Use CreateMedia.exe without installing the SCCM console

I’ve been doing some work out a customer recently, and there was a requirement (or at least a “it would be really great if we could do this”-type request) to be able to trigger the creation of SCCM prestaged media on a remote system which did NOT have the SCCM console installed.


As you know, you can create a variety of bootable media from the SCCM console, and under the hood the console is calling the CreateMedia.exe commandline utility, which you can also call directly if required.  There’s a good list of the available switches and usage here on TechNet.

However, how to enable this on a remote system which didn’t have the console installed, and where installing the console was not an option?

The solution is as follows:

From a machine which does have the SCCM console installed, navigate to the installation path (you can use the %SMS_ADMIN_UI_PATH% variable to get there directly). From this location (which is something like C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Configuration Manager\AdminConsole\bin\i386) copy the following files to a separate folder:

  • CreateMedia.exe
  • CreateTsMediaAdm.dll
  • The complete OSD folder

Copy the folder over to your remote system (it’s less than 40MB in size) and then on the remote system create the following registry entry:

  • Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\ConfigMgr10\Setup (for a 64-bit system)
  • String: UI Installation Directory
  • Value: C:\Temp\CreateMedia (or whatever is the full path of the folder which you copied across)

Now you can run CreateMedia.exe from this location to build your SCCM media, without needing to install the console.

One word of warning – if you ever DO want to install the console on the remote system, delete that registry entry first so that it doesn’t get in the way.

Teensy bug in Learn SCCM 2012 R2 Lab

Time for a small mea culpa.

The original lab environment for Learn SCCM 2012 R2 in a Month of Lunches used Windows 8 as the client operating system, not Windows 8.1.  When Windows 8.1 launched I quickly switched operating systems in the hydration script so that readers would be using the latest client OS, but I missed updating the LAB-CLIENT01 task sequence.

As a result, when you go to deploy LAB-CLIENT01, you’ll hit an error.  There are two ways to resolve this.

Option One – edit the LAB-CLIENT01 task sequence and change the “Install Operating System” step (which will be in an error state) so that the operating system to install is “Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64″.  Update MEDIA001 to regenerate the ISO and you’ll be good to go.

Option Two – download the updated hydration script here – this has the correct LAB-CLIENT01 task sequence.  Then, either re-run the hydration process again, or simply copy ..\DS\Control\LAB-CLIENT01\ts.xml to the MDT Deployment Share and replace the one which is already there.  Again, update MEDIA001.

Thanks to Chris van der Lugt for bringing this to my attention – much appreciated :-)

Learn SCCM 2012 R2 in a Month Of Lunches – Manning Deal Of The Day!

No sooner has the Early Access Program for the book been launched, but for the next 48 hours you can pick it up for half price!

When you go to check out, enter “dotd1030″ as the promotional code :-)

Learn SCCM 2012 R2 in a Month of Lunches – Early Access Now Available!

Those of you who have been kind enough to keep one eye on my blog whilst engaging in your busy lives may have noticed that things have been a little quiet on recently.  The vTumbleweed (or iDust, if you prefer) has been blowing gently across the pages, so to speak.

Apart from a large amount of preparation for TechEd Australia and New Zealand, the main reason for the radio silence has been that I’ve been flexing the authoring tendons to have a crack at my very first book – Learn SCCM 2012 R2 in a Month Of Lunches. :-)

The publishers, Manning Publications, run a great program called the Manning Early Access Program (or MEAP) where you can buy into the book and access it chapter by chapter as it’s being written, and I’m very pleased to be able to announce that the first three chapters of Learn SCCM 2012 R2 in a Month Of Lunches MEAP is now available!

It’s a great pleasure to be able to contribute to the excellent Month Of Lunches series of books and to be writing about the latest and greatest version of Configuration Manager. There will be plenty of updates and announcements over the coming weeks and months, including some special pricing, so stay tuned :-)

My Sessions at TechEd 2013!

It’s that time of year again! TechEd North America has been and gone, and now it’s the turn for us Aussies and Kiwis :-)

I’m very pleased to announce that I will be presenting again at TechEd Australia 2013 and TechEd New Zealand 2013.  I’ve presented at both these events for the past two years, so this will be my third year presenting, and I really can’t wait – they’re both great events and it’s always terrific to get in amongst the delegates and listen to the buzz.

This year is a bit special as I won’t be presenting on my own – I’m really pleased to be co-presenting all my sessions with fellow Enterprise Client Management MVPs Peter Daalmans and Kent Agerlund, who are forsaking a European summer to join us Down Under.

Here’s a quick summary of the sessions:

TechEd Australia (3-6 September, 2013)

Session 1

  • Title:  Avoid The End Of Days (Get Off XP Right Now)
  • Level:  400
  • Presenters:  James Bannan & Kent Agerlund

Session 2

  • Title:  Crafting, Deploying and Managing your Next-Gen SOE
  • Level:  300
  • Presenter:  James Bannan & Kent Agerlund

Session 3

  • Manage your Apple Investment with SCCM & InTune
  • Level:  300
  • Presenters:  James Bannan & Peter Daalmans

TechEd New Zealand (10-13 September, 2013)

Session 1

  • Title:  Enabling Application Mobility and User-Centric VDI in the Datacenter
  • Level:  300
  • Presenters:  James Bannan & Peter Daalmans

Session 2

  • Title:  Unifying BYOD Management with Windows Intune and Configuration Manager 2012
  • Level:  300
  • Presenters:  James Bannan & Peter Daalmans


Can’t wait to see some of you at TechEd – bring on September!