Error: SWbemObjectEx: Invalid index when trying to update a NIC using SConfig on server core

When using SConfig on a server core install, i was getting the following error

had similar issues when trying to configure the NIC using powershell.

Thanks very much to Mike and his post @ https://mikeconjoice.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/windows-server-core-error-swbemobjectex-invalid-index/

for pointing out that it was because IPv6 was not bound to the adapter.

Using the following powershell worked for me

Enable-NetAdapterBinding -Name Ethernet –ComponentID ms_tcpip6

 

the other important thing here is that unbinding IPv6 from adapters is a relatively common and completely silly practice. It frequently causes issues and doesn’t even achieve the goal of properly disabling IPv6 on the machine.

If you want to disable IPv6 – do it properly – via the registry as per

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/troubleshoot/windows-server/networking/configure-ipv6-in-windows

LocationHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip6\Parameters\
Name: DisabledComponents
Type: REG_DWORD
Min Value: 0x00 (default value)
Max Value: 0xFF (IPv6 disabled)

Microsoft Edge works best with the latest Windows Updates

When installing, seemingly randomly i will get the following in the application event log and msi log for CrEdge

Microsoft Edge works best with the latest Windows Updates. Once you download updates and restart your device, rerun the installer.

This is particularly frustrating as

  • The device has all current Windows updates applied
  • The install works on thousands of other machines – but just has a smattering where it doesn’t with this error
  • The error is in no way actually helpful… it doesn’t specify what updates i am supposedly missing… so doesn’t actually help with troubleshooting in anyway. Not quite as bad as “the task failed successfully” – but not far off.

 

Fortunately, Dr google provided some assistance

Microsoft Edge install issues on some computers
byu/jasonin951 inMicrosoftEdge

 

Microsoft Edge works best with the latest Windows Updates Error
byu/xxx59712 inedge

 

The answer, for me was setting the following reg key in the task sequence prior to Edge installing

reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\EdgeUpdate /v Allowsxs /t REG_DWORD /d 1

 

The idea of preventing edge installs without providing an actual reason – genuinely bizarre behaviour by MS here.

 

Windows 11 – first useful information starts trickling

Now that the useless marketing fluff has subsided a little, more useful information about Windows 11 is making its way around the web.

Some keys parts for enterprise customers i believe will be:

 

Yearly update cycle (as opposed to currently twice-per-year updates…. “semi-annual channel”) 

Reference : https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/windows-it-pro-blog/windows-lifecycle-and-servicing-update/ba-p/2493043

I might be out on a limb here, but while regular releases have absolutely fucking stellar for SCCM – for Windows 10, particularly in the enterprise, they have been “meh”…. i’m not denying that some of the features have been useful here and there…. but more often, they result in having to update the .admx’s and push out policy settings to turn consumer shit off.

Yearly seems a better “fit” for an OS…. and it was fairly common for enterprises just to use the H2 release of Win 10, partly for the support timeframe and partly because rolling out to 30,000 devices every 6 months was not only not viable…. but didn’t offer real benefit.

 

Pro is getting 24 months support, Enterprise 36 months

Reference: https://twitter.com/WindowsUpdate/status/1409588803455488002

Not a huge change here – for enterprise that generally stuck with H2 releases anyway…. but, some enterprises do use Pro (insert a world of senseless political reasons here) – and the 6 month increase in support timeframe will be very welcome.

 

CU’s are up to 40% smaller – lets see this actually happen before saying its good

For those of us that are old – we’ve heard this all before.

Remember when Windows 2003 was coming out and there were going to be fewer patches.

With 2012 server core, there was going to be fewer patches and less rebooting!

Neither of these – nor many other patching claims ever came true.

To be fair – the CU model used for Windows 10/2016/2019 is awesome – and much better than the “old” patching paradigm… but i will believe these claims once i see them.

 

System requirements

Reference: https://blogs.windows.com/windows-insider/2021/06/28/update-on-windows-11-minimum-system-requirements/

There seems to be some anxiety around the web about the requirements – primarily the exclusion of Intel 7th Gen processors and the requirement for TPM 2.0.

I’m actually a fan of this. While it may suck for some customers over the next 2-ish years…. it will force all newer hardware to meet that standard. Additionally, finally, x64 only. This should have happened 5+ fucking years ago.

So… yes, i agree, this may cause some short-term pain… but… and you wont hear me say this often… i think MS are going down the right path (on this at least)

 

Now – if some bright spark @MS could just realise that enterprises dont want all the bloat – and give us a way of removing all the crap with a line or two of powershell…..

Removing one note from windows 8.1u1

Had a client who was using the full office 2013 suite – but didn’t want users to get confused between the default “one note” that comes with Windows 8.1 and the Office 2013 one note.

Fair enough.

A bit of googling found this handy script already written by the deployment guys in order to help with cleaning out some of the crud.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/deploymentguys/archive/2013/10/21/removing-windows-8-1-built-in-applications.aspx

You can get an updated list of applications by using the get-appxpackage powershell command – and modify the script to only uninstall the packages you wish to remove.

Windows 8 – We couldn’t create a new partition or locate an existing one

Ran into this error when installing Win 8.1u1 on a new low-end laptop via USB key…

The complete error was:

We couldn’t create a new partition or locate an existing one. For more information, see the Setup log files

This article – http://blogs.technet.com/b/asiasupp/archive/2012/03/06/error-quot-we-couldn-t-create-a-new-partition-or-locate-an-existing-one-for-more-information-see-the-setup-log-files-quot-when-you-try-to-install-windows-8-cp.aspx

suggests simply using diskpart – but that didn’t work for me.

I was about to use a DVD for the install….(which would have meant trying to find a DVD…. for which I would need a tardis in order to go to when DVD’s were actually used) – when I simply unplugged the usb key, refresh, error…., plug the usb key back in, refresh – all good.

Now that’s some absolute whackiness…..

Windows 8.1/10 to go – on non-certified USB device

One of the disappointing things about windows 8 to go is its disappointingly small number of certified USB devices that the wizard interface lets you use…. so, lets circumvent the rubbish that Microsoft put in to ensure decent performance… then we can abuse them for the poor performance of our non certified devices!

If you have the option, run this process from a Windows 8 or Windows 10 box rather than windows 7, it’s slightly easier.

  • Grab a 32GB USB key and plug it in
  • Open a command prompt
  • Diskpart
    • List disk (record the disk number of the USB key)
    • select disk x (where x is the disk number)
    • clean
    • Create partition primary
    • format fs=ntfs quick
    • active
    • exit
  • Mount your Windows 8.1u1 enterprise iso…. or if you have an already extracted source, all the better
  • If you are running these commands from a windows 7 box
    • use GImageX from https://www.autoitscript.com/site/autoit-tools/gimagex/ (Easier if you don’t have imageX already available)
      • Run GImageX.exe
      • Go to the “apply tab”
      • Select Z:\sources\install.wim as the source
      • Select E:\ as the destination
      • Apply
    • Or use , use imagex (from the Windows AIK)
    • Imagex /apply Z:\sources\install.wim 1 E:
  • If you are running on Windows 8 or above
    • dism /Apply-Image /imagefile:Z:\sources\install.wim /index:1 /ApplyDir:E:\
  • Substitute Z: for the DVD drive (or your extracted source)
  • Substitute E: for the drive letter of the USB key
  • Copy the boot files using the command E:\Windows\system32\bcdboot.exe E:\windows /s E:\ /f ALL

You’re all done.

Plug the USB key into a machine, use the boot selection menu to boot from it, and then, depending on the speed of your USB key, wait a while.

 

Utilising a USB 3 port with a fast USB 3 key will obviously improve your performance and if your machine only has USB 2 ports, don’t even bother trying. Quite a few machines have a mix of USB 2 and USB 3 ports. The USB 3 ports can be identified by the “SS” logo such as

SSUSB

However it is also common for no identification to be present, in these cases this application can help identify which ports are which – http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbtreeview_e.html

 

Realistically, there is a reason (outside of charging ludicrous amounts of cash) that only certain drives are certified. Some of the drives I did this with just were not worth the effort, others performed OK, but still were not great. Unfortunately, finding a certified device from a local supplier, for me at least, isn’t possible – and unless you are buying them en-masse for a corporate rollout, purchasing certified devices from online retailers becomes an expensive exercise.

The commoditisation of USB 3.1 and USB 3.1 devices will assist in making this less of an issue – and USB 3.1 motherboards are just starting to pop up now.

If I find, or anyone else has found a non-certified device that performs well – please let us all know in the comments! (and I will continue to look for one)

Online (at home) MS exams…. interesting idea

https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/online-proctored-exams.aspx

Conflicting thoughts about this….. obviously more convenient, especially in a place like Adelaide where we have a grant total of 2 testing centre’s, which aren’t available full time and often booked out.

On the other hand, It wont stop “exam factories” (nor can anything but changing exam content), and not even being able to take any notes what-so-ever is a bit harsh for the scenario type questions.

While I still am of the opinion that certification offers little value these days, come Dec 16th (when the program becomes available) – I think I might take one, just to see what its like.