DisplayLink MSI Installer is coming…

The cat’s out of the bag πŸ™‚ If you’re geeky enough to read release notes, you may have spotted this in our 4.6 release notes:

Support for corporate deployment of DisplayLink software
——————————————————–
It is now possible to obtain a DisplayLink software installation solution that supports automated and remote installation scenarios. This kind of installation requires specific installation steps, detailed in the User Guide that is part of the Corporate Installer.

Yup, it’s true: we’re releasing an MSI installer very soon.

I’m excited about this news on two fronts. Firstly, this is the first time that I’ve contributed directly to a software release; I wrote the Deployment User Guide,Β gave advice on what IT Administrators want from a corporate installer,Β and helped steer testing scenarios. Secondly, this feature will allow IT Administrators to deploy DisplayLink’s software onto thousands of PCs simply and easily, further strengthening our ease-of-use message. And I don’t need to tell you how awesome GPSI+MSI is for us IT admins! πŸ™‚

The “Corporate Install” package is different to the standard software release and will require you to register with DisplayLink in order to obtain the MSI files and sign the EULA. Once obtained, you can then deploy DisplayLink software to all the computers in your network via Group Policy Software Installation. Of course, you can perform silent/unattended installs manually via msiexec if you wish as well.

It’s worth mentioning again that the MSI installer has not been released yet, but it is coming.Β 

Stay tuned for more info! πŸ™‚

Automated Backups for MS SQL Express

If you’ve ever struggled with configuring automated, scheduled backups for a SQL Express server, then check out Brian Knight’s super handy scripts.

The script contains three files:

  • BackupExpress.sql – Does the bulk of the work, backing up every database on the instance other than tempdb.
  • BackupExpress.cmd – The batch file that executes the script. Must pass in the instance name.
  • ScheduleBackups.cmd – Schedules the job by using AT. Must pass in the instance name to schedule like ScheduleBackups.cmd .\SQLExpress.

To do this, make sure you have the Task Scheduler service started. Uncompress all three of the files into the root of your C drive and run the schedule file from the command prompt.

I tried to keep the solution simple since most people that have SQL Express on their workstation may not be technical. So with that said, there is very little configuration or options. The backup solution keeps 7 days of history and constantly overwrites the previous week’s backup.

Grab the scripts from the full blog post.

Don’t forget to add the Instance name of your SQL Express Server when you run ScheduleBackups.cmd from the command line, like so:

Slipstream Project 2003 SP3

How to slipstream Service Pack 3 into Microsoft Office Project 2003

These instructions apply to Project 2003 Standard Edition. To slipstream other versions, you’ll need to replace PRJSTDE.MSI with the name of the MSI for your Project Edition.

Steps

You’ll need a Volume Licence Key setup CD.

Save to C:\project2003\

Download Project 2003 SP3

Extract its contents to C:\Project2003SP3\ with:

Perform slipstream with:

Delete the C:\Project2003SP3\ folder as you no longer need it πŸ™‚

Say “No to all” when asked if you want to replace files

This used to do my head in until I found this little tip on Lifehacker.

Picture this: You’re consolidating your digital music collection from numerous locations to a single directory on a networked drive. To save time, you don’t want to replace existing files as these are most likely duplicates, and network transfers are often slow. Unfortunately, when Windows pops up and asks you whether you want to replace the existing file, it gives you every option you’d like apart from the most useful: “No to all”.

confirm-file-replace-no-to-all.png

To tell Windows “No to all”, hold down Shift while clicking No, and it will apply to all replacements for that transaction πŸ™‚

This will also work when Windows asks whether you want to move Read-only Files or not.

Automatically download every hotfix released for Windows XP since SP2

Automatically downloading hotfixes since XP SP2

To automatically download every hotfix released for Windows XP post Service Pack 2, just run this script. [Source site].

You’ll probably want to drop wget into your system32 directory before running the command, otherwise it’ll try to use your browser to individually download the files.

Once the script has finished, you can then integrate the hotfixes into your XP SP2 source and burn a bootable ISO using something like nLite. I’ll cover more options for integrating hotfixes in a later post.

The reasons for wanting to integrate post-SP2 hotfixes are numerous; but mainly, it saves time (using both WSUS and Microsoft Update take a while), and, overall, makes for a cleaner install.

It took me ages to find this via Google, so much kudos to Ross Smith for creating such a useful script. Thanks Ross!