Vol. 21, #48 - December 5, 2016 - Issue #1109
This week's newsletter is one again about Windows 10 only this time we're going to try and focus on the positive instead of the negative. To assist us in this regard we've invited an IT professional named Pete from the Midwestern USA to share his story of a successful large-scale Windows 10 deployment and offer some tips for readers who may be facing a similar challenge.
I love success stories, especially when they involve myself <grin>. So what's the big secret to being successful? Listen to what Wally says in the following Dilbert comic strip:
Ask Our Readers: WServerNews has almost 100,000 subscribers worldwide. That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some issue or need advice on something IT-related? Got a question you'd like us to toss out to our readers to try and answer? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A few weeks ago a reader named Pete emailed us with the following comments:
I'm very disheartened to read the past few emails about all the issues with Windows 10, as administrators are rolling out. Your articles seem very one-sided. I don't mean to minimize the frustration for those that are having issues, but I feel you have neglected to quote those that have had great success with rolling out Windows 10 and would never even consider going back to Windows 7. Not telling the other side of the story seems irresponsible as many are already disheartened and don't need more negative wood on the fire. I think it is only fair that you provide a holistic view and shine some light on a situation that many seem to see as dark.
I thanked Pete for his comments and told him we would be quite happy to quote readers who share success stories of Win10 deployment/adoption if only some would send such stories to us! I then asked Pete if he would put his money where his mouth was, and he graciously obliged--yay, Pete! Let's now hear from Pete as he tells shares a bit of his story and provides some advice for those of us who may be dreading the idea of having to roll out Windows 10 for the users in our organization...
A ray of hope
I have read many articles lately of fellow IT Professionals having a hard time upgrading to Windows 10. Many of which seem hopeless as they site numerous issues when making the jump. I assume this leaves many others that are starting to look at Windows 10 feeling like they have a daunting task ahead of them. I just want to shine a bit of light on the subject and bring in "A ray of hope" that may set your heart at ease. Because the truth is that with a few key steps Window 10 is actually the best OS to date from Microsoft and is by far the easiest to upgrade to and maintain.
I've been an IT Professional for 20 years now and I've been focused on workstation administration for the full duration. My first OS upgrade was from Windows NT to Windows 2000 on over 800 nodes. Since then I've performed upgrades to Windows XP and then Windows 7 on over 1800 nodes. I've recently completed the rollout of Windows 10 and I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that Windows 10 was the smoothest OS deployment to date. With each upgrade I learned a few things. I apologize if these seem like obvious points to many but from what I've read lately I believe these could help many.
Point #1: If you want to get started with a solid foundation and a big confidence booster, do yourself a favor and purchase a one-month subscription to PluralSight. Then go and find the session called "Deploying Windows 10 Using MDT and ConfgMgr" from Johan Arwidmark. In this quick tutorial, Johan walks you through step-by-step how to create a perfectly repeatable image. There is no need to go to some expensive offsite course. Johan spells it all out and he is the expert.
Point #2: Speaking of Johan Arwidmark, go bookmark his website:
There is so much vital information on the site. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter too. And also don't forget to bookmark his colleague Mikael Nystrom's site too:
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Check out the Recommended for Learning section of this issue of WServerNews for a terrific book from Johan that can also be of help if you're planning a Windows 10 deployment.]
Point #3: Separate your Group Policies and make a clean break from all previous GPOs. This is your chance to start fresh. My suggestion (because it worked so well) is to use WMI filtering and separate your GPOs by OS. For example, if you have a GPO called "Internet Explorer", rename it to "Windows 7 Internet Explorer" and then use a WMI filter so it only applies to Windows 7 PCs. Then do the same thing for Windows 10. Make sure that not a single policy from previous GPOs makes it to your Windows 10 PCs. I also highly recommend that you start small. What I mean by that is don't bring over any policy from previous GPOs unless you know exactly why it was set and that you will need it on Windows 10 as well. As you start to test your image, you will find what policies need to be set. Setting too many policies before you even start testing can lead to a lot of frustration.
Point #4: Don't even consider upgrading an existing Windows 7 PC to Windows 10 via the upgrade route. This will only lead to pain as you bring all the issues you had with Windows 7 over to Windows 10. I highly recommend following Johan's full imaging process and starting new.
Point #5: There are lots of issues that Windows 10 introduced like the scaling of windows and the setting of file associations back to Edge. While these issues are new to Windows 10, having issues like these is not new. Every OS Microsoft has released has had its issues and the community has found a fix for it. When I first tackled Windows 10 a year ago, there were already a lot of solutions to these issues posted. By now there are many solutions to these issues and some have been addressed by Microsoft in newer builds. So don't let those little tweaks scare you.
I hope these points provide some light on the subject and a bit of hope to those that are just getting started with Windows 10. I admit that this is simplifying the process and there is much more to consider but these are the foundations to a solid start. Embracing Windows 10 is easier said than done, but I can attest that once you get there the right way, you will never want to go back.
--Pete from the Midwestern USA
[EDITOR'S NOTE: That was some terrific advice from Pete, especially the bit about implementing Group Policies with WMI filtering and about building new images instead of doing upgrades. If any other readers would like to share positive suggestions about how to smooth Windows 10 deployment/adoption, please feel free to email us at email@example.com. Meanwhile, next week we'll go back to bashing Windows 10 by airing some new complaints we've received from readers over the last few weeks...LOL]
Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deployment Fundamentals, Vol. 6 - Deploying Windows 10 Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
This book by Johan Arwidmark and Mikael Nyström will help you:
• Install and configure MDT 2013 Update 2 for production deployments
• Build the supporting infrastructure
• Use the script repository included with this book in your own environment
• Create production-ready reference images for Windows 10
• Build a real-world deployment solution for Windows 10
• Add and deploy applications
• Perform real-world driver management
• Apply advanced configurations for CustomSettings.ini and deployment automation
• Extend MDT using application wrappers, userexit scripts, and PowerShell
• Prestage deployment settings using the MDT databases
• Perform advanced configuration using web services
• Deploy Office 2016, including the Click-to-Run Office 365 version
Find out how you can buy this book and other great books by Johan and other experts (and find out where you can attend hands-on lab training) by visiting Deployment Artist:
Earn an MVA badge. Take the Know it. Prove it. Challenge Now!
We've kicked off the latest 30-day Know it. Prove it. learning challenge, which gives you the opportunity to earn a badge from Microsoft Virtual Academy by conquering the tech topic of your choice—Big Data, Web Development, or IoT. You can sign up for any one - or all - of these challenges, acquire skills, and for each challenge completed earn a badge you can claim and share through social media or email. Read here for more details:
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Last week's factoid and questionwas this:
St Lucia is the only country in the world named after a woman. What other interesting stories are there about how countries got their names? Or states? Or cities? Let's see who can come up with the weirdest, strangest story...
This one didn't seem to interest too many of our readers and the only response we thought was strange/weird enough to include here is this embarrassing example which we received from a reader named Susan:
From my home state: Embarrass, MN. With an average annual temperature of 34.5 degrees, Embarrass is notable as the coldest place in Minnesota. Its name was derived from the French word embarrasser, based on its meaning of "to hinder with obstacles or difficulties." It was given this name by the French fur traders who were some of the first Europeans to visit the area.
Now let's move on to this week's factoid:
Fact: Franz Kafka liked to exercise naked in front of the window.
Question: Do you know any other famous writers, artists, or scientists that had eccentricities comparable to Kafka's embarrassing habit? Email us your answer: email@example.com
Until next week,
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Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is NOW AVAILABLE! Register for a live webinar, Total control and protection of email data with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365, on Tuesday, December 20.
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GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at email@example.com
Rod Trent's myITforum has a Quick Tip on how you can use Bing to search Microsoft's new Docs site to find the specific product documentation you are looking for:
Microsoft Support now has an article that lists which updates have been released for Windows Server 2016 and for each version of Windows 10:
Tom Hollander has a blog post outlining a procedure you can follow to use PowerShell to pull out all of the details of your Azure virtual machines and export them into CSV format so you can view them in Excel:
Microsoft Ignite Australia on February 14-17, 2017 at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach, QLD
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) on July 9-13. 2017 in Washington, D.C.
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GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at email@example.com
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A beautiful Christmas Short Film by Wes Anderson, featuring his heart-warming, quirky, charming, aesthetic cinematic style he is famous for:
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Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7www.mtit.com.Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see
Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.