ConfigMgr 1602 Console as an application.

Here I will blog about deploying the Configuration Manager Console as an application.  Those of you with a keen eye will have noticed a folder within your Program Files structure “C:\Program Files (x86)\ConfigMgr10\AdminconsoleSetup”.  Within this folder you’ll see a few folders, some encased in curly brackets {} and one not.  You’ll notice, if you explore these folders, that the folder not encased in curly brackets contains an update file, a .MSP, whereas the other folders that are encased in curly brackets contain a single .MSI called AdminConsole.msi.

Console prerequisites
Previous versions have had .NET4 framework (full) as a prerequisite for this application so please ensure you have the latest .NET framework on your machines and this will therefore prevent any issues.  As of the date of writing this, .NET Framework is on version 4.6.2.

Collect Needed Console Files
Within your source stricture create a new folder called ConfigMgr Console and copy in all three files from C:\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\tools\ConsoleSetup these 3 files are:

AdminConsole.msi
ConsoleSetup.exe
ReportViewer.exe

From within the following location “C:\Program Files (x86)\ConfigMgr10\AdminconsoleSetup” you’ll also need to locate the folder not encased in curly brackets

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in which you’ll find the following two files

ConfigMgr1602-AdminUI-KB3155482-i386.msp
UIUpdateManifest.xml

Copy these two files to your ConfigMgr Console folder within your sources structure, now you’re ready to interrogate the MSI for silent install switches and then create an installer.

Exploring the AdminConsole.msi with Orca for Silent Switches
I know from previous reading that you need to throw some switches at the installation for the ConfigMgr console so I’m going to look at it closely with Orca. Everyone knows what ORCA MSI editor is right? Well, for those that don’t it was an application that let you explore the insides of a MSI file, not even sure if its still going or if there’s a replacement but I still use it from time to time.  I’m only going to use it, in this instance, to peek inside the MSI and look for the installation properties for a silent install.  If you don’t have it you can download a copy from here..

Now lets open the AdminConsole.msi within the sources folder into Orca. Once opened I need to examine the Control section and then take note of the text inside the Property column.  If we scroll down we find a property called DEFAULTSITESERVERNAME. and this is relevant on the SpecifySiteServerDialog box.

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I know from manually running the setup msi and taking notes that I have to specify the FQDN of my default site server.  So we can therefore determine that this property can be set like so DEFAULTSITESERVERNAME=sccm.domain.local (Edit as you require.)

Next up, I see one for ENABLESQM which is tied to the CEIPDialog box.  Again, I know from attempting the manual install this is related to the customer experience program.  You’re either in or out so this property is either a 0 for in or a 1 for out.

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This can therefore be determined as ENABLESQM=1 (For in) or ENABLESQM=0 (For out)

GREAT!

Now lets build that into an application.  I have chosen to share the “%ProgramFiles(x86)%\ConfiMgr10” folder on my ConfigMgr server.  I have done this because can call the new patches as they come out they will be dropped into this “Program Files (x86)” folder and I don’t want to then be copying them to a sources structure each time a new one comes out.  You can handle that as you see fit.  Some may not like the idea of that, I’m not too fussed in my environment.  So from ConfigMgr we chose to add a new program BUT manually specify the options.  Why I hear you cry! when we’re dealing with an MSI, well, we not only have to install the console but we have to apply the update patch we spoke about earlier in order to get it to work so we’re going to use a simple batch file to call two commands.

The first is the following:
msiexec /i AdminConsole.msi /qn TARGETDIR="C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Admin Console\" ENABLESQM=0 DEFAULTSITESERVERNAME={FQDN of your ConfigMgr Server}

The second line is the following:
msiexec /p ConfigMgr1602-AdminUI-KB3155482-i386.msp /qn

So lets drop those two commands, on separate lines into a text file and save it as Installer.bat in side the sources folder.  Our entire source folder should now contain 6 files and we’re ready to add a new application.

Application Work

New application.
Manually specify the application information, Next.
Give it a name “Configuration Manager Console (with Update)”, Publisher: Microsoft, Version: 1602.
Tick the box: Allow this application to be installed from the Install Application task sequence action without being deployed, Next.
Download and use a decent icon file for the Application Catalog entry pane, something like this:

configmgr

Then hit Next.
Add a new Deployment Type.
Manually specify the deployment type information, Next.
Give it a name, Next.
Specify your Content Location. Installation program is Installer.bat.  Uninstall program is msiexec /x{64DC70E3-78F1-4C9F-8E23-B3D1B2F75D3B}.
Detection Clause set to Registry, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and the key is SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{64DC70E3-78F1-4C9F-8E23-B3D1B2F75D3B}.
Installation Behaviour: Install for system.
Logon Requirement: Whether or not a user is logged on.
No requirements or dependencies.
Rest of the Deployment Type wizard is Next, Next, Close.
Rest of the Application Wizard is Next, Next

Actual Deployment
So now we need to distribute the content to our chosen distribution points and then deploy the application to a target collection.

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And if for some reason you wanted to remove it, the removal function works too

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All tested and working and ready for production.

I hope this helps you and thanks for reading.

Jonathan.