System Center Configuration Manager as a system management product does an extremely well job of automating and managing devices in an organization. Especially when it comes to operating system deployment, where the product really shines. It provides the functionality that enables support for every kind of process organizations have to create almost anything they can possibly think of, if you’re creative enough and skilled in scripting or developing. For the past 6 months, I’ve been working on frontend software that enhances the operating system deployment process that ConfigMgr provides, empowering either the end user or a technician to quickly and easy get the deployment process started with a rich set of features.
Today, I’m pleased to announce the general availability release of ConfigMgr OSD FrontEnd. I’d like to pay a special thanks to everyone who have contributed by testing the software, provided feedback and reported bugs.
ConfigMgr OSD FrontEnd can be downloaded from the TechNet Gallery using the following link:
ConfigMgr OSD FrontEnd provides a rich set of features and has been built with a focus on operating system deployment of unknown devices (bare metal), but also with the capability of supporting known devices for re-deployment (refresh). By leveraging the ConfigMgr WebService, this frontend software provides the following set of features:
- Identification of hidden task sequence deployments based upon known or unknown device
- Support for Unknown Computer mode in Configuration Manager
- Support for known devices in Configuration Manager and MDT
- Computer name configuration
- Manually enter a computer name
- Generate computer name by serial number
- Read computer name from external PowerShell script
- Detect known device staged in Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and read the computer name
- Detect known device from Configuration Manager
- Associate a computer with multiple roles in Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
- Set native or custom task sequence variables for regional configuration like keyboard layout, OU, time zone and more
- Associate a primary user with the device
- Format hard drive if a volume is detected as encrypted
- Pre-flight checks
- Network connection type (not connected to WiFi)
- ConfigMgr WebService accessibility
- Power state (see if power adapter is connected)
- Customizable color branding of the whole graphical user interface
- Admin area for access to useful tools when troubleshooting
In future releases there will be more features included in this frontend.
Documentation and Usage
Embedded in the download package for ConfigMgr OSD FrontEnd is a PDF file called ConfigMgr OSD FrontEnd 1.0.0 – Documentation. This file contains all the information regarding how to get started, detailed explanation of how to use the frontend and some tips and tricks.