UPDATE 2016-07-20: I’ve seen the comments about the download link not working. I’ve instead made an updated script available on GitHub at https://github.com/dhedges01/Blog. The new script uses new command line syntax as well so I’ve updated the post below to reflect those changes.
During a recent migration from SCCM 2007 to SCCM 2012 SP1, I wanted to really start taking advantage of the new Application Model for software and driver deployments. My goal was simple, to create an Application that would deploy any Dell BIOS Update, to any applicable system, and handle daisy-chaining and even reboots. All this without (much) scripting.
The process outlined below should give you a good understanding of the steps needed to create an Application and various Deployment Types with all of the necessary Detection, Requirement and Dependency Rules needed to successfully deploy Dell BIOS updates using Configuration Manager 2012.
Note: If you are reading this then you are likely familiar with my other post about Updating Dell BIOS with PowerShell. Much of the concept and setup here is the same, however using the Application Model we get some added benefits.
- We only download content for our specific version. If you have a lot of models to deal with (like I do), this really has an impact in overall download and execution times (My BIOS Update package was well over 300MB when I implemented this method).
- Configuration Manager 2012 now gracefully handles reboots from the Application Model meaning we only need to reference the step once in the Task Sequence. We also don’t need to stage any subsequent updates to the local drive because we aren’t downloading ALL of the BIOS Updates.
- We get applicability reporting within Configuration Manager’s AppEnforce.log file which aids troubleshooting
- Using this model we can now more easily handle BIOS Updates from other vendors and can even deal with those pesky “Consumer” BIOS updates as well (I’m looking at you Dell XPS…).
First things first, gather up all the latest (tested) BIOS updates for the models you support and organize them (I organize them by model). Each “model” folder will end up being the Content Source location for each Deployment Type. (You could go a step further and create a Version# folder for each version of BIOS update. But since each model will likely only have 1 or 2 applicable BIOS Updates, it’s not really necessary.)
Next up we create our custom SCCM Application. All fields are filled out manually. Make sure you use an appropriate naming convention according to your companies standards.
The next step is one that will be repeated over and over again (with a little assistance from the Copy function). We will start by creating the first of many Deployment Types. I’m going to use the BIOS updates for the Dell Latitude E6420 as my example in this post so you can see how to use dependencies in order to install “down level” updates in order.
I like to start with the lowest version number first so we can add the dependencies as we go. We’ll start off with version A05. Provide the general items such as Name, Content Source, Installation Program, etc.
powershell.exe -NoProfile -NonInteractive -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command ".\Invoke-BIOSUpdate.ps1 -UpdateFile .\E6420A05.exe -Arguments /s,/l="C:\WINDOWS\eBay_Deployments\Dell_BIOS_Update_E6420A05.log""
For the Detection Method, I chose to leverage a custom script to detect the BIOS version. This allows me to deal with those pesky “patch” updates that sometimes come out.
Here is the detection script I use:
I created a custom Global Condition to echo out the Model from WMI. I use this requirement rule to ensure the Deployment Type only applies to the appropriate system type.
Here is the configured Global Condition:
And here is how it’s referenced within the Deployment Type:
Configure the User Experience.
Depending on how you configure the install command, you can have ConfigMgr handle the restart or allow the BIOS update to restart the computer. If you choose the latter, make sure you configure the appropriate return code so ConfigMgr is aware of a potential restart.
After setting up the first Deployment Type, hit the Apply button so the Deployment Type is saved within the application. Failing to do this will make it unavailable when you try to add it as a dependency.
Copy the Deployment Type and make the necessary updates to the Name, Content Source, Install Command and Detection Method. Click on the Dependency Tab and create a new Dependency Group. Then add a Dependency selecting the first BIOS update you created.
After all of the Deployment Types are created, distribute the content and deploy your new application to a test system (or you can add it into an OSD Task Sequence for testing, ConfigMgr should automatically handle the reboots and ensuring that all “down level” updates are applied in order for each model you add.
One thing I forgot to mention in this post is the ordering of Deployment Type Priority. When an application is evaluated, the client evaluates all of the rules for each Deployment Type in order of Priority. Once it finds an applicable Deployment Type, it executes that one, and it no longer evaluates anymore Deployment Types within that application. So, as an addendum to this posting, here is how I have the BIOS Updates in my Application sorted by priority.
As you can see from the screenshot above, I am ordering the Priority of evaluation looking at the Latest BIOS Version first. Each “down level” BIOS Update is a dependency of the next highest version. (i.e. A17 has a dependency of A08 and A08 has a dependency of A05). What happens here is that if the requirements for A17 are not met (version is less than A17), then A17’s dependency (A08) will then be evaluated. If A08’s requirements aren’t met, it will evaluate A05 and so on until all dependencies are evaluated and executed (in order). Once the dependencies are met, then A17 can execute.
The important takeaway here is make sure your highest version of BIOS Update is evaluated first because once a Deployment Type is deemed applicable, ConfigMgr stops searching for others unless they are a dependency of the one it finds first.