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Once again I will be making my annual pilgrimage to TechEd USA (10-13 June), this year it is in Florida. Last year it was in Florida too, but that was because New Orleans was cancelled at short notice (2009 is Los Angeles and 2010 is New Orleans).  I much prefer TechEd USA as the quality of the speakers and the product groups represented far exceed that of my experiences of TechEd Europe.  http://www.microsoft.com/events/teched2008/default.mspx. This year Microsoft has followed the European example and split the conference it to two separate conferences  – Developers and IT Pro’s. I will be attending the IT Pro forum as my developer skills stopped at “Hello World” in the late 80’s. I don’t like the segregation of developers and IT Pro’s personally but from a meeting I had with a Microsoft Director a few years ago most of the attendee’s were IT pro anyway – lets wait and see before passing any audible comments.
System Center Essentials – Will not install.

I have several clients for whom I provide Active Directory support and Windows Management for, one of these customers required a reinstallation  of System Center Essentials, as the server we had installed it on originally was deemed to be not fit for purpose.

When we originally installed System Center Essentials, I patched the installation media as per KB 943111 with SCE2007RTMHotfixRollup.exe. I then copied the installation media and attempted to install System Center Essentials on an alternative server but the installation constantly failed, with errors that related to the issues that the HotfixRollup had addressed.

After about a week of hair pulling I started afresh and by accident I had the temp folder open when I started to install the HotfixRollup. I then discovered that whilst some of the files are replaced in the SCE installation media – some files are place in the %TEMP% folder for installation as part of the setup routine – this of course would not happen on my new server as I only copied over my installation set and not the content of my %TEMP% directory. So why the server has a two phased approach to applying a hotfix I will never know.

So the lesson learned for me here is never assume that what has happened has happened in a manner you expect from the appearance of something. I now can install SCE providing I run the Hotfix every time I need to install from media.

After a lot of aggravation I managed to get the mass storage drivers working in my Windows Server 2003 unattended installation script. This then allowed me to create a master image for deploying to different Dell Servers.

This is for a PERC 3/Di Controller, but should work on any controller if the  relevant sections are amended.

On the deployment server I created this directory structure.

Distribution$oem$$$
Distribution$oem$$$OEMDIR
Distribution$oem$$$System32
Distribution$oem$$1
Distribution$oem$$1Drivers
Distribution$oem$TEXTMODE

I copied these files into Distribution$oem$$$OEMDIR

perc2cin.dll
perc2evt.exe

I copied these files into  Distribution$oem$$1Drivers

afamgt.sys
perc2.cat
perc2.inf
perc2.sys
perc2cin.dll
perc2evt.exe
perc2mgt.inf
percsas.cat
percsas.sys
txtsetup.oem

I copied these files into  Distribution$oem$TEXTMODE

afamgt.sys
perc2.cat
perc2.inf
perc2.sys
perc2cin.dll
perc2evt.exe
perc2mgt.inf
percsas.cat
percsas.sys
txtsetup.oem
Unattend.txt

In the Unattend.txt I made sure that this path was populated with all the relevant drivers.

OemPnPDriversPath=”drivers;driversr117179 etc etc etc”

I commented out
OemFilesPath=”C:dell$oem$”

This section was added.

[MassStorageDrivers]
“Dell PERC 2, 2/Si, 3/Si, 3/Di RAID Controllers”=OEM

Txtsetup.oem
This is my txtsetup.oem – note that the description in the [Scsi] section is identical to the one in the unattend.txt [MassStorageDrivers] section

[Disks]
d1 = “Dell PERC 2, 2/Si, 3/Si, 3/Di Windows 2000/2003 Device Drivers”, raidisk1,
[Defaults]
scsi = perc2
[Scsi]
perc2 = “Dell PERC 2, 2/Si, 3/Si, 3/Di RAID Controllers”, perc2
[Files.Scsi.perc2]
driver = d1, perc2.sys, perc2
catalog = d1, perc2.cat
inf = d1, perc2.inf
inf = d1, perc2mgt.inf
driver = d1, perc2cin.dll, none
driver = d1, perc2evt.exe, none
[Config.perc2]
value = “”, Type, REG_DWORD, 1
value = “”, Start, REG_DWORD, 0
value = “”, Group, REG_SZ, “SCSI miniport”
value = “”, ErrorControl, REG_DWORD, 1
value = ParametersDevice, NumberOfRequests, REG_DWORD, 0fe
value = ParametersDevice, UncachedExtAlignment, REG_DWORD, e
[HardwareIds.scsi.perc2]
id = “PCIVEN_1011&DEV_0046&SUBSYS_13649005”, “perc2”
id = “PCIVEN_1011&DEV_0046&SUBSYS_13659005”, “perc2”
id = “PCIVEN_1028&DEV_0001&SUBSYS_00011028”, “perc2”
id = “PCIVEN_1028&DEV_0002&SUBSYS_00021028”, “perc2”
id = “PCIVEN_1028&DEV_0003&SUBSYS_00031028”, “perc2”
id = “PCIVEN_1028&DEV_0002&SUBSYS_00D11028”, “perc2”
id = “PCIVEN_1028&DEV_0002&SUBSYS_00D91028”, “perc2”
id = “PCIVEN_1028&DEV_000A&SUBSYS_01061028”, “perc2”
id = “PCIVEN_1028&DEV_000A&SUBSYS_011B1028”, “perc2”
id = “PCIVEN_1028&DEV_000A&SUBSYS_01211028”, “perc2”
id = “PCIVEN_9006&DEV_2140&SUBSYS_21409006”, “perc2”
id = “PCIVEN_9005&DEV_00C5&SUBSYS_00C51028”, “perc2”
id = “PCIVEN_1028&DEV_000A&SUBSYS_011B1028”, “perc2”
id = “PCIVEN_1028&DEV_000A&SUBSYS_01211028”, “perc2”

Txtsetup.sif

In the [SourceDisksFiles] section this is listed.

perc2.sys    = 1,,,,,,4_,4,1,,,1,4
perc2hib.sys = 1,,,,,,4_,4,1,,,1,4
In the [HardwareIdsDatabase] section this is listed.
PCIVEN_1011&DEV_0046&SUBSYS_13649005 = “perc2”
PCIVEN_1028&DEV_0001&SUBSYS_00011028 = “perc2”
PCIVEN_1028&DEV_0002&SUBSYS_00021028 = “perc2”
PCIVEN_1028&DEV_0002&SUBSYS_00D11028 = “perc2”
PCIVEN_1028&DEV_0002&SUBSYS_00D91028 = “perc2”
PCIVEN_1028&DEV_0003&SUBSYS_00031028 = “perc2”
PCIVEN_1028&DEV_000A&SUBSYS_01061028 = “perc2”
PCIVEN_1028&DEV_000A&SUBSYS_011B1028 = “perc2”
PCIVEN_1028&DEV_000A&SUBSYS_01211028 = “perc2”
PCIVEN_9005&DEV_00C5&SUBSYS_00C51028 = “perc2”

In the [SCSI.Load]section this is listed.

perc2 = perc2.sys,4
In the [SCSI]section this is listed.
perc2    = “Dell PERC 2/3 RAID Controller”
perc2gat = “Dell PERC 2/3 RAID Controller (Gatling)”

This worked for me after a lot of pain, I now looking to amend and refine this configuration to work on later and alternative models.

Well I am back from Chicago where another great Directory Experts Conference (www.dec2008.com)  has drawn to a conclusion for another year. The venue was the Chicago Hilton and as a conference venue it was okay; as a hotel it could do with some improvements/modernisation.

The content was quite diverse, with much better co-ordination of session content. Last year was RODC overload!!!

I have a few lasting memories from the event: “Hairbangers Ball” were brilliant and as an Englishman, it reminded me that there was more to the 80’s than Duran Duran, Level 42 and Black Lace. Laura Hunter’s tantric dancing (I have this as a 3gp and will convert and post) and the Microsoft speaker who said “alright” over 130 times in his 75 minute slot.

Microsoft Systems Management and Monitoring is an area of Windows that I am finding myself working on more and more. To ensure that I am on the right path I currently intend to attend MMS 2008 (www.mms-2008.com) in April.