That's the idea, a high level overview of things going on that you'll want to be aware of and you can dig into them further on your own. If you're new to this monthly post, you'll want to look back at previous months, so much great content.
Events & Conferences
Microsoft Events for 2020 are all virtual. [zdnet.com]
[Training (Paid)] MMS MOA - mms moa is cancelled, but still planning for MMS Midway
I've posted several groups that I've seen active over the past few months, many doing virtual events. I've added their Twitter information so you can follow them all and keep apprised of their virtual events. Often times, by the time I see an event is coming, the event has come and gone before I release this monthly update, rarely do I see something a couple months out to be able to place the info here. If any of you have Website Information for the ones that don't, let me know. I did some searches but some had dead links and others I just couldn't find.
CTSMUG - Central Texas Systems Management User Group - Austin, TX [Twitter] [EventBrite]
SASMUG - San Antonio Systems Management User Group [Twitter]
CLESCUG -Cleveland System Center User Group [Twitter]
NEW! - V_SMUG - Virtual System Management User Group [Twitter]
Microsoft Products & Announcements
Microsoft has posted a page with a lot of great resources during this time, to help IT professionals, Educators, Families, and Remote Business, along with how Microsoft is helping in the battle on Covid-19 on their Responding to COVID-19 together page.
Microsoft Edge Browser (Based on Chromium Engine): [Landing Page]
Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection - [Resource Hub]
HP Sure Run Gen 3 – Support to add 10 Custom processes running on managed platform. - Customer can have Sure Run add their own processes to the official list to monitor and protect
HP Sure Recover - Support to configure OS recovery retry attempts and wait period between next retry.
Pre-boot WiFi - Support to configure 6 WiFi profiles and the priority. - New WiFi preboot support in some 2020 platforms
Programmable Key - Support to program a key to launch pre-defined URLs at a press of button. - Feature added to most 2020 laptops’ keyboards
HP Tamper Lock – Support to enable tamper protection and notifications for unauthorized chassis intrusion. - Feature available on some new ZBook platforms for 2020 designs
[Blog] Power Profiles and Modern Standby (it is coming to ALL laptops, not just tablets in 2020), and the use of HP’s System Default Settings to enable an optimized power profile to obtain best battery life with sleep, hibernate and other settings
I've updated my Blog Post which covers partitioning during OSD to match the guidance.
Dell reported no changes to me this month but said next month should be a few things. There were some rumblings in the community on twitter [Twitter Thread] about some some issues when flashing BIOS on some models when SMM was enabled. Updated Flash utility Posted
The Lenovo Updates Catalog is now in V3 format so you can now select categories to auto publish. In our testing we have seen the V3 catalog automatically sync’d when the catalog was already subscribed to. However, some have noted that they had unsubscribe and re-subscribe in order to get the V3 version. Part of this change is some back-end work that we hope will allow us to include more content and refresh the catalog more frequently. More details
Lenovo has new ThinkPad models launching now. An item of note for anyone that targets devices by the model name (e.g. ThinkPad T14) to apply drivers, there will be two versions of some models – one Intel, the other AMD – and they will have the same model name. In these cases please use an alternative targeting method. We will have AMD models of ThinkPad L14, L15, T14, T14s and X13.
Hopefully by the end of June, Lenovo will have our new HSA Packs published on our support site. These will be similar to SCCM Driver Packs except they only contain the UWP apps needed by modern drivers so that customers deploying their own images with access to the Microsoft Store disabled can deploy these as part of their build. There is a new blog post with details about these along with a very handy PowerShell script that will make it a little easier to consume these HSA Packs in your deployments.
Related to modern drivers, we are starting to see that customers who use Thin Installer in their OS deployment process to install drivers on top of a base OS image will have issues on certain models. Primarily KabyLake-R models which straddle the transition from legacy drivers to modern drivers can run into this. During deployment, either from inbox drivers or from Windows Update, some DCH drivers are applied. The packages that we have for these models available through Thin Installer (via Update Retriever) are legacy drivers. Thin Installer will not be able to install the legacy driver over the modern driver as that is strictly not allowed by the OS. In these scenarios customers may want to consider injecting drivers (SCCM driver packs) instead of installing under the OS. Otherwise they may need to rely on Windows Update and the Microsoft Store for drivers.
Check out some of our favorite tools for ConfigMgr, along with several blog posts covering a wide range of areas and ideas to all help with Endpoint Management. I'm also going to admit, not each one of these is new, most are, but every so often I find a really good one that I missed awhile back, so I'm posting it now. If you're new to blogging and have started posting content, connect with me on Twitter so I can check our your content that I might not normally catch in my typical twitter feed.
This month I saw some new names posting things I haven't seen before, which was really cool. Wanted to thanks the team at SysmanSquad for making a great place for new folks to get into the blogging game with the help of some seasoned bloggers.
As part of our support for the community, we're also starting a series of posts to highlight community members. These people donate their time, in HUGE amounts, making our jobs easier. I've started by interviewing Donna Ryan. Catch the interview in this POST. I have several more of these lined up, so keep watching twitter or this blog feed to learn more about the people behind the community tools.
One more note, I do my best to provide Twitter accounts with the blog posts, both to provide credit where credit is due, and so you can then follow them yourselves to stay in the loop as things are coming out and ideas are being discussed on twitter.
[PodCast] Latest Episode (Couple of Jerks @JustJerksPod) - Just a Couple of Jerks takes us into the IT community to meet the individuals out there who are helping others and sharing their solutions and ideas.
Tip from Peter Egerton (@PeterEgerton): Did you know about the Microsoft Error Lookup Tool? (AKA ERR) It's a neat little cmd line that you can feed error codes and it will translate them for you. Requires no elevation either.