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Monitoring your fleets event logs - Part 2

 

Install Splunk - It's free! https://www.splunk.com/en_us/download/splunk-enterprise.html

Modify Program Files\Splunk\etc\system\local\inputs.conf

Add the lines

[WinEventLog]
evt_resolve_ad_obj = 1

 

Then we need to reboot splunk, in Splunk click Settings, then Server controls and click Restart Splunk

Next we need to add our data source, click Add Data from the launch screen, then monitor

 

Choose Local Events then ForwardedEvents and click Next

 

Click Create a new index, call it ForwardedEvents, click Save, change the Index to ForwardedEvents and then click Review, Submit

Give it some time to collect a few logins, then go to Search & Reporting

index="forwardedevents" LogName="Microsoft-Windows-User Profile Service/Operational" (EventCode=1 OR EventCode=2 OR EventCode=6 OR EventCode=7)  | transaction ComputerName startswith=eval(EventCode=1) endswith=eval(EventCode=2) | table ComputerName, duration

So I'm using the selected data, filtering for 4 event codes, then getting the time between event code 1 and 2, and putting it into a table..

Edit: This search can be a bit funny, the delay ended up being between synching the roaming profile so I've also ran

index="forwardedevents" LogName="Microsoft-Windows-User Profile Service/Operational" (EventCode=1 OR EventCode=2 OR EventCode=6 OR EventCode=7)  | transaction ComputerName startswith=eval(EventCode=6) endswith=eval(EventCode=7) | table ComputerName, duration

Then click on the Visualization tab

This also lets you dive into each login by clicking one and get the event logs!

You can save this as a report, dashboard and share with people.

 

There is so much more you can do with this software, and it takes some time to learn it. Will post more as I do..

 

 

Monitoring your fleets event logs - Part 1

Windows has an amazing feature that let's you collect logs from remote computers, it's called Windows Event forwarding and is pretty easy to set up. Once we have this data we can use free tools such as Splunk or GrayLog to analyse the data, find patterns, fix.

 

Below is the way to get started collecting the user profile logs to analyse things such as login performance with roaming profiles, something we are dealing with right now! Please note you need to enable winrm on your computers for forwarding to work.

First you need a machine that will be the data collectior.

  1. On that machine open Event Viewer and right click Subscriptions. You may get the following message to enable the service on startup

2. Now you should only collect data that you will use, in this example we are collecting the Microsoft-Windows-User Profile Service/Operational events so we will call it Microsoft-Windows-User Profile Service - Operational

3. Change the type to Source computer initiated and click Select Computer Groups

4. Add the group of machines to the Computer list and click OK

5. Click Select Events

6. We now select the Applications and Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\User Profile Service

7. You can configure advanced settings to control how the computers forward the events.

8. Click OK

9. To get clean data we need to change the format of returned events by running the command:
wecutil ss "Microsoft-Windows-User Profile Service - Operational" /cf:Events

10. Next you deploy a group policy that tells your computers to go to the data collector for jobs

Create a group policy using Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Event Forwarding

11. Select Configure target Subscription Manager

12. Set to Enabled

13. Click Show

14. Insert the line
Server=http://SERVER.FQDN:5985/wsman/SubscriptionManager/WEC,Refresh=60

15. Replace SERVER.FQDN with your data collector's name.

16. To test run GPUPDATE /FORCE on the remote machine

17. If successful, on the data machine you will see the number of source computers change and logs in the forwarded events

Visit https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/jepayne/2015/11/23/monitoring-what-matters-windows-event-forwarding-for-everyone-even-if-you-already-have-a-siem/ for more information.

 

PART 2 

 

 

Bad Fat mifs in a multiple user environment

no mif for you

 

If you are getting alot of error 2719 under SMS_INVENTORY_DATA_LOADER in a multiple user enviroment such as a lab of computers consider tweaking the data you are collecting.

Inventory Data Loader failed to process the file G:Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration Managerinboxesauthdataldr.boxProcessH5CCBXME.MIF because it is larger than the defined maximum allowable size of 5000000.

Solution: Increase the maximum allowable size, which is defined in the registry key HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftSMSComponentsSMS_INVENTORY_DATA_LOADERMax MIF Size (the default is 5 MB), and wait for Inventory Data Loader to retry the operation.

 

Solution is not increasing the maximum allowable size and make your DB massive.

In a multiple user environment the class that will be expanding those mifs is the 'CCM_RecentlyUsedApps'.

To cut the fat go to the Administration pane in SCCM 2012, then Client Settings. Right click 'Default Client Settings' and choose properties.

In the new window click 'Hardware Inventory'

Screenshot 2015-03-16 11.40.41

Click 'Set Classes'

Search for 'CCM_RecentlyUsedApps', expand it. Is up to decide what you really need but we have deseleted the following.

Screenshot 2015-03-16 11.40.29

Adding custom programs to the Set Default Programs UI

Capture

Hi, today I wanted the CMTrace tool to be recognised in the Set Default Programs control panel applet. There is a bit of information on the net but it's confusing.

In the registry you can set the program, launch arguments, file types and icon. This can be used for any app by modifying the reg file.

 

Download reg file

 

Once added you may like to use DISM.exe to extract your chosen defaults and import during your task sequence.

Dism /Online /Export-DefaultAppAssociations:Defaults.xml
Dism /Online /Import-DefaultAppassociations:Defaults.xml