PowerShell – SCCM/SCORCH track software update installations

I recently created a simple PowerShell script to track the software update installation process initiated by SCCM. WMI queries below will check if all available updates is installed.

This kind of logic is useful, if you want to do advanced automation of server patching with Configuration Manager and Orchestrator. And for example replace the @Get Deployment Status activity.” in orchestrator.

#CCM_SoftwareUpdate http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj155451.aspx #Created by Haavard Molland
$Computer = "PPATCH01"
#Count available updates
$updates = @(get-wmiobject -query "SELECT * FROM CCM_SoftwareUpdate" -namespace "ROOT\ccm\ClientSDK" -computer $Computer) | measure
#check for updates beeing installed
$WaitWhileInstalling = @(get-wmiobject -query "SELECT * FROM CCM_SoftwareUpdate WHERE EvaluationState = 6 or EvaluationState = 7" -namespace "ROOT\ccm\ClientSDK" -computer $Computer)
write-host $WaitWhileInstalling

#Wait for SCCM client to complete installation 
  $InstalledUpdates = @(get-wmiobject -query "SELECT * FROM CCM_SoftwareUpdate WHERE EvaluationState = 8 or EvaluationState = 9 or EvaluationState = 12" -namespace "ROOT\ccm\ClientSDK" -computer $Computer) | measure
  #Make sure installed updates equals available updates.
  If($InstalledUpdates.Count -eq $updates.count) {$AllUpdatesInstalled = "Yes"}
  write-host $AllUpdatesInstalled 

System Center 2012 R2: Update Rollup 1

Update Rollup 1 for System Center 2012 R2 is available. Following components are fixed in this update:

  • App Controller
  • Orchestrator
  • Data Protection Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Service Manager
  • Service Provider Foundation
  • Virtual Machine Manager

Get it here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2904734

System Center 2012 R2, Upgrade Path

Soon, Microsoft will release System Center 2012 R2. I get a lot of questions regarding upgrade paths.

The upgrade path to any System Center 2012 R2 component (SCCM,SCOM,SCSM,SCORCH, SCVMM etc.) is:

System Center 2012 RTM > System Center 2012 SP1 > System Center 2012 R2.

Vote for an affordable alternative to MSDN subscriptions comparable to TechNet!

As you may know Microsoft is retiring the Technet Subscription. IT pro’s need access to Microsoft products other than trials, to be able to maintain the neccesary knowledge and provide the best service possible to Microsoft’s customers. The only comparable subscription (MSDN) costs $6120


Sign the petition here


Follow TechEd Europe Madrid Live!

If you are not one of the lucky ones attending TechEd…. Don’t worry, you can still follow the sessions online! Navigate to: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Europe/2013#fbid=wipqIKVlFpz

System Center 2012: The order in witch you upgrade System Center 2012 components is very important.

“In an environment that includes two or more components of Microsoft System Center 2012, the order in which you upgrade those components to System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is very important.”

Personally I recommend using this order also for cumulative updates and update rollups.

Upgrade Path

Read more here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj628203.aspx

System Center Online Community Resources

Looking for Microsoft Team Blogs, System Center MVPs, Twitter handles, System Center User Groups or Online communities? Chances are you will find it here:



MMS 2013: View sessions online

If you are not one of the lucky ones attending MMS 2013 …. Don’t worry, you can still follow the sessions online!

“The Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) brings together the brightest IT professionals from around the world to increase their technical expertise through an intensive week of training led by experts in desktop, device management, datacenter, and cloud technologies.”


SC 2012 Orchestrator with Service Pack 1: Installation guide

This is my installation notes (so far) for System Center 2012 Orchestrator with Service Pack 1.

Before installing, review supported configurations from the official documentation: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh420361.aspx

1. Install SQL Server 2008 R2 or 2012, only Database Engine Service is needed by Orchestrator. SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS is the supported collation.

2. Create a domain account and domain Security Group.

Account: scorch-svc (Orchestrator Service Account)
Group: scorch_admins (Security Group to provide Access to Orchestrator)

3. Install Internet Information Services with default role services. Documentation states that the Orchestrator setup engine will install IIS if missing. I’ve seen the setup break on Server 2012 when missing IIS, so I reccommend installing this Component first.

4. Make sure you have .Net framework 3.5 and 4 installed.

5. Mount System Center 2012 Orchestrator With SP1 and run SetupOrchestrator.exe


6. Enter License information.


7. Read and accept license terms.


8. Select features to install (for single server deployment, Select all features)


9. Review prerequsite warnings or errors.


10. Configure service account (created in step 2 in this guide).


11. Specify database server to use, in this example a local SQL instance is installed on the Orchestrator server. Click Test Database Connection to proceed.


12. Set DB name, or accept default option.


13. Specify Orchestrator users Group (created in step 2)


14. Configure or Accept default ports for the Orchestrator web service.


15. Specify installation path.


16. Select wether to update Orchestrator with Microsoft Update or not.


17. Select customer expirience options of your choise.


18. Verify selected options in the installation summary, click “install” to start the installation.


19. After the installation is complete you can start using Orchestrator, but probably you have to download integration packs to get Access to activities from other products. I use the System Center Integration packs. Download them here:


20. Meged Ezzat have created a walktrough on how to install and publish integration packs. http://blogs.technet.com/b/meamcs/archive/2011/11/19/orchestrator-2012-deployment-amp-configuration-step-by-step-part-5-integration-pack.aspx



System Center 2012 SP1 Cumulative Update 1 relased

Contains a lot of bug-fixes for System Center 2012 SP1…

Read more: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2785682

For Configuration Manager SP1: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817245/en (includes updated powershell features).


System Center Marketplace: Great starting point to extentions, apps and resources.

The Microsoft System Center Marketplace is specifically designed to help business customers find trusted Microsoft System Center experts, and applications and services that enhance and easily integrate with Microsoft System Center products.


Microsoft, Infrastructure planning and design guides

Yes! They exist, If you are planning an implementation of a Microsoft System Center 2012 or other Microsoft Products or just seeking information on what is new, recommended planning steps or an overview of the product architecture. The Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) Guide Series provides you with quick an concrete information specified to each Product.

Great Tools whether you are a product specialist, receiving customer, a technical sales resource or project manager. Read up!


System Center 2012 Private Cloud

Microsoft has released a whitepaper where they compare private cloud solutions from Microsoft and VMware. If you are curious about private cloud technology and what Microsoft has to offer, i recommend reading this whitepaper.

Download it her: http://download.microsoft.com/download/F/3/6/F36D9AE8-6238-4EA3-9ABC-BF7BB848BF70/MicrosoftPrivateCloudWhitepaper.pdf