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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hyper-V could not make replica virtual machine a clustered resource

Today I was trying to create a Hyper-V replica for a virtual machine. Both VMs (actual VM and Replica VM) were host on clusters. But I got error that "Hyper-V  could not make replica virtual machine a clustered resource". All other Hyper-V replica VMs were working without a problem.
As it turned out the problem here was that on destination Hyper-V cluster there was a cluster resource with the same name as the VM.
I deleted the cluster resource which had the same name and replica creation succeeded!

DPM supports VMWare virtual machine backups, finally

Earlier this year I blogged that System Cetnter Data Protection Manager (DPM) will support VMWare virtual machine backups 
With DPM 2012 R2 Update Rollup 11 this feature has finally been included in product. More information can be found here https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt742099(sc.12).aspx

I will give you more information, when I have time to test this feature, I hope it will work smoothly :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

SCUP catalogs for Java, Chrome, Firefox and many others

I know this is a kind of advertisment.. but this product really has great price / performance.
And the product is named  Patch My PC (https://patchmypc.net) - which gives System Center Updates Publisher (SCUP) catalogs for many products, including Java, Chrome, Firefox and lots of others. And the pricing is also great!

Friday, August 26, 2016

"Failed to load expressions host assembly" in SCCM Reporting services after SQL inplace upgrade

I did a SQL inplace upgrade from 2008 R2 to 2014 SP2. The SQL was dedicated to SCCM server and hosted only SCCM, WSUS and Reporting Services databases.

Upgrade was easy, but after upgrade the SQL Reports were not opening and the error was "Failed to load expressions host assembly. Details: Could not load file or assembly ‘SrsResources. Culture=Neutral’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified."

To solve this just reinstall the Reporting Services Point role in SCCM.

There is a workaround described here, but I think it is not supported by Microsoft.

Disable Server Manager startup at logon

For me it feels annoying that Server Manager always starts at login. OK, it is not bad when you are setting up the server, but later it is not neeeded.
So to disalbe the Server Manager automatic startup at login follow these steps:

  1. Open Server Manager.
  2. Go to Manage - Server Manager Properties
  3. Select "Do not start Server Manager automatically at logon"

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Step-by-step: Install SCCM 1606 in offline mode with Service Connection Tool

If your SCCM server is not connected to internet, then it is a bit more difficult to install updates from console, but it is possible. There are three steps:

  1. Switch Service Connection Point to Offline mode.
  2. Download and import updates to SCCM site server.
  3. Install the update.
I will detail the second step as it is the most complicated in the whole process. Third step is the same as having the Service Connection Point in Online mode.

So here is how to get SCCM updates in console in offline mode.

  1. Copy the ServiceConnectionTool from SCCM installation media folder SMSSETUP\TOOLS\ to a the site server.
  2. Prepare usage data (as explained here, there is no way to install updates without sending usage data) with following command. If no data is generated, restart SMS_EXECUTIVE service. 
serviceconnectiontool.exe -prepare -usagedatadest D:\ServiceConnectionTool\usagedata.cab

       3. Prepare computer which was internet access:
  • Install .NET 4.5.2;
  • Install Visual C++ Redistributable x64 and x86 versions
  • Copy Service Connection Tool folder with usagedata.cab genereated in step 2
      4. On a computer with Download update installation files

       ServiceConnectionTool.exe -connect -usagedatasrc D:\ServiceConnetionTool\usagedata.cab -updatepackdest D:\ServiceConnectionTool\UpdatePacks

  5. Copy all downloaded files to the SCCM site server.
     6. Import installation files to SCCM with command:

serviceconnectiontool.exe -import -updatepacksrc D:\ServiceConnectionTool\UpdatePacks


Install the update as you would on a SCCM site server with internet access: open SCCM console go to Administration - Cloud Services - Updates and Features. Then choos appropriate update, right-click it and run prerequisite check , if it succeeds install the update.

Just remember that after you click to run prereq check and install the update in console, you have to wait a few miutes before the prereq check or installation really starts. 
Monitor CM.Update log in SCCM InstalDir\Logs to see what is actually going on.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Configure Outlook 2010 / 2013 / 2016 to connect automatically to Exchange without prompting user input

There is one configuration which really can easy your job when setting up Outlook and you should always take advantage of it. And this option is "Automatically configure profile based on Active Directory Primary SMTP address".

If you enable it when first time starting Outlook, user will not be required to click several Next buttons, Outlook will configure itself automatically, if user has an email attribute populated in Active Directory.


  • If you use Office Customization Tool, then open OCT, go Modify User Settings, Microsoft Outlook 20xx / Account Settings / Exchange
  • If you use group policies, then first import ADMX templates for appropriate Office version and go to User configuration / Policies / Administrative templates / Microsoft Outlook 20xx / Account Settings / Exchange

Monday, August 1, 2016

Updated: SCCM 1606 - Cloud Proxy Role

I previously wrote that Cloud Proxy role will be in the next release of SCCM Current Branch edition .

The SCCM update 1606 has released, but Cloud Proxy Role feature is not there yet. So let's wait for next SCCM feature update!

Software Restriction Policies do not work with Windows 10 modern apps

Software Restriction policies (SRPs) is a cool feature which has been in Windows Server for ages. It allows to create a whitelist or blacklist of applictions, thus preventing the exectution of many modern viruses. Newest version of SRPs is Applocker, but Applocker is only available in enterprise editions of Windows workstations.

Here is a tip to make SRPs work with Windows 10 - you need to allow necessary folders in C:\Program Files\WindowsApps folder. It is hidden by default, so you will need to enable viewing hidden files before you can brows WindowsApps.
You will also need to take ownership of the folder, otherwise NTFS will restrict browsing WindowsApps.
Also a good practise would be to do this on a test PC :)