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camlen92

After upgrading to v2.0.3020 images are losing keyboard language inputs

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Hi!

Previously we had images in SmartDeploy that had Windows 10 keyboard languages available on the taskbar for all users that logged onto the computer. We achieved this by installing the keyboard languages on an administrator profile and then copying the user settings to the Default profile.

When we upgraded SmartDeploy to the latest version, it seems all of our deployments are losing these keyboard languages. After deployment, when we check in the registry under "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Keyboard Layout\Preload" in any profile, there are no entries. In our reference VM, the entries are all there. We really need to get this functionality back into our images!

Computer that was recently reimaged with SmartDeploy:

image.png.6bfbf067c46b382deb2c8f809c7ff8fe.png

Computer that was imaged with SmartDeploy before the upgrade:

image.png.86fcd6e138dc56fa4f4bd6d9d5a18b66.png

Was there something changed in the way sysprep was done or something like that?

Thanks!

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Hi camlen92, 

This is an interesting problem - I can tell you that Windows Sysprep definitely has changed, but SmartDeploy's changes have generally been responsive to changes in Windows 10 - that's to say, we've updated the software as needed to support each new major OS version of Windows 10, including its various changes to Windows Sysprep. 

One of these changes is that as of Windows 10 Version 1607, we no longer recommend using the Sysprep\CopyProfile procedure on your reference VM prior to capture, as much of this procedure has been deprecated by Microsoft and will no longer work reliably, including Start Menu layout and Taskbar items. You're the first user I'm aware of that has asked specifically about the language bar visibility, but it appears that this is one of the items that has changed in the newer updates of Windows 10.

I should also mention - it is no longer our recommendation to install major Windows 10 version upgrades on your reference VM, since they install as in-place upgrades and often leave the VM in an unreliable state for capture and deployment. So you may want to build a fresh VM with Windows 10 Version 1803 media before continuing with your Taskbar customization. 
 

If you want to customize the Start Menu or Taskbar, then there are new ways to do that for Windows 10 1607 and later. Doing it through Group Policy is probably the easiest most manageable way, but if you want to do it directly then you basically need to create a layout XML file, and then import it. There are a few articles on doing this.
 
http://www.scconfigmgr.com/2016/08/03/customize-pinned-items-on-taskbar-in-windows-10-1607-during-osd-with-configmgr/
http://ccmexec.com/2015/09/customizing-the-windows-10-start-menu-and-add-ie-shortcut-during-osd/
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/commercialize/customize/desktop/customize-the-taskbar
 
We have one that we use, it’s attached (renamed to .txt). Basically makes an Office Start Menu collection, and then puts Outlook, Explorer and IE in the taskbar. You copy this .xml into the folder below in your reference VM (that is basically what the PowerShell Import-StartLayout cmdlet does):
C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\DefaultLayouts.xml
 
Or you can use the PowerShell Export-StartLayout cmdlet to generate an XML of your own, and copy it to the same location. 

Unfortunately, it appears that hiding the language bar is the default setting in Windows 10 (definitely in Version 1703 or later - not exactly sure when this change was made), and there does not seem to be any reliable registry method to enable it - and it does not appear that the XML file generated above contains any specific reference to the Language bar. It can be enabled manually via Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Language\Advanced settings (check the box labeled Use the desktop language bar when it's available). And as always, the keyboard shortcuts of Alt+Shift or Win+Spacebar will allow the user to switch between installed languages. 

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to support@smartdeploy.com, and please reference this DeployCentral thread. 

 

LayoutModification.txt

 

Regards,

Glenn
SmartDeploy Support

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Thanks for the thorough answer Glenn!

We are thinking we will try to deploy input languages through group policy like you recommended and see if that can working for our requirements.

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Our issue is different from what was recommended above. We needed to deploy keyboard languages, not Start Menu Layouts or Taskbar layouts.

Our solution for this issue is not ideal but it works for our needs:

We deploy registry keys that have the hex code value for that language to each of the computers through GPO. All Asian keyboard languages arrive broken, but we have some technicians manually add them back through the new Windows Settings app. This seems to be the only way to automate the process from our few weeks of testing.

It is unfortunate that the new updates to sysprep broke the Default Profile capabilities. Hopefully in the future this functionality can return in some form or way.

 

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Hi camlen92,

Thanks for the update! You're likely not the only user to run into this issue, so hopefully this will be helpful for others. Unfortunately, the updates to the Sysprep\CopyProfile procedure (which has been around since the 1990s) have been a bit piecemeal - the entire procedure touched so many different parts of the OS, that different aspects of it have been deprecated (with or without any accompanying documentation) as each product group has changed its approach to deploying that particular setting over time. At least that's our best best guess in our long experience dealing with changes in Windows deployment over time. 

If you ever hit a wall with how to deploy a particular setting, please feel free to reach out to support@smartdeploy.com - we're happy to work with you further to try and find a solution for your specific need. 

Regards,

Glenn 
SmartDeploy Support

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