address the customer’s technology requirements”, said Janet Gibbons, Director of Partner Strategy and Programmes, Microsoft UK. “With Silver level status in desktop, effectual IT has made an investment in developing their capability to differentiate and deliver best in class Microsoft solutions to customers.”

The Microsoft Partner Network is committed to serving the needs of Microsoft partners and helping over 160 million mutual customers worldwide realise their potential. By acquiring the Silver level in desktop competency, effectual IT has demonstrated its commitment to meet technology set forth by Microsoft in order to provide best in class Microsoft based solutions to our customers.

As a Microsoft Silver Competency Partner in desktop, effectual IT has met the requirements for attaining a unique expertise aligned to the competency. Microsoft Silver level status provides effectual IT with access to comprehensive marketing, sales, technical, and support services benefits that will enable them to serve the technology needs of joint prospective customers.