Generic PC Found

When creating a desktop operating system install, we’ll often have a "computer specific” section, where we’ll install particular software for particular PCs.  For example, we would install fingerprint scanning software on those Lenovo laptops which had a fingerprint scanner built in.

But what if we’d detected a PC we don’t know about?

Throw up an error:
Generic PC Found

Like all good idiot proofing, we were countering the actions of idiots.  The two reasons which drove that were:

  1. The computer manufacturer, HP in this case, AKA the Integration Centre, would introduce a a new model without telling us SOE developers.
    The first we’d hear about it, was when an end user would ring up and say “my PC doesn’t play sound …”
  2. Our Desktop Support staff, WHO SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER, would install the desktop operating system image on a PC which wasn’t supported.
    And then complain to everyone but us, that the SOE build was broken.

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“The Operating System Image file you have selected is not supported or has an invalid format”

The Operating System Image file you have selectedSMS 2003 produces this error when you have decided to create a new Operating System Package.

The frustrating thing is that it may work on one PC, and not another.

The underlying cause?

Difference versions of OS Deployment Feature Pack were installed.  Version 2.50.3658.1102 caused the error I was having.

The fix to the "… invalid format." error, was to update to version 2.50.3726.2000.

OS Deployment Feature Pack Version 2.50.7326.2000

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A sample Remote Desktop Control product policy.

Had a customer IT Security Team, let’s call them FREDNET, ask me for some advice on graphical desktop sharing and control system.
Think VNC, Dameware, PC Anywhere.

Here is what I wrote up for them:

The Remote Desktop Control product (RDCP) must adhere to the following policies:

  • RDCP must not be able to connect to a PC which is not logged on.
  • RDCP can only connect when the end user of the PC positively authorises the connection.
  • End user is able to terminate the RDCP session.
  • End user has the ability to “see” what the RDCP session is doing.
  • RDCP connections must use logging for auditibility.
  • The RDCP must be able to coexist with the <support organisation> Desktop Management  Toolset.
  • Session data traffic between the RDCP server & client is encrypted.

The Desktop Support Team has not evaluated the following Remote Desktop Control products, but do provide the following comments on these products:


  • VNC traffic is not encrypted.
  • Is able to connect without end user providing authorisation.

Therefore not suitable for use in the FREDNET network


  • Is able to connect without end user providing authorisation.

Therefore not suitable for use in the FREDNET network.

Microsoft Remote Desktop with WIndows 2000/XP

  • Can connect to a PC if the client is not logged on
  • Does not prompt the client to allow connection, it just remotely connects and locks the client workstation while the remote desktop session is active.
  • Therefore clients are unable to “see” what the Remote Desktop session is doing.

Therefore not suitable for use in the FREDNET network.

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