Farewell RemoteFX

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I’ve spent the last few months playing with RemoteFX, including a fair amount of educated guesswork and hardware hacking to get a functioning system as – at the time – Microsoft’s documentation was a bit sporadic, and supported systems were just way too expensive for an exploration project. Mind you, even now they’re pricey; but RemoteFX isn’t aimed at the mainstream just yet.

It’s being retired now, so I figured I’d take a farewell photo of the AMD FirePro V5800 I managed to squeeze into a Dell R710 server.

Good luck RemoteFX – with some performance tweaks and a version 2.0, you’ll be awesome for VDI 🙂

MDT 2010 and WinPE 3.1 Reboot issue

If you’ve recently updated your WinPE from 3.0 to 3.1, you may notice an annoying reboot issue.

It looks like this: after you’ve rebuilt the .wim image, and booted from it via WDS (Windows Deployment Services), WinPE boots up and shows the Solution Accelerator background, but after a short period of time, it reboots the PC without having done anything.

This happens if:

  1. You’ve got Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 Update 1.
  2. You’ve upgraded WinPE from 3.0 to 3.1, using the supplemental update ISO.

To fix this problem, Michael Niehaus has some instructions to follow.

Fortunately we don’t use WinRE, so we can use the workaround and still make use of WinPE 3.1. Had we needed WinRE, I would have restored the backup of the WinPE 3.0 files I’d made before copying over the 3.1 files. I’ve been bitten by MDT issues too often to not make backups of stuff I’m overwriting! 😉

Got problems deploying .Net Framework 4.0 on MDT 2010?

Recently I’ve been having really weird issues getting the Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0 to be deployed as an Application via Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.

It would install perfectly if I installed it as a local admin user with the /q /norestart command, but doing the same thing through MDT resulted in the app hanging (and thus, the entire deployment).

After a quick search, it seems I’m not alone. Check out this thread on Technet for how to solve it! 😀

Deploying Office 2010 – Prevent Activation Wizard

If you’re deploying Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 with a MAK key, and you want to avoid the user seeing the Microsoft Office Activation Wizard when they first start up an Office application, follow these instructions:

  1. Run the Office 2010 Customization Tool (OCT)
  2. Open up your customised MSP file
  3. Go to: Setup > Add installations and run programs > Add…
  4. Then enter the information as seen in the image below.
    1. Target: [SystemFolder]\cscript.exe
    2. Arguments: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\ospp.vbs” /act
  5. Don’t forget to save your MSP!

This will activate Office immediately after it is installed, so that it won’t pop up the Activation Wizard when the user first runs Office. Think of this as either a kind of pre-activation or post-activation of Office 2010.

This guide makes the following assumptions:

  1. You know how to load OCT (Office Customization Toolkit)
  2. You are deploying 32-bit Office onto 64-bit Windows
  3. You deploy Office 2010 at Deployment time using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (although, for this to work, you don’t have to).
  4. You deploy Office 2010 using a MAK key.
  5. You store your MSP file in the \Updates\ within the Office 2010 installation files on the MDT share (again, for this to work, you don’t have to).

I found this info after hopelessly searching around, finally coming across this page on Microsoft Technet.