DisplayLink MSI installer is here

Following up from my previous post, DisplayLink have just announced availability of an MSI installer for DisplayLink Software.

Check out the Press Release, or skip straight to the Corporate Install download page if you know why you want it 🙂

How to boot 64-bit Boot Image from WDS PXE when only 32-bit will show

This is something that has beeen bugging me ever since I set up our BDD 2007 + WDS setup almost a year ago. Even though I was able to create a 64-bit WIM boot image via MDT and load it onto the WDS server, the 64-bit Boot Image was never shown to me when PXE booting from a 64-bit capable PC. All I could see and boot, was the 32-bit boot images. Argh!

After fruitless searching I resigned myself to the fact that if I wanted to deploy Vista 64 I’d just burn an ISO of the 64-bit WinPE Boot Image and install from there. Fortunately, we rarely need to deploy 64-bit Vista, but this may change soon.

However, just now, I found the solution…

To enable 64-bit Boot Images via PXE with WDS, you need to run this command on the WDS Server:

wdsutil /set-server /architecturediscovery:yes

Why this was never mentioned in the Documentation that I read for MDT/BDD I’ll never know (maybe I just missed it), but finally I can boot to 64-bit WinPE and deploy 64-bit Vista from the network, hooray! 😀

I found the answer on EggHeadCafe by searching for: “mdt 2008 deploy 64-bit vista pxe”. Roughly half way down the hard-to-read page was the nugget I needed.

For reference, there’s a proper Microsoft KB article explaining the solution.

Really hopes this helps someone out!

DisplayLink MSI Installer is coming…

The cat’s out of the bag 🙂 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, gave advice on what IT Administrators want from a corporate installer, 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! 🙂

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. 

Stay tuned for more info! 🙂

Pre-Beta, Win 7 gives 11% extra battery life over Vista

According to Engadget, even in a Pre-Beta state, Win 7 is making great progress

Windows 7 also manages wireless radios better allowing them to drop below 100% power draw while managing the connection. And by tweaking the OS kernel, the CPU can sometimes run at a lower frequency and stay idle longer. This results are a minimum of 11% better battery life for Windows 7 compared to Vista — and we’re still only talking about pre-Beta Windows 7 software, mind you. Nice. 

Nice, indeed 🙂

Security: Why it pays to be proactive

Following on from my post yesterday about reacting to critical updates

It seems that no more than a day after Microsoft released a Critical Security update, someone’s released a Trojan into the wild that exploits the vulnerability.

Given the “exploit potential”, this one sounds relatively tame. I suspect it’ll only be a matter of time before the exploit code is perfected and turned into a much more potent animal.

Putting a few hours in on Thursday night, has potentially saved us exponentially more hours in data and service recovery, as well as general IT support. It definitely pays to be proactive!