Fully Automated: DeployStudio Dual Boot

I was recently tasked with deploying dual-boot Macs to all new staff.  Naturally, I wanted this to be as automated as possible so it was repeatable and consistent.  I already knew how to use an answer file to fully-automate the Windows side of the deployment.  And I also knew how to fully automate the Mac side of things.

I did need to learn how to make Windows 10 into a deployable .pkg, which was the final piece needed to automate the entire dual-boot deployment process. Continue reading “Fully Automated: DeployStudio Dual Boot”

How To Make An Automagic Windows 10 Boot Camp Install .pkg

I spent a long time trying to automate a dual-boot deployment of macOS and Windows 10.  The reason being is that it’s very useful to only buy a single piece of hardware (Apple) and have it run Windows and macOS (and maybe Linux, too).  But getting two completely different operating systems to deploy to a single piece of hardware in an automated fashion is a challenge.

This post describes how I went about creating a sysprep’d Windows image in a .pkg format, so it could be easily run on a Mac or deployed through something like JAMF. Continue reading “How To Make An Automagic Windows 10 Boot Camp Install .pkg”

Run PJL Commands From A Shell Script

I love learning obscure and under-utilized things in the tech world; PJL commands fit that bill.  You can use PJL commands to get and set printer preferences.  This includes getting the page count, setting the serial number, and changing the LCD display message.

I was recently tasked with evaluating our printer usage to determine if we could save money by removing low-usage printers.  Like many companies, the majority of our printers were HPs, and we were on a tight budget, so something like Papercut was out of the question.  I also wasn’t about to go around to each printer and print out the usage report, nor did I want to enter the Web interface of every printer to manually get this information. Continue reading “Run PJL Commands From A Shell Script”

Customize WinPE With Wallpaper and Custom Startup Script

WinPE is a useful tool for booting a computer and laying down a new operating system.  In this post, I’ll show you how to make WinPE a little more useful by automatically running a custom script at startup. Continue reading “Customize WinPE With Wallpaper and Custom Startup Script”

Windows 10 Is Bourne Again With A Linux Shell

Yup, Windows 10 is getting a bash shell!  I have always loathed doing anything in Windows because it was difficult to script/automate anything.    And Window’s Command Prompt was a sorry excuse for a shell: no copying/pasting, you can only re-size it vertically, no command history, no grep!  The list of complaints goes on… Continue reading “Windows 10 Is Bourne Again With A Linux Shell”

How To Image A Computer With Windows 10 Using dism

If you want to image a lot of computers with a clean Windows 10 image, Microsoft  has lots of built-in tools to help do this, but it’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed with their documentation.  To alleviate that headache, I will explain step-by-step how to:

  • create and use an Unattended.xml file that will:
    • skip the initial setup screens
    • create a local admin account
    • activate Windows with a product key
    • (optionally) configure other Window settings
  • capture a deployable Windows 10 .wim file using sysprep
  • deploy the image to multiple computers using the dism command line tool and WinPE
  • (optionally) add drivers to the .wim file

Continue reading “How To Image A Computer With Windows 10 Using dism”

OS X Accessibility Command Line Tool Available On Homebrew

I’m happy to announce that tccutil.py is now available on Homebrew.  A tool for modifying access to assistive devices from the command line.  You can install it like this:

brew install tccutil

The real tccutil (designed by Apple’s engineers), found in /usr/bin, only has one feature: to reset the services (tccutil: Usage: tccutil reset SERVICE).  From a system administrator’s perspective, this is very restricting. Continue reading “OS X Accessibility Command Line Tool Available On Homebrew”

Twin Cities Mac Admins » Meetup notes – April 23, 2015

Featured Presentation Jacob Salmela with Hopkins High School provided our feature presentation Under Cover Of Shell (Scripting). Take a look at Jabob’s website and his GitHub repository. You’ll find he’s solved plenty of issues with scripting. He introduced us to GeekTool, a desktop information display, which he populates with loads of geeklets. And he got a few chuckles explaining his Single-user Mode Intrusion-Detection System with Star Trek red alert klaxon (see slide 35).

Continue reading “Twin Cities Mac Admins » Meetup notes – April 23, 2015”

Shell Scripting Presentation at JAMF HQ [MSP Mac Admins]

I will be presenting Under Cover Of Shell (Scripting) at JAMF HQ at 5:00 on April 23rd.  There is still time to register if you are interested in attending; it’s free!

You can find links to all the resources from my presentation here.   You can also download the presentation if you want to follow along. Continue reading “Shell Scripting Presentation at JAMF HQ [MSP Mac Admins]”

“Re-imaging” A Chromebook Is Incredibly Easy

You forgot to enroll your Chromebook in the management console or the Chromebook is just acting weird.  How do you get it back to a nominal state quickly?  Chromebooks make this process incredibly easy (Google calls it wiping the device). Continue reading ““Re-imaging” A Chromebook Is Incredibly Easy”