Windows Autopilot has increased popularity over the past 3 years since its release in 2017. As a consultant within the Microsoft Cloud space, I had more conversations with customers about how Autopilot can change who they deploy Windows 10 devices to their end-users.
Being able to deliver a brand new Windows 10 device from the OEM Factory to the end-users desk that is already configured with all the required security policies and applications has to be the biggest selling point.
This post is how we can move to Windows Autopilot in 3 easy steps;
Step 1 – Register Devices
Option 1 – (Recommended) Have devices registered automatically;
– Request clean images, choice of Windows 10 version at the same time (if available) not all OEM vendors are able to provide clean images. A useful workaround for this is getting a Windows 10 script I have seen available to remove bloatware. If you haven’t seen it I have dropped a copy on GitHub. – Specify group tag to help segment device by purpose (depending on the size of your organisation this may not be a requirement) -Device are automatically tagged with purchase order ID
Option 2 – (Recommended for Piloting) Register devices yourself via Intune for testing and evaluation using Get-WindowsAutopilotInfo PowerShell script created by Microsoft.
Once you have the required CSV file from executing the script you can manually register the device.
Option 3 – Register (harvest) existing Intune-managed devices automatically. If you are an organisation that has already enrolled your Windows 10 devices into Microsoft Intune you can register all devices for Windows Autopilot.
Step 2 – Assign a profile
Use Intune; – Select profile scenario (user-driven or self-deploying) – Configure required settings -Assign to Azure AD group so Intune will automatically assign to all devices in that group. (I am a big fan of dynamic groups)
Use a dynamic Azure AD group to automate this step – Consider static Azure AD groups for exceptions
Azure Hybrid AD join for devices that dont have line of sight to a domain controller, this is currently in testing and will use a VPN to call home. The support has been built into Windows 10 1909.
Step 3 – Deploy
Boot up the device or devices
Connect to a network either wired or wireless
Enter credentials if required (credentials not required for self-deployment profiles)
The device will now go away and provision based on your configuration within Microsoft Endpoint Manager, once complete all that is left to say is…
Welcome to Windows Autopilot!!! I will be writing a more in-depth post about Autopilot soon because off the configuration I am currently using for my home devices.
Delivering your corporate applications can be a nightmare if you dont have a enterprise delivery solution like System Center or 3rd party mechanism.
So let’s see how Azure Blob Storage and Microsoft Intune can address this issue by using a storage location and PowerShell script.
Azure Storage Account
One of the requirements for this solution is an Azure Storage Account within your Azure subscription, this account will be used for storing the applications which you would like to roll out to your Windows 10 desktops that are managed using Microsoft Intune.
Specify the required settings within the Basic tab for creating a Storage Account.
Using the default settings as shown below
Click Review and Create Click Create
Configuring Storage Account with required Applications
Click Container Specify the Name Select Conditioner (anonymous read access for containers and blobs) under Public Access Level
Select your container Select Upload Select the files you want to upload Modify the block size if it’s less than the size of the files you are uploading Select Upload
Once the files are upload they all have a unique url which is used to identify the file as shown below.
The PowerShell Script!!!
I have created a PowerShell script that is available on GitHub and should be self-explanatory.
Step 1 – Download all the required files into C:\_Build Step 2 – Run installer files Step 3 – Run additional Powershell scripts (Optional) Step 4 – Remove C:\_Build Step 5 – Create RegKeys (Optional)
Recently when working with a customer I was troubleshooting why their devices were showing up as Azure AD Registered in the Azure portal in Azure Active Directory when they should be Hybrid Azure AD joined. These were Windows 10 1809 devices.
When running “dsregcmd /status” on one of the machines, it would show as AzureAdJoined : NO. When it is Hybrid Azure AD joined, it should still say Yes.
If you run the command as admin, you will see there is Diagnostic Data section. On my devices, it said:
Client ErrorCode : 0x801c03f2 Server ErrorCode : DirectoryError Server Message: The device object by the given id (guid) is not found.
This is because the device(s) has not been synced to Azure AD by Azure AD Connect. Make sure that the OU’s that the computer objects are in is set to sync to Azure AD. In my customer’s configuration, they had additional filtering where the users and computer objects needed to be in a Security Group to be synced to Azure AD.
Once the Azure AD Connect sync had completed successfully, and the device registration task had run again on the client, the machine now shows as Hybrid Azure AD joined in the Azure portal.
When testing BitLocker encryption on the new Windows 10 1909 release using my VMWare environment. I ran into the following error;
This device cannot use a Trusted Platform Module. Your administrator must set the “Allow BitLocker without a compatible TPM” option in the “Require additional authentication at start-up” policy for OS volumes.
Go to your Local Group Policy
Locate the following setting under Computer Configuration –> Administrative Templates –> Windows Components –> BitLocker Drive Encryption –> Operating System Drives
Require additional authentication at startup
We will now need to edit this policy to enable the required settings, please use the below screenshot as your guide.
Once the policy has been enabled with the required settings, re-run BitLocker Drive Encryption and this time it’ll be more successful.
So I have been recently cleaning up my test lab Azure Active Directory and accidentally removed a device which I was still actively using within my tenant. I received the following error;
“Your organization has deleted this device. To fix this, contact your system administrator and provide error code 700003”
When trying to access organizational resources
In order to resolve this issue, you need to complete the following steps
– Remove the Work account from the Windows 10 device under your account –> Access Work or School and remove the account – Open command line or PowerShell windows with Admin rights – Enter the following command; – dsregcmd /leave
Enter command: “dsregcmd /status” to check if the system is now left the Azure AD
You will now been able to register your device and access your organisation once again.
One of the many cool things about Microsoft Intune is the granular configuration of Windows 10 devices using the native functions available us today. In this little post we will look at just how easy is it to create a corporate Windows 10 layout and publish to all of your client desktops automatically.
The general prerequisites for this feature is that your Windows 10 desktops are synchronized and present in Azure Active Directory.
Export the Start Layout
When you have the Start screen layout that you want your users to see, use the Export-StartLayout cmdlet in Windows PowerShell to export the Start screen to an .xml file.
From Start, open Windows PowerShell.
At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, enter the following command:
Once you have an exported Start Layout you can use the XML file to apply this start layout to your entire organization using Microsoft Intune. Browse to your Intune Portal and go to Device Configuration –> Profile
Hopefully you may already have a Windows 10 – Device Restriction Profile.
If not, dont worry you will just have to create a new profile for Windows 10 and Device Restrictions.
Once in the profile properties, go to Settings and look for “Start” as at this point you can upload your Windows 10 start menu layout. If you may chose you will also be able to affect the look of the start menu by blocking or hide elements on the menu. For example you can block Fast Switching and hide File Explorer from the Start.
Once you have saved your configured and your Windows 10 device has checked in, it will receive your new and improved Start Menu
As the power of Microsoft Intune grows with great force, in this blog post we are going to look at how to install Google Chrome and manage via Microsoft Intune. I have been recently looking how to leverage Microsoft Intune for more than just Microsoft based tooling and Google Chrome can be installed and managed for Windows 10 desktop estate.
Sometimes a GUI just isnt enough and PowerShell wins overall..
I have been recently scripting the creation of several Windows 10 Local Users accounts and assigning them to Local Groups but discovered some machines didn’t have the New-LocalUser cmdlet available. Which is very annoying so in order to get around this issue I have created the following if statement to check if the module exists and install if required.
Back in September 2018, Microsoft announced it would be removing OneNote from its Office installation and OneNote for Windows 10 will be the default going forward. Microsoft has now announced (12th Feb) that OneNote 2016 will be removed from the Office Portal for installation using Semi-Annual channel.
So all installations from this post forward will not include OneNote 2016 by default when a user on the Semi-Annual channel using Office 365 on Windows 10 from the Office Portal.
So what now?
OneNote is available to download from the following url it is important to note that Microsoft are no longer developing new features for OneNote 2016. If you want to take advantage of the latest that OneNote has to offer, Microsoft state you should consider switching to OneNote for Windows 10
Microsoft announced in April 2017 that they be ceasing support for legacy Office clients into Office 365 services, however this stance has now changed based on customer feedback to Microsoft
Office 2013 and below will cease as expected on 13th October 2020
Office 2016 will now be extended until October 2023
With this announcement it also includes a number of changes to the supported operating system versions of Windows.
Office 365 ProPlus delivers cloud-connected and always up-to-date versions of the Office desktop apps. To support customers already on Office 365 ProPlus through their operating system transitions, we are updating the Windows system requirements for Office 365 ProPlus and revising some announcements that were made in February. We are pleased to announce the following updates to our Office 365 ProPlus system requirements:
Office 365 ProPlus will continue to be supported on Windows 8.1 through January 2023, which is the end of support date for Windows 8.1.
Office 365 ProPlus will also continue to be supported on Windows Server 2016 until October 2025.
Office 365 Pro Plus will also continue to be supported on Windows 7 (ESU) Extended Security Updates through Janaury 2023. Windows 7 ESU will only be available for Windows 7 Pro/Enterprise customers with Volume Licensing.
Other big news is four changes Microsoft have also announced (Longer support windows for Windows 10):
All currently supported feature updates of Windows 10 Enterprise and Education editions (versions 1607, 1703, 1709, and 1803) will be supported for 30 months from their original release date. This will give customers on those versions more time for change management as they move to a faster update cycle.
All future feature updates of Windows 10 Enterprise and Education editions with a targeted release month of September (starting with 1809) will be supported for 30 months from their release date. This will give customers with longer deployment cycles the time they need to plan, test, and deploy.
All future feature updates of Windows 10 Enterprise and Education editions with a targeted release month of March (starting with 1903) will continue to be supported for 18 months from their release date. This maintains the semi-annual update cadence as our north star and retains the option for customers that want to update twice a year.
All feature releases of Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, and Office 365 ProPlus will continue to be supported for 18 months (this applies to feature updates targeting both March and September).
In summary, our new modern desktop support policies—starting in September 2018—are: