Managing Windows Updates with Group Policy
· ☕ 12 min read
In this post I’ll walk through how I manage and test the delivery of Windows Updates to all my clients and servers. I’ll also go through how I manage essential servers like Domain Controllers, Hyper-V hosts and I’ll touch on getting started with Cluster-Aware Updating. We’re going to group our machines into Clients and Servers, and then group each of those groups into Ring 1 and Ring 2. If you want, you can create more rings for more control, but generally I find two rings are sufficient.

App Spotlight: Windows Admin Center
· ☕ 2 min read
At the time of writing Windows Admin Center has been around for almost 18 months, in those 18 months it’s come a long way and is still being actively developed and updated. It’s a simple install, can be installed on either Windows 10 or Server 2016/2019, doesn’t require an internet connection or Azure, and will work with your existing on-prem servers. It’s also free. Windows Admin Center (WAC) is a much needed tool for modernising the management of servers in the Microsoft ecosystem.

It's time to update.
· ☕ 1 min read
As you may be able to tell I’ve updated the site design and structure to assist in finding the most relevant information. I’ve also recently updated all my PowerShell utilities to support custom subject lines in the email output, along with a few other improvements and fixes. The best place to get my most up to date utilities and see other scripts I’m working on is on my GitHub. I still update the scripts on TechNet and PowerShell Gallery, but GitHub is where I focus my work.

Windows Deployment
· ☕ 2 min read
I began deploying Windows 10 at scale with version 1607, and over the years I’ve learned a lot and developed a good and proven system for building and deploying reference images using Task Sequences and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit. Please consider supporting my work: Patreon | PayPal | Kofi Resources Microsoft Deployment Toolkit | Download | Current version: Build 8456 January 25th 2019 Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit | Download | Current version: 2004 Windows USB/DVD Download Tool | Download Building and Deploying Windows 10 Images 2009 Update (20H2) | Build and Capture | Deploy Reference Image 2004 Update (20H1) | Build and Capture | Deploy Reference Image 1909 Update (19H2) | Build | Deploy | In-Place Upgrade 1903 May 2019 Update (19H1) | Build | Deploy 1809 October 2018 Update | Build | Deploy 1803 April 2018 Update | Build | Deploy 1709 Fall Creators Update | Build 1703 Creators Update | Build 1607 Anniversary Update | Build | Deploy Customising Windows 10 Resurrecting Windows Photo Viewer Removing UWP apps Customising the Start Menu and Taskbar Disabling OneDrive Windows Server Deployment I’ve deployed hundreds over servers for a variety of services over the years, below are some posts I’ve written documenting the server’s I’ve had to deploy the most both professionally and running my home lab.

About
· ☕ 2 min read
I started this site in 2016 to share what I learned through my work as a system administrator with a willingness to create my own solutions to support networks primarily using Microsoft software. Here are a few recommendations from other experts about this site: Reddit | Twitter | Spiceworks I’ve been working in IT for almost 20 years, working my way up from first-line support to senior system administrator roles. I first started rolling out Operating Systems with Windows 2000 and have lead projects rolling out every version of Windows since then.

Really Useful PowerShell Utilities
· ☕ 1 min read
Over the years I’ve built a number of utilities which I’ve decided to group up into a collection that I’m calling my Really Useful PowerShell Utilities. I continue to maintain and improve these tools on my GitHub. They are also available on the PowerShell Gallery and TechNet. These tools are free but please consider supporting my work: Sign up using Patreon. Support with a one-time payment using PayPal. If you’d like to get in touch with me please leave a comment, send me a tweet or DM.

Office Update Utility
· ☕ 4 min read
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 ___ __ __ _ _ _ /___\/ _|/ _(_) ___ ___ /\ /\ _ __ __| | __ _| |_ ___ // // |_| |_| |/ __/ _ \ / / \ \ '_ \ / _ |/ _ | __/ _ \ / \_//| _| _| | (_| __/ \ \_/ / |_) | (_| | (_| | || __/ \___/ |_| |_| |_|\___\___| \___/| .

Hyper-V Virtual Machine Backup Utility - Update v4.4
· ☕ 1 min read
Download it from the Microsoft TechNet Gallery the PowerShell Gallery and GitHub. Today I’ve released a minor update to my Hyper-V Backup Utility. In version 4.4 I’ve added more feedback when the script is used interactively. Whether you are running Hyper-V on a Windows 10 desktop or a Windows Server 2016 cluster, this utility can be used to backup your virtual machines. My original post with the full documentation is available here.

Deploying Office 2019 or Office 365
· ☕ 5 min read
If you’re familiar with deploying Office 2016 or any previous version, then the first big change when looking into Office 2019 or Office 365 is that there is no longer an MSI installer. Office 2019/Office 365 is now only available as a ‘Click-to-Run’ installation, which means we’ll need to change how we package, deploy and update Office 2019 or Office 365. Links to sites used in this post: Download the Office Deployment Tool (ODT) from Microsoft here.

Windows 10 1903/1909 (19H1/19H2) Changes, Tips and Tricks
· ☕ 3 min read
Here’s a couple of helpful tips and tricks I’ve found from Windows 10 1909/1903 and previous versions. Let’s get into them! Search and Cortana Are Separated In 1903/1909 A good change IMO and my first impressions of the new search is that it’s back to being as good as Windows 7’s. The search bar on the Taskbar is now just search and has nothing to do with Cortana. By default the search bar is expanded on the Taskbar and Cortana is just an icon.

Removing Built-in Apps from Windows 10 1903
· ☕ 1 min read
I’ve updated my previous post on removing the built-in apps from Windows 10 to reflect the minor changes in the Windows 10 1903 May 2019 Update. You can find that post here, or under the Windows Deployment menu at the top of the page, and click on 1903 May 2019 Update (19H1). If you’d like to get in touch with me please use the comments, Twitter or my contact form. Please consider supporting my work here.

Deploying A Windows 10 1903 May 2019 Update (19H1) Reference Image with MDT
· ☕ 14 min read
Current Known Issue: With the Windows 10 1903 ADK on 64-bit, the Windows System Image Manager (WSIM) will fail to generate a catalogue. Microsoft has issued a fix which you can download here. The fix contains two updated files, ImageCat.exe and ImgMgr.exe which need to be copied to the location the ADK is installed. By default the location is: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Deployment Tools\WSIM. After installation you will still not be able to access the WSIM through MDT, but launching WSIM manually and then opening the install.

Building A Windows 10 1903 May 2019 Update (19H1) Reference Image with MDT
· ☕ 11 min read
Current Known Issue: With the Windows 10 1903 ADK on 64-bit, the Windows System Image Manager (WSIM) will fail to generate a catalogue. Microsoft has issued a fix which you can download here. The fix contains two updated files, ImageCat.exe and ImgMgr.exe which need to be copied to the location the ADK is installed. By default the location is: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Deployment Tools\WSIM. After installation you will still not be able to access the WSIM through MDT, but launching WSIM manually and then opening the install.