Creating .LNK Shortcuts to Modern Windows 8 Applications

Modern UI (Windows 8) applications differ fundamentally from widows explorer initiated applications prior to the Start Screen because we are initiating the “shell” of explorer with a shortcut instead of directly calling an executable.

Listing SCCM 2012 R2 Applications with Orchestrator

As Orchestrator is guaranteed to grow in importance for most Microsoft based organisations, the need to query the Configuration Manager database becomes more important as well. 

Windows 8.1 Blue Screen on VMWare ESX 4.X

Attempts to build Windows 8.1 Update 1 on a VMWare ESX host produces the error “Your PC ran into a problem that it couldn’t handle, and now it needs to restart.” HAL INITIALIZATION FAILED.

Changing Internet Explorer 11 Default Search to Google

A common frustration with restricted staff members is the default behaviour of Internet Explorer to use Bing instead of Google. 

Google held over 88% of the search engine market share in January 2014 which is no doubt, a reason why Microsoft have traditionally make it difficult to change the IE default search provider from Bing.

Repackaging Windows Store Applications

On a recent project I worked within, Windows 8.1 workstations required the ability to install a freeware Store application although the network restrictions limited access to the internet.  

SCCM Desired Configuration – Missing Content Error

The importing of CAB files that were created by the Microsoft Security Compliance Manager as SCCM’s Desired Configuration Management Items can fail with the non-descript error “The cab file references missing content or contains a circular reference”.

Segmenting SCCM with Security Scopes

A single SCCM 2012 R2 system may be segmented for use by different teams by creating security scopes.  This is extremely useful for delegating full rights to project and test teams without risking the deployment of development artefacts to production environments.

SCCM 2012 R2 Admin Console crashes with Orchestrator SCCM 2012 R2 Integration

The Integration Pack for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, distributed via Orchestrator, causes the loading of the SCCM admin console to crash on servers that have been distributed to.

Error specifics of the Admin Console crash are:

  Problem Event Name:                        CLR20r3

  Problem Signature 04:                       System

Automated SCCM Application and Collection Creation

Windows Installer has been the default installation format on Windows machines for well over a decade now.  The technology was elegant and powerful but proved too complex for the subtle quirks to be fully understood by many people working with technology. 

Windows Integration with Apple hardware and Bootcamp 5.1

Bootcamp Is the application provided by Apple to allow 64bit Windows to run on an Apple produced machine.   The application is provided in a zip format that calls an MSI with the current version being 5.1.5652, available from http://support.apple.com/downloads/#macoscomponents

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