I've missed having a significant on-line presence since writing for CNet a few years ago - all things now blog versus Dear "Windows Helpdesk" e-mail and columns. I need to make up for some lost time, jumping right into PC deployment tools, techniques and procedures, but I'll try to tackle anything that comes around about PC hardware - from chips to drives, cases to fingerprint readers, WiFi to 3G.
I'm amidst a re-, re-, re-implementation of SMS 2003 cum SCCM 2007. OS deployments, WinPE, ImageX, sequencing, discovering SoftGrid/virtualizing applications and the like. What concerns me most in this realm, and I hope together we can correct this little-by-little, is the absence of truly useful, concise how-to information for various steps of deployment services.
True knowledge and practical experience/sharing about some aspects of client deployment and management are fragmented across many MS representatives (who may or may not share on-line, but certainly try to share in rations if you pay for consulting) or others practiced in the field - learning by the same trial and error, Q&A we all seem to muddle through.
Let's fix that shall we? Let's share and discuss our challenges and best practices from PC deployments in a Vista/Server 2008 world.
I want to know from all over if Zero-Touch deployment is a reality and how so.
I want to challenge and accomplish:
- Real apps to run under WinPE on a USB stick
- Vista loaded and booted on a USB stick
- Creating really efficient application install sequences that don't shift 1 hour Ghost and staged deployments into 6-hour progress-bar-naps.
- How do you make a generic PC in Mumbai into a "corporate standard PC" via 128kBPS VPN with SCCM or other tools?
I want to capture these into a comprehensive journal/book of new best practices.
I also want to capture approaches to Windows troubleshooting and resolutions - XP to Vista to Windows 7. When to re-image or if scan and removal of bad-ware, etc. is enough.
Do you use Group Policies as GROUP policies for across-the-board uniformity or as a hodge-podge of exceptions and work-arounds to problems that should be solved otherwise.
Let the levies open and community knowledge flow!