July 9, 2016

Client Testimony from one of my IT Projects: Boston Childrens Hospital

Combining Social Work and Technology to help PEOPLE.....

 I have helped several for-profit and nonprofit organizations in the field of Information Technology Security (including rescuing many from Ransomware, Viruses, Spyware, and straight Cyber Attacks such as the one mentioned in this article).

Please read the article below (copied and pasted with permission) of my own work as an IT Social Work Volunteer. Merging a Social Work Masters Degree from The University of Oklahoma School of Social Work, current Microsoft Most Valuable Professional status, and multiple IT Certifications to HELP OTHER PEOPLE as much as possible is not only what I am an expert in, it is my passion!


How Boston Children's Hospital Hit Back at Anonymous

Hackers purportedly representing Anonymous hit Boston Children's Hospital with phishing and DDoS attacks this spring. The hospital fought back with vigilance, internal transparency and some old-fashioned sneakernet. That – and a little bit of luck – kept patient data safe.
On March 20, Dr. Daniel J. Nigrin, senior vice president for information services and CIO at Boston Children's Hospital, got word that his organization faced an imminent threat from Anonymous in response to the hospital's diagnosis and treatment of a 15-year-old girl removed from her parent's care by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The hospital's incident response team quickly convened. It prepared for the worst: "Going dark" – or going completely offline for as long as the threat remained.
Luckily, it never came to that. Attacks did occur, commencing in early April and culminating on Easter weekend – also the weekend of Patriot's Day, a Massachusetts holiday and the approximate one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings – but slowed to a trickle after, of all things, after a front-page story about the incident ran in The Boston Globe.
No patient data was compromised over the course of the attacks, Nigrin says, thanks in large part to the vigilance of Boston Children's (and, when necessary, third-party security firms). The organization did learn a few key lessons from the incident, and Nigrin shared them at the recent HIMSS Media Privacy and Security Forum, which was facilitated by Mr. Skylar Joyner, Microsoft MVP.
As Anonymous Hit, Boston Children's Hit Back with Cybersecurity Experts such as Skylar Joyner
As noted, the hospital incident response team – not just the IT department's – planned for the worst. Despite that fact that the information Anonymous claimed to have, such as staff phone numbers and home addresses, is the stuff of "script kiddies," Nigrin says Children's took the threat seriously.
Attacks commenced about three weeks after the initial March 20 warning. Initially, the hospital could handle the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on its own. Anonymous changed tactics. Children's responded. The hackers punched. The hospital counterpunched. As the weekend neared, though, DDoS traffic hit 27 Gbps – 40 times Children's typical traffic – and the hospital had to turn to a third-party for help.
The attacks hit Children's external websites and networks. (Hackers also pledged to hit anyone linked to Children's – including the energy provider NStar, which played no role in the child custody case at all but sponsors Children's annual walkathon.) In response, Nigrin took down all websites and shut down email, telling staff in person that email had been compromised. Staff communicated using a secure text messaging application the hospital had recently deployed. Internal systems were OK, he says, so Children's electronic health record (EHR) system, and therefore its capability to access patient data, wasn't impacted.
Top 6 Lessons Learned about Protecting Your Organization from a Cyber Attack:
1. Proactive Countermeasures are crucial, especially within the first 48 hours. 
2. Know which systems depend on external Internet access. As noted above, their EHR system was spared, but the e-prescribing system wasn't.
3. Get an alternative to email. In addition to secure testing, Children's used Voice over IP communications.
4. In the heat of the moment, make no excuses when pushing security initiatives. Children's had to shut down email, e-prescribing and external-facing websites quickly. "Don't wait until it's a fire drill," Nigrin says.
5. Secure your teleconferences. Send your conference passcode securely, not in the body of your calendar invite. Otherwise, the call can be recorded and posted on the Internet before you even hang up, he says.
6. Separate signals from noise. Amid the Anonymous attack, several staff members reported strange phone calls from a number listed as 000-000-0000. At the time, it was hard to tell if this was related, and it made the whole incident that much harder to manage.

July 5, 2016

Wireless Internet Not Connecting? Try Clearing Your DNS!


Your DNS cache stores the locations (IP addresses) of web servers that contain web pages which you have recently viewed. If the location of the web server changes before the entry in your DNS cache updates, you can no longer access the site.
If you encounter a large number of HTML 404 error codes, you may need to clear your DNS cache. After you clear your DNS cache, your computer will query nameservers for the new DNS information.

How to clear your DNS cache

The following methods allow you to remove old and inaccurate DNS information that may result in 404 errors.

Windows® 8

To clear your DNS cache if you use Windows 8, perform the following steps:
  1. On your keyboard, press Win+X to open the WinX Menu.
  2. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.
  3. Run the following command:
    ipconfig /flushdns
    If the command succeeds, the system returns the following message:
    Windows IP configuration successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.

Windows 7

To clear your DNS cache if you use Windows 7, perform the following steps:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Enter cmd in the Start menu search text box.
  3. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.
  4. Run the following command:
    ipconfig /flushdns
    If the command succeeds, the system returns the following message:
    Windows IP configuration successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.

Windows XP, 2000, or Vista®

To clear your DNS cache if you use Windows XP, 2000, or Vista®, perform the following steps:
  1. Click Start.
  2. On the Start menu, click Run....
    • If you do not see the Run command in Vista, enter run in the Search bar.
  3. Run the following command in the Runtext box:
    ipconfig /flushdns
    If the command succeeds, the system returns the following message:
    Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache. 

MacOS® 10.10

To clear your DNS cache if you use MacOS X version 10.10, perform the following steps:
  1. Click Applications.
  2. Click Utilities.
  3. Click Terminal.
  4. Run the following command:
    sudo discoveryutil mdnsflushcache
    If the command succeeds, the system does not return any output.
    To run this command, you must know the computer's Admin account password.

June 25, 2016

Microsoft Outlook: 5 Common Errors and How To Fix Them

             5 Common Outlook Errors and How to Fix Them

Email is one of, if not still the most important communications tools for individuals and businesses today in the 21st century. Whenever it stops working, people start to get nervous. While there are many things that a user can do to mess up their email, many of these problems can be resolved with a restart of the software or the computer. 

However when the old standby of restarting doesn’t work, it is time to start looking into the issue a bit more deeply. Here are some of the most common errors and how to fix them found in Outlook 2007 and 2010:

1. Error message that reads: “Cannot open your default e-mail folders. The information store could not be opened.”
This issue can be fixed by first locating Outlook.exe that can be found here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14. Next, right click Outlook.exe and then click on Properties. On the Compatibility tab, clear the check box that reads ‘Run this program in compatibility mode’. Then click Ok and restart Outlook.

2. Error message that reads: “Your Microsoft Exchange Server is unavailable.”
This error is a bit trickier to resolve only because there can be many different causes. No data connection – test your SMTP connection using telnet. If you are unsure how to do this, Microsoft has published a handy-dandy guide on their TechNet site that walks you through this process: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb123686.aspx.

A. Office Outlook files are locked – there are times when .ost and .pst files are accidentally, or purposefully, set to read only. Check the permissions of these two files by navigating to: C:Users<username>AppDataLocalMicrosoftOutlook for .pst files and C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice12 for .ost files. Make sure that neither is set to read only.

B. Third party applications are interfering with Outlook – many programs, including anti-malware solutions, can interfere with Outlook connecting to the Exchange Server. To check to see if this is the cause, start Outlook in safe mode. Outlook files are corrupted – this can happen after an upgrade is applied to Outlook. If any of the .dat files listed below are present they should be deleted or renamed.
  • Extend.dat – C:Documents and Settings<username>Local SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftOutlook
  • Frmcache.dat – C:Documents and Settings<username>Application DataMicrosoftForms
  • Views.dat – C:Documents and Settings<username>Application DataMicrosoftOutlook
  • Outcmd.dat – C:Documents and Settings<username>Application DataMicrosoftOutlook
All the files, with the exception of Outcmd.dat will be re-created. The Outcmd.dat file saves customized toolbar settings so if it is removed these settings will have to be re-applied.

3. Office Outlook will not open personal folders or personal folders do not show up in Outlook.
Personal folders are often the main cause of many problems related to Outlook. Microsoft has published the Inbox Repair tool, Scanpst.exe, that can be used to scan .pst and .ost files for errors in the file structure. If this is not intact, it will reset the file structure and rebuild the headers. This tool will only work on the files that reside on your computer’s hard drive, not the files on the Microsoft Exchange Server. This will also help to resolve the error message: “Cannot open your default e-mail folder.

4. Error messages that read either: “The action cannot be completed. The connection to the Microsoft Exchange Server is unavailable. Your network adapter does not have a default gateway” or “Your Microsoft Exchange Server is unavailable”.

This error occurs when Outlook is unsure of the default gateway address. The former is the error message that shows when the Outlook profile is configured automatically and the latter appears when the profile is manually configured. Both have the same fix.
  • To repair this you will need to edit the registry so clicking on Start and then Run is necessary.
  • Then, enter regedit in the Open box and click OK. Next, navigate to the registry key:
  • On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  • Type DefConnectOpts, and then press ENTER.
  • Now, right-click DefConnectOpts, and then click Modify.
  • In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
5. None of the authentication methods supported by this client are supported by your server.
This happens to people when they use their computer in multiple locations. For example, a laptop is taken home and connected to the home network or perhaps a computer is taken on the road. Basically, it comes from authentication rules for the SMTP server. When this error occurs go to the Account Settings tab and click on Change then More Settings. Now select the Outgoing Server tab. The option that reads: “My outgoing server requires authentication” and the one that reads: “Log on to incoming mail server before sending mail” should both be looked at. If there is a check in the option box remove it.

June 10, 2016

Windows 10: Preparing For Automatic Repair


New versions of the Windows Operating System have quite a track record of being highly unstable and buggy when they are first released to the general populous, and Windows 10 did nothing but add to this reputation. When it came out, Windows 10 was simply riddled with problems and issues, one of which was the “Preparing automatic repair” loop. 

The “Preparing automatic repair” screen is the screen that a Windows 10 user sees when something goes wrong with their computer and Windows 10 attempts to fix it by itself.

Users who suffered from the “Preparing automatic repair” loop would be able to successfully install and use Windows 10, but only until their first reboot. As soon as they rebooted their computer after the installation of Windows 10, they would see the “Preparing automatic repair” screen, after which their computer would force reboot and they would see the same screen again, and so on. The only way to interrupt the cycle is to cut the power to the computer, but the same thing starts happening the next time the computer boots up, rendering it pretty much useless. However, there are a couple of solutions that have proven to be able to fix this problem for users who have experienced it in the past, and if you’re suffering from the same issue, you should definitely try these:
How to BOOT into BIOS to change Boot Order
Restart your computer. Enter your computer’s BIOS (or UEFI) settings as soon as it starts up. The key that you need to press to enter these settings depends on the manufacturer of your computer’s motherboard and can be anything from Esc, Delete or F2 to F8, F10 or F12. This is displayed on the post screen, and the manual that was supplied with your system. A quick google search asking “how to enter bios” followed by model number will also list results. Navigate to the Boot. You must know how to boot and change boot order since this will be needed to perform the solutions below.
Solution 1: Enable XD-bit (No-Execute Memory Protect) in your BIOS
It seems that, until or unless XD-bit (better known as No-execute memory protect), a feature available in every computer’s BIOS settings, is turned on, a Windows 10 user remains prone to suffering from a “Preparing automatic repair” screen loop. XD-bit is disabled by default, and the following are the steps you need to go through to enable it:
Restart your computer. At the first screen that your computer displays when booting up, press a specific key that will get you into its BIOS This key will be available in your computer’s user manual and on the first screen that it displays during startup. (see how to boot to bios above)

Once in your computer’s BIOS, peruse through the tabs and locate XD-bit. Enable XD-bitSave your changes. Restart your computer, and it should boot like it is supposed to. 

Solution 2: Expand your computer’s System Reserved partition
The “Preparing automatic repair” loop can also be given birth to if your computer’s System Reserved partition is smaller than it should be. If that is the case, you need to:
Go here and download the MiniTool Partition WizardInstall and then run the MiniTool Partition Wizard.
When the program opens, you should see a map of your computer’s HDD’s or SSD’s partitions. Right-click on the partition you installed Windows 10 on and click on ShrinkShrink the partition by 250 MB. This will create 250 Megabytes of unallocated space.

Move the System Reserved partition right next to this unallocated space by dragging your partitions around.
Right-click on the System Reserved partition and click on Extend.
Restart the computer and check to see if the issue has been resolved.

Solution 3: Perform a System Restore
System Restore is a really handy little feature that comes with Windows 10 and is ideal for fixing problems with the OS such as this “Preparing automatic repair” screen loop. Since the loop prevents you from accessing your computer’s Operating System, you are going to have to boot your computer from a Windows 10 installation disc or USB and then perform the following steps:
Configure your language and other preferences. On the screen where you see an Install now button at the center, click on Repair your computer in the bottom left corner.
Select the Operating System you want to repair.
At the recovery options menu, click on System Restore.
Follow the onscreen instructions to restore the computer to an earlier point in time.
Once the System Restore has been completed, restart the computer, and it should progress past the “Preparing automatic repair” screen and not get stuck on it.

Solution 4: Reinstall Windows 10
If none of the solutions listed above worked for you, there is a pretty good chance that the problem is localized to your specific installation of Windows 10. If that is the case, simply reinstalling Windows 10 should be able to fix the problem. 

Solution 5: Check your hardware

If reinstalling Windows 10 doesn’t get rid of the issue either, the issue might not be software related but related to your computer’s hardware instead. For example, your computer might have a failed or failing HDD or SSD that is causing the “Preparing automatic repair” screen loop. Contact me at SkyTheTechGuy@Gmail.com if you need further assistance.

May 15, 2016

Remove Windows Nagging To Upgrade To Windows 10

Remove Windows Nag Icon To Upgrade To Windows 10 

Microsoft has pushed out a nag tray icon, that never goes away and you cant close it, trying to get people to upgrade to Windows 10.

While it is fine to offer something like that, the point that you cant get rid of it or close it, is what the problem is and shows how desperate Microsoft is to get their piece of the App Store pie that Apple and Google enjoy.

Option 1: One way to get rid of this nag ware is to remove the update that installed it. You must uninstall KB3035583.

"To do this, launch Control Panel, click on Programs > Programs and Features, and in the left side of the screen hit the “View installed updates” section.

Look for KB3035583 in the list, right-click it and hit the remove option. If you don’t want to be bothered again in the future, just hide it and no other notifications will be displayed because the update won’t be installed again on your PC."

Option 2. There have even been others who have found it goes even deeper than that.

"After you uninstall KB3021917, KB3035583 and KB3022345, you also need to disable two tasks in Task Scheduler.

There are two tasks under TaskScheduler > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Application Experience, "Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser" and "ProgramDataUpdater", that will continue to contact telemetry servers even if telemetry is disabled. These tasks run and phone home even if CEIP is opted-out of. Reproduce (on Win7 Pro)"

Option 3. Simple .bat file script

But if you are a tech and have a lot of computers you now need to remove this from, then going to each machine and removing it, rebooting, then hiding it from the updates is going to be a pain, even if you write a script for it.

To avoid a reboot you can simply stop the exe that is running the tray icon, rename it the folder and be done. I have made a bat file to do this for you, just make sure to run it as administrator of course.

You can download the required file in a zip here: 
Remove Windows 10 Upgrade Nagging Popup 
Remove_MS_Upgrade_To_10_Nag.zip - Direct Download

REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx" /v DisableGWX /d 1 /f
REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate" /v DisableOSUpgrade /d 1 /f
REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade" /v AllowOSUpgrade /d 0 /f
REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade" /v ReservationsAllowed /d 0 /f

start /wait wusa /uninstall /kb:3035583 /quiet /norestart /log
start /wait wusa /uninstall /kb:3035583 /quiet /norestart /log

Yes you see the uninstall in there twice, for some reason it wont uninstall the first time it is ran.

You can then put this in a startup script for all your users, or if you are a normal user and just want an easier way to get rid of the nag, then this should do the trick for now (As of September, 2017 it is still working right). 

April 13, 2016

Device Allows Paralyzed Man To Swipe Credit Card

Computer chip in brain works with software, gives man functional control of his hand

April 13, 2016
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
New research is enabling a quadriplegic Ohio man to regain his ability to pick up objects, stir liquids and even play video games -- using his own thoughts.

Swiping a credit card was something Ian Burkhart, 24, never thought he would do again. Burkhart was paralyzed from the shoulders down after a diving accident in 2010, but regained functional use of his hand through the use of neural bypass technology.
Credit: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Six years ago, he was paralyzed in a diving accident. Today, he participates in clinical sessions during which he can grasp and swipe a credit card or play a guitar video game with his own fingers and hand. These complex functional movements are driven by his own thoughts and a prototype medical system that are detailed in a study published online today in the journal Nature.
The device, called NeuroLife, was invented at Battelle, which teamed with physicians and neuroscientists from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to develop the research approach and perform the clinical study. Ohio State doctors identified the study participant and implanted a tiny computer chip into his brain.
That pioneering participant, Ian Burkhart, is a 24-year-old quadriplegic from Dublin, Ohio, and the first person to use this technology. This electronic neural bypass for spinal cord injuries reconnects the brain directly to muscles, allowing voluntary and functional control of a paralyzed limb by using his thoughts. The device interprets thoughts and brain signals then bypasses his injured spinal cord and connects directly to a sleeve that stimulates the muscles that control his arm and hand.
"We're showing for the first time that a quadriplegic patient is able to improve his level of motor function and hand movements," said Dr. Ali Rezai, a co-author of the study and a neurosurgeon at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center.
Burkhart first demonstrated the neural bypass technology in June 2014, when he was able to open and close his hand simply by thinking about it. Now, he can perform more sophisticated movements with his hands and fingers such as picking up a spoon or picking up and holding a phone to his ear -- things he couldn't do before and which can significantly improve his quality of life.
"It's amazing to see what he's accomplished," said Nick Annetta, electrical engineering lead for Battelle's team on the project. "Ian can grasp a bottle, pour the contents of the bottle into a jar and put the bottle back down. Then he takes a stir bar, grips that and then stirs the contents of the jar that he just poured and puts it back down. He's controlling it every step of the way."
The neural bypass technology combines algorithms that learn and decode the user's brain activity and a high-definition muscle stimulation sleeve that translates neural impulses from the brain and transmits new signals to the paralyzed limb.
The Battelle team has been working on this technology for more than a decade. To develop the algorithms, software and stimulation sleeve, Battelle scientists first recorded neural impulses from an electrode array implanted in a paralyzed person's brain. They used that recorded data to illustrate the device's effect on the patient and prove the concept.
Four years ago, former Battelle researcher Chad Bouton and his team began collaborating with Ohio State Neurological Institute researchers and clinicians Rezai and Dr. Jerry Mysiw to design the clinical trials and validate the feasibility of using the neural bypass technology in patients.
"In the 30 years I've been in this field, this is the first time we've been able to offer realistic hope to people who have very challenging lives," said Mysiw, chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Ohio State. "What we're looking to do is help these people regain more control over their bodies."
During a three-hour surgery in April 2014, Rezai implanted a computer chip smaller than a pea onto the motor cortex of Burkhart's brain.
The Ohio State and Battelle teams worked together to figure out the correct sequence of electrodes to stimulate to allow Burkhart to move his fingers and hand functionally. For example, Burkhart uses different brain signals and muscles to rotate his hand, make a fist or pinch his fingers together to grasp an object. As part of the study, Burkhart worked for months using the electrode sleeve to stimulate his forearm to rebuild his atrophied muscles so they would be more responsive to the electric stimulation.
"During the last decade, we've learned how to decipher brain signals in patients who are completely paralyzed and now, for the first time, those thoughts are being turned into movement," said study co-author Bouton, who directed Battelle's team before he joined the New York-based Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. "Our findings show that signals recorded from within the brain can be re-routed around an injury to the spinal cord, allowing restoration of functional movement and even movement of individual fingers."
Burkhart said it was an easy decision to participate in the FDA-approved clinical trial at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center because he wanted to try to help others with spinal cord injuries. "I just kind of think that it's my obligation to society," Burkhart said. "If someone else had an opportunity to do it in some other part of the world, I would hope that they would commit their time so that everyone can benefit from it in the future."
Rezai and the team from Battelle agree that this technology holds the promise to help patients affected by various brain and spinal cord injuries such as strokes and traumatic brain injury to be more independent and functional.
"We're hoping that this technology will evolve into a wireless system connecting brain signals and thoughts to the outside world to improve the function and quality of life for those with disabilities," Rezai said. "One of our major goals is to make this readily available to be used by patients at home."
Burkhart is the first of a potential five participants in a clinical study. Mysiw and Rezai have identified a second patient who is scheduled to start the study in the summer.
"Participating in this research has changed me in the sense that I have a lot more hope for the future now," Burkhart said. "I always did have a certain level of hope, but now I know, first-hand, that there are going to be improvements in science and technology that will make my life better."
Other authors of this study are Ammar Shaikhouni, Marcia A. Bockbrader, Dylan M. Nielson, Per B. Sederberg and Milind Deogaonkar from Ohio State and David A. Friedenberg, Gaurav Sharma, Bradley C. Glenn and Austin G. Morgan from Battelle.
Story Source:
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Ohio State University Wexner Medical CenterNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. (2016, April 13). Device allows paralyzed man to swipe credit card, perform other movements: Computer chip in brain works with software, gives man functional control of his hand.ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 13, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160413140118.htm

Office 365 Channels & Current Updates Explained

Office 365 Updates As Of April 12, 2016
  • Current Branch is now called Current Channel
  • Current Branch for Business is now called Deferred Channel
  • First Release for Current Branch is now called First Release for Current Channel
  • First Release for Current Branch for Business is now called First Release for Deferred Channel
Only the names are changing. The servicing model for each of these channels remains the same. We are in the process of updating our content, so you will continue to see the previous naming during this transition.
Last month, we started a community project to help IT pros with Office client deployments using PowerShell to streamline the process. For more details, see Office Deployment Scripts for IT Pros. A month later, it’s time to check in on some of the new developments with this project. As a reminder, all of the scripts are available on our GitHub repository and released under the MIT license.

Reorganized scripts

For starters, we’ve added a folder structure to help IT pros to find useful scripts quickly and easily. We’ve divided all scripts into different categories including:
  • Preparation
  • Information
  • Deployment
  • Management
  • Updates
By grouping similar scripts together, it’s easier than ever for you to find the one you need.

More documentation

We’ve also added a wiki to the repository that contains useful information designed to provide context for using these scripts in real-world situations. The wiki is your go-to source for all information related to Office IT pro deployment scripts. It holds information explaining completed scripts, upcoming scripts and general information around contributing to the project. So if you are interested in learning about the scripts that are available or learning how to run different scripts, you will now find all of that information in the wiki.
But it’s not all housekeeping; here are some of the new additions to the project.

Office 365 ProPlus Configuration XML Editor

The Notepad is either your tool of choice or a last resort for editing XML files, but without the red squiggly lines we have come to love in Office. If you have ever accidentally typed </congifuration> then the web editor for the Office ProPlus Click-to-Run Configuration.xml file is for you. This web page provides a graphical method to generate and edit the Office Click-to-Run Configuration.xml file.
The Click-to-Run for Office 365 Configuration.xml file is used to specify Click-to-Run installation and update options. TheOffice Deployment Tool includes a sample Configuration.xml file that can be downloaded. Administrators can modify the Configuration.xml file to configure installation options for Click-to-Run for Office 365 products.
The Click-to-Run Configuration.xml file is a necessary component of the Office Deployment Tool. Click-to-Run customizations are performed primarily by starting the Office Deployment Tool and providing a custom Configuration.xml file. The Office Deployment Tool performs the tasks that are specified by using the optional properties in the configuration file. For the Office 2016 release of the product, administrators can download the Office Deployment Tool from the Microsoft Download Center. We also took advantage of the awesome new Office UI Fabric project to hide our IT professional design sensibilities.
Deployment scripts for Office 2016 1

Reverse engineer your configuration

The Generate-ODTConfigurationXML PowerShell script queries the existing configuration of the target computer and generates the Configuration.xml file for Click-to-Run for Office 365 products. This XML is used with the Office Deployment Tool (ODT) to deploy Office Click-to-Run products. This script dynamically generates a Configuration.xml file to either install new or modify existing Office Click-to-Run deployments. This script is particularly useful when trying to deploy Office 365 ProPlus in environments where different languages are required. It allows you to dynamically configure Office based on the languages that are currently in use on the computer. More information can be found in the README.
Deployment scripts for Office 2016 2

Putting it all together

The Deploy-OfficeClicktoRun solution uses several scripts from the GitHub repository to create a complete solution to deploying Office Click-to-Run. The solution uses the Generate-ODTConfigurationXML function to generate the Configuration XML based on the current configuration of the user’s computer. It then uses the Edit-OfficeConfigurationFile functions to modify the Configuration XML to the desired state. Finally, it will utilize the Install-OfficeClicktoRun to install or modify Office Click-to-Run.
There are several examples in the folder that show different approaches:
  • Example Script 1: ExampleDeployGeneric.ps1—Provides an example on how to use the deployment scripts in one script to provide a solution for deploying Office Click-to-Run.
  • Example Script 2: ExampleDeployWithOfficeFilter.ps1—Provides an example on how to use the deployment scripts in one script to provide a solution for deploying Office Click-to-Run, which includes an example on providing custom configuration based on the location of the workstation in Active Directory.
More information can be found in the README.
Deployment scripts for Office 2016 3

Fallback to the CDN for updating mobile PCs

The Update-Office365Anywhere function is designed to provide a way for Office Click-to-Run clients to have the ability to update themselves from a managed network source or from the Internet, depending on availability of the primary update source. Setting the Office Click-to-Run update source to a local network source reduces the Internet traffic. However, mobile workers, who may not be in the office, may not get their PC updated. This script detects if the configured update source is available, and if it isn’t, it will update from the Internet. The script also has the ability to monitor the progress of the update and block the script from exiting until the update has completed. More information can be found in the README.
Deployment scripts for Office 2016 4

Get involved!

We strongly recommend that you check back often, as the existing scripts continue to evolve and new scripts are added on a regular basis. We would also like to hear from you on some of the current challenges you face with deployment and how we might be able to help by automating steps. Feel free to post your feedback and ideas on the Office 365 Network.
As a reminder, anyone is welcome to contribute to the Office IT Pro deployment scripts GitHub project, but we ask that you clone the Development branch to create a feature branch where you can make changes to existing scripts or create new ones. Information on contributing to the project can be found in this README.
Thanks for taking the time to catch up on the latest with this project. We hope that you will take advantage of these scripts and help us continue to improve on what is out there.
—Alistair Speirs, senior operations program manager for the Office Deployment team