Microsoft

An automated solution for KB5006670 that breaks printer installs

Ever since KB5006670 was released, I have been receiving reports from our local support team that users are unable to install printers from our print servers. The specific error they were getting was “Windows cannot connect to the printer.” Operation failed with error 0x000006e4.

Thanks to a user on Reddit (NinjaAmbush), I was able to find the following fix which was to uncheck “Render print jobs on client computers” click apply and then recheck the setting. Since this had to be done for each printer on the server, I decided to find out if I could automate the steps with Powershell. Fortunately it was pretty straight forward and I was able to accomplish this with two native Powershell CMDLETS (Get-Printer and Set-Printer).

Here is the automated solution that needs to run on your print servers:

Get-Printer -Full | ForEach-Object { 

    If($_.RenderingMode -eq "CSR") {
        
        Set-Printer -Name $_.Name -RenderingMode SSR
        Set-Printer -Name $_.Name -RenderingMode CSR

    }
    If($_.RenderingMode -eq "SSR") {

        Set-Printer -Name $_.Name -RenderingMode CSR
        Set-Printer -Name $_.Name -RenderingMode SSR

    }

}

How to automatically hide the Widgets and Teams chat button in Windows 11

As many of you know Windows 11 was released yesterday. Right now I’m I’m currently testing the official release and running Procmon to figure out some of the new registry keys that were introduced with Windows 11. Here are the registry keys and values that will automatically hide the Widgets and Teams chat button from the taskbar in Windows 11:

How to hide the widgets button:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
“TaskbarDa”=dword:00000000

How to hide the Teams chat button:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
“TaskbarMn”=dword:00000000

How to bring back the Windows 10 start menu on Windows 11

Update (10/6/2021) – I just tested the official Windows 11 release today and it appears you cannot bring back the Windows 10 start menu anymore. However the following registry key still works to move the start menu to the left side of the screen.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
“TaskbarAl”=dword:00000000

As many of you know, Windows 11 will be introducing a new start menu layout. If you want to keep things consistent for your users you can add the following registry keys to your GPO when your company decides to roll out Windows 11.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
“TaskbarAl”=dword:00000000
“Start_ShowClassicMode”=dword:00000001

The Start_ShowClassicMode registry key will bring back the Windows 10 start layout and the TaskbarAl registry key will move everything to the left like it used to be.

Create custom environment variables for ConfigMgr

Have you ever wanted a quick shortcut on your clients that would allow you to access the Software Center, ConfigMgr Control Panel Applet and the CCM logs folder by just running a simple variable? Well the script below will automate the entire process for you. The following variables will be configured in the script:

  • CM
    • Launches the Configuration Manager Control Panel Applet
  • CMSC
    • Launches the Software Center
  • CMLogs
    • Opens %SystemRoot%\CCM\Logs

This makes accessing these commonly used resources as easy as hitting Windows + R and typing CM, CMSC, or CMLogs on the client machine.

Powershell Script:

$QuickcutDir = "C:\IT\Quickcuts"

If(!(Test-Path $QuickcutDir)) {

    New-Item $QuickcutDir -ItemType Directory -Force

}

$Shortcut = (New-Object -ComObject WScript.Shell).CreateShortcut("$QuickcutDir\CM.lnk") 
$Shortcut.TargetPath = "$($env:SystemRoot)\CCM\SMSCFGRC.cpl" 
$Shortcut.WorkingDirectory = "$($env:SystemRoot)\CCM" 
$Shortcut.IconLocation = "$($env:SystemRoot)\CCM\SMSCFGRC.cpl,0" 
$Shortcut.Save()

$Shortcut = (New-Object -ComObject WScript.Shell).CreateShortcut("$QuickcutDir\CMLogs.lnk") 
$Shortcut.TargetPath = "$($env:SystemRoot)\CCM\Logs"
$Shortcut.WorkingDirectory = "$($env:SystemRoot)\CCM" 
$Shortcut.IconLocation = "$($env:SystemRoot)\system32\imageres.dll,3" 
$Shortcut.Save()


$Shortcut = (New-Object -ComObject WScript.Shell).CreateShortcut("$QuickcutDir\CMSC.lnk") 
$Shortcut.TargetPath = "softwarecenter:"
$Shortcut.IconLocation = "$($env:SystemRoot)\CCM\scclient.exe,0" 
$Shortcut.Save()

$Path = (Get-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Session Manager\Environment").Path
$NewPath = "$QuickcutDir;" + $Path

If($Path -notlike "*$QuickcutDir*") {

    Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Session Manager\Environment" -Name Path -Type String -Value "$NewPath"

}

Get-Process Explorer | Stop-Process

Automatically remove inactive devices that do not exist in AD

The following script will query Configmgr for inactive devices and automatically remove them if they are no longer in Active Directory. Personally I prefer this simple script over the built in Configmgr maintenance task (Delete Inactive Client Discovery Data) because the task does not check Active Directory and it will remove any inactive device with the criteria that you have configured. By default, this maintenance task will remove any device that has been inactive for 90 days. At least in my environment, if a computer does not exist in Active Directory it should not be in MEMCM so I have the script run on a daily basis as a scheduled task to remove the devices that are not in AD.

Keep in mind to not run this script if you have workgroup computers because they will be deleted since they are not in AD.

Powershell Scripts:

Single Domain Environment:

$InactiveClients = Get-CMDevice | Where-Object { $_.ClientActiveStatus -eq 0 -or $_.ClientActiveStatus -eq $null -and $_.Name -notlike "*Unknown Computer*"}

ForEach($InactiveClient in $InactiveClients) {
    
    Try {

        If(-not(Get-ADComputer -Identity $($InactiveClient.Name))) { }

    }
    Catch {
    
        Write-Host "Removing: $($InactiveClient.Name)"
        Remove-CMDevice -Name $($InactiveClient.Name) -Force
    
    }

}

Multi Domain Environment:

$InactiveClients = Get-CMDevice | Where-Object { $_.ClientActiveStatus -eq 0 -or $_.ClientActiveStatus -eq $null -and $_.Name -notlike "*Unknown Computer*"}

$Domains = (Get-ADForest).Domains

[System.Collections.ArrayList]$Computers = @()


ForEach($InactiveClient in $InactiveClients) {

    ForEach($Domain in $Domains) {

        Try {

             If(-not(Get-ADComputer -Identity $($InactiveClient.Name) -Server $Domain)) { }

 
        }
        Catch {
     
            $Computers += $InactiveClient.Name
     
        }
        

    }
 
}

$ComputersNotInAD = ($Computers | Group-Object | Where-Object { $_.Count -eq $Domains.Count }).Values

Foreach($Computer in $ComputersNotInAD) {

    Write-Host "Removing: $Computer"
    Remove-CMDevice -Name $Computer -Force

}

Automatically update or remove an application in all of your ConfigMgr task sequences

There have been many times where I have needed to retire an old application but I can’t because the application in question is referenced in a few task sequences. Luckily this has become a little easier since ConfigMgr 1906 was released because Microsoft has added the task sequences tab in the application node. Unfortunately you can’t delete the application from the task sequence tab so it is still a tedious task that requires you to open each task sequence and remove or replace the application from each TS. This is why I wrote the following script to automate updating or removing an application from all of the task sequences that references the application.’

Eventually I will create a custom function for this that will make it easier to run but I figured if you are reading this, you are at least somewhat knowledgeable with Powershell 🙂

How to remove an application:

  1. Add the old application name to the $OldApplicationName variable
  2. Make the $Remove variable equal to $True

How to update an application

  1. Add the old application name to the $OldApplicationName variable
  2. Add the new application name to the $NewApplicationName variable
  3. Make the $Remove variable equal to $False

Code:

# Enter the name of the old application that you want to remove or replace
$OldApplicationName = ""

# Enter the new application name that that you want to use to replace the old application
$NewApplicationName = ""

# Make the remove variable value $true if you would like to remove an application from all task sequences
$Remove = ""

cls

$OldApplication = Get-CMApplication "$OldApplicationName"
$NewApplication = Get-CMApplication "$NewApplicationName"

$Application = Get-CMApplication -Name "$OldApplicationName"

# Get all task sequences that have the old application as a reference
$TaskSequences = Get-CMTaskSequence | Where-Object { $_.References.Package -eq $OldApplication.ModelName }

If($TaskSequences) {

    ForEach ($TaskSequence in $TaskSequences) {

        Write-Host "Updating $($TaskSequence.Name)"

        # Get all install application steps
        $InstallApplicationSteps = (Get-CMTSStepInstallApplication -InputObject (Get-CMTaskSequence -Name $TaskSequence.Name)).Name

        ForEach($InstallApplicationStep in $InstallApplicationSteps) {
            
            # Get a list of applications that are in the install application step
            $ApplicationList = (Get-CMTSStepInstallApplication -InputObject $TaskSequence -StepName "$InstallApplicationStep").ApplicationName.Split(",")

            # Get application steps that reference the old application
            If($OldApplication.ModelName -in $ApplicationList) {

                # Try to replace the old application with the new application
                Try {

                    If($Remove -eq $False) {

                        $ModelNames = $ApplicationList.Replace($OldApplication.ModelName,$NewApplication.ModelName)

                    }
                    Else {

                        $ModelNames = $ApplicationList | Where-Object { $_ -ne $OldApplication.ModelName }

                    }

                }
                Catch {

                    Write-Host "Failed to replace or remove old app"
                    Break

                }

                # Add the new application to the application step
                Write-Host "- Updating Step $InstallApplicationStep"
                Set-CMTSStepInstallApplication -InputObject $TaskSequence -StepName "$InstallApplicationStep" -Application ($ModelNames | ForEach { Get-CMApplication -ModelName $_ })

            }

        }

    }

}
Else {

    Write-Host "Could not locate the application in any task sequence!"

}

Install-Font Function

Use the Install-Font function to install system fonts on Windows 10 1809 and above. Older scripts may not work with Windows 10 1809 and above since Windows will now try to install fonts in the user’s LOCALAPPDATA directory. This function will get around those issues and allow you to programmatically install fonts for all users again.

How to use the function:

Install Fonts from folder
Install-Font “C:\Temp\Helvetica Neue”

Install one font
Install-Font “C:\Temp\Helvetica Neue\HelveticaNeueLTStd-HvIt.otf”


Function Install-Font {

    <#  
 
    .SYNOPSIS Install system fonts for all users
 
    .PARAMETER FontPath Provide path to a font or a folder containing fonts

    .PARAMETER Recurse Scan subdirectories
 
    .EXAMPLE - Install Fonts from folder
    Install-Font "C:\Temp\Helvetica Neue"
 
    .EXAMPLE - Install one font 
    Install-Font "C:\Temp\Helvetica Neue\HelveticaNeueLTStd-HvIt.otf"
 
    #>

    [CmdletBinding()]
    Param(
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)]
        [String]$FontPath,
        [Switch]$Recurse
    )

    If(Test-Path $FontPath) {
        
        $FontFile = Get-Item -Path $FontPath

        If($FontFile -is [System.IO.DirectoryInfo]) {

            If($Recurse) {

                $Fonts = Get-ChildItem -Path $FontFile -Include ('*.fon','*.otf','*.ttc','*.ttf') -Recurse

            }
            Else {

                $Fonts = Get-ChildItem -Path "$FontFile\*" -Include ('*.fon','*.otf','*.ttc','*.ttf')

            }
            If(!$Fonts) {

                Throw ("Unable to find any fonts in the folder")

            }

        }
        ElseIf($FontFile -is [IO.FileInfo]) {

            If ($FontFile.Extension -notin ('.fon','.otf','.ttc','.ttf')) {

                Throw ("The file provided does not appear to be a valid font")

            }

            $Fonts = $FontFile

        }
        Else {
        
            Throw ("Expected font or folder")
        
        }

    }
    Else {

        Throw [System.IO.FileNotFoundException]::New("Could not find path: $FontPath")

    }
    ForEach ($Font in $Fonts) {

        $FontName = $Font.Basename
        Write-Host "Installing font: $FontName"
        Copy-Item $Font "C:\Windows\Fonts" -Force
        New-ItemProperty -Name $FontName -Path "HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts" -PropertyType String -Value $Font.Name -Force | Out-Null

    }

}

Registry Keys for Windows 10 Application Privacy Settings

The following registry keys in this post control the privacy settings in Windows 10. These settings can be found in the GUI by going to SETTINGS\PRIVACY.
Read more

How to reset your start menu layout in Windows 10 1809

Well Microsoft has changed things again since my last post that showed you how to reset the start layout in Windows 10 1709. Now with 1809 there is a new key name and it does look to be slightly random so I am now having to use a wildcard. I’m currently only testing every other build so please keep me updated if this breaks with a spring feature upgrade release.

Remove-Item 'HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CloudStore\Store\Cache\DefaultAccount\*$start.tilegrid$windows.data.curatedtilecollection.tilecollection'  -Force -Recurse
Get-Process Explorer | Stop-Process

Are you trying to reset the start layout for Windows 10 1709? Click here to find out how.

How to install Office 365 ProPlus updates during your SCCM build and capture task sequence

Have you tried to install Office 365 ProPlus updates during your SCCM build and capture task sequence and it never installed? Well that is most likely due to a registry key that was not updated. The update channel registry key value in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\Configuration should not be pointing to your ccmcache folder. If it is, then this fix will work for you.

In order to update this key, you should run the following command before the Install Updates step in your task sequence.:
“C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\OfficeC2RClient.exe” /update SCHEDULEDTASK displaylevel=False

Note: This command must run before you attempt to install any Office 365 ProPlus software updates in your task sequence. If it does not then your update channel value will still be pointing to the ccmcache which will stop the updates from running.

Find more information here:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sccm/sum/deploy-use/manage-office-365-proplus-updates#updating-office-365-during-task-sequences-when-office-365-is-installed-in-the-base-image

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