Skip the Get Online message

Whilst deploying Windows 8.1 with SCCM, I got the whole Task Sequence stuck to the point where Windows was asking me to choose a Wireless connection (or skip the step). I initially thought that the TS would be continuing underneath that interface so I left the office and the morning after the process was still stuck at that point. When I manually skipped the step, the Task Sequence continued with what was left to do.

Why did it appear?

Well, in my specific case, that appeared right after the Task Sequence installed the drivers, so that means Windows recognized also the wireless card of the machine (Dell Venue Tablet) I was imaging.

Windows 8.1 Get Online

How do I skip the Get Online message from Windows 8.1?

Simple, in order to skip the get online message I had to modify the unattended XML file I was using and I added these 3 lines to it (just to be safe):

This is how it looks in my case:

Windows8.1-GetOnline-Skip Wireless Setup XML unattended

That’s pretty much it ūüôā Remember to update the OSD package content if you’re using SCCM (or else the Distribution Points would keep using the old xml file).

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Install Wake on LAN on a NAS

I have a couple of NAS boxes and I wanted to install a Wake on LAN application on one of them so that I could turn my devices connected to the LAN through one of them. The main reason why I wanted to do this is because my home router doesn’t support Wake on WAN (so it’s not able to translate the initial request and broadcast it).
Since the NAS is always connected to the network, I can use it to turn on my home computer for instance: that’ll allow me to turn it on only when I need it.

The NAS

In my specific case I decided to install it on a Iomega IX4-200D. I believe the procedure applies to other NAS devices with just little changes. The reason why I chose this NAS is because I do have a way to get the firmware back to it even when I replace all of the Hard Drives (as it happened once already!). I’ll look at writing a procedure for that whenever I have the chance.

Step by Step instructions to Install Wake on LAN on a NAS

I will try to be as much specific as possible. Be aware that I am not responsible in case you brick your own device.

  • Enable SSH if it’s still disabled. You can follow my article that describes how to enable SSH on an Iomega/Lenovo device.
  • Connect via SSH to the NAS box. On the link I posted above, it also tells you how to login on an Iomega device.
  • Backup¬†/etc/ipkg.conf (if it exists).
    • You can backup this file using the following command:
  • Delete any existing entry in this file, or just remove the file itself by typing:
  • Add these lines one by one:

    • If you need to delete a line, press¬†ESC (enter command mode), then select the line you want to delete with the arrow keys and then type¬†dd.
    • Save the file by pressing¬†ESC to enter command mode and type

      to exit and save the changes. If you want to exit and discard the changes, type :q!
    • If you need to return in¬†insert mode press¬†i followed by an¬†Enter.
  • NAS boxes generally have an embedded OS which means they have a read only file system. So we have to use ipkg-opt to get rid of this. Run the commands below:

    • It might complain that the command isn’t recognised. In that case, try to type ipkg update.
    • Running ipkg update will give you the below result
      IX4-200D ipkg update
    • Run ipkg install ipkg-opt again
      IX4-200D ipkg install ipkg-opt
  • Run this:
  • Now backup ld.so.conf and then edit it in¬†vi.
  • Append the line below.
    • /opt/lib/
  • Close the SSH connection. This step is very important. (more…)

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Content Location shows the package as distributed but it’s not

I had this issues for a while and I ended up creating a ticket with Microsoft as I couldn’t get any answer to my issue.¬†I’ve also posted this on technet, but nobody dared to answer ūüôā
The reason why I wanted to open a ticket with Microsoft is that I have had a few issues since the migration to 2012 R2 and to be honest this kind of error it’s ok once, but what if it happens again? I could have just removed the package and started from scratch, that would have fixed it but this time I’ve been stubborn and I’ve learnt something new. Also, the package was 4GB, multiply that for all the Distribution Points. I don’t like to waste time if I don’t have to.
Here’s the post:¬†SCCM Console is lying to me! Content shows as distributed but it isn’t.

The issue

In my case, this happened with one of the Microsoft Office Deployment Packages I created.
When I clicked on the Deployment Package, the Status at the bottom of the console would tell me that the content was distributed (correctly) to 6 Distribution Points but when I actually went in the Deployment Package’s properties I could see like 10 Distribution Points in there. So basically¬†Content Location shows the package as distributed but it’s not.

SCCM DP targeted
If I tried to Remove/Validate/Redistribute the content, nothing would happen. I couldn’t even treat this as a new distribution as the phantom Distribution Points would not appear as it happens when the content is already distributed.
I was able to distribute this content to other DPs. Updating the content did not help either.
I’ve also tried to either distribute (Start-CMContentDistribution) and remove (Remove-CMContentDistribution) the package from these DPs via PowerShell but also here no luck. When I tried to distribute it, it told me that the package was already distributed, when I removed it, nothing happened as when I did it through the console.
I then checked one of the Distribution Points through Content Library Explorer and I could see that the content was grayed out and the package ID had a * right after the ID. Also here I could not validate nor re-distribute the content.

SCCM Content Library Explorer broken package

The cause

No idea! Microsoft went through the logs and found nothing. The engineer told me that he’s never seen such an issue before.

The solution

Well, as there was no root cause, the only solution that Microsoft suggested was to manually delete the entries of these Distribution Points, associated to the Package ID, from the SQL server. (more…)

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