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Garth Jones

January 2007 - Posts

  • PCs by Timeframe

    I was reading Paul Thomsen blog about “Counting Computers”, I agree with him as it does make a difference how many PC you have when you are talking about Asset management vs Patch management. So here is a query to help you count the number of PCs within a given time frame.


    Declare @14 as int

    Declare @21 as int

    Declare @30 as int

    Declare @45 as int

    Declare @60 as int

    Declare @90 as int

    Declare @91 as int

    Declare @Total as int


    set @14 = (select count(*) from v_GS_WORKSTATION_STATUS Where datediff(DD,LastHWScan,Getdate()) <= 14)

    set @21 = (select count(*) from v_GS_WORKSTATION_STATUS Where datediff(DD,LastHWScan,Getdate()) between 15 and 21)

    set @30 = (select count(*) from v_GS_WORKSTATION_STATUS Where datediff(DD,LastHWScan,Getdate()) between 22 and 30)

    set @45 = (select count(*) from v_GS_WORKSTATION_STATUS Where datediff(DD,LastHWScan,Getdate()) between 31 and 45)

    set @60 = (select count(*) from v_GS_WORKSTATION_STATUS Where datediff(DD,LastHWScan,Getdate()) between 46 and 60)

    set @90 = (select count(*) from v_GS_WORKSTATION_STATUS Where datediff(DD,LastHWScan,Getdate()) between 61 and 90)

    set @91 = (select count(*) from v_GS_WORKSTATION_STATUS Where datediff(DD,LastHWScan,Getdate()) > 90)

    set @Total = (select count(*) from v_GS_WORKSTATION_STATUS)



                @14 as 'PCs with <=14 days',

                @21 as '15 to 21 days',

                @30 as '22 to 30 days',

                @45 as '31 to 45 days',

                @60 as '46 to 60 days',

                @90 as '61 to 90 days',

                @91 as '91+ days',

                @Total as 'Total'

  • Site Summarizer Query

     This query will mimic the heath of SMS site status within the console.



    case Summarizer_SiteSystem.Status

                When '0' then 'Green/OK'

                When '1' Then 'Yellow/Warning'

                When '2' then 'Red/Error'

                else 'Red/No Status'

    end as 'Status',

    Summarizer_SiteSystem.SiteCode as 'Site Code',


    Summarizer_SiteSystem.Role as 'Role',

    Summarizer_SiteSystem.DownSince as 'Down Since',

    Summarizer_SiteSystem.TimeReported as 'Date'


                Summarizer_SiteSystem Summarizer_SiteSystem


                left(Summarizer_SiteSystem.TimeReported,11) <> left(Getdate(),11) or Summarizer_SiteSystem.DownSince <> NULL




    Posted Jan 30 2007, 10:24 PM by Garth with no comments
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  • Book review: Pro SMS 2003 by Rod Kruetzfeld, Part 2

    Chapter 2

    This chapter is all about planning your deployment of SMS 2003, some of the topics covered within this chapter are:

    • Should you upgrade or start new and some of the reasons for both
    • Setup documentation
    • Capacity planning
    • Server (Hardware) Setup
      • Drive Arrays
      • Server Type
    • SQL Setup
    • AD Heath
    • SMS Setup
      • Network discovery
      • Site boundaries


    Again with this chapter Rod provides some valuable tips, for example one of the most often overlooked areas of SMS environment is the heath and procedures around Active Directory (AD) environment. 


    I agree with Rod that AD heath checks are a good idea and I will take his suggestion one step farther. If you have a Microsoft technical account manager (TAM) ask them about a proactive rapid on site support (ROSS) engineer visit to do an AD health check. With each health check the engineer will review your environment and make suggestions to improve it within their final documentation of your environment.


    There are also health checks for SMS, Windows, and Exchange. These health checks are invaluable as supporting documentation to project plans or funding proposals.


    Rod’s Blog can be found at


    Where to purchase this book:

    For Canadian Blog readers:

    Save 34% on books over $25 at


    For USA Blog readers:


    Posted Jan 29 2007, 07:49 AM by Garth with 12 comment(s)
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  • Canadian Softgrid Technical Partner Airlift

    MS Canada is putting on a Softgrid airlift on February 20-21 in Mississauga. This is a 300 level course. See you there.

    Microsoft customers are generating significant demand for Softgrid as it is an innovative Application Virtualization technology to address traditional pains around application support across multiple Operating Systems.  Softgrid, provides customers the ability to run multiple versions of the same application on the same PC, it reduces Application Packaging and Compatibility testing time as well as reduced Software Patch Management cycles.  To learn more about how Softgrid works and how it will help your customers – join us for this 2-day hands-on training.

    About the Training:
    Through technical presentations and hands-on labs delivered by Sajid Khan, a Technology Solutions Professional for Management Solutions at Microsoft Canada you will learn how to deliver this solution to your customers.

    Who should attend: This technical training is targeted to IT Professionals with Microsoft technology partner organizations.

    This workshop requires that the audience meets the following prerequisites:
    • General understanding of Microsoft Windows XP
    • The ability to install, maintain and troubleshoot common desktop applications
    • General understanding of Active Directory Group Memberships

    Session Agenda:
    • Introduction to Softgrid
    • Server and Client Planning and Installation
    • Hands on Lab: Installing Softgrid Components
    • Softgrid Administration
    • Hands on labs: Deploying Softgrid Applications
    • Hands on Lab: Virtual Application Deployment Challenge Lab #1

    Day 2
    • Introduction to the Softgrid Sequencer
    • Sequencing Softgrid Applications
    • Hands on Lab: Sequencing an application
    • Advanced Sequencing Topics
    • Hands on Lab: Advanced Sequencing Scenarios
    • Hands on Lab: Virtual Application Deployment Challenge Lab #2

    To register:

  • Fun Links

    Posted Jan 27 2007, 07:25 PM by Garth with no comments
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  • Airlift

     The title is a Red Herring, long story but the short version is the airlift is under a NDA so we are not suppose to blog about it. However there is nothing that says that I can’t blog about the restaurants that I ate at. Big Smile [:D]


    So last night I was invite to go out for dinner. It was suggested that we try this Brazilian restaurant. The restaurant suggested was Ipanema Brazilian Grill (The link is for Framingham, MA location). Kevin told us that you need to have a good appetite for this place.  We all agreed that we did have a good appetite. Off we went to Seattle.


    What can I say about this place:


    Atmosphere: Just like any other restaurant.

    Drinks: Just like any other restaurant.

    Food: WOW!!!!


    They keep bring different type of roasted meat


    Garlic Steak

    Steak and cheese

    Bacon wrapped turkey

    Bacon wrapped Steak

    Bacon wrapper Pepper steak

    Pepper steak


    Garlic Pork

    Chicken wings



    Lamb, oh the lamb was so good!!!


    I am going to try out this place in San Diego.


    Posted Jan 26 2007, 04:26 PM by Garth with 3 comment(s)
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  • Sysinternals Suite

    The Sysinternals Troubleshooting Utilities have been rolled up into a single Suite of tools. This file contains the individual troubleshooting tools and help files.


  • Did you know... Part 3

    Well this update is a little late but better late than never.


    After a full week of the case being open, I finally got someone to start working on my case, a guy by the name of Wesley M., Wesley and I talk about my issue and he reviewed my test application. Wesley fairly quick determined that the issue that I was having is a limitation within the SMS SDK and there is not easy fix or work around for this issue.


    Since then I have sent an email to both and describing the issues, with screen shots, So far no answer from either email alias. Also I asked for more examples for both VB.Net 2005 and vb script.


    I also sent an email to Wesley boss to letting her know that this case will get a failing grade but it was not Wesley who is getting the failing grade it was everyone else.


    This case is closed, but the issue is not gone. Maybe I can track down someone at this weeks airlift to talk about my issue.


    BTW Wesley says his main focus is not the SMS SDK but WMI so for everyone who has a WMI problem ask for Wesley in NC.

    Posted Jan 25 2007, 11:41 AM by Garth with no comments
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  • BDD 2007 Course

    Do you want to get hands on training with BDD 2007?


    Well I recently ran into instructor of this course, after talking to her for a bit, I can see where this course could be a good idea for many, included those who boss will not give them the time to don’t to setup a test lab with BDD.


    Well this course might be for you!


    Information from CMS web site:

    Overview: Three days of intensive BDD 3.0 / 2007 Vista Deployment training designed and delivered by Microsoft Infrastructure and Security experts, CMS Consulting.

    Who Should Attend: This three day course is essential for anyone who will be deploying Microsoft Windows Vista and Office 2007 in their enterprise. The hands on training will allow students to deploy a customized Windows Vista image using the new Vista deployment tools, Office 2007 tools, and Business Desktop Deployment 3.0.

    Benefits: Microsoft's new operating system, Windows Vista, includes increased security, a modular imaging format for faster deployment, improved application compatibility, and a host of new and improved deployment tools. Deploying Vista will allow corporations to better control IT costs and allow users to get more out of their PCs.

    Objectives: Provide students with the knowledge and skills that are needed to create, secure, and deploy standardized Windows Vista images in their enterprise.

    Courses Outline



    Goal of session



    Hands on



    Provide students with an understanding of desktop deployments

    How are you deploying today

    Automating deployment - how, saving costs, standardization, tools

    Deployment scenarios - lite/zero

    Image management

    Processes - what and why are they required






    Business Desktop Deployment 3.0 (BDD)

    Windows Automated Installation Toolkit (WAIK)

    Windows Deployment Service (WDS)

    System Image Manager


    User state Migration Tool 3.0 (USMT)







    Image Creation

    Designing an image




    Creating a Resource PC




    Capturing Images - create capture WinPE on WDS and capture custom image




    Image Deployments

    Answer files




    Migration Scenarios




    Deployment with WDS




    Adding Drivers




    Office 2007 configuration and deployment




    Migrating User State (as time allows)





    Enterprise Deployment Tools

    SMS Deployments




    Other Technologies







    For more information about this course go to the vendor web site:






    Posted Jan 23 2007, 04:58 PM by Garth with 3 comment(s)
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  • Mapped Drives

    I was reading within the newsgroup a question about how to get mapped drives within SMS. I post a message telling the gentleman to use the SMSExpert Datashift vb script. Anyways he had a problem with data returning to SMS. After many emailsI wanted to test it in my test lab so here are the steps to capture this data.

    1) Add to the SMS_def.mof the following:

    #pragma namespace("\\\\.\\root\\cimv2\\SMS")
    #pragma deleteclass("SMX_Drives",NOFAIL)

    [SMS_Report(TRUE), SMS_Group_Name("Drive Summary"), SMS_Class_ID("MICROSOFT|SMXDrives|1.0")]

    class SMX_Drives : SMS_Class_Template
    [SMS_Report(TRUE)]    boolean Compressed;
    [SMS_Report(TRUE)]    string   Description;
    [SMS_Report(TRUE),key]    string  DeviceID;
    [SMS_Report(TRUE)]    uint32  DriveType;
    [SMS_Report(TRUE)]    string  FileSystem;
    [SMS_Report(TRUE),SMS_Units("Kilobytes")] uint64  FreeSpace;
    [SMS_Report(TRUE)]    uint32  MediaType;
    [SMS_Report(TRUE)]    string  Name;
    [SMS_Report(TRUE)]    string  ProviderName;
    [SMS_Report(TRUE),SMS_Units("KiloBytes")] uint64  Size;
    [SMS_Report(TRUE)]    string  VolumeName;
    [SMS_Report(TRUE)]    string VolumeSerialNumber;

    2) Compile the SMS_def.mof on all clients
    3) Run datashift script on site server
    4) Force Hardware inventory to run, I used forcehw.vbs
    5) Wait for table to be created with SQL
    6) Force policy cycle on client or wait 24 hours plus.
    7) Run datashift on client.

     Here are the results.

    Posted Jan 20 2007, 10:28 AM by Garth with 4 comment(s)
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  • ISV using VHD to create Test drives of their software!

    While cleaning up my inbox I found a note about this ISV user VHD to promote their software. What a cool idea! Although I have never used their software but since it is available as a VHD I might give it a try. Here are the details from their web site.


    ToutVirtual is among the first ISV companies to deliver solutions under the Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) Program. ToutVirtual's virtualization solution makes it easier for Microsoft users to deploy virtual hard disk in heterogeneous virtualization environments.

    ToutVirtual offers the following solutions for Microsoft Virtual Server R2 environments:

    VirtualIQ Standard Virtual Machine

    This virtual machine, packaged with Microsoft Windows, can monitor and manage multi-node Microsoft Virtual Server R2 server environments.

    VirtualIQ Professional Virtual Machine

    This virtual machine, packaged with Microsoft Windows, can monitor heterogeneous virtual environment consisting of VMware, XenSource, Microsoft and Novell virtualization platforms.

  • Time zones

    Time zones


    There was a question about time zones and SMS on MyITForum, so I hit Google to find a list of time zones, with all the Wkis out there you would think that finding a full list of time zones would be easy but it turned out not to be. Anyways I create a query to determine which time zone a PC was in based on the information that I found. Find the query here:


    After updating the query a few time to correct a few things, the original poster of the question found a much simple and reliable method to determine the time zones.


    <Drum Roll Please...>


    Enable the Time Zone class within the SMSDEF.mof.

    Posted Jan 18 2007, 09:11 AM by Garth with no comments
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  • Which Programming Language are You?

    These days I do alot of programing, so I was interested in ths Quiz.

    I turned out to be.

    You are Prolog. You enjoy looking for different ways to solve a problem.  You take longer to solve them, but usually come up with more than one solution.
    Which Programming Language are You?

    This is not one of the languages that I have used before. I have programed in:








    and now



    Posted Jan 16 2007, 10:13 AM by Garth with no comments
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  • Sample SQL query to show max RAM based on Model.

    This question was posted in the Usenet groups..

    "I need to present a report that shows the maximum supported memory
    configuration for a system type, so I would like to be able to have a column
    on my report that shows the maximum supported memory, based upon the field ,
    v_GS_Computer_system.model0 AS "Model".  If model = xyz then <new column>
    shows "2GB" or whatever the maximum memory is.  I have to research each
    system type and determine maximum memory manually, but one I have the info, I
    can plug it into my query and I hope translate it to something that
    management can quickly pull up and know what they are looking at.

    Also, and I probably should put this in another post, but is it possible to
    combine 2 fields?  Instead of video width showing 1024 and video height
    showing 768, it would be nice if I could combone them into a single column
    called "Video Resolution" and have it show in the format of 1024 x 768."

    In a nutshell use the case function to provide the max RAM based on model name. see below.

    select distinct
    v_GS_Computer_system.Name0 AS "PC Name"
    , v_GS_Computer_system.UserName0 AS "User last logged on"
    , v_GS_Operating_System.caption0 AS "OS"
    , v_gs_Operating_system.csdversion0 AS "SP Level"
    , v_GS_Computer_system.manufacturer0 AS "Make"
    , v_GS_Computer_system.model0 AS "Model"
    , v_GS_x86_PC_memory.totalphysicalmemory0 AS "Total Memory"
    , case v_GS_Computer_system.model0
    when 'Virtual Machine' then '4 GB'
    when 'Aspire 5000' then '2 GB'
    else 'Unknown'
    end as 'Max Ram'
    , v_gs_processor.maxclockspeed0 AS "CPU Speed"
    , cast(v_gs_video_controller.CurrentHorizontalResolution0 as Varchar) + ' x ' + cast(v_gs_video_controller.CurrentVerticalResolution0 as varchar) AS "Video Resolution"

    v_gs_operating_system.resourceid = v_gs_computer_system.resourceid
    and v_gs_computer_system.resourceid = v_gs_computer_system.resourceid
    and v_GS_x86_PC_memory.resourceid = v_gs_computer_system.resourceid
    and v_GS_processor.resourceid = v_gs_computer_system.resourceid
    and v_GS_video_controller.resourceid = v_gs_computer_system.resourceid
    and v_GS_Operating_system.caption0 NOT like '%2000 Server%'
    and v_GS_Operating_system.caption0 NOT like '%Server 2003%'

    Order by

    Posted Jan 15 2007, 02:38 PM by Garth with no comments
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  • MOM Resources

    Posted Jan 15 2007, 02:24 PM by Garth with no comments
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