Making your users happy
I know that branding Windows is not something “new”, it has been around forever (it feels like that anyway) but for some reason it very seldom happens and when it does the ref image is “Locked-down and cannot be changed” so folks try to do this using GPO’s, script and all other methods. Also, very few IT pros can see no benefit, even if there are. The number one reason is that your boss can “see” that you have done something and that is a good reason. So now when I have convinced you, you need a kit, and here it is. “The ViaMonstra branding kit”
The reason that I never posted this is that all the pictures are my customers, not mine. But then Johan Arwidmark started writing “Deployment Fundamentals Vol III”. That is about Deploying Windows 7 using SCCM (extended with MDT) we thought that branding would be fun to have in the book, and suddenly I was in the position to create graphics that we can use in the book. So now I have something to share, and here it is. The ViaMonstra Branding Kit!
This “Application” has three folders (and one VBScript) , LogonUI, OEMLogo and Wallpaper. In each of these folders you then have the pictures.
In the LogonUI folder you will find “BackgroundDefault.jpg” with a size of 800 x 600 pixels.
In the OEMLogo folder you will find “OEMLOGO.bmp” with a size of 305 x 301 pixels.
In the Wallpaper folder you will find “CorporateWallpaper.JPG” with a size of 960 x 720 pixels.
You will also see a vbscript that will put all the files in the correct location and also update the registry correctly
The VBScript is kind of simple,
it will create folders on the local machine, copy all the files to the correct location and update the registry for the local admin account. So if it updates the local admin account, how will that apply to all the users that logs on to the machine then? Easy, we use the “CopyProfile” in the unattend.xml file when we deploy the image. Note, we do not use copyprofile while creating the image, only when we deploy the image.
You can download the kit from
The Hydration Kit for ConfigMgr 2012 RC2 is available for download
By Johan Arwidmark
Chief Technical Architect – Knowledge Factory
Here is a download for deploying a complete ConfigMgr 2012 RC2 infrastructure in either Hyper-V or VMware: One Domain Controller and one ConfigMgr 2012 RC2 member server – Including pre-requisites like .Net Framework, SQL 2008 R2 SP1 CU4 and IIS - all fully automated.
Once configured, the total build time for the full ConfigMgr 2012 RC2 lab environment is about 1.5 hours (on my laptop).
Download the Hydration Kit for ConfigMgr 2012 RC2 (137 kb).
To build the lab there are three steps you need to do
1. Download the necessary software
2. Prepare the hydration deployment solution
3. Deploy your virtual machines
Detailed instructions are further down this page...
The Task Sequence that builds the CM01 Server (Member Server with SQL, WDS, IIS and ConfigMgr 2012 RC2)
Step 1 - Download the necessary software
On the machine (client or server) that you use to manage Hyper-V or VMware, create the C:\Downloads folder and download the following software (trial versions are ok too):
- ConfigMgr 2012 RC2
- MDT 2010 Update 1
- SQL Server 2008 R2 x64
- SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Update x64 (KB 2528583)
- SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 CU4 Update x64 (KB 2633146)
- Sysinternals BGInfo
- Windows AIK 2.0 (named Windows AIK for Windows 7 v3.0 on Microsoft download)
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with SP1
Step 2 - Prepare the Hydration environment
1. On your Hyper-V or VMware management machine, make sure PowerShell is installed.
2. Extract Windows AIK 2.0 (or mount the ISO using an ISO mounting tool like SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive), and install Windows AIK 2.0 with the default settings.
3. Install MDT 2010 Update 1 with the default settings.
4. Extract the HydrationCM2012RC2.zip file to C:\. You should now have a C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\Source folder with a few folders and PowerShell scripts.
5. In a PowerShell command prompt, configure Execution Policy in PowerShell, by typing the following command:
Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -Force
6. In the PowerShell command prompt, create the Hydration Deployment Share by running the following command:
7. Copy the following folders from C:\HydrationCM2012RC1\Source\HydrationDS to C:\HydrationCM2012RC1\HydrationDS, replace any existing files.
8. Extract the ConfigMgr 2012 RC2 installation files to the C:\HydrationCM2012RC1\HydrationDS\Applications\Install - ConfigMgr 2012 RC2\Source folder.
9. To download the latest ConfigMgr 2012 RC2 pre-requisites, run the C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\HydrationDS\Applications\Install - ConfigMgr 2012 RC2\Source\SMSSETUP\BIN\X64\Setupdl.exe application. In the path textbox, browse to C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\HydrationDS\Applications\Install - ConfigMgr 2012 RC2\PreReqs and click Download.
10. Copy the C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\HydrationDS\Applications\Install - ConfigMgr 2012 RC2\Source\SMSSETUP\BIN\X64\EXTADSCH.exe file to C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\HydrationDS\Applications\Configure - Extend AD for ConfigMgr 2012\Source.
11. Copy the SQL Server 2008 R2 x64 installation files to the C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\HydrationDS\Applications\Install - SQL Server 2008 R2\Source folder.
12. Copy the SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 x64 installation files to the C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\HydrationDS\Applications\Install - SQL Server 2008 R2 x64 SP1 (Update)\Source folder
13. Copy the SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 CU4 installation file to the C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\HydrationDS\Applications\Install - SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 CU4\Source folder
14. Copy the C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\HydrationDS\Applications\Install - ConfigMgr 2012 RC2\PreReqs\dotNetFx40_Full_x86_x64.exe file to the C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\HydrationDS\Applications\Install - NET FrameWork 4.0\Source folder
15. Extract your BGInfo installation files and copy them to C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\HydrationDS\Applications\Install - BGInfo \Source
16. Extract your Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with SP1 installation files (or mount the ISO using an ISO mounting tool like SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive), and copy them to the C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\HydrationDS\Operating Systems\Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 folder
17. In the PowerShell command prompt, create the Hydration Media Item by running the following command:
18. Copy the C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\Source\Media001\Control folder to C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\HydrationISO\Content\Deploy, replace existing files
19. In the PowerShell command prompt, update the Hydration Media Item (and create the ISO) by running the following command:
Step 3 – Create and deploy the virtual machines
1. In your virtual environment, make sure to have a dedicated virtual network for your virtual machines (since one of them will run a DHCP Server).
2. Copy the C:\HydrationCM2012RC2\HydrationISO\HydrationCM2012RC2.iso file to wherever folder you use store ISO files in your virtual environment.
3. Using either Hyper-V Manager or VMware Sphere, create a virtual machine named DC01 with a 300 GB hard drive, and at least 1 GB of RAM. Configure the virtual machine to use the virtual network dedicated for the Hydration, and to boot from the HydrationCM2012RC2.iso file.
4. Start the DC01 virtual machine, after booting from the iso, select the DC01 Task Sequence, and wait until the setup is complete.
5. Using either Hyper-V Manager or VMware Sphere, create a virtual machine named CM01 with a 300 GB hard drive, and at least 4 GB of RAM. Configure the virtual machine to use the virtual network dedicated for the Hydration, and to boot from the HydrationCM2012RC2.iso file.
6. Start the CM01 virtual machine, after booting from the iso, select the CM01 Task Sequence, and wait until the setup is complete.
If you need to change server names, IP addresses, domain names etc. in the environement, all configuration is stored in the four .ini files in the Source\Media001\Control folder.