ConfigMgr : SP1 CU3 / Windows 2012 R2 / 8.1 Support

My stance on SCCM updates, following ConigMgr 2012 SP1’s initial release, is a cautious one to say the least.

Today we completed the updgrade of our ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 envronment to CU3, facilitating the following capabilities for Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2:

Fully appreciate ConfigMgr 2012 R2 is now out, give it 6 weeks and we’ll no doubt deploy – however CU3 at least gets the Surface Pro 2 trial moving forwards, and gives bretahing space for authenticode issues and the like!

In our multi-site (Primary/Secondary) environment the update installed without anyhickups – backups/offline-snapshot people, just to be sure!

ConfigMgr : PXE-booting legacy BIOS and UEFI

In testing Surface Pro 2 deployment via ConfigMgr I ran into an issue where no matter what I tried the device would not PXE boot. I was using the official Ethernet USB adapter and all of our existing device portfolio were able to PXE boot without issue.

I then discovered the following article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2602043/EN-US

To summarise, in a mixed environment, which is likely to represent most, you’ll find that trying to PXE boot a UEFI client with DHCP options 66/67 set will fail.

This is because the boot programs differ:

  • Legacy BIOS: wdsnbp.com
  • UEFI: wdsmgfw.efi

The *only* way you can achieve this cross-subnet/VLAN is to define IP-Helper addresses on your network infrastructure, adding entries for the PXE boot servers. Once this is completed remove the DHCP scope/server options and you’ll find that both legacy BIOS and UEFI machines can PXE boot.